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GARDENS BY THE BAY

Geranium clarkei 'Kashmir White'

WHITE PERENNIALS & THEIR COMPANIONS - 1



Care must be taken when adding white-flowered perennials to the garden. You may well end up with a different effect from the one you intended. Shades range from the stark, jarring white of perennials such as Shasta Daisy to more muted, creamy tones of many other perennials. Combine the white-flowered perennials below with plants recommended and your garden will reward you with enhanced beauty.


* Watch for the animated hummingbird and butterfly with the plants that attract them. *
The deer icon indicates plants that deer are not usually attracted to.

The best time and method to propagate plants can be found on our image-intensive PROPAGATION page.

To help your plants grow their best, check out our FERTILIZATION page.

To create your own plant partnerships based on tried and true color theory, check out our GARDEN COLOR page.

To see if a particular plant is on this page press Ctrl+F, type in the name, then click the Find button.


ACHILLEA

Is your garden hot and dry? Is your soil poor? The Yarrows may just be your perfect low maintenance choice. Divide them in early spring or fall every two to three years to keep them flourishing.

Achillea ageratum 'W. B. Child':  small white daisy flowers with green eye, 36"

    uses:  perennial borders, cut flower arrangements
      for all-white effect with:  Heuchera 'June Bride'
    Achillea ptarmica 'The Pearl':  Sneezewort, a pure white double form
      with:  Delphinium (blue forms)
    Looking for Yarrows of other colours? Try the links below.

  • orange Yarrows
  • pink Yarrows
  • red Yarrows
  • Yarrows with silver foliage
  • yellow Yarrows

  • ACIDANTHERA

    Fragrant Gladiolus is tall, very long-lasting, has extremely fragrant flowers on stems arising from sword-like foliage, 4-6 per stem and looking like "Glads". Also known as Abyssinian Gladiolus or Peacock Orchid, their corms must be lifted each fall and overwintered indoors. Perfect for a touch of the exotic in your gardens.

    Acidanthera bicolor:  Fragrant Gladiolus, annual Zones 3-6, white with purple blotch

      to follow:  Mertensia virginica, Doronicum caucasicum


    ALCEA

    Towering Hollyhocks, from 3 to 7 feet, produce single or double flowers with crinkled petals, opening from the bottom to the top. They are easily propagated by seed sown in fall where you want then to grow. Plants may bloom the first year but are actually biennials, producing foliage the first year and flowers the second.

    Alcea:  Hollyhock, tall white forms including white 'Chater's Double'

      beside:  Gypsophila paniculata
        behind:  Achillea (a 3' yellow form)
          behind:  Baptisia australis, Paeonia, Dictamnus, Aconitum
        If white Hollyhocks aren't your favourite, try some of the other colours below. You may find useful information about growing this plant well on each of the pages.

      • orange Hollyhocks
      • pink Hollyhocks
      • red Hollyhocks
      • yellow Hollyhocks
      • Hollyhocks to attract Hummingbirds

      • ALLIUM

        The choices among the Ornamental Onions are so varied you'll want to Google them to find the ones you want to try. Hopefully these partnership ideas can direct you to a few you can use with plants already in your gardens.

        Allium tuberosum:  Chinese Chives, Garlic Chives, Ornamental Garlic, starry white

          Allium tuberosum - Garlic Chives, Chinese Chives
          seen above offset behind:  Limonium latifolium just beginning to bloom
            under:  small shrubs or roses
              beside:  Limonium latifolium, Helianthemum 'Wisley Pink'
                behind:  Sedum 'Vera Jameson'
                  in front of:  Linaria purpurea 'Canon Went'
                Many more Allium forms and the plants that complement them can be found by following the links below.

              • blue Allium forms
              • various Allium forms

              • ANEMONE

                Another genus of nearly unlimited choices, the Anemones have something for everyone, from early spring to fall bloomers, from edgers to mid-border choices and from sun to shade lovers.

                Anemone blanda 'White Splendor':  Grecian Windflower

                Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert':  Japanese Anemone, compact 3-4'
                  with:  Heliopsis scabra
                Anemone x hybrida 'Whirlwind':  pure white semi-double, 4 feet tall
                  with:  Aster, ferns, Ornamental Grasses, tall Dahlia
                Anemone nemorosa:  Wood Anemone If you want more plants from this wonderful genus in your garden, you might want to have a look at the other forms below.

              • blue Anemone forms
              • pink Anemone forms
              • Anemones for shade

              • AQUILEGIA

                Taylor's Guide to Growing North America's Favorite Plants has this to say about the Columbines. "The word "columbine" is from the Latin columbinus, meaning "like a dove", or columba meaning "dove". When looked at from above, the petals of short-spurred types resemble doves with their tails in the air, hence the common names doves-in-a-ring and doves-round-a-dish.".

                Aquilegia flabellata var. nana alba:  Fan Columbine

                There are colours and colour combinations of Columbine to suit other plants already in your garden. And if your columbines aren't doing well you might find out why with the additional information on the following pages.

              • pink Columbines
              • red Columbines
              • various other Columbines
              • Columbines to attract Hummingbirds

              • ARABIS

                Rock Cress is a wonderful and easy alpine plant, perfect for spilling over rock edges. Its thick gray-green foliage is smothered in spring with small flowers that are sweetly scented. Like most alpines, it does best in well-drained, gritty soil in full sun.

