by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
As we enter the flower planting season, there are too many shades of fragrances to choose from. It is overwhelming, with 2 acres of blooming plants to pick from at the garden center. White flowers tie gardens together no matter your style, color, or scent. White flowers take the guesswork out of a garden design. Shades of cream, ivory, silver, and pure snow blossoms layer seamlessly to form a peaceful landscape day or night.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but rather the most popular flowers planted by local gardeners.
Candytuft, Iberis, has a 6″ flower mounded in white flowers butterflies find welcoming in the spring garden. It tolerates drought, which is perfect for rock gardens. Spreads to make a pleasant ground cover in full sun gardens.
Clematis ,Ranunculaceae, grows better in the mountains than in other parts of the county. White varieties prefer their roots in the shade, where the vines can bloom into the sun. Fragrant white varieties are Sweet Autumn, Snow Queen, and Candida for showstopping shades of White.
Dahlia offers cheerful poms of ‘Tiny Treasure,’ the simple daisy-like blooms of ‘Cherubino,’ and the giant blossoms of dinner plate ‘Frozen.’
Daisies, including the classic ‘Becky,’ used to make daisy chains, grace your gardens in White from July to September.
Foxglove, Digitalis, is perennially famous in shade gardens or grown in containers under patio covers. The new Camelot series is gently freckled with rave reviews for solid and upright stems packed with blooms. Standing knee high, this flower is a designer favorite in a pot at entries.
Gardenias are hardy in local shade gardens. The star-shaped flowers bloom for months with the most fragrance in the morning and sunset. Grown directly in the garden, I prefer this fragrant evergreen in containers where the scent fills a patio, deck, or wherever the sun sets.
Hellebore attracts gardeners early for its large, early blooms beginning in February. ‘Winter Joy Bouquet’ offers the prettiest white showing late winter through spring.
Hibiscus plants appear luscious, tropical, and fun. Hardy Hibiscus perennial returns each year. ‘Disco Belle White’ blooms in the summer heat. Also, the Mochitos series of Hibiscus is the largest of the series.
Hydrangea offers softball-sized blossoms that last week upon weeks, fading to a pleasing green color as summer progresses. Give hydrangeas light shade and moist soil for the healthiest plants.
Jasmine is most famous for its dangling fragrance. The sweet aroma attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, neighbors, and gardeners alike. Try growing this vine as a container plant, trained up a trellis.
Lilac varieties are most common in purple, but white types are the most fragrant. So, though the plant grows in total sun exposure to wind and crummy soil.
Peonies , Paeonia,are so easy to grow in sunny mountain gardens. They require rich soil to create classic softball-sized flowers. White varieties like Bowl of Cream, Dr. F.G. Brethour, and Nick Shaylor are favorites.
Petunia blooms nonstop from April to Thanksgiving. The ‘Supertunia’ is a favorite requiring no deadheading that repeat blooms in waves of constant seasonal color. ‘Supertunia Latte’ is white with stunning veins of purple stunning in hanging baskets and window boxes. A new flower is ‘Supertunia White,’ with a delicate green throat that is drop dead gorgeous.
Phlox produces clusters of fragrant white flowers on tall plants. Phlox plants tolerate deer, rabbits, and even javelina.
Roses remain the quintessential garden flower. And with so many cultivars to choose from, the design possibilities are endless. For climbing desires, choose ‘White Dawn’ repeat blooms all season long. White shrub roses choose ‘Pure Perfume,’ enough said. Moondance, JFK, and Pope John Paul II are stunning in containers. White Simplicity hedge is best in formal gardens.
Insider Flower tip – Plants that bloom need regular food to set new flowers and repeat the fragrant cycle. Feed your flowering plants twice monthly with Watters ‘Flower Power’ for nonstop hanging baskets, window boxes, containers, and raised beds. Feed flowers two weeks before significant weddings, backyard parties, and gatherings for flowers that WOW!
Until next issue, I’ll be helping gardeners grow better here at Watters Garden Center.