white outdoor plants

White garden: The best plants to create a white border

There is something magical about a white garden. It has a freshness and purity that is difficult to achieve with other colours.

White planting schemes look chic and elegant without being boring. There is no risk of clashing colours or plants that don’t ‘go’.

The simplicity allows you to focus on more complex design ideas and structure. To achieve this, you’ll want to incorporate blooms with different shapes, texture, and emphasising height, to bring your white garden to life. Here are ten of my favourite varieties that you could include:

Orlaya grandiflora (white laceflower)

This delicate variety has flower heads that resemble umbellifers, that grow up to 1 metre for some medium height in your border. It’s a hardy annual that flowers June to September.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – South facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk or loam

A magical white garden is easy to achieve at home, these recommendations will transform your border into an elegant sight.

15 Best White Flowers for Your Garden

These beautiful white blooms will dress up any garden.

There’s something to be said for the ethereal beauty and purity of white flowers. They provide contrast to the rich jewel tones of a garden, offer a backdrop for the varying shades of green, and add a subtle glow on a moonlit night. They offer even greater visual impact if you design an entire section of your garden around them, preferably in an area where you sit in the evenings so you can enjoy their luminescence. That’s we’ve rounded up the best white flowers right here. (For shrubs and perennial flowers, make sure they will thrive in your USDA Hardiness Zone.)

These pretty white flowers work in a variety of garden and landscape settings. Mix and match them however you prefer, but for more formal gardens, roses, peonies, and gardenias can be the stars. Country or cottage gardens shine with butterfly bushes and containers, hanging baskets, or landscape plantings of trailing flowers, such as bacopa and fan flower. And the sweet scents of alyssum and nemesia are best when placed in containers or hanging pots next to a seating area, or someplace where you can enjoy their delicate fragrances.

Here are 15 of our favorite white flower annuals, perennials, and shrubs to add pale brilliance to any garden. (Don’t forget to check out the best types of flowers for your garden too, along with the easiest flowers to grow.)

Like its namesake, these shrubs have showy clusters of bell-shaped flowers that dangle from the arching branches in late winter to early spring. Lily of the valley needs mostly shade.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 8

Varieties to try:

Tiny blooms on this delicate annual beckon to pollinators. Sweet alyssum looks lovely cascading from containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets, or tucked into a rock garden as a flowering ground cover. Sweet alyssum likes full to part sun and will tolerate a light frost, so you’ll enjoy abundant flowers all season long.

Varieties to try:

Cascading blooms of this annual will fill your planter in cool weather; newer types tolerate more heat, but still don’t bloom best when nighttime temps stay in the 70s. Trim them up in hot weather, and they’ll revive when things cool down. Lobelia prefers part sun or full shade in hot climates.

Varieties to try:

This shrubby perennial plant with glossy, dark green foliage may require staking to keep its heavy blooms from drooping, but their lush flowers are worth it. The ants which visit the flowers aren’t pests; they’re sipping the nectar. Peonies prefer full sun.

Varieties to try:

Tons of teeny flowers that resemble baby snapdragons flourish from spring to fall without deadheading (removing spent blooms). This annual tends to do better in pots, though it will tolerate well-drained soils in the garden or in raised beds. Nemesia likes part sun, but does okay in full sun in cooler climates.

Varieties to try:

Old varieties of this annual required deadheading to keep blooming, but new hybrids bloom all season without any fussing on your part. Trailing or double varieties are especially lovely in window boxes. Petunias do best in full sun.

Varieties to try:

Blanket Double White

These annuals are the stars of any low-maintenance garden, as they don’t require deadheading, yet still bloom all summer. Their trailing habit makes them a natural for baskets and window boxes. Fan flowers like full sun.

Varieties to try:

Every garden needs at least one rose; they’re not as fussy as many people believe, and many newer roses have been bred for insect and disease resistance. Shrub varieties have a bushy shape and fill in areas beautifully. Many have gorgeous scents too. Roses bloom best in full sun.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 11

Varieties to try:

Glossy green leaves and creamy white flowers highlight this pretty, old-fashioned garden favorite. Most varieties of this shrub bloom from late spring to early summer. Plant them near patios and walkways to enjoy the scent. Gardenias like part shade.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10

Varieties to try:

This trailing annual has tiny, round flowers that seem to thrive on neglect. They bloom all the way until frost and like mostly sun.

Varieties to try:

Snowstorm Snow Globe

These stunning shrubs range in height from a few feet tall to eight or more feet. The blooms can be tiny like softballs or gigantic like bowling balls. Many types have white to cream-white blooms that last for months. Hydrangeas need sun to bloom best.

Varieties to try:

When other shrubs are starting to wind down for the season, Rose of Sharon is kicking into high gear in late summer. They work well as a hedge or an accent. New types have a columnar habit, so they take up less space. They need full sun.

Varieties to try:

Some types of this annual, also known as summer snapdragon, cascade, while others have an upright form. They look amazing starring alone in a container, but they also play well with others in mixed containers. Angelonia prefers sun.

Varieties to try:

Angelface Cascade White

As the name indicates, these vining annuals bloom at night and stay open until dawn! Mix them in with morning glories for daytime blooms. They do best in the ground, not pots, and prefer full sun.

These shrubs really do attract pollinators, so you’ll enjoy blooms and butterflies all at once! This plant ranges in size from two to eight feet tall, so read the label. Prefers full sun.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

These beautiful white blooms will dress up any garden. Find the best white flowers that'll work in a variety of garden and landscape settings right here, from shrubs to perennials and more.