Side note on Latin names (once again, see May Dreams Gardens)--I love Latin names, but I'm not always sure what I have. Some plants I received from friends, others I transplanted from my old house, still others hid their tags just to be mischievous. And occasionally I realize that if I take the time to try to find the tags (which might be in one of my old notebooks or in ground with the plant or somewhere in the back of my seven-year-old car), I'll never ever finish this posting. So sometimes I just use the name I'm sure of. Once again, this blog is going to be very important to my self-improvement goals.
Below is a wider shot of the same corner in late May (the picture from my blog layout: the pink tones include penstemon, oenethera, and a rose bush (tag long gone) whose buds have a pink tinge.
Here are two views of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail enjoying a white blossom--
The butterly bushes are the main source of fragrance in this garden now--it's otherwise dominated by daisies, coneflower, and gaura. In a few weeks, the chrysanthemum and aster will start to bloom, and I hope a sweet autumn clematis, another very fragrant white flower (the deer got it about a week ago, but I think it should come back).
Some of the white in the garden comes from foliage--variegated Solomon's Seal, ivies, Hosta--one of my favorites is the Lamium maculatum "Alba" spilling out into the paths:This does have a white flower, and its flowers are just starting to open. But I use it to brighten a shady part of the garden, so it doesn't flower prolifically--its main impact is in its variegation.
A lot of the variegation in the garden right now comes from Hosta. I hear from other gardeners that Hosta does better farther north--it certainly doesn't tolerate sun very well where we are. I haven't had much luck with the big architectural ones like "Royal Standard." And my Impossible Dream is to get Hosta plantaginea flourishing in the white garden--it bears a true white and very fragrant flower--but I've never had one last more than a season. I do okay, however, with some of the smaller variegated cultivars. This one was just called Hosta "Wide Brim" on the tag:
And this one is called Hosta "Whirlaway"; although it doesn't have much white in its variegation, the light yellow catches the morning sun and shines against the bright green:
I'm pretty sure this one is Hosta fortunei "Aurea Marginata"--I've had it for years and of course can't find the tag. But it's found its spot and established itself quite well (in partial shade, next to a holly bush), and its contribution to the white garden comes much more from the foliage than from the (lavender colored) flower.
You may see glimpses of the deer cages in these photos. Our deer (white tails) love hosta more than any other plant in the garden, so I suppose it's just as well that the larger hosta don't achieve their structural magnificence in our heat. The cage would probably spoil the effect.
The white garden isn't just white (and green). Sometimes plants don't run true (volunteer mums and gaura have reverted to pinks and yellows), and sometimes I just screw up (this spring I had two dark purple bearded iris in among the whites and lavenders--but I liked the effect so I left them there). And too much green and white gets monotonous (well, I suppose it wouldn't be monotonous, right? bi-tonous? duo-tonous?) Anyway, I like to mix in color via other foliage. I have an almost mahogany ninebark shrub as a kind of backdrop, and I've interspersed various shades of dark red Heuchera ("Palace Purple," "Prince," "Obsidian") against lime greens or grays or even bright greens.
The photo above is from early June, and shows the Heuchera "Obsidian" between the gray rose campion and the brighter greens of sweet woodruff, Shasta daisy, and chrysanthemum. In this next one, "Palace Purple" is offset by the Lamium on one side and sweet woodruff on the other; there's also some green Heuchera "Vanilla Spice" just beyond the sweet woodruff (another wonderfully fragrant white flower, by the way).
And here, moving into deeper shade, I've nestled some of the Garden Curmudgeon's foam flower under Heuchera "Prince." All of these have white flowers, but I like them best for the contrasts in color they provide.
And speaking of color, I finally caught a shot of my camera-shy visitor in the front yard.
I had to use the digital zoom shooting through a window. I'm using Salix's Nikon Coolpix L3, which is small and great for trips and can take pretty good pictures when I'm careful. But it's my birthday this week, and I think I want something with a better zoom. Any recommendations?
In the meantime, out of deference to the bluebirds, I'm working mostly in the back--and getting ready for bloom day.