2014 readers choice results
Article posted: 10/21/2013 1:00 AM

Great whites in the garden!

Many tulip varieties feature subtle-colored striping to the white background for more visual interest.

Many tulip varieties feature subtle-colored striping to the white background for more visual interest.

 

SHNS photo courtesy Maureen Gilmer

All white narcissus and jonquils are reliable, easy to grow and gopher-proof.

All white narcissus and jonquils are reliable, easy to grow and gopher-proof.

 

SHNS photo courtesy Maureen Gilmer

This wedding garden shows how white bulbs with just the right pastel accents are striking.

This wedding garden shows how white bulbs with just the right pastel accents are striking.

 

SHNS photo courtesy Maureen Gilmer

 1 of 3 
 
text size: AAA
By Maureen Gilmer

Do you love white decor? Does your heart race when natural wood grain stands out in an all-white setting? Do you find that a beloved painting literally pops in the neutrality of a white room? As long as our culture's dependence on electronics rushes each day to breakneck speed, white will remain more than a color; it is a formula for simple living spaces in an increasingly complex world.

There is an equally important role for white in the garden as an extension of interiors. When windows of your white rooms look out into the yard, you'll want that view to dovetail with what you're doing inside.

Advertisement

To best transform next year's garden to feature more white flowers, start now with bulbs. You can plant them any time before the soil freezes. But don't delay in shopping because supply, either local or online, may run out quickly due to the popularity of this neutral color palette. If you can't plant right away, store your bulbs in the refrigerator until you're ready.

Despite being associated with simplicity, white has a million different shades. White can be warmer when it's mixed with red and cooler when mixed with blue. Whites with a yellow cast are creamy and soft, with less punch.

Designers love to use white flowers as problem-solvers. White pops in areas of a garden that are too green or where there's dark shade in the background. White flowers also draw the eye to certain parts of the garden where other things are going on. White is ideal around outdoor dining areas used in the evening because white flowers are the last to fade away into the darkness.

The great whites come from narcissus, tulips, hyacinth, snowdrops and crocus. Narcissus and hyacinth also are highly fragrant, offering heavily scented cut flowers to bring indoors at winter's end. Concentrate these bulbs in parts of the garden seen through critical window views. Sprinkle them into existing planting for a more subtle effect. For a bold composition, use quantities of bulbs to form larger swaths of white that contrast strongly with existing green foliage plants.

Selecting white spring bulbs individually can be difficult and expensive if you're not an experienced gardener. Fortunately, bulb-sellers have put together some collections that take the guesswork out of shopping these neutral hues. Collections bloom together and are compatible, so it's impossible to make a mistake.

At DutchBulbs.com, you'll find the White Passion Blend, which is a collection of creamy tulips with a wide diversity of forms ranging from urn-shaped flowers to exotic twisted parrot tulips. These are not snow-white, so they'll lend an antique or vintage feel. Warmer whites or those best described as ivory also may feature subtly colored edges or stripes as well. These make a fine choice for gardens in older homes where old-fashioned elegance is desired.

At WhiteFlowerFarm.com, you'll find the White Flower Collection of 100 bulbs among the earliest bloomers. These are bright white varieties, hand-picked for their hardiness and longevity, as well as the purity of color. This group contains smaller plants and flowers, including crocus, snowdrops, muscari and scilla, all of which take hard winters in stride. Most are little-known to new gardeners, so planting this group will offer a learning experience. Best of all, they have a long life, so your effort to plant this fall will repeat year after year.

The beauty and simplicity of all-white flower displays in a garden is a great way to blend your interior design with outdoor spaces through a compatible color palette. Plant bulbs to get great results every spring. Stick with green foliage and these great white flowers for an elegant result.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.