                Arabis caucasica 'Flore Plena':  Rock Cress

                Arabis caucasica 'Snowcap' For additional specific Rock Cress forms and helpful information as well, click on the following links.

              • Arabis as edgers
              • pink Arabis
              • Arabis with variegated foliage

              • ARENARIA

                Another easy alpine plant, Sandwort also requires good drainage and full sun, perfect for a sunny rock garden with neutral to slightly acidic soil. This is a diminutive perennial, growing only 2-4" tall. Leaves are narrow and form a low cushion covered in spring with starry 5-petalled blooms.

                Arenaria montana:  Mountain Sandwort

                  where:  between pavers in walkways, in open walls, rock gardens, in pots, trough gardens


                ARTEMISIA

                Most Artemisias, or Wormwoods, are grown for their aromatic, shrubby foliage as their flowers are small and insignificant. Not so for those described below. Try them and enjoy their late summer creamy-white flowers held high above their bright green leaves.

                Artemisia:  Wormwood

                  next to :  pink, purple and light blue shades (because of the silvery leaves, not the colour of the flowers)
                Artemisia 'Guizho':  creamy-white
                  with:  Hemerocallis, Monarda (red), Crocosmia, Heliopsis & Rudbeckia
                Artemisia lactiflora:  White Mugwort
                  with:  Dahlia
                    with:  red Monarda didyma, Echinops ritro, lemon-yellow Hemerocallis
                      behind:  Achillea 'Moonshine'
                        with:  late summer daisies i.e. Rudbeckia, Helenium
                          excellent behind:  Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'
                            combined with:  Lobelia 'Compliment Scarlet', Monarda 'Gardenview Scarlet' & Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'
                              behind:  Helenium autumnale
                            If you prefer some of the Artemisias grown for their wonderful foliage, you will find many at the link below.

                          • Artemisias for edging
                          • Artemisias with silver foliage

                          • ARUNCUS

                            For its 4-6 foot height and spread alone, Goatsbeard deserves a featured position at the rear of your perennial border. For positions further forward you might want to try one of the shorter-statured forms. Foliage is light green and feathery off-white florets appear above to dominate the early summer garden.

                            Aruncus aesthusifolius:  Dwarf Goatsbeard

                            Aruncus dioicus:  Goat's Beard Aruncus dioicus 'Kneiffii' More information about Goatsbeard can be found at the following link.

                          • Goatsbeard in shade

                          • ASCLEPIAS

                            This meadow favourite is known by many common names including Chigger Flower, Indian Paintbrush, Pleurisy Root and Tuberroot as well as Butterfly Weed. Its fragrant flowers will draw butterflies to your garden during summer. Attractive seedpods will form after blooming ends. For long-lasting arrangements, the stems should be seared after cutting, before being put into water. Bonus - Butterfly Weed is a host plant for the Monarch butterfly and supplies nectar for many other butterfly species as well.

                            Asclepias 'Ice Ballet':  White Butterfly Weed

                            White is certainly not the only colour of Butterfly Weed flowers. Try the links below for more.

                          • various Butterfly Weed forms
                          • orange Butterfly Weed

                          • ASTER

                            With selections of every type, from short-statured early spring bloomers to tall fall-blooming specimens, there is something for everyone in the Aster genus, including the white form below. All need full sun to partial shade and fertile, well-drained soil with adequate moisture during the growing season.

                            Aster novae-angliae 'Autumn Snow':  New England Aster, Michaelmas Daisy

                            Try any of the links below to find numerous other Asters for various garden situations, of varying heights and in numerous other coloured forms.

                          • various Aster forms
                          • blue Asters
                          • pink Asters
                          • purple Asters
                          • Asters for shade

                          • ASTILBE

                            Flowering in panicles or spikes, the Astilbe has numerous forms for every situation - from rockeries to perennial border specimens. Appreciating an annual mulch in spring with well-rotted compost, most forms, including the white forms below, grow best in partial shade.

                            Astilbe:  Astilbe, False Spirea, white forms

                            Astilbe 'Bridal Veil' Do you prefer Astilbes in other colours or for specific garden situations? Try the link below to find some that will suit your taste or your garden needs.

                          • Astilbe as edgers
                          • pink Astilbe
                          • various Astilbe

                          • ASTRANTIA

                            Masterwort has interesting starry flowers surrounded by sharp bracts. Although this genus prefers moist shady borders it is adaptable to other sites. Different species provide varying colour choices, including pinks, reds, whites and greenish-white. Because it self-seeds, you will soon have a lovely patch to invite visitors' comments.

                            Astrantia major:  Masterwort, 30"x18"

                              Astrantia major - Masterwort
                              where:  along borders, beside ponds or streams
                                with:  Thalictrum, spiky Verbascum, Ferns, Ornamental Grasses, Alchemilla mollis
                                  in moist soil with:  Iris ensata, Iris sibirica
                                    in drier soil with:  Iris x germanica, Artemisia, Penstemon
                                      combined with:  Iris sibirica 'Little White', diminutive Geranium 'Ballerina' and Heuchera 'Pluie de Feu' (cherry-red)


                                    BAPTISIA

                                    Gray-green foliage and spikes of pea-like flowers cover the shrub-like 3-4 foot tall Plains False Indigo, also known as Blue False Indigo by early summer. Best in a sunny location as well as in well-drained, humusy soil a little on the acidic side.

