White - The 'Beacon' Color in the Fall Garden

White elevates a garden. It soothes us.  Uplifts us.  It adds sparkle to any outdoor space. This clear and crisp color shines brightly on a misty October morning like a beacon to offer us sweet tidings. 

Because white flowers 'glow' in dark autumn evenings, I place white mums in pots by my door to greet people. I also plant them in the ground to light up dark corners.

white mums - photo by Jan Johnsen

I also enjoy how white Angelonia flowers (an annual here)  keep blooming in the coolness.

Angelonia and Buddy Purple Gomphrena. annuals here ...photo by Jan Johnsen

And of course, Montauk Daisies are the stars of October...shining ever so freshly on cool afternoons...they are perennial and come back every year.
Montauk Daisy and Japanese Forest Grass - photo by Jan Johnsen

And don't forget those plants that have variegated leaves! Outside my window in the northwest section of my little yard is a variegated dogwood shrub. I prune it back in early spring and then the green and white leaves grow in to cover the compact bush with a cloak of brightness, which I especially admire in autumn.

Variegated Dowood shrub - photo by Jan Johnsen

Variegated iris ensata is also a stand out in October. Its white and green blades are still looking strong.  I took this photo below on October 10.

Variegated Iris ensata - photo by Jan Johnsen

And of course white can be introduced in other ways into a garden:

But that is a topic for another day.....


  1. Beautiful! The trees with their trunks painted white reminds me of how on the coast of North Carolina it is common to see trees with the trunks painted white. I think it is an old wive's tale that it prevents disease or something?

    1. Hi Arthur! Whitewashing tree trunks is an old-fashioned, but effective method to prevent sun-scald of tree bark from bright winter sunshine. especially effective on fruit trees....

  2. So much gorgeous texture and patterns in your garden. I love all the white blooms! Your garden is so serene and inviting! Thanks for stopping by my blog today! It is always great to meet a fellow, regional blogger!

    1. Karin / Southern Meadows..we all just glory in nature's offerings, don't we? And blogging about gardens is about the best way to share our never ending admiration. Thanks! and keep blogging...:-)

  3. I always plant whites at the corners of the garden - as a natural light on the path - as they pick up every speck of available light. White also makes colors look better. I realized this years ago when I would bring in bouquets of mums. All the different colors can get lost. A few white ones make all the other colors pop a bit more.
    I love variegated iris ensata - you're so right -- you can see it's spiky stripes from a distance at dusk. Thank you for posting.

    1. white at the corners? That is a great tip! and yes I agree, white added to any mass of color sets it off so nicely...Thanks for your comments, Cooper.


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