Monday, February 26, 2007

The White Garden

Long before I had ever heard of Vita Sackville-West and her white garden at Sissinghurst, I had discovered how wonderful white flowers can be in the garden.

One day, purely by accident I stumbled across the magic they bring at dusk.

I was in my garden on a balmy summer's evening when it started to get dark. I didn't feel like going in at all, so I stayed outside. It got darker and darker and I noticed that the white flowers looked as if they were glowing. Soon, the only thing you could see in the garden were the white flowers, all the other colours had simply disappeared. It was a revelation. From that evening on, I've dreamt about a white garden.

About 5 years ago, we moved to a new house with a rather big garden and this was my chance of making my white garden dream come true. It's the front garden that we've changed from a very boring garden with grass, a narrow row of terminally ill roses and a few humongous shrubs so close to the house that they were obscuring the light, into the garden we have today. We got rid of the grass, the shrubs and the roses and slowly turned it into this garden you see now. It took us about 2 1/2 years to get this result and we are hoping that the garden will slowly get better and better year after year.

I've used lots of white roses, with good effect and even though they are only 1 1/2 years old they are already performing wonderfully don't you think? They are flowering their little hearts out with gay abandon and fill the garden with their lovely scent.

I've chosen only scented roses as I feel that a rose without a scent is not half as good as one with scent. All the roses in my front garden are white (or whitish) and I bought them all at the De Wilde rose nursery near Zutphen where they sell good quality roses and clematis. They also have a lovely big rose garden where you can spent hours and hours gazing at all those lovely roses and drinking in their scent. Bliss!

The scented white roses that I have chosen are either climbers or semi-climbers: Guirlande d'Amour and Madame Alfred Carriere are smothering the pergola. And on the 6 rose obelisks 2 Blanc Double de Coubert, 1 Sombreuil, 2 Guirlandes d'Amour and 1 Moonlight are slowly trying to cover the obelisks with their blossom.

The rose Guirlande d'Amour is a rose that I can fully recommend to anyone who's looking for a long flowering white rose, with a lovely scent and that's healthy too and doesn't need too much pampering. Madame Alfred Carriere is also a firm favorite of mine. Vita Sackville-West grew it too against the front wall of the south cottage and it's still here today, looking as spectacular as ever.

And I wove the thing to a random rhyme,
For the Rose is Beauty, the Gardener, Time.
Austin Dobson


Gotta Garden said...

What a BEAUTIFUL white garden you have! I can almost smell the roses! Oh, I wish I!

Annie in Austin said...

Yolanda Elizabet, this is totally gorgeous! And I like knowing that you took several years to move from boring to beautiful, gradually transforming what you found when you moved to what you enjoy now.

Annie at the Tranplantable Rose

Hannele said...

So lovely, only five years ago, I can't believe it. Thank you for telling me. I'll show my little white garden later.

Kylee said...

My mom has always dreamed of a white garden. She has a small lot in town, so to have it only white means she'd have to give up so many other things she loves, so she doesn't do it.

Yours is LOVELY!

green thumb said...

Yolanda,your white garden is simply fabulous.Wish I could also grow these flowers but for the weather constraints...

firefly said...

I have always felt ambivalent toward white flowers, but the way you explained it, and with the pictures here, I can see the lovely effect even in the daytime photos.

Anita said...

Those white flowers are sooo beautiful!!! I would LOVE to travel to the UK again and visit the garden of Sissinghurst!

sisah said...

Yolanda, what a beautiful garden,all those lovely cats and so much to have a look at in your blog! I´ll return to read more about life in your garden!
This white rose 'Guirlande d'Amour' looks fantastic, it´s just the type of rose I like.

Der Garten said...

Hallo Yolanda, schön, dass Du Dich auch so für weiße Rosen begeistern kannst. Dann kann Dir in diesem Jahr unser Blog noch viel Rosenbilder liefern. Wenn Du noch ein Plätzchen frei hast, solltest Du ihn für die Whight Flight freihalten. Auch wenn sie einmalblühend ist, so ist sie im verblühen trotzdem elegant und anmutig.
Hast Du schon unseren Post von heute entdeckt "Ganz schön Grau". Da sind unsere Mädchen besser zu erkennen. Übrigens sind die grauen 4 Kuschelkatzen mir auch sofort beim ersten Besuch aufgefallen - wunderschöne Fotos. Natürlich aber auch die anderen Katzenbilder!
Liebe Grüße Silke

Carol said...

You have a gorgeous garden!

Bert said...

Have lovely can a white garden get?....very!