Botanist's Lens: Moon Gardens

Adding alba, blanca and leuc blossoms for respite after a mundane day.


Magnolia


White flowers are spectacular choices to enjoy during the daylight as they bounce off deep green leaves and other loud colors. But viewing white flowers around twilight or dark, is a serene experience of its own. Especially, if they are fragrant like Lilium ‘Casa blanca’ or David Austin Tea roses then, walking by them after twilight will make any ordinary late evening aromatically extraordinary!



Lilium 'Casa Blanca' (Superbly fragrant)


Alba, blanca in a Latin name (leuc in Greek) indicates a 'white' color on some plant part. For eg., Quercus alba (White Oak) wherein, 'alba' as in white refers to the silvery white bark striations. Now white Oaks would look great in any yard, but not even closely stunning as some of the Moon garden flowers.



London Town has quite a few swaths of white blossoms. A select few include: Magnolias, Oak leaf hydrangea ‘Gastby Moon’, Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’, Hybrid tea roses, Clematis, Comos, Deutzia, Limelight Hydrangea and many more.



Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Holly Osmanthus'


Some of London Town's unique white blossoms are those of: Osmanthus heterophylllus ‘Holly Osmanthus’ with superbly fragrant flowers, lusciously blooming spring beauty ‘Styrax japonicus’ with abundant daintily hanging down white flowers, and magnificent D.D. Blanchard Southern Magnolia blossoms.



Camellia 'Autumn Moon'


One stellar and aptly suited white blossom for any moon garden is Camellia ‘autumn moon’. Each flower of ‘autumn moon’ is pure bright white goodness to enjoy anytime of the day or night.


Few easy to grow moon garden flowers, regardless of space would be: white Tulips, Daffodils, Clematis, Cosmos and Candy tuft. Add them to planters or garden beds closer to a pathway or paved stones and enjoy them at twilight. For large shrubs and bigger spaces, use abundant repeated swaths to create a large impact.


Gardens are transient, but the impact and lasting impressions they create aren’t. Especially, when you are at London Town and get to enjoy the fragrant white blossom of the 'Holly Oasmanthus/‘Casa blancas’, gape at large ‘Gatsby moon’ stalks or walk under stunning Magnolias.


Gardens are also a place to restore, contemplate and reacquaint with nature. White at night in a garden, will do that for anyone. Remember to look for the albas, Leuc and blancas. For zone higher than 8, one of my favorite white blossoms, Plumeria ‘alba’ would be the winner amongst even the most fragrant blossoms. Learn more: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=276110



Camellia 'Snow Flurry'


London Towns unique white blossom collection is spread out throughout all four seasons. Camellia ‘Snow flurry’ and ‘Autumn moon’ are at their best this month, catch them this weekend before the colder white blanket withers them away

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