white wedding beds

lowville5May 17, 2012

Advice wanted to create wedding gardens:

My three children say they would like to get married on our country property (just like both of my sisters did) in the next 10years. We have put in a small pond and built a gazebo with a path leading from our front door to the gazebo. We have leveled the grass on each side of the path to accommodate seated guests. The next steps are to change our surrounding beds to grow mostly interesting foliage and inconsequential flowers or white flowers only. That way for each wedding we could get the specific colours they each choose through annuals.

My question to you is what plants would you suggest that produce white flowers and/or fragrance and/or interesting foliage in June/July in zone 5 in full sun or partial shade in clay. My husband will only allow me to water in the first 2 years while the plants settle in, so it would be ideal if your suggestions are somewhat drought tolerant.

I was planning to buy several Aphrodite Hostas but the nearby nurseries don�t have them. The one time I ordered from a catalogue was a disaster � over half of the plants did not survive, so I�m reluctant to ever do that again. (I live in the GTA area of Toronto, Ontario).

Here is what we have recently planted:

1. In the area with full sun I have amsonia, phlox subulata �alba�, echinops, heuchera �alba�, iris, aster with pysocarpus �mindia� and cotinus �royal purple�.

2. In the partially shaded area around the pond I have a large birch tree with ferns, soloman�s seal, ice dance carex, dogwood, oakleaf hydrangea and lamium �white nancy�

Thank you for any advice you share.


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hands down, Viburnum carlesii or one of its forms such as Judd Viburnum... pink buds that open to white on a 6' ht. easily sheared (if desired) ball/dome-shaped shrub. Silvery green leaves. One of the most outstanding scents on earth. Available in compact size, but you will probably want the regular.

Some of the ornamental grasses would be good for interesting, graceful foliage.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Do NOT forget Baby's Breath or Calla Lilies, both used in making a beautiful bouquet! I would also use other types of Lilies that are white, as well as a ton of Roses. Jasmine would be very aromatic edging a sidewalk. ;o)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Thank you! What wonderful ideas! I will try to find these plants at our local nurseries.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 7:47PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Aphrodite rarely blooms, but many other hostas bloom white. Also there are hosta leaves that are white/green vs. yellow/green; Ask on the hosta forum.

Just an observation, though: I would hesitate to fully design my garden around three events in ten years that MIGHT happen... unless you happen to also like the colour scheme. Nothing wrong with getting your kids to set goals :-) but a waiting wedding garden could come across as "expectations..."

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 1:06PM
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If you're into hostas, there's a great place near Uxbridge where you can get them from a hosta farm (just google Handlebar hostas) - you can pick the foliages you love and that will go with your theme (like Night before Christmas or Spilt Milk). In my "white" garden are: lamium, spilt milk, variegated jacob's ladder and white rock cress - most are blooming now but all have white foliage. What about shasta daisies in it's various forms? I also have white campanula and white balloon flowers...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:22AM
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Good point, Karin L. Thankfully, I do like the peace of white. I love plants with interesting foliage. In fact, my favourite gardening book is "Foliage" by Nancy J. Ondra. She is so talented.

Wowee, thanks ON greenthumb! I am so enjoying Handlebar Hostas' website. I had no idea there were so many varieties of hostas. I am going to plan a trip to Uxbridge soon.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:36PM
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manifest(USDA 11a, Sunset 24, CA)

There are loads of white dahlias that you could plant. There are some dinner plate varieties, as well as pom pom and cactus varieties. Dahlias would make for great cut wedding flowers.

Tuberoses smell lovely, as does nicotania, alyssum, sweet peas, dianthus.

Annie's Annuals has a great plant finder that you can use to help you look for flowers by color, fragrance, zone, light etc. Have fun looking. I can't tell you how many hours I spend on her site!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 5:19PM
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You'd probably get more responses if you went to a regional forum for your zone or the perennials page. :-)

I can rec. white flowers but can't promise when they'll bloom there....

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:23PM
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One other online resource you may want to try is perennials.com. If you use the advanced search, you should be able to pull up things for your zone in flowering at the right time in June :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 9:27AM
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White astilbe for shade or part shade. Cimicfuga (actae), Delphinium, echinacea white swan, white peonies, hemerocallis sounds of silence is almost white - just a touch of yellow. alchemical mollis blooms green - so that might work. white baptisia, fringe tree would be really cool, hydrangea, spirea bridal wreath, anenome, daffodil thalia. leucanthemum becky, clethra -summer sweet, white iris,

What an odd coincidence that I am planting a series of gardens for a customer whose son is getting married on their property next June, and I am NOT allowed to plant anything that blooms white!
Good luck

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:07PM
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strawboss(NV zone 6)

Snow in summer has loads of dainty white flowers and that beautiful gray foliage as well. Candytuft is another nice low grower that would work depending on your elevation - it blooms in late May/June here in Reno.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:20PM
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