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Expert Advice: 10 White Garden Ideas from Petersham Nurseries

A white garden need not be wan and pale. Thomas Broom, horticultural manager of Petersham Nurseries in London, shows us that in editing color, your garden will have a stronger sense of shape and texture. It might smell more interesting too. Here are 10 ideas–and his favorite flowers for a white garden: Photography by Kendra Wilson, unless otherwise noted. Keep It Small Above: Silver foliage of Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmot’s Ghost’ haunts Vita Sackville-West’s world-famous white garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. “A white garden should be relatively small,” suggests Tom Broom. “It is a narrow exercise; often enclosed.” The calm of a white garden offers respite, an escape from the rest of the garden, or the world. Masonry Matters Above: Lilium regale ‘Album’, on the other side of the wall at Sissinghurst, holds its own against brick (where smaller flowers would struggle to compete). It is important to think about masonry, the immediate surroundings of the proposed white garden, advises Tom. A dark backdrop works best; yew is also useful here. Before she designed her white garden, Vita Sackville-West already had made a purple border. Intrigued by the possibilities that a monochromatic garden would offer, she focused on a garden that glowed under the moon and would be filled with evening scent. See: Trend Alert: 5 Night-Scented Bloomers. Add Other Colors Above: Verbascum chaixii ‘Album’ and Oxeye daisy at dusk. White gardens are rarely just white. “You don’t want a freshly laundered garden,” says Tom. Other colors...

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