A White Garden

You can pack a lot of exuberance into a garden based on just one color, and if that color is white, your garden will shine at night.


Want to light up your garden at night? Or maybe just highlight a walkway? Follow landscape designer Michael Glassman as he plants a moon garden: "At night or in a shady area, white comes to life," he says.

Raised planters


For some quick dimension and architecture, Michael constructs raised planters out of paving blocks. These planters are a great way to add fresh, workable soil for easy planting, especially under well-rooted, established shade trees. Also, their dark gray color will enhance the white theme and help showcase the plants.

To build his planters, Michael uses a method called dry-stacking. Here, no concrete is required because the pavers stack easily and securely on top of each other. Don't build the walls too high though, because the weight of too much soil and water will press against the blocks. Also, municipal regulations may require a permit if you build much over three feet.

Before planting the bed, loosen the native soil with a shovel. This will help the roots of the new plants to penetrate what was formerly a compacted soil. Once this has been completed, add new topsoil to the planters, preferably one made of topsoil and rich compost to boost growth. Leave a few inches of space from the soil surface to the top of the planting bed to allow for the volume of the new plants and to give water sufficient area to drain through the structure without overflowing.


Water feature

Add more eye candy to a monochromatic garden with a fountain. Here, Michael selects a fountain made of cast iron. It has a blue gray patina that will fit nicely with the stone pavers of the raised planters and plants in the white garden.



In a white garden, there is a wide selection of flowers and foliage in whites, silvers and similar tones. Opt for white flowering plants, such as candytuft, roses, flowering tobacco and moon flower.


Or check out silver foliage, like artemisia, lamb's ear and lavender, or plants with creamy variegation in their leaves, such as Japanese maples, hostas and hydrangeas.

Combine all of these elements together, and you can create a peaceful white garden, where variations in texture, height and foliage provide interest.

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