                                    Baptisia alba:  white Wild Indigo

                                      interplanted with:  Aquilegia canadensis


                                    BERGENIA

                                    Another vigorous perennial, Heartleaf Bergenia produces spires of mid-spring blooms. But it is the foliage that predominates. Huge, glossy, leathery leaves are evergreen, taking on reddish tones in fall and winter. Preferring moist well-drained soil with plenty of humus-rich organic matter, it tolerates some drought once established. Plant in groups for best effect.

                                    Bergenia 'Bressingham White':  white Bergenia, snowy white fading to pink

                                      also commonly known as:  white Pigsqueak, white Elephant Ears
                                        with:  all spring-flowering shrubs & bulbs
                                          with:  Helleborus
                                        If you prefer the colour pink, follow the link below.

                                      • pink Bergenia

                                      • BOLTONIA

                                        I've never grown Boltonia, mainly because I'm not partial to white flowers. But if I wanted masses of aster-like flowers on a tall plant in late summer to early fall, this would probably be what I'd choose. Growing from 3-5 feet tall, it looks best planted in masses in well-drained, humusy soil in sun to light shade. Put it in a mid to rear border position and keep it moist.

                                        Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank':  white Boltonia

                                          with:  tall Aster, Helenium, Eupatorium purpureum (a larger 'Purpurea'), Physostegia virginiana 'Vivid'
                                            with:  bright coloured Aster such as 'Alma Potschke'
                                              combined with:  Physostegia 'Variegata', Cornus 'Elegantissima' & Angelica gigas
                                            If, like me, you prefer other colours to white, try the link below.

                                          • pink Boltonia

                                          • CALAMINTHA

                                            Are you looking for a short-statured 18 inch tall mid-summer to fall blooming perennial with clouds of dainty flowers and aromatic leaves. Try the Lesser Calamint in well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. Another good edger in the border or rock garden.

                                            Calamintha nepetoides:  white Beautiful Mint

                                              combined with:  Gentiana 'Benichidori', Geranium 'Wargrave Pink' & Stokesia 'Blue Danube'


                                            CAMPANULA

                                            Short or tall, well-behaved or invasive, the Bellflowers have a number of white forms in addition to the mainly purple ones I tend to go for first. They prefer lots of organic matter mixed into their planting site. Good drainage and even moisture will encourage their best performance.

                                            Campanula carpatica alba:  pure white Bellflower, white Carpathian Harebell

                                              with:  Campanula carpatica (purple forms)
                                            Campanula carpatica 'White Clips'
                                              under:  wine-red Lilium, dwarf shrubs
                                                beside:  Helictotrichon sempervirens, Stachys byzantina
                                                  in front of:  Hemerocallis, Chrysopsis 'Mariana'
                                                    with:  pink or yellow Sedum, Sedum spectabile 'Carmen'
                                                  Campanula glomerata:  Clustered Bellflower, white, 12-18"
                                                    with:  ferns, orangish-apricot tones i.e. Lychnis hybrids
                                                  Campanula persicifolia:  white Peach-Leaved Bellflower
                                                    in light shade with:  Digitalis
                                                      sandwiched between:  Alchemilla mollis (in front) & old roses (behind)
                                                    Campanula persicifolia 'Alba':  Peach-Leaved Bellflower
                                                      Campanula persicifolia 'Alba' - white Peach-Leaf Bellflower
                                                      under:  well-spaced white birch or maples
                                                        with:  naturalized Digitalis & wild Aster
                                                          behind:  Geranium sanguineum, Primula polyanthes, Hosta 'Medio-Variegata'
                                                            in front of:  Delphinium, Lilium, Polemonium caeruleum
                                                          Campanula pyramidalis 'Alba':  Chimney Bellflower
                                                            with:  Campanula pyramidalis (purple shades)
                                                          Bellflowers come in many other colours as you will see below. Additional information about growing them well will be found at each of the following links.

                                                        • blue Bellflowers
                                                        • pink Bellflowers
                                                        • purple Bellflowers

                                                        • CHRYSANTHEMUM

                                                          Much reclassification has taken place in the genus Chrysanthemum. The references below use the original names with new names beneath for clarity. My references say that plants reclassified as Leucanthemum are the one which deer do not normally eat, and that butterflies are especially attracted to those reclassified as Tanacetum. Check out which ones that includes in the current names below.

                                                          Chrysanthemum parthenium:  Feverfew

                                                            now:  Tanacetum parthenium
                                                              where:  in dry shade
                                                                with:  bold flowers & foliage (as a filler)
                                                                  with:  pink Phlox paniculata, Campanula poscharskyana, small Ornamental Grasses, Coreopsis grandiflora
                                                                    in front of:  Heliopsis 'Gold Greenheart' & Regal Lilies
                                                                      beside:  Astilbe 'Fire'
                                                                    Chrysanthemum parthenium 'Aureum'
                                                                      Chrysanthemum parthenium 'Aureum', now reclassified as Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum'
                                                                      now:  Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum'
                                                                        a perfect partner seen in the image above with a striped Ornamental Grass
                                                                          with:  Gloriosa Daisy i.e. Rudbeckia hirta

