If space permits, one should have a white garden. Ideally a garden room sheltered by green hedges entirely dedicated to the study of all the kinds of white blossoms are made of. It´s possible to mix white with other colours, actually it´s done everywhere and every day, but the subtle qualities which make white so special tend to get lost, dug under, sacrificed for the immediate, eye catching effect.
Black and white photography seems to dominate fine art photography these days. Rarely seen in contemporary stock images, I have at this very moment three new photo books laying next to me and all of them are entirely made of black and white photographs. Or, at least printed in black and white. It´s an ART thing, I assume.
That´s not the aesthetic of white I´m after. I´m wondering about the one which is, in fact, made of green, pink, blue like the botanic world so richly provides it, especially in spring. Often difficult to capture in a camera, because a correct white balance setting is one thing, moods, shadows and reflections another. There are all different sort of white blossoms suddenly appearing here out of what looked just a couple of weeks ago like dead wood, and as pure white all of them seem to be at the first look, not even two are the same.
(Click for hi res image.)
It´s impossible to say which are the most beautiful, but, almost all of them seem to carry a scent, quite the contrary to many colourful modern garden flowers.
Planning and maintaining a white garden requires some discipline. Although it is very rewarding and the choice of plants allows for blossoms in all four seasons (some Viburnum flowers in winter), one has to withstand the temptation of mixing in all of those glorious pinks, purples, reds which just beg to be taken when you see them in the garden store or plant catalogue. Many white flowering plants are somewhat less spectacular, but combined have a great ability to reach the senses.
(Click for hi res photo.)
The variety of white-flowering plants in terms of heights, leaf shapes, silhouettes is endless, which makes real garden design (rather than just letting things grow on the ground) quite a bit easier. Nearly all common fruit trees lend themselves to this concept (see the apple blossom photos), clematis can grow on them, rose shrubs will put their flowers right in front of your nose, and, as some images may show here one day, even vegetables and herbs can contribute to it.
Unfortunately, not every willing human being can dedicate a whole garden (or garden room) to a specific (colour) concept, but, while you are perhaps at it, flower pots and vases need filling soon, so that´s a good moment to try things.