Friday, January 30, 2015

End of Month View - The White Garden Bed

For quite a while now I am toying with the idea to take part in the End of Month View - meme hosted by Helen Johnstone at The Patient Gardener's Weblog. I feel drawn to the idea of reporting about your garden or an area of your garden monthly, which is what this meme is about, to actually see how things are changing, what is blooming when and what needs improvement. When I look at my blog it becomes clear, that I don't do that so regularly and I think it will be fun and I will learn a lot.

Somehow to report about my whole garden on a monthly basis feels overwhelming to me, but there is one central bed in the backyard, that I call The White Garden Bed, which would be an ideal candidate for this meme.

To be honest with you, I am tinkering with this bed for quite a while now and I am never really satisfied. So I hope, taking part in the meme and for that reason bringing more attention to it, will get me closer to my vision that I initially had for this part of the garden.

So with no further ado I will take the plunge, dive into this meme and see where it leads me.

Here it is: My White Garden Bed! When I analyze the photos what stands out immediately is, that despite its name, there is hardly any visible white color to see in the bed at this time of the year. Secondly there is a big gap between the cycad on the right and the palm fronts to the very right just barely hanging into the picture. Thirdly the bed looks relatively bare. All three things are really bugging me and I want to change them. 

This year I want to plant more white flowering perennials and/or annuals and ideally have something white blooming each month of the year. I also intend to fill the big gap to the right side. There will go another Hybrid Tea rose from my pot ghetto, but I haven't decided which on yet. Lastly I would like to plant this bed more densely so that not so much bare soil is visible anymore. 

Same bed seen from the other side. There are four roses planted in this bed, which don't have much impact right now, but will take on center stage later in the year. The rose varieties from the left to the right are: 'Pope John Paul II', 'Chandos Beauty', 'Moonstone' and 'Auckland Metro'. 'Pope John Paul II' isn't deleaved and pruned yet, whereas the other three are and they are leaving out already again. That is why they look more "see through" on the photos. 

Here I have zoomed in on the central part of this bed. You can see how vigorously the rose in the middle, 'Moonstone', is leaving out and that there is actually something white blooming on the right side between the cycad and the rose to the very right. 

What is flowering there is geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo', which I had planted only last year. It has formed a very nice clump and started blooming just very recently.

I really love the dainty cheerful white flowers with a light pink hue.

There is another clump of geranium 'Biokovo', seen on the photo above, planted in the bed to the left side of the other cycad, which almost looks like a different plant. The leaves are smaller and the plant is not as tall, more a "ground huger". It is also not flowering, yet, but if you look closely you can spot a few buds as well. I have treated both geranims exactly the same way, the only difference is that the one you can see on this photo is growing in more sun.

A plant that I have high hopes for is this alstroemeria Princess Lilies 'Claire'. I planted it last year and have not seen it flowering in the ground, yet. As far as I recall it had a vanilla white color, when I bought it. The clump looks pretty healthy, lush and vigorous. I can't wait to see it flowering again.

Close-up of the new foliage of 'Moonstone', a Hybrid Tea rose. I love it when the foliage looks so fresh and unblemished when the rose has just leaved out. It appears a little bit of a light color though and I think the rose needs fertilizer.

There are two white flowering irises 'Platinum' planted in this bed. One is looking a little bit better...

... than the other, but both are not doing really well. Unfortunately I have made the experience repeatedly that somehow irises don't like my garden very much. I will give these two one more year and see how they do. 

I still love the white column with the silver gazing ball as much as in the moment my husband and I positioned it in White Garden Bed a few years ago. What I don't like so much though, is the lamb's ear to its feet. At this time of the year the foliage appears rather ratty.

Here is a close-up of the foliage of the lamb's ear. I don't recall the name of this particular variety, but this one can't stand up well to our heat and drought. I believe there are others out there, which are more suited for my climate. Maybe at a certain point it is worth to replace it, but at the moment this is not a task high up on my to-do list.

I can't wait to plant some more things into this bed, but I know with our ongoing drought and my poor soil my first chore must be to fertilize and mulch all the existing plants in this bed to give them the best chance to look good this year. Only then I can start planting new plants.

Hope next month there is some progress to see and maybe some more white color!

Many thanks to Helene for hosting this meme, I am so excited to participate this year. Please, go over to her blog The Patient Gardener's Weblog and check out what other gardeners have to show this month!

See you in the garden!



  1. I think you're off to a good start Christina and looking forward to your updates :)

  2. I am currious te see how your garden is looking next month.
    Have a wonderful weekend Christina.

  3. Good morning Christina ~ I think your 'white garden' is off to a good start. In times gardens fill in and do their thing. I do hope your drought conditions end soon.

    My gardens all need to be worked on. :-)

    Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

  4. Dear Christina, your garden looks so tidy, very good! Next month more white flowers, I am sure. Groetjes,


  5. Lovely geranium! So pretty!
    I think your iris are planted too deep or have too much mulch covering their roots. You could try lifting them up closer to the top of the soil to see if they bloom better. Best of luck and Happy Gardening!

  6. Your white garden bed does look very pretty, I am sure soon more white flowers will come into bloom. On the other side, here I have all white garden beds in the garden at the moment. Snow.......brrrr. Your garden beds are much better.

  7. Christina, I am amazed how meticulously clean your garden is!
    I want to replace my lamb's ear plants with a relatively new variety which is almost white (can't recall the name... It's so popular, it's always sold out!)

