Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dusting of Silver

Aster "Frost" 
 Although we aren’t in the late season “Dog Days of Summer”, we can prepare our gardens now.  Dog Days refer to it being so hot the dog just lays in the shade and sleeps. 

Along with the heat, many of our beautiful summer flowers end their bloom period.  Your yard may become hot, bare and boring.  This is where WHITE comes into play in the garden.
With some planning, you can have a white garden in the fall (plus all summer) that brings a cool and soothing view.  This may be in flower beds or in pots. 

A “Moon Garden” is near white flowers and foliage that show up and have fragrance at night.  If the bed is located near a patio or porch, the evenings are wonderfully scented and you can see the flowers reflected by the moon light.
Columbine - UK White

A few well placed solar lights or candles in the beds may also throw just enough light to really make the flowers glow at night.
Here are a few suggestions for a white (moon) garden.  Marked with an A for annual, P for perennial and F for fragrant. 
Summer:  Clematis vine “Gillian Blades” (P), Coneflower “White Swan” (P), Daisy “Shasta” (P), Spotted deadnettle leaves (P), Rose “Alba” (P & F), Lamb’s Ear leaves (P), Dusty Miller (A), Loosestrife “Gooseneck” (P), Dianthus “White (A & P), Yarrow “Achillea millefolium” (P), Baby’s Breath (A), Moonflower (A), White Impatiens (A), Cleome, and “White Queen” (A).  There are white petunias, zinnias, lilies, astilbes, liatris, dahlia, and many more.
Shasta Daisy
Fall:  Phlox “David” (P & F), Hosta “plantogeana” (P & F), Aster pilosus “Frost” (P), Clematis vine “Sweet Autumn” (P).  There is Queen Anne’s Lace, Sedums, turtlehead and hydrangeas.
There are several bushes and trees with white flowers or needles such weigela and Korean Fir.

This list is only a few of the many selections for moon and white gardens.  If a plant is labeled “Alba” it will have a component that is white.
Phlox "David"
Seldom are the leaves of any plant pure white because they need the green (photosynthesis) to live.  The many dual colored leaves do bring light to flower beds or pots.  Some varieties have near whites (such as daylilies) and others have white with a touch of another color (such as Hosta).  Some blues will have a frosty or silver color that enhances or accents a white garden.
Gooseneck Loosestrife
White flowers need to have a dark contrast to stand out, especially at night.  Plants with dark green leaves will make an almost black
background at night.  Planting a moon garden’s plants close together hides the mulch which tends to glow a bit at night.
Hosta "Patriot"
A starry night, the fragrance of sweet flowers, layers of white flowers glowing in the moon light:  aw yes, sweet summertime, summertime. 

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