                                                                        Chrysanthemum x superbum:  Shasta Daisy

                                                                          now:  Leucanthemum x superbum
                                                                            with:  blue Delphinium, red Monarda, Achillea esp. 'Gold Plate', Achillea (red), Coreopsis lanceolata
                                                                              with:  yellow Hemerocallis, Hemerocallis (peach tones), Dicentra, Malva moschata, Penstemon
                                                                                with:  Salvia turkestanica, Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Sedum spectabile, Iris, Papaver, Gaillardia
                                                                                  with:  Coreopsis spp, Echinacea purpurea, Lychnis x haageana, Veronica (blue)
                                                                                    with:  Platycodon (lavender)
                                                                                      behind:  Centaurea montana
                                                                                        combined with:  Hemerocallis (peach) & Veronica (blue) or Platycodon grandiflorus (lavender)
                                                                                          not with:  pinks or blues i.e. Rosa rugosa, Iris sibirica, Dictamnus albus, Pyrethrum, Paeonia
                                                                                            not with:  Dianthus, Nepeta x faassenii as its stark white colour will break the flow of colour in the bed

                                                                                          Chrysanthemum x superbum:  double dwarf forms

                                                                                            an unidentified short double-flowered Shasta Daisy
                                                                                            now called:  Leucanthemum x superbum
                                                                                              the form above almost hugs the ground and blooms much earlier than taller forms of the same species
                                                                                                between:  Salvia 'East Friesland' & Tradescantia

                                                                                              Chrysanthemum x superbum 'Alaska'

                                                                                                now called:  Leucanthemum x superbum 'Alaska'
                                                                                                  with:  Achillea 'Red Beauty'
                                                                                                    with:  blue Delphinium, Achillea, esp. 'Gold Plate', red Monarda, Coreopsis lanceolata
                                                                                                      with:  yellow Hemerocallis, Lychnis x haageana

                                                                                                    Chrysanthemum x superbum 'Diener's Double'

                                                                                                      now called:  Leucanthemum x superbum 'Diener's Double'
                                                                                                        with:  blue Delphinium, yellow Hemerocallis, Achillea esp. 'Gold Plate', red Monarda
                                                                                                          with:  Coreopsis lanceolata, Lychnis x haageana
                                                                                                        Chrysanthemums in other colours are also available.

                                                                                                      • pink Chrysanthemum forms
                                                                                                      • red Chrysanthemum forms
                                                                                                      • a Chrysanthemum with variegated foliage

                                                                                                      • CIMICIFUGA

                                                                                                        I read recently that Bugbane needs 2 or 3 growing seasons to become established. Just when I was ready to give up on the self-sown seedlings I found and moved to the rear of a relatively new shady bed. The divided foliage looks lovely and continues to clump up nicely. Hopefully its lovely white spires of bloom will tower over the mid-border plants in front this year or next. According to the American Horticultural Society FLOWER FINDER these are among the very best and most maintenance-free perennials - almost completely pest and disease free. Well worth waiting for.

                                                                                                        Cimicifuga spp.:  Bugbane, Black Cohosh, Snakeroot

                                                                                                        Cimicifuga racemosa:  Black Snakeroot Cimicifuga simplex ramosa Try the following link for more information.

                                                                                                      • Bugbane for shade

                                                                                                      • CORNUS

                                                                                                        Grown for their flowers, foliage and/or coloured stems in winter, the Dogwods need sun to semi-shade and fertile, well-drained soil. The white-flowered forms below will do best in full sun.

                                                                                                        Cornus florida:  Flowering Dogwood, showy white flowers

                                                                                                          as:  specimen plant at edge of perennial borders, in shrub borders, beside a house
                                                                                                            underplanted with:  shade-loving plants i.e. Hosta, ferns, wildflowers, ground covers, spring bulbs
                                                                                                          Cornus kousa:  Kousa Dogwood, creamy white flowers
                                                                                                            use same companions as:  Cornus florida above
                                                                                                          There are additional choices available at the link below.

                                                                                                        • Cornus with silver foliage

                                                                                                        • CRAMBE

                                                                                                          A Baby's Breath look-alike, Sea Kale also acts as a "filler" in the garden. With a possible height to 6 feet and a spread as wide as 5 feet this is one perennial that demands space. Fragrant airy flowers appear in a cloud above huge, bold, dark green leaves. Best in full sun to very light shade and rich, moist, well-drained soil.

                                                                                                          Crambe:  Colewort, Sea Kale

                                                                                                            with:  white Delphinium
                                                                                                              behind:  strong blues i.e. Aquilegia 'Hensol Harebell', Campanula 'Telham Beauty', Iris sibirica
                                                                                                                combined with:  Delphinium 'Magic Fountains', Hemerocallis 'Hyperion' & Lilium 'Connecticut King' (buttercup yellow)
                                                                                                              Crambe cordifolia:  Heartleaf Sea Kale, Heartleaf Crambe "like baby's breath crossed with cabbage"
                                                                                                                where:  large borders only


                                                                                                              DELPHINIUM

                                                                                                              The Delphiniums perform best in cool and moist climates. They are superb at the rear of a garden bed where the stakes required by the tallest forms will be hidden behind other plants as well as by the delphinium's own foliage. Perform this chore early before the flower spikes begin to bow over from lack of support.

                                                                                                              Delphinium Pacific Giants 'Galahad':  pure white

                                                                                                                white Delphinium 'Galahad'
                                                                                                                with:  the raspberry red of Knautia macedonica
                                                                                                                  with:  Gypsophila paniculata in front for all-white effect
                                                                                                                Delphiniums come in a multitude of colours and colour combinations. Try any of the links below for additional forms.

                                                                                                              • blue Delphiniums
                                                                                                              • purple Delphiniums

                                                                                                              • DENDRANTHEMA

                                                                                                                Many perennials have been reclassified and gardeners have learned to adjust to their new names quickly. But most of us will forever ask for Chrysanthemums, commonly referred to as "Mums", the name we are most familiar with.

                                                                                                                Dendranthema:  Garden Mum, white forms

                                                                                                                  with:  Eupatorium coelestinum
                                                                                                                Follow the link below for a Mum of a different colour.

                                                                                                              • red Mums

                                                                                                              • DIANTHUS

                                                                                                                Taylor's Guide to NORTH AMERICA'S Favorite Plants tells us that "Dianthus is from the Greek dios meaning "god" and anthos, "flower" and thus is translated as "flower of the gods".

                                                                                                                Dianthus arenarius:  Sand Pink

                                                                                                                Dianthus 'Laciniated White':  White Moss Pink hybrid, 2-4"
                                                                                                                  where:  rock wall, rockery, trough, scree in well-drained soil
                                                                                                                You needn't restrict yourself to white forms of Pinks. Instead try any of the others below.

                                                                                                              • edging Dianthus forms
                                                                                                              • pink Dianthus forms
                                                                                                              • red Dianthus forms
                                                                                                              • Dianthus with silver foliage
                                                                                                              • yellow Dianthus forms

                                                                                                              • DICENTRA

                                                                                                                A perennial favourite, the Bleeding Heart in its various forms adds a touch of grace to the garden. Stems arch over attractive foliage and heart-shaped blooms dangle at their ends. They prefer bright shade with rich and moist, humusy soil. It is the Dicentra eximia species that deer like least.

                                                                                                                Dicentra eximia 'Alba':  white Fringed Bleeding Heart

                                                                                                                Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba':  white Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart Bleeding Hearts of other colours and for specific sites can be accessed at the links below.

                                                                                                              • pink Bleeding Hearts
                                                                                                              • Bleeding Hearts for shade

                                                                                                              • DIGITALIS

                                                                                                                Foxgloves are an indispensible plant for spring and early summer bloom. Growing in spires above foliage in basal rosettes, the flowers come in many colours and colour combinations, including white. Give them partial shade in moist, humus-rich soil.

                                                                                                                Digitalis:  Foxglove, white forms

                                                                                                                  white Foxglove with purple markings
                                                                                                                  with:  Iris, Geranium endressii (pink)
                                                                                                                Are you looking for other options besides white Foxgloves? Try the links below for something suitable for your garden situation.

                                                                                                              • pink Foxgloves
                                                                                                              • yellow Foxgloves

                                                                                                              • ECHINACEA

                                                                                                                I love my white Purple Coneflowers! The dark green foliage is coarse but sets off the white ray-like flowers with the lovely bronzey-orange cone-like centres to perfection. Very long-blooming, if kept dead-headed, they deserve a prominent place in every border. Bonus - they attract both butterflies and bees. And, for me, they've repeatedly self-sown so my collection keeps growing.

                                                                                                                Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan':  white Coneflower

                                                                                                                Additional Coneflowers can be found by following the links below.

                                                                                                              • pink Coneflower forms
                                                                                                              • various Coneflower forms

                                                                                                              • EREMURUS

                                                                                                                The Foxtail Lily, also commonly known as Desert Candle and King's Spear, with its spikes of bloom above basal rosettes of foliage, adds a wonderful vertical element to a sunny sheltered garden site in late spring or early summer. Tuberous roots should be planted in fall in a hole 4-6 inches deep and 2 feet across. Well-drained, light, fertile soil is best. Drought-tolerant once established, it has forms of varying heights. Foliage dies back after bloom has finished so hide this perennial, wonderful when mass planted, at the rear of your border.

                                                                                                                Eremurus himalaicus:  white Foxtail Lily

                                                                                                                  interplanted with:  Tulipa (cream-coloured) & a frontal planting of Pulmonaria 'Sissinghurst White'
                                                                                                                    behind:  Paeonia (pink) and/or Thalictrum aquilegiafolium and/or Campanula lactiflora
                                                                                                                  For more information and plant partnership ideas follow the link to

                                                                                                                • Simply Special Perennials



                                                                                                                • FILIPENDULA

                                                                                                                  Sometimes sold as False Spirea, Meadowsweet is an herb with structural, bold foliage that will persist throughout the growing season provided the moisture of its site is maintained. The summer-blooming flowers are sweetly scented and are available in a number of colours. Full sun to part shade is best as is well-drained but moist alkaline soil.

                                                                                                                  Filipendula:  Meadowsweet

                                                                                                                    where:  moist to wet soils
                                                                                                                      with:  Rosa, Iris, Hemerocallis, Phlox, Daisies
                                                                                                                        for untamed look with:  ferns, Monarda, Campanula, Echinacea purpurea, Ornamental Grasses
                                                                                                                      Filipendula hexapetala:  Double Dropwort, fluffy ivory-white flowers
                                                                                                                        synonym:  Filipendula vulgaris 'Flore Pleno'
                                                                                                                          where:  3-5 together, 12" apart at a border edge
                                                                                                                            combined with:  Paeonia, Iris sibirica, Thalictrum & Geranium spp.
                                                                                                                          Filipendula purpurea 'Elegans':  Japanese Meadowsweet
                                                                                                                            where:  as background, accent or waterside plant
                                                                                                                          Filipendula vulgaris:  Dropwort, white, 2 to 3 feet tall
                                                                                                                            Filipendula vulgaris - Dropwort
                                                                                                                            with:  Nepeta x faassenii
                                                                                                                          For a change from white Meadowsweet, try the link below. Additional information on the page about growing this genus may be helpful.

