Does white stress you or please you in the landscape?

When I read a recommendation to use grey instead of white in the garden because grey is “soothing” and white “creates stress,” I had to disagree. White is a wonderful color especially to use in the Elderyarding® garden.

Cemetery iris 2015

Cemetery iris 2015

I couldn’t help it! The wonderful weather- and the need to weed - dragged me outside early, so I’ll share some white photos along with this blog.

As your eyes change with age, you may not be able to discern blues and purples any longer. Your eyes will be more likely to notice reds, and oranges, and yellows. These colors are called warm. Certainly seeing them can remind you of bright warm sunlight and hot fires.

So, how can you get a feeling of cool in the garden? In a Texas summer, I’m absolutely panting for cool in my garden, whether the physical cool that comes from shade or the visual cool that white can bring.

Nolina bloom

Nolina bloom

White provides a strong contrast to green that makes it easier to see in strong daylight. I was reminded of this while taking photos this morning. The glorious pink of the redbud flowers this year struck me at a distance because the branches of the trees are loaded with blossoms – and bees! But every time I looked around, the white flowers caught my eye and encouraged me to get closer for delight.

White can be used for moonlight gardens, according to Scott Ogden, who even wrote a book on the topic. 

But if you think that stumbling around in the dark may be a mite risky when you are using a walker, plan for daytime blooms. If you are fond of white for the memories of the terrific times you’ve been immersed in gardens, maybe with friends, family or your beloved, take steps today to add white flowers to your present landscape and move into Elderyarding®. Here's a photo of a simple concrete ball I made to add a white touch that's more permanent than flowers in my favorite shape - reminds me of playing hockey in junior high and of stonework prevalent in Australia thanks to Italian stone mason immigrants.

Small concrete ball - 2015

Small concrete ball - 2015


Let me know your thoughts about white in the garden. Apple blossoms, picket fences, spikes of yucca’s bell flowers – what’s your connection with white? And tell me, does white stress you or please you in the garden?