1 – This drift of Erythronium ‘White Beauty’ is calling out for a collective noun. An exhortation of trout lilies? (as these seem to be encouraging me to get out into the sunshine and stop writing) or perhaps we need a water connection – a splash of trout lilies? The marbled foliage is enough to send me into raptures, as some of you may remember, so you can imagine my satisfaction when they are all topped with flowers.
2 – Honesty is at its prime in my neighbourhood. It’s one of my favourite biennials, my fascination dating back to childhood when I loved to wonder over its flat, translucent seed disks. Lunaria annua var. albiflora ‘Alba Variegata’ with the white edging on its heart shaped leaves is an unusual form.
3 – My theme for this selection is white flowers. I didn’t mention it earlier in case you were moved to point out that the trout lilies were as much yellow as white. I’d guess this is flowering cherry, but stand to be corrected. (Mum took me on a mystery trip to see a long, double row of flowering pink cherry trees yesterday evening, somewhere between Preston and the coast – a spectacular sight she’d seen earlier in the day with my sister and didn’t want me to miss. Thanks, Mum!)
4 – Why is it that white versions of plants more commonly found in other colours are often a mouthful? Fritillaria meleagris var. unicolor subvar. alba, for example. Their flowers do remind me of snakes, one of the few creatures I am not fond of – they throw me into the same kind of panic my Mama had upon seeing a mouse. Not sure about the unicolor though!
5 – Some of my readers might be about to observe that they prefer the blue form of borage. I would have voted with them before seeing how the flowers and the hairy buds of Borago officials alba caught the light even on a dull day. It was another of those small, heart-lifting moments we often experience in a garden.
6 – When I entered the walled kitchen garden, I became aware of a strong, delicious fragrance that I couldn’t place. It was only later when I checked out the Vinery, a long traditional glasshouse, that I discovered the source. Inside was a collection of rhododendrons and azaleas in full bloom and their scent was drifting out of the rows of vented windows and into the garden. I had not associated rhododendrons with fragrance but these plants taught me the error of my ways.
Alley Hall and Gardens is an RHS partner garden and offers free entry to RHS members in April. Take your walking boots and allow time to visit the woodland garden as well as the main gardens. My white flower post gives a skewed impression of what you’ll find there as it omits the colourful daffodils and tulips that are out in force. Please check online before visiting (note that the garden is closed on the 22nd and 23rd April 2019).
If you love white flowers, you might enjoy my post White Cottage Garden Plants For A Moon Garden.