                                                                                                                        • pink Meadowsweet forms

                                                                                                                        • GALIUM

                                                                                                                          Sweet Woodruff has wonderful, star-shaped leaves that are fragrant when dried. Dainty, white flowers appear in spring in layers along the stems. Growing only 6 to 12 inches high, it is a drought-tolerant groundcover that does well even in the dry shade of the cedar trees over our garden beds when other plants are drooping in the heat.

                                                                                                                          Galium odoratum:  Sweet Woodruff

                                                                                                                          For useful information about siting and growing Sweet Woodruff, follow the link below.

                                                                                                                        • Galium in shady situations

                                                                                                                        • GAURA

                                                                                                                          White Gaura, with its long May-October bloom period, grows to 4 feet tall. Foliage is gray-green in colour. Tubular flowers appear in loose panicles that sway in the breeze. Sandy soil is preferred.

                                                                                                                          Gaura lindheimeri:  White Gaura, Butterfly Gaura

                                                                                                                            where:  with low-mounding perennials
                                                                                                                              with:  Ornamental Grasses (esp. those that turn tawny in late summer)
                                                                                                                                with:  small-flowered plants, i.e. Verbena spp, Limonium latifolium, Centranthus ruber, Sedum
                                                                                                                                  with:  Geranium
                                                                                                                                    to echo with:  Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid' (large soft pink blooms)


                                                                                                                                  GERANIUM

                                                                                                                                  I love perennial Geraniums, commonly called Cranesbills, for a number of reasons. First - after their spring to early-summer bloom is over you can cut the foliage back hard and encourage new fresh foliage to appear. Second - they are the perfect companion, planted in front of other perennials that bloom during the time the geranium's foliage is undergoing regrowth. Third - they come in so many colours and sizes that there are choices for every situation. Give them full sun with humusy, well-drained, evenly moist soil and enjoy the show they put on. And keep them well watered during dry spells.

                                                                                                                                  Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo':  a natural hybrid selection with white flowers

                                                                                                                                    with:  Rhododendron, Brunnera macrophylla
                                                                                                                                  Geranium clarkei 'Kashmir White':  Clarke's Cranesbill, pure white veined with lilac
                                                                                                                                    Hardy Geranium - white
                                                                                                                                    this cultivar may be the beauty in the border around this page and in the images at the top of the page and directly above
                                                                                                                                      with:  green & white variegated Hosta
                                                                                                                                        with:  Iris x germanica (dark violet such as 'Dusky Dancer') & Paeonia (crimson-coloured)
                                                                                                                                          with:  Iris sibirica, instead of Bearded Iris for better foliage effect
                                                                                                                                        Geranium sanguineum 'Album':  Bloody Cranesbill, Blood-Red Cranesbill, white forms
                                                                                                                                          in front of:  Paeonia (white)
                                                                                                                                            near:  Iris sibirica (white), Rosa rugosa (white), Miscanthus sinensis
                                                                                                                                              with:  Paeonia (pink), Iris sibirica (blue) & Thalictrum aquilegiafolium

                                                                                                                                            If you want to add several new perennial Geraniums to your gardens, as I do, you are sure to find many you'll like at the links below.

                                                                                                                                          • Geranium Profile
                                                                                                                                          • blue Geraniums
                                                                                                                                          • edging Geraniums
                                                                                                                                          • Geraniums for foliage effect
                                                                                                                                          • pink Geraniums
                                                                                                                                          • Geraniums for shade
                                                                                                                                          • Geranium "killer-combo"



                                                                                                                                          • GONIOLINUM

                                                                                                                                            Although not a long-lived perennial, German Statice will serve as yet another valuable "filler" in the summer garden with its multitudes of tiny, silvery-white star-shaped flowers. This plant prefers a sunny site with rich, deep, well-drained soil. Propagate in spring either by seed or division.

                                                                                                                                            Goniolinum tartaricum:  German Statice, Zone 3, 15"x12", white forms

                                                                                                                                              not a synonym for:  Limonium latifolium which is Sea Lavender, or Statice
                                                                                                                                                with:  Allium tuberosum, Gaura lindheimeri, Iris, Phlox, Echinacea purpurea, Lilium, Helenium, Platycodon
                                                                                                                                                  behind:  Salvia argentia
                                                                                                                                                    beside:  Allium tuberosum
                                                                                                                                                      in front of:  Sedum spectabile 'Stardust'
                                                                                                                                                        not beside:  small-flowered Michaelmas Daisies, Chrysanthemum parthenium (they will dilute its effectiveness)


                                                                                                                                                      GYPSOPHILA

                                                                                                                                                      The airy Baby's Breath is a wonderful addition to gardens and flower arrangements alike where it serves as an excellent "filler". Given full or partial sun and well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil that is somewhat dry it will draw the eye during its early to mid-summer bloom period, whether it is planted singly or in masses.

