Monday, June 17, 2013

So white isn't a color, eh?

Dictamnus albus

I have complained before about certain people who claim white is not a color...if it's not a color, prithee? What the mucked muck is it? What color can stand out so clearly in half-light, as the gas plant does above, and yet glow in the backlight as the same plant does below.

Same thing...backlit
Taken at a different time, but the same plant from a slightly different angle: I never cease to be amazed at how light in our bright climate changes the looks of plants..
Tanacetum praeteritium
Does the world really need another white daisy? Of COURSE it does--especially if it has gorgeous white foliage and is extremely xeric (this one is planting at Jan's home hell strips where it almost never gets water)...
Clematis integrifolia 'Mongolian Bells'

I keep buying Mongolian bells, hoping I'll get one of the bright pink or white forms--but my garden is full of the common lavender purple form. Which I do love. I suppose I should wait and buy one in bloom...The flower color and texture are so vivid on this--like marble or some luscious vanilla dessert.

Eremostachys laciniata and Orlaya grandiflora below
Here's a white duo: this is the second year of bloom on the Eremostachys--a wonderful Salvia cousin that likes to dry out a bit after blooming. I love that strange genus, many of which I've seen growing wild in Kazakhstan (and one of those has grown in cultivation and is spectacularly showy in a local nursery right now....not naming names)...

Orlaya grandiflora
The Orlaya came to me from Perennial Favorites, a wonderful nursery in Rye, Colorado, which often grows strange and wonderful plants as well as garden classics. Two or three plants the first year have now spread from seed (it's an annual) to a sizeable patch that blooms for a very long time. This is a highlight of this time of year--and another wonderful white for your twilight garden.
By the quote"white is not a color" was years ago, from my ex-wife, Gwen Moore, whose garden I toured this morning. It had plenty of white roses, by the way (which I didn't point out, exercising great wisdom and tact). Next, let's work on Pat Hayward, CEO of Plant Select: every time I suggest a white flower for the program she rolls her eyes operatically and groans "isn't there a blue, red or orange one like that?"


  1. love the Clematis integrifolia 'Mongolian Bells'

  2. I must confess that when I picked up 3 Dictamnus this year, they were the pink forms. But I do agree that Clematis is sauced awesome-style.

  3. Lovely Orlaya.. Stunning image of it.


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