2009-03-04

The White Garden

Just when I thought we've done with the winter (it's the 4th of March, after all), it's back again, and it is back with vengeance. Plenty of snow here and freezing cold... They say even larks are late to return, which supposedly means that the spring is going to be warm and early (sounds to me like a bit of contradiction - but whatever... as long as it arrives)
Anyway, the 'white' in the title does not refer to weather conditions outside. Seeing as there is nothing much to do apart from sowing some seeds and posting some pictures from the last year, here is a new batch. Unusually for me, these are of white flowers ...
The first one is of oriental poppy 'Checkers' (Papaver orientale) and my favourite filler plant, white lace flower (Orlaya grandiflora). It is an annual, flowering in early summer, and it self-seeds, however, without becoming noxious. It also has an uncanny ability to seed in a perfect spot - this is exactly what happened in the picture. I never intended this combination, never really paid any attention that these two bloom at the same time. It just happened. She's clever, that Mother Nature...

I let it self-seed freely, and here it is again, in the second picture. This time next to the alpine sea holly (Eryngium alpinum) and the elder 'Sutherland Gold' (Sambucus racemosa). That's the beauty of this plants - it goes with anything: shrubs, roses, ornamental grasses. I also grow them in the shade - no problems whatsoever. This one is definitely a keeper..

The next plant is a little bit more demanding - Meconopsis betonicifolia var. alba. Another gift from Mother Nature (or maybe the seed supplier, off whom I bought M.betonicifolia seeds). Of all the seeds that I've ever sown, these probably were the most challenging. Having sown a packet of seeds, I ended up with some 10 seedlings. I planted them out, pampered them, waited on hand and foot (quite unusual for me, since I normally take a more darwinian approach to raising my plants). So in due time they all obligingly flowered. And - lo and behold - one of them was pure white...

And the last ones from my short list of white plants are Delphinium, raised from seed, and foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' (Digitalis). They are not exactly white, I'd say, greenish or cream. What I like about this foxglove, is that it is quite short, therefore it does not get blown over in the wind. Here it is pictured among geraniums, Verbena bonariensis and bronze fennel.

And I love this Delphinium for its green flowers. I bought the seeds from a supplier in New Zealand, Dowdeswell's Delphiniums. They have an amazing range of delphiniums seeds, and all of the seedlings are worth keeping. I think this one is identical to a popular seed strain 'Green Twist'. Unfortunately, delphiniums require a very fertile soil, which I cannot offer, however, I will definitely be keeping certain seedlings for myself, for some of them are exceptional.

Much as I consider myself to be indifferent to white flowers, the collection seems to expand. There are also white peonies, cream daylilies. And numerous lilies - once again, I prefer the brighter ones. But there are some exceptional must-have white lilies, such as greenish 'Courier' or white 'Eyeliner', with petals lined in black.
And, of course, there are the variegated grasses, such as miscanthus 'Variegatus' or 'Morning Light' - well, these are not flowers, but since we are on a topic of the white garden.... Some purists consider that ornamental grasses do not belong to herbaceous borders, somehow, my opinion on this subject is rather different. I've seen some beautiful combinations, for example, 'Iceberg' roses interplanted with miscanthus 'Variegatus', or the same miscanthus with white lilies (in the last picture, with Lilium sargentiae). So I suppose, it's in the eye of the beholder...

Well, it looks like a few years down the line I will be able to start my very own White Garden :)

4 komentarai:

TerryD rašė...

How wonderful to find our delphiniums featured on your blog and in your garden. One of the great pleasures of breeding plants is the joy it brings to others and to find someone who has enjoyed them sufficiently to writing about is fantastic.

Thank you for your lovely comments.

Rasa rašė...

Hello Terry, this is really amazing that you received my compliment through such a roundbout way :) and the pleasure is all mine. This is not my last post about your delphiniums - all of the seedlings that I've raised from your seeds are worth keeping, while a few of them are simply out of this world. Thank you for doing such a great job

Tatyana rašė...

Rasa, what a great post! Your flowers are beautiful and the combinations are outstanding! You are right, Mother Nature helps! I've never had white lace flowers, but I like what you wrote about them. I like such no-care plants! I like your digitalis, too. I wrote a post about it today and put some pictures. Mine are very tall. I've never been successful with delfinium, need to try again. All in all, I enjoyed reading your post anf looking at the pictures.
Thanks!!!

Rasa rašė...

Tatyana, you should definitely try the white lace flower. Of course, yours is a different climate to ours, but I never came across any information about Orlaya grandiflora becoming a weed, so give it a go, it's a charmer :) And as for the delphiniums, they are lovely... if you have right sort of soil. They grow well where I've amended the soil - and I mean literally tonns of compost. In other parts of my garden (which is sandy) even plants with the best pedigree do not perform up to a scratch. But still, where is a will there is way :) the shorter cultivars seem to be more adaptable and much easier to look after (no staking, for starters)