The White Garden

Saturday, June 06, 2015 - by Timothy Fraser

Back in the winter, work started to ensure a dazzling display of white blooms amongst silver grey and green foliage.
Dicentra 'Alba' - white bleeding heart


Dicentra ‘Alba’, the white bleeding heart, has been flowering for weeks.

The garden is quite small but contains a very wide range of plants – some silvers requiring poor, dry soil conditions, roses flourishing in rich soil and in sun and shade lovers thriving in rich, moist soil – to this end, each planting area is treated differently, according to the prerequisites of the particular plant type.

Light pruning of Rosa ‘Iceberg’, together with a heavy dose of compost, has resulted in the bushes being laden with flower buds ready to explode into bloom next month.
Near starvation of the silver/grey plants has ensured that they have grown tough enough to get through the winter wet – their chief enemy.
Metteuccia struthiopteris, the‘shuttlecock’ fern

Metteuccia struthiopteris, the 'shuttlecock fern', has erupted this spring, gracing Zeus on all sides.


Phalaris arundinacea 'Picta' - gardener's garters - with its white and green leaves, works in beautifully with the scheme. It usually prefers wet soils; but here, in dry conditions, it is rampant and proves to be well-behaved.

The garden in its entirety, which is composed of the white garden, the rose garden, the pool, the herb garden and the woodland dell, is a mixed bag of good ‘common’ plants and rare gems. For example, there is a good commoner Potentilla ‘Abbotswood’ – pure white flowers for months and almost bombproof. Gertrude Jeckyll would have called it a ‘capital plant’. Here, it is offset by the quite rare Artemisia ‘Faith Raven’.

The commonplace and the unusual – both mixing well together.

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