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

Photo By: Shutterstock/Jorge Salcedo


Vinca difformis, often called the Intermediate Periwinkle, 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.

Photo By: Shutterstock/Sarayuth_W

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.

Photo By: Shutterstock/Africa Studio


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

Photo By: Shutterstock/Nick Pecker

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 autumn.

Photo By: Shutterstock/alybaba


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

Photo By: Shutterstock/tomiq1968


Narcissus are spring flowering bulbs known for their trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of bold hues (primarily yellow). However, they can also come in several other shapes and colors, from blush pink to blue.

Photo By: Shutterstock/Neighbours Cat


'Calandiva White Monroe' has white flowers that resemble rosebuds. They open from green-ish buds above large, glossy leaves.

Photo By: Shutterstock/Nosyrevy

Wax Flower

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

Photo By: Shutterstock/Nick Pecker


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.

Photo By: Shutterstock/Sarah Marchant


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

Photo By: Shutterstock/Real Moment

Madonna Lily

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

Photo By: Shutterstock/Circumnavigation


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

Photo By: Shutterstock/KPG_Payless


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

Photo By: Shutterstock/Ken Schulze

'Royal Star' Magnolia

Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' 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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