Last post was about white flowers, specifically white flowers in my garden that bloom in spring. Might as well finish my thought and talk about the white flowers of summer and fall.
Let’s start with the roses. As I said in the last post, I prefer white flowers in at least partial shade, but ‘Cassie’ is an exception that is necessary to the rule. Though the flowers are a pure white, they look right at home in a sunny spot. Could be the golden yellow stamens in the center, or their petite size, or the glossy green foliage that accompanies the blooms. This is a rose that starts flowering in early summer and doesn’t let up until October or later.
It occurs to me that all my roses are white, more or less. It may be that I have some Yorkshire heritage I am unaware of.
In any case, ‘Sally Holmes’ grows well in the part shade of our back garden. This is a rose that starts out with pink buds. The flowers open in trusses at first flushed with pink, then fading to a creamy white. A warning about Sally: rabbits will eat her down to the ground if you let them. This year I protected her with hardware cloth, which has been an adequate defense so far.
Also there is the rambler ‘Darlow’s Enigma’, another rose with small semi-double white flowers that is relatively shade tolerant. We have it growing on the back arbor.
‘Italian White’ is my favorite among the annual sunflower (Helianthus anuus) varieties. Whether it should be called white or yellow is debatable, but ‘Italian Yellow’ doesn’t sound nearly as elegant. It is a very pale yellow or a yellowish white, depending on the light and your point of view.
The only other white annuals that we grow are the Impatiens (I. walleriana) and New Guinea Impatiens (I. hawkeri). In summer I aim to have most of the containers in the back garden overflowing with their pearly blooms. Of course these plants come in many other colors, but I enjoy the way white flowers seem to glow in the shade.
Lilies, even more than roses, are the aristocrats of white flowers. First and foremost, there is the Oriental Lily ‘Casa Blanca’. Such a gleaming ivory white, and those richly textured petals – and that fragrance! This is a lily to swoon over. Plus it seems to do OK growing in part shade
UPDATE: Can’t believe I forgot the ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas! I tend to take them for granted, perhaps because they were all inherited from the last owner.
Once high summer shifts into fall, there is a new performing cast of white flowers. White Woodland Aster (Symphyotrichum divariticus) is a modest charmer, content to hover in the background.
Far showier is the Japanese Anemone (Anemone x hybrida) ‘Honorine Jobert’. Oddly, while this plant is supposed to be pretty aggressive, it seems to be struggling to hang on in our back garden.
What are your favorite white flowers of summer and fall?