                                                                                                                                                      Gypsophila paniculata:  Baby's Breath

                                                                                                                                                        use to:  blur edges and tone down stronger colors
                                                                                                                                                          to hide yellowing foliage:  of bulbs & other dormant plants i.e. Papaver orientale, Dicentra spectabilis
                                                                                                                                                            generally with:  bold and spiky perennials for dramatic effect
                                                                                                                                                              with:  Campanula (taller forms), Coreopsis lanceolata, Liatris, Lilium, Veronica
                                                                                                                                                                with:  Echinacea purpurea, Chrysanthemum x superbum, Aster, late spring bulbs
                                                                                                                                                                  combined with:  Paeonia & Echinacea purpurea alba
                                                                                                                                                                    combined with:  Lilium martagon (ivory), Monarda didyma (red) & Delphinium (blue)
                                                                                                                                                                      combined with:  Lythrum virgatum, Lilium martagon (lemon-yellow Turk's Cap Lily) & Stachys byzantina (silver)
                                                                                                                                                                        with:  Delphinium (tall, sky-blue), Lilium (deep red) & pink rambling roses
                                                                                                                                                                      Gypsophila paniculata 'Double White':  Baby's Breath
                                                                                                                                                                        with:  herbs, blue Salvia & roses
                                                                                                                                                                      Gypsophila paniculata 'Perfecta':  double white Baby's Breath
                                                                                                                                                                        combined with:  Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' & Lysimachia clethroides
                                                                                                                                                                      If you are only familiar with white Baby's Breath, follow the link below for another option.

                                                                                                                                                                    • pink Baby's Breath
                                                                                                                                                                    • Baby's Breath with silver foliage

                                                                                                                                                                    • HEMEROCALLIS

                                                                                                                                                                      Even though we commonly add daylilies of various colours and colour combinations to our gardens, we often neglect the white forms, ranging from creamy tones to pristine pure white.

                                                                                                                                                                      Some of the daylilies below are Spider and Unusual Form Daylilies. Follow the link to learn more about the beautiful cultivars available in these two classes and see images that show their amazing appearance. You will also discover how to find suppliers of these classes in your area.

                                                                                                                                                                      Hemerocallis 'Asterisk':  white with grayish cast & green throat

                                                                                                                                                                        Hemerocallis 'Asterisk'
                                                                                                                                                                        this Unusual Form Spatulate cultivar was registered in 1985, scape height 28", bloom 8", bloom season M
                                                                                                                                                                      Hemerocallis 'Heavenly Angel Ice':  white self above green yellow throat, scape height 36", Rebloomer
                                                                                                                                                                        Hemerocallis 'Heavenly Angel Ice'
                                                                                                                                                                        this Unusual Form Crispate cultivar was registered in 2004, bloom 8", season MLa
                                                                                                                                                                      Hemerocallis 'Joan Senior':  a white Daylily Hemerocallis 'Raspberry Griffin':  cream near white with raspberry eye and edge above green throat, Fragrant Rebloomer
                                                                                                                                                                        Hemerocallis 'Raspberry Griffin'
                                                                                                                                                                        this Unusual Form Crispate cultivar was registered in 2006, scape height 27", bloom 7.5", season EM
                                                                                                                                                                      Hemerocallis 'Tylwyth Teg':  pale cream rainbow polychrome with lavender midribs & pale gold throat
                                                                                                                                                                        Hemerocallis 'Tylwyth Teg'
                                                                                                                                                                        this Spider cultivar was registered in 1988, Spider Ratio 5.60:1, scape height 40", bloom 8", season M

                                                                                                                                                                      There is a wealth of colour choice in the Daylily genus. As proof see the links below.

                                                                                                                                                                    • various Daylilies
                                                                                                                                                                    • orange Daylilies
                                                                                                                                                                    • pink Daylilies
                                                                                                                                                                    • purple Daylilies
                                                                                                                                                                    • red Daylilies
                                                                                                                                                                    • Spider and Unusual Form Daylilies
                                                                                                                                                                    • yellow Daylilies

                                                                                                                                                                    • HEUCHERA

                                                                                                                                                                      Taylor's Guide to Growing NORTH AMERICA'S Favorite Plants states that "Heucheras grown for their flowers are commonly called coralbells, while those grown for their foliage are typically referred to as alumroots or simply heucheras". The many different species of Coral Bells often have a number of white-flowered choices. The mound-shaped foliage serves as a base from which erect stems arise, with panicles of dainty flowers held high above. Cut back to the base of the stems to encourage more blooms to appear.

                                                                                                                                                                      Heuchera 'Palace Purple':  Alumroot, Coral Bells

                                                                                                                                                                      Heuchera x brizoides 'June Bride':  white Hybrid Coral Bells From beautiful foliage to lovely flower colours, there are choices galore at the links below.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Coral Bells as edgers
                                                                                                                                                                    • Coral Bells to attract Hummingbirds
                                                                                                                                                                    • pink Coral Bell forms
                                                                                                                                                                    • purple Coral Bell forms
                                                                                                                                                                    • red Coral Bell forms
                                                                                                                                                                    • Coral Bells with silver foliage
                                                                                                                                                                    • Coral Bells with variegated foliage

                                                                                                                                                                    • IBERIS

                                                                                                                                                                      Narrow leaves are part of the attraction of the perennial Candytuft. Very low-growing, it makes a wonderful white edger in early to mid-spring, perfect for rock or wall gardens as well as borders. Provide it with full sun and somewhat acidic soil. For density cut back stems after flowering has finished. The cultivar 'Autumn Beauty', as its name suggests, will rebloom in fall.

