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. Fabulous post Susan. I’m not a “white garden” fan but I love your “white” post. I also love Honesty and I’m glad you reminded me of this plant.. thanks! Happy Easter!

  2. Thinking about doing a “white” post that points to other white posts.. if so may I include one of the above photos and credit you plus link back to your post as per usual?

  3. I am going to have to start sniffing rhododendrons now! I have never noticed a fragrance either. I am with you on white borage, though I love the blue form too. How lovely that your mum took you on a mystery tour to see blossom! Kindred spirits, clearly!

    1. It’s funny about the fragrance, isn’t it? It really was powerful, so much so that I doubt a greenhouse full of roses would smell nicer. (It would be nice to have the chance to make the comparison though!)

  4. What a lovely selection of flowers! I’ve never seen the white borage before – it’s beautiful. (I have the blue one happily self-seeding around the garden, so maybe I’ll see if I can get some seed for the white.) And I think a ‘splash’ of trout lilies sounds great! 🙂

    1. It was my first time too! I hope you can find some seeds. This was just one plant, so far as I could see, grown apart from any blue ones.

  5. Erythronium White Beauty goes straight to the top of my wanted list, even at 50% yellow. I have a small plant of Rhod Fragrantissimum in my conservatory which I took as a cutting from a plant that I smelled from 50 yards away in a garden. I thought I would probably have to move it out again as being overwhelming but it has hardly any scent at all. Very odd.

  6. White! My favorite color. It does look odd on borage though. White honesty is rad. Is it related to a white lie? I have already mentioned to others who have posted of ‘normal’ honesty that I am adopting someone else’s tradition of collecting seed from what grows wild around here to toss where I think more would be in order.

    1. I remembered you liked white flowers when I was putting this together. Your white honesty / white lie connection made me smile.

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