Over the past few weekends, I’ve slowly been putting my container garden together. On my last visit to my local nursery, I loaded up on impatiensâ€”I have prodigious amounts of shade in the back, and I find that these are always a good bet. They seem to thrive in my shady backyard.
I typically choose bright colors in the pink familyâ€”deep purply-pinks, magentas, and fuschias. But since pink impatiens seemed to be less plentiful this time around at the nursery, and since I like to stay within the same color family (I don’t like to mix it up too too much), I purchased white impatiens instead, along with some English ivy. Here’s how the plants look all potted up:
You can see Archie enjoying a green summer morning in the distance. I’ve been enjoying taking my coffee out on the patio in the mornings as well, when it’s still cool. I love starting my day by being surrounded by fresh green and white.
One of the challenges that I face with my container garden is that, in addition to having lots of shade, the exterior of my house is quite dark. Living in an English Tudor-style house, this is to be expected of course, and I’m not complainingâ€”I love the style of my home. That said, the patio in back (which I like to call my little “lanai” area) at times can feel a little gloomy, and I find myself having to find ways to lighten it up a bit back there!
For an antidote, I gathered ideas and inspiration from this amazing garden by landscape and garden designer Deborah Silver. This is work that she did for a client who also lives in a Tudor home and wanted something more modern for the design of their garden. Silver suggests that green and white can have a more “sculptural” feel. Limiting the palette to green and white provides a more modern, “edited” approach to gardening with a “crisply contemporary” result.
One of the benefits of using white flowers in your garden design is that they really “pop” against a dark backdrop and even provide a bit of illumination as the day wanes. White blooms can be the dazzling little stars of a summer evening.
I love this window-boxâ€”it feels like it’s run a little run riot, which gives it a more casual look and really adds a bit of whimsy to what might otherwise be stern brick facade. Green angelina, euphorbia (what a name!), and licorice feature here:
I’m going to take some cues from Silver as I think about adding some containers to my back patio area. Here she features large and quite wide terra cotta urns with a profusion of white annuals. The monochromatic scheme feels very modern, but still in keeping with the architecture of the home. For more on Deborah Silver’s garden design, click here.
I’m also considering adding some perennials in white for this darkest area of my garden. For ideas and guidance for choosing appropriate plants, I turned to the American Horticultural Society’s Northeast SMARTGARDEN Regional Guide.
This an absolutely encyclopedic reference with an incredible number of useful categories: In the spreads below, you see selections from the category “summer perennials with white flowers.” You can then cross reference using other criteria, say, “perennials for moist shade” (which definitely describes my garden), to ensure better success with the plantings you choose. In addition to being a useful reference, the photography is lovely:
I’ll leave you with some lovely green and white garden images that I have run across as I’ve been putting my inspiration board together. First this, viaÂ Linen & Lavender:
Â Inspiring botanicals from creative mint:
I love the simple design (and the pachysandra, which I have lots of!) in this image via Houzz:
This image via My Crafty Home Life. I’m such a sucker for boxwood and climbing roses, so this is like hitting the garden jackpot:
Sissinghurst garden via Robin De Groot Design:
And finally this image via Pinterest from Houzz: