THE MODERN MINT BLOG
We have often been cited Sissinghurst and its White Garden as the ideal look a client wants.
It is easy to see why this is – being easy on the eye, having plants people can recognise and encapsulating a fullness, a romantic notion, that can be easily described by clients who may otherwise struggle to express themselves.
Originally the concept for Vita Sackville-West’s white garden was for it to be a ‘Grey’ garden…
“I am trying to make a grey, green, and white garden… I visualize the white trumpets of dozens of Regale lilies, grown three years ago from seed, coming up through the grey of southernwood and artemisia and cotton-lavender, with grey-and-white edging plants such as Dianthus Mrs. Sinkins and the silvery mats of Stachys Lanata, more familiar and so much nicer under its English names of Rabbits’ Ears or Saviour’s Flannel. There will be white pansies, and white peonies, and white irises with their grey leaves… at least, I hope there will be all these things. I don’t want to boost in advance about my grey, green and white garden. It may be a terrible failure. I wanted only to suggest that such experiments are worth trying, and that you can adapt them to your own taste and your own opportunities.
All the same, I cannot help hoping that the great ghostly barn-owl will sweep silently across a pale garden, next summer, in the twilight – the pale garden that I am now planting, under the first flakes of snow.”
Vita was right – such experiments are worth trying. But a white garden nowadays is not an experiment, it is an ideal or a fashion statement a garden designer is expected to achieve.
So what can be used? We found this list of plants from a Gardens Illustrated article as a starting point to move you in the right direction…
But what we encourage most, if you are inspired by Vita, is not to try and reproduce a white garden – but take the spirit in which it was made – an experiment worth trying. And adapt it to your own taste and needs.
… and as an antidote to all that white and pastel…
On Monday night I gave a talk to the Hardy Plant Society Middlesex. Below are a few links for further information based on some of the ideas discussed in the talk: Real Seeds – a fantastic supplier of fruit and vegetable seeds for growers. Boxwood Caterpillar Advice – from the European Boxwood & Topiary Society. I will also write a little companion piece this winter with more information and some topiary techniques, so watch out for that on this website. Boxwood Lure & Nematodes – my preferred option for dealing with the caterpillar. Discount code for 10% off is EBTSBOX29GBZ …
Some recent work over the last year or so, clipping boxwood and holly hedges, yew topiary on top and fun, organic shapes. Contact me if you need some topiary clipping and we can chat about the possibilities. Darren