Sissinghurst: Dreaming of a White Garden

Large trumpet white daffodil.

White trumpet daffodil.

The patio garden began with somewhat of a plan, but since I derail easily, the plan was lost. It was supposed to be a white garden from the get go. The hot tub is back there and I spend most of my time in this area at twilight and evening. The intrinsic magic of a white garden is what happens in moonlight. The white florals against a dark fence and green foliage glow like little lamps. (And winding twinkle lights through the fence won’t hurt in the least.)

Finding white blooming things that will tolerate a tad too much shade (at a reasonable price) is a challenge. When at a nursery, I’m seduced easily by the more gaudy florals. My white garden never really got off the ground, but this winter annihilated some of the roses. I think I’m back on track. I plan on tucking in just a few vivid blue and lavender annuals to keep things interesting between bloom times, but the white garden shall rise again. (I hope.)

Tiny white daffodils with sweet fragrance

Tiny white daffodils with sweet fragrance

Unfortunately, this means moving the white daffodils from the kitchen garden to the back. The smaller white daffodils have a delicate fragrance, but when clumped together by the dozens it can stop you in your tracks. The mock orange seems to have survived though it’s on life support. The white garden will also be a fragrance garden. My plans are never simple. The honeysuckle taking over the fence on the other side and the old rose that is featured on the masthead will bolster the scent factor.

The calla and star lilies are up and appear to be robust. The white azaleas, alas, are doomed for the compost pile. Shrubs should be of sufficient size before they come home — this is the last time I flirt with baby azaleas. The retaining wall is filled with candytuft, but I’m pretty sure some purple petunias will find their way in there along with some white ones. I share this area’s love of petunias. They’re just so cheerful. Even saying the word petunia is smile-provoking.

Sissinghurst is one of the more famous white gardens and I’m never even going to come close.  Someone said that if gardening is a game, the white garden is chess.  They’re devilishly difficult to do well and I know I don’t have the patience and restraint for it.  Before you can say “like white on rice”, I’ll have something red or yellow in there.  But I’m starting with a plan and y’all that know me, know what a wonder that is.

One thought on “Sissinghurst: Dreaming of a White Garden

  1. So gorgeous. Why, oh why, are the spring flowers so transitory? But I guess that makes us appreciate them more. Braving the cold, being the first to break free of winter’s chains, yet so fragile.

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