Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Is White a Color?

No, technically white is not a color.  In nature, white is seldom really white.  It is shades or layers of colors.  Our eyes and minds may perceive it as white when in fact it isn't. 

The new garden catalogs started me thinking of white in the garden.  I've written about it before in "Moon Garden" article #60.  Today I'd like to focus on the use of white flowers in containers.

I live in a yellow house trimmed in white.  It's the Swedish look for an old house build by a Swede.  It's warm and cozy, but doesn't have any blast of bright colors.   

I get my little flash of color from using a bright royal blue in my gardens and on the back porch.  Hence, all my plant pots out back are that color of blue.  Surprisingly, very few flower colors clash with this shade of blue. 

Each color, when combined with royal blue, gives a different mood.  Blue and white tends to look very formal and slightly Swedish.

I like using large pots - although I tend to limit them to the maximum my husband will willingly move. . . . .

Here's some really good choices for white flowers in pots:

"Cool Wave" White Pansies
White Impatients
White Cornflower.  (May self seed)
Datura "Evening Fragrance".  (May self seed)
Chrysanthemum parthenium Feverfew.  (Several white varieties)
Four O'Clock "Alba".  (May self seed)
Petunia "Rainmaster"  (Strongly scented - may self sow)
Tobacco "Jasmine"  (Sweet fragrance)
Verbena "White Lily"  (Strong scent)
Cleome "White Queen"  (May self seed)
Nasturtium "Milkmaid"  (Trails to 3 foot)
Zinnia "Polar Bear"
Morning Glory "Pearly Gates".  (vines & self seeds)

Annual Veggies:
Eggplant "White Star"   (plant grows to a max. of 3 foot)
Cilantro has small white flowers if left to bloom.
Early White Bush Scallop Summer Squash.
Floral Spires White Basil "Ocimum basillcum"
"Snow White" cherry tomato. (pictured from Reimer Seeds) 

A combo of tender bulbs and plants:
Dahlia 'White Perfection" is a dinner plate variety, growing to 4 foot.  (Need a big pot)
Gladiolus "White Friendship" grows to 3 foot.  (Great for the back of a pot)
Caladium "White Christmas" features white with green veins.  (Can take shade)
White Calla Lily.  (Can take some shade)
Angel Trumpets Brugmansia White.  This is a tree.
White Odorata Begonia.  (super fragrant and drapes over the side of pots)
"Ermine" Canna.  36-48 inches tall.

Perennials  (get them back in the ground in the fall or bring inside):
White Oriental "Casa Blanca" Lily.  (Highly fragrant)       
White Hibiscus "Texas Star Moon Moth".  (The can become a tree)
Bearded German Iris "Immortality".  (Very fragrant)
Daylily "Dad's Best White".  (Lots of white and near white daylilies)
Shasta Daisy.  (These will self seed)
Echinacea purpurea "Milkshake" coneflower.  (This is a touchy little plant; you may loose it if you wait late to transplant in the ground.)
Fire and Ice Hosta.  (Or the old fashioned, highly fragrant "August Hosta" plantaginea)
Hybrid miniature white rose bushes.
Perennials that need pots brought in during our Zone 5 winters:
Pampas Grass Cortaderia selloana "White Feather".  This will be REALLY tall.
Nassella tenuissima Mexican feather grass "Shimmering Garden Jewel". 
Solanum Jasminoides album.  Jasmine "Starbright"
Mandevilla "Bride's Cascade".  (Vines - pictured from Oglesby)
Cape Fuchsia "Candy Drops Cream".  (hangs over edges of pots)
White Geranium
Polianthes tuberosa "Pearl" is from 1870.  (fragrant)

I didn't include bulbs for spring pots although there are loads of crocus, hyacinths, tulips, narcissus and daffodils readily available in white.  They may take a little more planning and specialized care to make sure they have the winter conditions needed for spring blooms.

The above lists are only a few of the white flowers available. 
One of the best things about many of the beautiful white flowers is their fragrant.  Most smell strong and sweet.  Often the most intense fragrance is in the evening.  Place those pots of fragrant flowers near your evening sitting or entertaining area.  White flowers will show up most nights and you'll be enchanted by the evening scents.

Side note:  We (as in husband) use an appliance cart to move pots.  Slip the bottom under the pot, secure with a bungee cord, tip back and roll to the new location. 

1 comment:

  1. As per your usual good good post this is another one...always love how you find such interesting subjects. You mind must be an enless source of creativity...thanks