                                                                                                                                                                      Iberis sempervirens:  Candytuft, Perennial Candytuft

                                                                                                                                                                      Iberis sempervirens Alexander's White' Iberis sempervirens 'Snowflake' For spring interest at a garden edge you might want to try this beauty. Check out the plant partnerships recommended for contrast or complementary colour.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Perennial Candytuft edging

                                                                                                                                                                    • IRIS

                                                                                                                                                                      Because this genus is so varied you should buy a good reference book on the Iris alone or borrow one from your local library if you intend to grow many of these wonderful perennials. This will be invaluable to learn the requirements of soil, moisture and exposure for all types to decide which will perform best in your garden conditions. You will no doubt find many white forms in such reference material in addition to those below.

                                                                                                                                                                      Iris:  a white plicata form with lavender "stitching"

                                                                                                                                                                        Iris - a plicata form
                                                                                                                                                                        seen above in front of:  Baptisia australis to echo its lavender-blue tones
                                                                                                                                                                      Iris 'Ermine Robe':  huge, pure white Bearded Iris, 38", mid-late bloom
                                                                                                                                                                        combined with:  Iris 'Dusky Challenger' & Iris 'New Moon'
                                                                                                                                                                      Iris 'Lacy Snowflake':  
                                                                                                                                                                        Iris 'Lacy Snowflake'
                                                                                                                                                                        with:  any of the same combinations as those mentioned above or below
                                                                                                                                                                      Iris 'Lady Madonna':  icy white, gold heart, gold-edged ruffles, 4'
                                                                                                                                                                        with:  any other Iris, but especially those with gold colour to echo its golden halo
                                                                                                                                                                      What's your favourite flower colour? Or foliage colour? There are sure to be many Irises at the links below which will suit your preference. In a drift with many of the same colour, or partnered with any of the perennials recommended by gardening experts, all of these forms will add richness and appeal to every island, border or bed in which they are used.

                                                                                                                                                                    • blue Iris
                                                                                                                                                                    • bulbous Iris
                                                                                                                                                                    • Iris for edging
                                                                                                                                                                    • orange Iris
                                                                                                                                                                    • purple Iris
                                                                                                                                                                    • red Iris
                                                                                                                                                                    • yellow Iris
                                                                                                                                                                    • Iris with variegated foliage

                                                                                                                                                                    • FOR MORE WHITE PERENNIALS & THEIR COMPANIONS, FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW.


                                                                                                                                                                      All of our own Gardens By The Bay pages can be accessed by clicking on the links below.


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                                                                                                                                                                      PLANT PARTNERSHIPS

                                                                                                                                                                      BLUE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Geranium  |  Iris - Vinca

                                                                                                                                                                      BULBS    Allium - Hyacinthus  |  Narcissus only  |  Tulipa only  |  Minor Bulbs

                                                                                                                                                                      BUTTERFLY MAGNETS    Anaphalis - Hemerocallis  |  Liatris - Veronicastrum
                                                                                                                                                                      DAYLILIES      Spider & Unusual Form

                                                                                                                                                                      EDGERS    Arabis - Iris  |  Nepeta - Veronica

                                                                                                                                                                      FOLIAGE PERENNIALS     Alchemilla - Tanacetum

                                                                                                                                                                      HOSTA    Hosta - all

                                                                                                                                                                      HUMMINGBIRD-FRIENDLY PERENNIALS    Alcea - Salvia

                                                                                                                                                                      ORANGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Tulipa

                                                                                                                                                                      ORNAMENTAL GRASSES    Acorus - Imperata |  Miscanthus - Spodiopogon

                                                                                                                                                                      PINK PERENNIALS    Achillea - Lilium  |  Lychnis - Veronica

                                                                                                                                                                      PURPLE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Liatris  |  Polemonium - Veronica

                                                                                                                                                                      RED PERENNIALS    Achillea - Veronica

                                                                                                                                                                      SHADE PERENNIALS    Aegopodium - Erythronium  |  Ferns - Polemonium  |  Polygonatum - Vinca

                                                                                                                                                                      SILVER FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Cerastium    |    Cornus - Limonium    |    Lunaria - Veronica

                                                                                                                                                                      SIMPLY SPECIAL PERENNIALS    Acanthus - Saxifraga

                                                                                                                                                                      WHITE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Iris  |  Kalimeris - Yucca

                                                                                                                                                                      YELLOW PERENNIALS    Achillea - Hypericum  |  Inula - Verbascum

                                                                                                                                                                      VARIEGATED-FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Acorus - Erythronium  |  Hakonechloa - Lysimachia  |  Miscanthus - Yucca

                                                                                                                                                                      PLANT PROFILES

                                                                                                                                                                      Dianthus 'Tiny Rubies'  |  Geranium  |  Geum coccineum  |  Kerria japonica  |  Knautia macedonica

                                                                                                                                                                      Paeonia tenuifolia  |  Papaver somniferum  |  Rudbeckia  |  Salvia 'East Friesland'

                                                                                                                                                                      Trollius  |  Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'

                                                                                                                                                                      PROPAGATION

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