November 30, 2010

Celebrating White . . . Flowers

I saved this post until white snow made its appearance in the garden and I needed to be reminded that white is beautiful . . . snow really is pretty until January, but by March I'm past done with it. And when it snows in May around here, it just makes me cranky.

But we're focusing on flowers here instead of flakes, so please direct your attention to the gorgeous white delphiniums in the first two photos. These were grown from 'Green Twist' delphinium seed and are a great flower for sun. If you don't mind staking, that is.

Above is an 'Esther Reed' double daisy, which is a classic plant for cutting and for the garden. If you cut back the first round of blooms promptly, you'll be rewarded with a second flush.

The only non-Austin rose in my garden is 'White Meidiland', shown above. I can't say enough about its great glossy dark foliage and low groundcover habit. It's such a useful rose - except for cutting, as the stems are not very long. Sometimes I bring them inside anyway for a short bouquet.

Sun-loving white Armeria maritima is a fun change from the usual hot pink versions. The only drawback to the grassy clump of foliage is that I can't tell when weedy grass has invaded until it goes to seed.

Have you ever noticed how dogwood (Cornus florida) blooms look like presents while they're opening? So sweet. This small tree wants partial shade in dry or hot climates. The fall leaf color is a wonderful crimson.

Now we move to the shade-loving plants, though I expect you can get away with full sun in a mild climate like gardeners enjoy in Seattle or England. Above is Astrantia major, also known as masterwort.

Here is Anemone nemerosa, the European Wood Anemone. Who would expect such a delicate flower to be such a thug? In my sandy garden soil, it spreads like wildfire by root and seed. It would probably be better behaved in heavy clay.

Fluffy white 'Bridal Veil' astilbe lights up my shade garden in June. It looks nice in a bouquet with delphiniums, astrantia, daisies and roses.

Here is a white bleeding heart, Dicentra spectabilis. I was lucky to get a shot, as my children love to pull the flowers apart to find the 'sword' in the middle of the heart. Although this plant goes dormant for summer in warmer climates, it lasts almost the whole growing season here in cool Spokane in shade.

I'll end with a shot taken out the window as we drove through the Idaho panhandle on the way to Utah last weekend. We saw plenty of snow on the roads while driving, and now it's coming down steadily outside. I'm grateful that we're safely home, though maybe I wish home wasn't such a snowy place!


  1. Lovely white blossoms ands a sweet reminder that Spring will come again. We are buried in snow.

  2. Stunning flowers VW!!! I love the white delphiniums. I have dark blue ones in flower in my garden at the moment. The landscape photo looks like a painting - so beautiful!!!

  3. I have to laugh VW because I did a posting on the use of white flowers the same day. LOL! I love your Delphiniums and Astrantia and will have to put some in my garden beds. I love adding white flowers to the garden to make other colors pop.

  4. Naturally when I saw your post title I first thought you were talking about snow. We will be in Spokane for Christmas and I am praying it will not be a repeat of 2008 when there was so much snow on the ground walking was almost impossible.

    But on to your photos...they are gorgeous! Everyone of them. And I see another commenter thought the same thing, that your landscape shot looks like a painting. Did you tweak it in Photoshop or is that the way it really looked?

  5. DG - I never post anything without at least some editing in photoshop. Some photos don't need much more than a bit of sharpening. I try to make sure there's plenty of contrast - bright whites and enough black, too. But the snowy evergreens shot out of a dirty window on a moving car definitely needed help!
    I try not to mess up the colors of flowers, cause it bugs me when the catalog picture doesn't represent the way the plant will look in my garden. But I try to bring out colors so they look as they would with perfect lighting - definitely not the mid-day washed out look.
    And we are totally swamped with heavy snow right now. Maybe it will be gone by Christmas . . .

  6. Hi, VW. White IS truly beautiful!! That final photo is gorgeous. I love watching the snow fall... from inside my home... out the window... ;-) I'm glad you made it home safely.

  7. Hi VW~~ We need all the flowers we can get right now, don't you think? Great shots! The last one looks like a painting, almost beautiful. I too am glad you're home safe and sound. :)

  8. When we lived in Minneapolis, it seemed like it snowed from Halloween to Mother's Day ... and that was no fun. Seattle snow is much better (i.e. briefer). And that's a gorgeous rose for not being an Austin.

  9. VW hello there !
    I love seeing white flowers in the garden they just pop a certain way that colour can't.
    You have some lovely ones there .. I have a soft spot for big beautiful white astilbe and roses ..
    Yes .. living in a snowy area (aka country) can be a bit dicey for sure !
    Joy : )

  10. I love white flowers also. I am on a mission to create a moonlight garden. I love how the white flowers glow in the dark.

    Snow is a real event if it happens here in Texas as no one knows how to drive in it. I have a 4x4 but I stay home to avoid the others.

  11. You have some pretty white blooms. I would like to add more to my garden. The last photo makes me miss snow.


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