Planning and Planting a Perfumed White Garden

Author: Meera, January 24, 2013
Climbing Sally Clune's showy blooms are beautiful in the moonlight

Climbing Sally Holmes’s showy blooms are beautiful in the moonlight


Some years ago while researching a book about decorating with flowers and floral motifs, I learned about the white garden of English writer Vita Sackville-West. The garden was part of her Sissinghurst estate in Kent, England. I seized upon the idea of someday having my own white garden.


Sackville-West’s garden, planted roughly from 1949 to 1950 featured various plants with white flowers and others with gray-green foliage. The combination of white and gray-green colors is stunning when viewed by moonlight. The author sought not only ravishing florals such as Regale lilies and trumpet lilies, dianthus, and white peonies but also made certain that her chosen flowers would perfume the garden.


On my Henny Penny farmette, I’ve created a fairy ring in a white garden that I’ve started. The center of the fairy ring is an Iceberg hybrid tea rose. I used artemisia (Dusty Miller) with silvery gray-green leaves planted in a circle around the rose. I frequently have to aggressively clip the artemisia as its feathery leaves grow fairly fast.


In another area, I have also planted a group of floribunda white roses and plan to put in white mugwort. Other plants with white blooms will be added and then the whole area encircled in yarrow. A piece of statuary, perhaps a four or five foot angel, will be installed to finish the project.


Other white flowering plants I could tuck into a white garden could include tuberose, phlox, Madonna lily, evening stock, cleome, and various white roses. Those plants are also highly fragrant.


A perfect place to position a white perfumed garden might be beyond a bedroom window. You could see it in the moonlight and breathe in the heady perfume as you are falling asleep.








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