Six on Saturday From Arley Hall Gardens

Cluster of white and yellow flowers above botched leaves
Erythronium ‘White Beauty’

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.

Plant with white-edged leaves and white four petalled flowers
White honesty (Lunaria annua var. albiflora ‘Alba Variegata’)

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.

Tree with white blossom
White blossom at Arley Hall Gardens

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!)

Bulb with bell shaped flowers
White fritillaria meleagris (snake’s head fritillary)

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!

Hairy herb with white flowers
White borage (Borago officinalis alba)

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.

White rhododendron
White rhododendron flowers – my prime fragrance suspect

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.

Please visit The Propagator to see more Six on Saturday submissions.

46 Replies to “Six on Saturday From Arley Hall Gardens”

  1. Wow! White Borage? Never seen or heard of it before. What a treat to discover something new, Susan.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I can’t remember having seen it before and white versions of familiar plants are often very memorable by going against the flow of our expectations. A white Primula vialii, for example – who would have thought?

  2. I’m with Vicki: white borage?? I’ve just been online shopping for borage, and I had no idea it was anything but bright blue. How much I have to learn!

    I cannot think of anything much lovelier than a post about white flowers, and I’d have to say that “exhortation” and “splash” both work well as collectives, but it’s not easy to find a word for such a display. It is gorgeous! This was wonderful tonic for yet another dark and drippy day in the Midwest. Thank you!

    1. I bought a blue one yesterday or at least I anticipate it will be blue. It’s little more than a pair of cotyledons at the moment. We can probably continue to take blue for granted when it comes to borage, even after seeing this variant.

    1. That’s the issue with white flowers. I love to have a white geranium on my kitchen window sill, but always look very suspiciously at faded flowers before making my choice. For the last two years or so I have had a tolerant regal that is white with a few faint purple brushstrokes on some of the petals on some of the flowers.

  3. I am another who has not heard of white borage! It would have looked at home in my white bed last year! White Fritillaria I am not so keen on.

    1. I did not give it a nibble, so can’t confirm. 🙂

      I once met a man who told me that rose petals from one type of rose taste different to another type, but I could imagine that with roses as the scents vary considerably too.

    1. The rhododendrons were a revelation. I am not sure whether this was one of the most fragrant but the colour suited my theme. These are all from Arley Hall Gardens in Cheshire.

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