It is interesting to consider the effects and impacts that different flower colours and foliage colour have on a garden and the impression they leave on a gardener or an observer of the garden.  I know many people who would not consider themselves gardeners or even to have any incline towards gardening however they will have very definite opinions on what flower colours they like or dislike.  Much like artwork you don’t need to know anything about art but you will know what you like or dislike.  It all comes down to a matter of personal taste.  In this post we will focus on white and green flowers as well as silver foliage. 

Whilst I love all flower colours white is a particular favourite. Here are some reasons why I think white flowers work well in the garden.

-Elegance: White flowers have a timeless and classic elegance that brings a touch of sophistication to any garden space.

-Serenity: The colour white is often associated with peace and tranquility. White flowers can create a calming and serene atmosphere in the garden, especially when combined with green foliage.

-Contrast: White flowers create a striking contrast against the surrounding greenery or other coloured blooms, making them stand out and catch the eye. This can add visual interest and depth to your garden.

-Brightness: White flowers have a natural brightness that can help illuminate shady areas of the garden or create focal points that draw attention.

-Versatility: White flowers, can complement any colour scheme or garden style. They can be used effectively in both modern and traditional garden designs, as well as in various types of plantings, such as borders, beds, containers, or even as cut flowers.

-Night – time Beauty: Some white flowers, emit a delicate fragrance and will only open at night, adding an enchanting beauty to the garden after dark.

Some of my favourite white flowers for mid spring in the garden.
-Groundcover- Snow in Summer

-Shrub – Choisya, White Oleander, Some of the White Westringias

-Small Tree / Large Shrub – Philadelphus (Mock Orange), Crepe Myrtle, Magnolia “Little Gem”

-Perennial – Valerian (Kiss me Quick) Gaura – Butterfly Bush, Romneya – California Poppy,  White alchillea, Feverfew, Chamomile, Oyster Plants,  

Marguerite Daisy

Shasta daisy

-Climber – Star Jasmine, Iceberg Rose, Pandorea jasminiodes “Lady Di”

-Climber or Bush – Iceberg Rose

-Bulbs – White November Lilies, White Watsonia, Paperwhite Jonquils

-Roses- Iceberg Rose of all Roses is probably the longest lasting white flowering Rose

Another particular flower colour that people seem to love or hate are green flowers.  They are a favourite of mine, I like green flowers for several reasons. First, green flowers can be unique and unusual, standing out from more common flower colours like red, yellow, or pink. This uniqueness can make them appealing to people who are looking for something different in their gardens or floral arrangements.

Additionally, green flowers can symbolize renewal, growth, and harmony with nature. Green is often associated with the natural world, and green flowers can evoke feelings of tranquility and connection to the environment. For some people, the colour green represents balance and stability, making green flowers a popular choice for conveying positive sentiments.

Furthermore, green flowers can be used to create striking and unusual colour combinations in floral arrangements. When paired with complementary colours or used as accent blooms, green flowers can add depth and visual interest to bouquets and centerpieces.

It’s worth noting that green flowers can come in various shades and hues, from the palest mint to the deepest emerald, offering a wide range of options for those who appreciate diversity in their floral selections.

Overall, people’s attraction to green flowers may stem from their symbolic meanings, visual appeal, and ability to add a unique touch to floral designs and garden landscapes.

Some examples of gorgeous green flowers you can use in your garden

Green Zinnias,Bells of Ireland,Green Cymbidium Orchids, Green Anthuriums,

Hellebores, Green Calla Lilies, Green Goddess Arum Lilies, Euphorbia wulfenii, Chrysanthemums, Gladiolus, Tulips, Dahlias, Hosta, Dogwoods

Another characteristic of plants that can make a particular species stand out is silver foliage.  It is a feature that I really enjoy introducing to my garden designs. Using silver foliage in the garden can add a unique and striking element to your outdoor space. There are several reasons why incorporating plants with silver foliage can be beneficial:

-Contrast and interest: Silver foliage provides a visually striking contrast with the more common green foliage found in many gardens. This contrast can add visual interest and diversity to your garden design, creating a dynamic and eye-catching landscape.

-Light reflection: Silver foliage plants have a natural shimmer that can reflect light, especially in sunlight or under garden lighting. This can create beautiful and captivating effects in the garden, particularly in the evening or during low light conditions.

-Drought tolerance: Many plants with silver foliage are adapted to dry and arid conditions, and they are often more drought-tolerant than their green-leaved counterparts. This can make them a valuable addition to gardens in regions with limited water resources or for gardeners looking to reduce water consumption.

-Low maintenance: Silver foliage plants are often low maintenance and can thrive in challenging growing conditions. Their adaptability and resilience can make them suitable for gardeners who want to minimize the effort required to care for their plants.

-Versatility: Silver foliage can complement a wide range of garden styles, from contemporary and minimalist designs to cottage gardens and Mediterranean-inspired landscapes. They can be paired with other plants to create various colour schemes and textures, adding versatility to your garden design.

-Wildlife attraction: Some plants with silver foliage produce flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, adding ecological value to your garden. By incorporating these plants, you can support biodiversity and create a welcoming habitat for beneficial insects.

-Temperature moderation: The silvery hairs or coatings on the foliage of some plants can act as a natural sunblock, helping to moderate leaf temperatures and reduce water loss through transpiration. This can be particularly beneficial in hot and sunny climates.

-Design cohesion: Silver foliage can be used to unify garden design elements by providing a consistent colour and texture throughout different areas of the garden. Whether used as a focal point or a unifying backdrop, silver foliage can tie together diverse planting schemes and hardscape features.

Examples of plants with silver foliage include lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina), dusty miller (Senecio cineraria), lavender (Lavandula spp.), artemisia (Artemisia spp.), Salt Bush, Westrinigia and various succulents such as agave and some varieties of Echeveria.

Overall, incorporating silver foliage in the garden can contribute to a visually appealing and diverse landscape, while also offering practical benefits such as drought tolerance and low maintenance. Whether used in containers, mixed borders, or as standalone features, silver foliage plants can enhance the beauty and functionality of outdoor spaces.

Silver foliage can present a range of shades and tones, each contributing its own unique visual appeal to the garden. Some of the different shades of silver leaves or foliage that you might encounter in the garden include:

-Silvery-white: This is the classic silvery hue that most people associate with silver foliage. Plants with leaves that are a pure, silvery-white colour can add a bright, clean accent to the garden, and they often stand out prominently against a backdrop of green foliage or colourful flowers.

-Gray: Many silver-leaved plants exhibit a grayish hue that conveys a sense of maturity and timelessness. This softer, more muted shade of silver can create a subtle and elegant backdrop for other plants, allowing their colours to pop against the neutral backdrop.

-Frosty blue: Some silver foliage plants have a cool, bluish tint to their leaves, adding a touch of tranquility and serenity to the garden. These plants can contribute a calming, almost ethereal quality to the outdoor space and can be particularly effective in creating a soothing and relaxing atmosphere.

-Shimmering silver-green: Certain silver foliage plants exhibit a combination of silver and green tones, resulting in a shimmering, variegated appearance. This type of foliage can bring a dynamic, multi-dimensional quality to the garden, changing in appearance depending on the angle of the light and adding visual interest.

-Metallic silver: In some cases, silver foliage can have a reflective, metallic sheen that catches and reflects light, creating a luminous and eye-catching effect in the garden. Plants with this type of foliage can introduce a touch of glamour and drama to the landscape.

These different shades of silver foliage can be used strategically in garden design to create desired effects.

For example, plants with a silvery-white colour may be employed as focal points to draw attention, while those with a frosty blue hue might be used to create a calming backdrop or to evoke a sense of coolness on a hot day. Mixing and matching different shades of silver foliage can also help create depth and complexity in the garden, adding visual intrigue and variation to the overall landscape.

Glenice Buck