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.

White Flowers

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Summer White Clematis

Cup-shaped, white and mauve flowers appear on the Huldine clematis after the height of summer and last into fall.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited


Vinca difformis is a vigorous evergreen subshrub with lance-shaped, dark green leaves and upright shoots bearing pale blue to white flowers in late winter and early spring.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

White Hyacinth

Triteleia hyacinthina, or white hyacinth, has an erect stem, topped with dense white flower heads. Although not hyacinths, they are thought to resemble the flower with their papery thin blooms.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'Sissinghurst White'

Pulmonaria 'Sissinghurst White' features basal clumps of silvery-white, spotted leaves. Drooping clusters of funnel-shaped, white flowers bloom on short stalks just above green foliage.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

White Rhododendron

Rhododendron 'Fragrantissimum' has highly scented, large white flowers. It is tender and needs protection from frost.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

White Quamash

The tall spikes of the quamash are star-shaped, creamy-white flowers that are an excellent choice for cuttings.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'White Pim'

Osteospermum 'White Pim' has beautiful daisy-like flowers of pure white with a pink and grey striped reverse. It produces an endless display of flowers from early summer through to autumn. Great for the front of a sunny cottage garden border.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Heartleaf Crambe

Crambe cordifolia has bold, dark green, lobed leaves, and branching sprays of small, beautifully scented white flowers.

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'Small World' Dahlia

Dahlia 'Small World' has long stems of pure white pompom flowers held above neat clumps of green foliage.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

White Swan Elegance

A compact variety with beautiful, semidouble white flowers. Blooms in late spring.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'Satin Pink'

The 'Satin Pink' daffodil is an unusual variety with pure white petals and a pink-flushed central cup. It flowers in mid-spring.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'Calandiva White Monroe'

'Calandiva White Monroe' has white flowers that resemble rosebuds. They open from greenish buds above large glossy leaves.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Madagascar Jasmine

A favorite for weddings, Madagascar jasmine is a woody, evergreen climber that produces fragrant white blooms in the summer. Ideal in a partially shaded site, Stephanotis thrives when fed monthly while in growth with a balanced liquid feed.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'Aztec Pearl'

Choisya 'Aztec Pearl', commonly called Mexican Orange Blossom, is an evergreen shrub with slender, glossy, dark green leaves and clusters of fragrant, pink-tinged white flowers in late spring.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited


The snowdrop produces single, nodding, white flowers that appear as early as late winter and into early spring.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Madonna Lily

Sweetly scented, the Madonna lily offers pure white flowers in midsummer.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Twinkling Stars

The squill (Scilla peruviana ‘Alba’) provides tight, conical clusters of small, star-shaped, white flowers in early summer.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited


Tiarella cordifolia has long, slender stamens that give heart-leaf foamflower spikes of white flowers a frothy appearance. The small star-shaped flowers occur in compact racemes on stalks rising above a mound of attractive lobed leaves.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'Anne Russell' Honeysuckle

In spring, ‘Anne Russell’ offers pink flower buds that open to white fragrant flowers. Dark green foliage and semi-evergreen tendencies are a spectacular backdrop to these showy blooms.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

'Royal Star' Magnolia

Star magnolias are another deciduous species that also bloom in spring.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ben Ford



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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