Hydrangea petiolaris

Cool Whites

To me, white flowers with green foliage have a lovely fresh and cool look…something that would be welcome in all the recent hot weather. (Fortunately the temperatures have dropped a bit, but it’s still hotter than normal.)

The climbing Hydrangea petiolaris in the top picture has recently finished flowering. During June and early July its airy white flowers looked graceful alongside our shady seating area. It’s going to get too big for its space, so I ought to prune it back now the flowers are over. However, I like to leave some of the flowers to dry out so that I can photograph them in the frost. It’s hard to imagine frost right now, but it does look deliciously cool, as you can see below.

Frosted climbing hydrangea
Frosty flowers of climbing hydrangea, photographed in winter 2019.

We have just a few white flowers in our garden. It’s still a little early for the white Japanese anemones. These struggle a bit in the heat and do need watering to keep them going, so I’m not expecting great results from them this year. And I haven’t grown any of the white cosmos this year, so I’m rather missing it.

The white geranium below was originally planted years ago but has now managed to spread itself around the garden by self-seeding. It’s very welcome, so I hope it will continue it’s journey around the garden. Most of my geraniums form spreading clumps but this one seems so far to be much more compact. That’s great, because it means that it doesn’t cause much disruption to other plants and can fit itself into gaps quite easily.

white hardy geranium flowers
A white geranium (name unknown) that seeds itself around.

A plant that I’ve only started to notice recently is Gillenia trifoliata. The plant below was growing at Fullers Mill Garden, and being able to see it close up – rather than in a photo or on TV – made me realise how pretty and delicate the effect of the tiny white flowers is. If I can find space I’d like to grow it, but there’s already a list of plants I’d like to find room for…

Gillenia trifoliata flowers
Gillenia trifoliata (Bowman’s root)

The Gillenia makes me think of the flowers of Gaura lindheimeri, which are just starting to come out in my garden and will last into the late autumn. Gaura is great here because it doesn’t take up a lot of room and the flowers weave themselves through and around the other plants. I’m looking forward to seeing their flowers dancing in the borders like little white butterflies very soon.

Flower of Gaura lindheimeri
The flowers of Gaura lindheimeri are just beginning to open.

23 thoughts on “Cool Whites

    1. I like to use flowers and plants as subjects for printmaking but it’s a long time since I’ve done any. You are reminding me that it’s something I should get back to – probably in winter. 🙂

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      1. Well, I came back to see more flowers. Do you know that Photography is also Art. your pictures are wonderful. I don’t use a camera, but my son does. I encourage you to keep this up. Flowers are so awesome.

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    1. Thank you Indira! The gaura wasn’t quite in flower when I was preparing this post, so that’s a photo that was taken a couple of years ago. But last night I noticed the first gaura flowers had opened, yay! 🙂

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  1. It seems like just yesterday we were admiring your ‘frosty photos.’ Right now, it’s hard not to wish winter into existence again — just as we’ll wish it away once it begins lingering a bit long! My favorite here is the Gaura. I love finding it on the prairies, where it’s able to grow tall and rangy, but it sometimes stays low in the wild, too, and combines so well with other plants. I’m anxious for it to cool a bit more here; heading to those prairies in our sweltering heat just doesn’t appeal. I guess I’m getting soft — or old! (Or, as one of my friends say, “Smart.”

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    1. I felt like posting a collection of frosty photos in an attempt to cool us all down a bit, hehe! I love the gaura and the effect it gives as it sways above other flowers. It must be great to find it growing wild – your prairies appear to be full of many of the flowers I love. 🙂 (I notice that sometimes the gaura plants here can get very tall and others don’t….maybe depends on the growing conditions?)

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  2. We don’t have many white flowers in our garden. The one that is the most prolific is the Canada Anemone-Anemone canadensis which is an aggressive spreader. It seems to coexist with most of our other plants but does crowd them a bit.
    While our weather is not as hot as yours, it is still hot enough that our season is moving rapidly and many flowers are browning sooner than expected. We water the plants daily and hope that water ban does not curtail that but the next town over does have a ban so we might be next. I have not seen anyone in our neighborhood watering their lawn but elsewhere I see a lot of pure species lawns with sprinklers going strong.

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    1. The Canada Anemone sounds like Japanese anemones in their enthusiasm to spread! Our anemones are not enjoying the dry weather – it tends to make their flowers smaller too. A lot of plants are going over quicker in the heat and drought. Chestnut trees here really struggle and you see them with brown leaves quite early on. I suspect they may not survive in this area in the long term. And our grass has been brown for a while now…

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    1. Entirely possible Steve…I suspect that white is rarely a ‘true’ white. And it may also be affected by either of our monitors, my camera or the surroundings of the flowers which may be producing a slight colour-cast. (Even the colour of my clothes when I took the photos, heh!)
      This particular gaura is very popular in gardens here – with good reason. 🙂 Must be lovely to see it in the wild – it’s such a graceful plant.

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  3. I think we all needed cooling down after last month’s heatwave. I know I’m behind as usual but its come warm again. Need some more of your cool colours. That geranium is sooo nice, might it be some sort of hybrid? Never seen a white one like that, usually just the white bedding pelargoniums which have let me down as I couldn’t get hold of any this year.

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    1. It’s already feeling too hot here – not looking forward to the weekend! I like this white geranium too. I think it could be Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’, but there are a few hardy white geraniums and they are fairly similar. (It’s easy to grow!)

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