As a garden designer and enthusiast, it has a long standing dream to create my very own white/moonlight garden featuring a few garden favorites such as jasmine, camellia, gardenia and roses. I envisioned walking through the garden at midnight and feeling dewy grass underneath my bare feet. During the stroll, I am inhaling the heady, flowery scents from of plump, white blossoms growing contently on various shrubs, flowers and trees. The sound of gurgling water entices me to explore the garden’s pond to watch the water streaming from the pond’s magnificent fountain. In the moonlight, I see several frogs and toads sitting contently on large water lily pads eagerly anticipating the presence of water bugs. The moonlight reflects various shades of white, green and silver foliage against the water further enhancing nature’s lovely display. Sounds enticing doesn’t it?
(My version of an all white garden including a variety of white, pale colored flowering and variegated annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. The hardscaping, decor or structures include an assortment of whites, silver and creams which further enhances the landscape and will provide a spectacular display in the evenings).
A Moonlight or White Garden consists of plants showcased by various forms, textures and colors. Most notable are plants consisting of various shades of white but can include muted or pale blues and yellows. The foliage is typically silver, grey and variegated colors.
There are numerous varieties on plants that can be used in the garden, but I am recommending the following because of their stunning beauty, hardiness and forms:
Azalea (Rhododendron spp.) ‘Girard’s Pleasant White’- Zone: 5-8 Height: 2 ft. Spread: 2-3 ft
Azalea (Rhododendron spp.) Bloom-A-Thon® White Rhododendron – Zone 6B-9B Height/Spread: 30 – 36 ”
Camellia, (Camellia japonica) ‘Nuccio’s Gem’ – Zones: 8 – 10 Height/Spread 6 to 8 ft.
Camellia, (Camellia sasanqua) ‘White Doves’ (‘Mine-No-Yuki’) – Zone: 7-10 Height/Spread 4 to 5 ft.
Gardenia, (Gardenia jasminoides) ‘Veitchii’ – Zone 8-11 Height: 4 ft Spread: 3 ft
Gardenia, (Gardenia jasminoides) ‘White Gem’ – Zone: 8 – 11 Height/Spread 1 to 2 ft
Hydrangea, (Hydrangea arborescens) Incrediball® – Zone: 3-9S/W Height/spread: 4-5 ft
Hydrangea, (Hydrangea arborescens) Lime Rickey® – Zone: 3-9S/W Height/spread: 4-5 ft
Peony, (Paeonia) ‘Festiva Maxima’ – Zone: 3-7S/8W Height: 36″ Spacing: 24-36″
Peony (Paeonia) ‘Charlie’s White’ – Zone: 3-7S/8W Height: 36-42″ Spacing: 18-30″
Flowers are white with pale yellow centers.
Rose (Rosa) ‘Easy Elegance® Macy’s Pride’ – Zone: 5-9S/W Height: 5 ft Spacing: 4 ft
Pale yellow buds open to creamy white double flowers.
Rose (Rosa) ‘Gourmet Popcorn’ Zone: 5-9S/W Height: 18-24″ Spacing: 18-24″
Winter Daphne (Daphne odora) ‘Carol Mackie’ – Zone: 4-8 Height: 3 ft Spread: 3-4 ft
Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) ‘Carnegie – Zone 2 – 8 Height: 10-12″
Jasmine (Jasminum sambac) ‘Arabian Jasmine’ – Zone: 9 – 10 Height: 6 to 8 ft Spread: 3 to 4 ft. This plant will need support.
Japanese Anemones (Anemone x hybrida) ‘Honorine Jobert’ – Zone: 4 – 8 Height: 2 – 5 ft. Spread: 2 ft.
Lilies (Lilium) ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental Lily – Zone: 5-8S/10W Height: 4 ft Spread: 12″
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) ‘Dalmatian Peach’ – Zone: 4-9S/W Height: 2-3 ft Spread: 12″ Creamy peach blossoms infused with pink.
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) Zone: 3 to 8 Height: 0.50 to 12″ Spread: 0.75 to 12″
Snowdrops (Galanthus woronowii) – Zone 3 – 9 Height: 6-8″
Tulip ‘Maureen’ Common Name: French Single Late Tulip – Zone: 3-8S/W Height: 26-28″ Spread: 5-6″ Flowers are white with grayish green leaves.
Tulip ‘Angélique’ Common Name: Double Late Tulip – Zone: 3-8S/W Height: 12-14″ Spread: 5-6″ Flowers are pale rose and creamy white.
Other perennials such as Variegated Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) and Variegated Lilytuft (Liriope muscari) display beautiful green and creamy white leaves and pale blue and purple flowers. Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria) and Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina) offers silver-gray leaves which are fuzzy and lacy. This additions can break up the uniformity of the whites and provide a pop of color.
Incorporating various shades, textures and heights to display a continuous visual interest and keep the taller plants in the background to enhance the beauty of smaller plants. Small flowering annuals such as Sweet Alyssum, Candytuft, Petunias and Impatiens make excellent border plants and their white and pale colors will only intensify any structures, decor and most importantly hardscapes.