Wednesday, August 17, 2011

White out?

The garden in August needs a jolt of color.  Sure, salvia, echinacea, and rudbeckia are sparking and sizzling, but way too much of what's in bloom has no charge.  Why do white flowers lack that electricity?

This isn't an intentionally white garden, like the White Garden at Sissinghurst. I suspect that the heavy representation of the color here results from two thoughts that pop into my head when selecting plants: "Oh, white goes with everything!  That's a safe choice" and "White flowers could brighten up a dark corner of the garden."  The overall result appears just as uninteresting as these lines of practical thinking would indicate.

Flower whites, clockwise from upper left: Argyranthemum frutescens "Vanilla Butterfly," Achillea sp, Phlox panticulata "David," Shasta daisy, Clethra alnifolia "September Beauty," Hosta "Guacamole"

The balance of "how much white in the garden is too much white" has been tipped. White should be used either sparingly or exclusively, and in this garden it's neither.  I do like crisp, cool white flowers, but next year, I'll need to think about how to replace some of those daisies and achillea with colorful Phlox panticulata varieties like "Sir John Falstaff" or "Russian Violet"--or even a few annuals.

The recent rain has also sprouted some not so welcome flushes of white.  Powdery mildew is rampant on the peony foliage, and tiny earthball fungi are popping up on battered areas of the lawn.

Fungus whites: Powdery mildew and earthball fungi
Yes,  need to get those whites out!

1 comment:

Cassy said...

Those are lovely and beautiful flowers.

Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons