10 Great Plants for a White Summer Garden

10 Great Plants for a White Summer Garden

By Naomi Jones

White flowers are essential for adding highlights in any garden or mixed border, they also help to bring out the rich colours of surrounding plants. But in recent years the idea of an entirely white garden has become increasingly popular. Not only are white flowers individually beautiful, but when planted ‘en-masse’ they create a very fresh and relaxing feel.

Buy white summer-flowering plants online

Buy white spring planting bulbs

The key to a fabulous white garden or border is to plant a wide range of white-flowering varieties in contrasting shapes, growing habits and heights. As with any planting scheme, it’s important to make sure you have a gradient of heights, ranging from low-growing varieties at the front followed by medium and tall varieties behind. You can also fill hanging baskets or choose white-flowering climbers to provide interest against blank walls and fences.

When designing any border or planting scheme, remember to repeat key varieties in bold clumps throoughout. This will create a sense of structure and uniformity and will guide your eye through the garden and hold the scheme together as well as creating a bit of separation between the varieties so that each can be appreciated.

It’s not all about flowers – foliage plants are also important in a white garden, and a few fresh-green gaps can be white helps to hold it all together. There are all kinds of shrubs and trees which have leaves that are variegated with cream or white and it’s great to include a few in your scheme to add a contrasting structure. You’ll also need a certain amount of solid greenery to make the white flowers stand out. Silver-leaved or lime-green foliage plants also look fantastic in a white garden.

10 Great Plants to Create a White Summer Garden

Here are some of my favourite plants for a white garden:

Dahlia 'My Love'

Buy Dahlia My Love

    This striking cactus dahlia produces large spiky-looking flowers that will add a structural shape to a white border. Fairly tall growing, they’re ideal for the middle or towards the back of a border and the stems provide a lush green backdrop for low-growing white flowers planted in front.

    • Thrives in full sun
    • Excellent as cut flowers
    • Attracts bees and butterflies

    Buy Dahlia My Love →

    Peony 'White Charm'

    Buy white Peony roots

      The large, pure white ruffled flowers of ‘White Charm’ will look fabulous in the border, flowering from early summer onwards. Growing to a height of around 1m, it’s ideal for planting in the middle of a mixed flower border, or among lush, green shrubs.

      • Thrives in full sun and partial shade
      • Excellent as cut flowers
      • Ideal for borders

      Buy Peony White Charm →

      Gladiolus 'Murmansk'

      Buy white gladioli

        The upright flower spikes of this gladiolus will look wonderful repeated in groups running through the middle of a border. They have a bold structure that will stand out among softer-looking plants, and large crisp white flowers which open from fresh green buds.

        • Thrives in full sun or partial shade
        • Excellent as cut flowers
        • Ideal for borders

        Buy Gladiolus Murmansk →

        Lily 'Bright Diamond'

        Buy Lily Bright diamond Bulbs

          No white garden is complete without striking groups of crisp white lilies, providing intense fragrance and striking, structural blooms. Plant a few evenly-spaced groups of them in the middle of the border or in large patio containers. Lilies flower repeatedly throughout summer, deadhead them regularly or pick them to display indoors.

          • Thrives in full sun or partial shade
          • Excellent as cut flowers
          • Highly fragrant

          Buy Lily Bright Diamond →

          Calla Lily 'Albomaculata'

          Buy white Calla Albomaculata

            Calla lilies are wonderful for growing in modern, contemporary or white gardens, with very distinct simple flowers. This particular variety also has dappled foliage which adds further interest and extends the season of interest. Growing to a height of around 30cm, they’re perfect for narrow borders, containers or the front of a large border. They’ll grow in sun or shade, so they’re useful if you have a small or enclosed space.

            • Thrives in full sun or partial shade
            • Suitable for borders or containers
            • Attracts bees

            Buy Calla Lily Albomaculata →

            Nerine bowdenii 'Alba'

            Buy white Nerine bulbs

              Extend the season of white flowers right into autumn with fancy white nerines. Producing extravagant clusters of white trumpet flowers on elegant tall stems from late summer onwards, they’ll add a fresh lift just when it’s most needed.

              • Thrives in full sun or partial shade
              • Suitable for borders and containers
              • Late-season interest

              Buy Nerine bowdenii Alba →

              Begonia 'Pendula White'

              Buy Begonia Pendula white tubers

                Extend your white planting scheme onto the patio or balcony with this wonderful trailing begonia. With beautiful pendulous flowers and compact habit, it’s ideal for growing in pots or hanging baskets.

                • Thrives in full sun or partial shade
                • Ideal for containers
                • Flowers all summer long

                Buy Begonia Pendula White →

                Lily of the Valley

                Buy Lily of the Valley

                  This shade-loving plant has elegant, nodding flowers on upright slender stems which emerge in spring. Forming a dense mat of attractive green foliage, this spreading plant makes a beautiful and highly fragrant ground cover, ideal for the front of the border or a shady corner.

                  • Thrives in full or partial shade
                  • Excellent as cut flowers
                  • Highly fragrant

                  Buy Lily of the Valley →

                  Gypsophila 'Bristol Fairy'

                  Buy Gypsophila

                    Forming a cloud of dainty white flowers that last throughout summer, this classic cottage-garden variety is perfect for any mixed border (especially a white one!). They also last exceptionally well as cut flowers too, so you can bring the white theme into your home.

                    • Thrives in full sun
                    • Excellent as cut flowers
                    • Ideal for borders

                    Buy Gypsophila →

                    Strawberry 'Pineberry'

                    White strawberry plants

                      Add something unusual to your white garden with these delicious white strawberries. With a naturally spreading habit the fruits also look wonderful trailing from pots or hanging baskets – they have a wonderful sweet flavour too!

                      • Thrives in full sun
                      • Produces edible fruit
                      • Suitable for borders and containers

                      Buy Strawberry Pineberry →

                          Buy white summer-flowering plants online

                          "10 Great Plants for a White Summer Garden"
                          is a guest blog written by:

                          Naomi Jones
                          Author of Garden Nomey blog


                          1 comment

                          Some beautiful ideas here Naomi. Love the Nerines particularly.

                          Sarah Robinson

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