  8. I'm looking forward to seeing the border develop, it is in a beautiful setting. It must be tricky to work it though... I'd be worried about stepping backwards too far and ending up in the pool!

  9. Stunning setting and lots of good structure. Like the others I am looking forward to seeing how the border develops

  10. Do you realise just how envious I am going to be at the end of each month Christina ?;) The setting is amazing and the border will be set off beautifully by it.
    I was going to suggest lifting those Iris or removing some of that mulch but see Lea beat me too it.

  11. Liebe Christina,
    ja das mit dem weißen Garten ist einfach nicht so leicht.
    Bei mir ist er trotzdem ich genau aufgepasst habe, immer bunter
    geworden. Es schleicht sich immer mal was Falsches ein :-))
    Bin schon gespannt wie sich dein weißes Beet weiterentwickelt
    und freu mich auf neue Bilder :-)
    Gemütliche Sonntagsgrüße
    sendet dir die Urte :-)

  12. Christina this is quite a view and a special spot that I will enjoy seeing monthly as you work on it. I also have a white garden that has loads of blooms but oh it needs some work too. So I love seeing how others view and create their white gardens.

  13. Hi Christina! I'm intrigued with your color garden theme, as I don't believe I've ever seen a bed focused on just one bloom color. What made you choose white? I'm looking forward to seeing you white garden throughout the year and the edits you make to adjust the items you want to change. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Christina-I love your cycads and your garden is a wonderful sight during our very cold northeastern winter. The photo with the gazing ball and Lamb's Ear is very inviting and makes me long for spring!

  15. Your gazing ball is a highlight in this part of your garden. I like the idea of a white garden. It will be so beautiful when the roses are blooming. I look forward to your monthly reviews! I eventually got rid of our lamb's ear. It spread too quickly, and it tended to turn yellow and droopy in the heat and humidity of summer. I miss it, though! I loved it when new fresh, furry leaves appeared in spring.

  16. Best wishes in fleshing out your plans Christina! I share your feelings about the Lamb's Ear - mine looks horrible tight now and I'm seriously considering pulling it all out and replacing it with Helichrysum petiolare (dwarf licorice plant), which does very well (almost too well) in my garden but looks good year-round. I'm also trying Geranium 'Biokovo' in my garden in both shade and sun settings - I grew it my my old, shady garden, where it was a wonderful groundcover.

  17. Ton projet de couvrir la terre est une superbe aventure que tu vas mener avec brio. Je connais à présent tes talents de coloristes. Tu as chois un beau géranium Biokovo que je connais bien même si pour le moment le plant que je possède est jeune. J'espère que cette année, il va prendre son essor.
    Belle soirée

  18. Dear Christina, your white flower bed looks great already, can’t wait to see it all in flower – and that view is to die for! I also love your gazing ball, I have been looking for a plinth to place in my garden so I can make something similar but haven’t found the right looking one yet, it needs to be tall enough to tower over the plants so I will continue to search.

    I have been taking part in the EOMV meme for a while and I am also going to concentrate on one area this year, the new rose bed, but I will still make a movie each month as it is a good reminder for me of how the garden develops. It is rather fun looking at the movies I have from a few years back - so much has happened in the garden in such a short time. A garden is never finished!
    Take care, Helene.

  19. Great ideea to show us your lovely white flower every month. It's very nice and clean and you have flowers in February. Bravo !

  20. I too had an area that just wasn't doing it for me for a long time, and I couldn't figure out what to do to change it. Just keep going and eventually you will come up with something that makes you happy. The cycads are gorgeous!

  21. The geranium is so beautiful! Cool color!

  22. What an amazing view to garden with. You have some nice structural plants there with the cycads, and I love the reflection of the cycads in the pool. Have you thought of adding some sedums & saxifrage? They both deal with drought conditions and there are a lot of varieties that have white flowers. And with many saxifrage being low growing evergreens, they will be there all year around. I look forward to seeing how your border develops over the year.

    1. Gwenfar, welcome to my blog! Thanks for the tip regarding the sedums and the saxifrage. I didn't know that there are white flowering sedums out there and I am not familiar with saxifrage. I certainly will look into that.

  23. I love how that bed hugs your view and your pool! Such a neat spot for a garden bed! And that geranium is fantastic Christina!! Looking forward to seeing more of your views through this project...hmmm maybe I will give this a go when things start peeking their heads out in my garden! Happy week to you! Nicole xo

  24. Thanks for posting! It's great to see more of your garden - love the idea of a white garden. The view beyond your pool is fantastic - thanks for sharing. Keep us posted on progress!

  25. A beautiful garden - thank you for the tour!

  26. White flowers reflecting in the deep blue of the pool will be beautiful. Biokovo is a great spreader and will fill in any empty spots. White flowering dianthus would do well, too. :o)

  27. Hallo Christina,
    solche Monatsansichten finde ich immer total spannend, ich bin auch schon sehr gespannt, wie sich Dein weißes Beet über die Monate entwickeln wird. Es sieht bereits jetzt im Januar schon klasse aus, auch wenn momentan nichts Weißes vorhanden ist, die atemberaubende Kulisse drumherum reicht völlig aus! Wenn ich dagegen jetzt in unseren Garten schaue, sehe ich nur tristes Braun...
    Den Storchschnabel Biokovo habe ich auch, der ist toll!

    Ganz liebe Grüße, Bärbel

  28. I love the geranium. I am looking forward to seeing the changes in this bed!