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Hi Am trying to be everso good and make abit of a plan before i re-plant some of my borders. Im incredibly faddy with colours, so to avoid any more costly mistakes, possibly playing it safe too, im thinking about adding lots of white flowers. What i would like to know is, firstly, is this a good idea and secondly, what white flowers would you reccomend? Im thinling of that rose William and Cathreine, but not sure of anything else

Depends how much space you have bekkie, I have phlox, gaura, and white roses. I put a strong colour usually a red or purple, to break it up. I'm not keen on a single block of colour, they can look good, but a single block always reminds me of a sheet of paper or a painted wall. I prefer a contrast.

Thanks Dove

Sorry Dave, i can make a fair amount of space, the only issue is the aspect, as i use all of the good spots for veggies! . The bed at the side is northish facing, gets some sun on the front half of the bed from midday onwards, the bed then turns so is eastish facing so gets morning sun only, sorry, should have said that i my first post!

Gaura is pretty tough bekkie and would do ok there.



Geranium phaeum 'Album' is a good one for dry shade


you can plant cosmos purity to fill up any gaps. very easy to grow from seeds and spectacular when in flower.


Victoria Sponge

I have a 'whiteish' border that faces north too Becky, only getting sun from the east.

So far none of it has gone to plan as nothing flowers at the same time But these plants seem fine thus far:

Allium mounts Everest and Blanc although admittedly leaning forwards into the light 

Veronica Alba

Obedient plant crystal peak

Scabious alba


white daffs

camassia alba

In the scrubby bit at the back white lamium and wood sage

Everything seems to be flowering later than the rest of the garden, maybe that's the part shade, maybe just because it's me.

I've also got an actea and white liatris but I'm not sure how well they are going to do as yet. The liatris was already flowering when I bought it. 

The rest of the border is padded out with spring stuff, although I added some blue penstemons earlier this year (not flowering).


I'm in the process of doing a white planting.  Mine also has some very pale lemon/cream through it.  Mine's east facing at the edge of a wooded bit and also extending so in part it's under the trees.

So I wanted to bring some "light and bright" into it.  Here's what I've used:


Lilly of the valley

Vinca (white)

Primula and primroses

Anenome hybrida

Sweet alyssum

Dicentra spectaclis alba

Solomon's seal

white delphinium

white veronica

white lupins and very pale lemon lupins

white phlox

white liriope

astrangtia major


digitalis (white and very pale lemon)

My approach to planting is to swamp an area with flowers to try to swamp out any weeds.   I'm resisting the urge to plant anything else in the bare patches.




I have camelia (north not east as they dont like the morning sun)


white anemone

Both do really well, Ive got some of the other mentioned too.


Gaura is one of the plants that I bought and put a pic on the Forkers thread. I love it's floaty nature 


I think that white can be a problem, when mixed in with lots of other colours. I know that people say that white goes with everything, but white can shine out, drawing the eye too much, so that you only see the white, not the rest of the border.

White by itself can work, as long as you have lots of different foliage and preferably some white flowers which have a touch of another colour, eg white Cosmos.

This of course is just my opinion, based on experience in my garden.

Beaus Mum

How about mixing in with the white flowers something like the green and white hostas, sorry don't know names  And that small shrub that has green and white small leaves

Ill look em up later if no one knows what I'm talking about 

Beaus Mum

Oh and just thought as I know you love your veg  Pop in a couple of cauliflowers or that lovely white egg shaped cucumber artjak showed us this week 

Cant think of any other white vegetables x

BM, funny you should say that, im growing white cucumbers!

Panda, thats that one that i got mixed up with angels fishing rod isnt it? Was very pretty

I know what you mean Punkdoc about them shining over other flowers, the only other real colour in these beds is pink of varing shades which was a fad ive gone off! I noticed ive already got quite alot of white which must have slipped in under the radar!

Thanks for all the suggestions, lots of things i hadnt thought of, never thought a camellia would like this sort of spot, but that might be just the ticket


White is not, always, an easy colour in some ways.  2 whites together or too close will simply show the other up as grubby.  

I grow lots of whites.....anemones, dahlias, acteas, astilbes, astrantias, hellebores, gauras, Potentillas, dianthus, hebes, Veronica's, salvias, campanulas, leucanthemums....the best sort, of course ).....geraniums, echinaceas, lupins, delphiniums, buddleias, phlox, osteospermums, arum lilies, etc. etc. etc.  Foliage as i  white  grasses, Heuchera snowstorm,whiteish hostas, white doubt lot more if I think longer.

White is great for shade......or partial shade.  A white hydangea is on my list for the autumn for a suitable spot.  White can transform a dark area like nothing else can

Its not a cop out to use white.  In the wrong spot it can draw attention to an unhappy/awful planting combination.  White as a brilliant, in your face, contrast like guara corries gold next to purple berberis or as a softener as in white hellebore above a cream primrose in spring.

Many do not like white but I do.  

Will have a look at those combos Verdun, got any others?

I have a shady border with lots of whites that have already been mentioned, but contrasting foliage is a big factor in uniting an area of predominantly white flowers. Variegated foliage like Euonymous, strong shapes like Fatsia and Hosta, and bright foliage like shrubby honeysuckle -Lonicera. I have one called Golden Glow which is a bright green in shade. I have oak leaf Hydrangeas which have distinctive foliage (clue's in the title!) and great autumn colour.

Plants like Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle) are also useful because their acidic green colouring works with whites. Some Euphorbias do the same job. 

White and purple is the colour theme of my main garden.  I have white things in a shaded area which includes astilbe, solomon's seal, lily otv, aquilegia, lupin, euphorbia (for the lime green foliage) and purple heuchera.  What I am finding much harder is combining purples because some have a blue tone, some red and when they are directly next to each other it can look really weird.  Need to think about getting some foliage in between the purples next year perhaps.


Yes Fg, I think it is the foliage that determines whether a white border works. At Sissinghurst, the home of one of the most famous white borders, it works because all the beds are edged by quite tall box hedges. Without these it would look very stark.