Six on Saturday | White Flowers in May

Thought I would have a quick walk around the garden this week just to check on how things were going after the horrible storm on Monday. The wind kept up on Tuesday too, followed by rain on Wednesday and Thursday morning. But at least it meant I didn’t have to water the garden. The golden elder tree seems to have suffered the most – blackened new leaves – and pretty much all the tulips have been blown away / broken. I really should have picked the last of them for indoors. I know it’s not quite time for Wimbledon, but here are a few whites to get us all in the mood.

1) First is this clematis, name unknown as it was a cheap Montana variety from Asda. Growing well on a fence at the bottom of the garden by the raised beds (see map) it receives the best of the sun and is smothered in buds this year.

2) In one of the raised beds are two white Aquilegia / Granny’s Bonnets AQUILEGIA caerulea ‘Spring Magic White’ which are also covered in flowers this year. They seem to be quite short, but maybe that’s their characteristic?

3) Grown for the first time this year is a delicate miniature Allium called Allium trifoliatum ‘Caméléon’ which I am sure I found on another Sixer’s blog. In a container this year, I shall find a place in my new gravel area once I get to work on it. They should return each year and need to be in full sun. The flowers start off dusky rose pink, then turn to pure white with a pinky-purple veining. I want them to be scented, but they aren’t.

4) Another newby to the garden is a herb – Sweet Cicely / Myrrhis odorata – I finely got to visit the Bodmin Nursery last month which specialises in herbs (and lots of other naughty things) and this is one of five herbs I purchased.  It likes full sun or dappled shade and is now in my herb bed. It is a pretty plant with white umbels of white flowers and self-seeds freely. Bees and other pollinators are supposed to like the flowers. The bright green lacy foliage of this herb has a rich aniseed flavour that is used both to sweeten fruit dishes (rhubarb is a good one) as well as adding an unusual flavour to some savoury recipes.

5) Iberis sempervirens / Candytuft has a new home too. It has been around the garden looking for the perfect place. You all know that famous saying of Beth Chatto “the right plant in the right place” but how many of you struggle to achieve that before the darn plant dies? Well now its home is in the Butler sink where I should be able to admire its pretty white flowers for several weeks and hopefully it will spread around here. It is drought tolerant and I have to say has been very tolerant since coming to my garden, as it has been submerged by other plants twice now!

6) The final white offering this week is an absolute show-off. Some of you may remember my attempt to jazz up the Cornish hedge in my ‘Wild Garden’ aka car park last year. I planted cuttings of Anthemis punctata cupaniana / Sicilian chamomile and also last autumn I planted some in the opposite (much lower) wall which was bereft of flowers other than weeds. Well this week they have all jumped into action and looking marvellous with the chalk white daisies and finely cut grey-green foliage. Such an easy plant to propagate, I just pull bits off and stick them into some compost.

I am also happy to see signs of life in my summer bulb containers (a Mother’s Day gift from my son) – Freesia and Ixia are showing so far and there are Sparaxis in another container. I will move my other summer flowering bulbs, which have been sheltering in the conservatory over winter,  outdoors as soon as these cold temperatures end.

We were going to go searching for bluebells today, but it has turned out wet and very blustery again so definitely a day for some online autumn bulb planning. I know, it’s like running a fashion house, you always have to be planning a year ahead!

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Megan Hall says:

    I like your white offerings v much — v summery. It reminds me of those people who’re able to keep their Xmas tree decorations to one colour and be all stylish. Maybe worth a try in the garden, as the tree is a lost cause…?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think one colour in the garden would be very boring. I did have a white bed one year which was pretty, but not the entire garden.

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I have just planted some white Allium sphaerocephalon ‘Bridal Lace’ bulbs in my garden, hoping for a change from the purple ones. Your Montana is pretty and looks robust as well. I had one similar in my previous garden, but don’t have anywhere suitable now, which is a pity. Isn’t candytuft a great plant? Very forgiving of almost anything, and here it is one of the first signs of spring.

  3. These are all very pretty. I must seek out some sweet cicely to go with my rhubarb. It grows in our garden all year round and I cook it often.

  4. a lovely look at the albas! I often muddle up names for the white rockery flowers and so appreciated a closer look at Iberis. Sweet Cicely is a herb I often grew and really must do so again – yummy aniseed addition to salads and hot drinks
    p.s. week after next I am in Cornwall and hope the weather improves by then! 🙂

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    I love these – they’re so pretty and delicate. I think this is the first time I’ve seen a white aquilegia. It’s beautiful! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s very short though. I am used to seeing aquilegia knee height.

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        Yes, that would seem strange! But useful when you need something shorter. I seem to be getting the usual aquilegias back into the garden again now – for a few years they had mostly died out.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I have a very dark one, but it is usually hidden by the bamboo which I have pruned back (if that’s a word you can use with bamboo) so much more light gets in. Hopefully I shall see the flowers better this year!

        2. Ann Mackay says:

          Depending on the bamboo, it might be ‘hacked’, LOL!

  6. BeckyB says:


  7. Tina Schell says:

    What is it about pure white flowers that is so sensational Jude?! I think of magnolias and orchids, both in pure white and both with amazing scents. You always have flowers I’ve never heard of and they are always wonderful. Of these, all beauties, the Granny’s Bonnets are my favorite. What a gorgeous blossom!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Granny is a pretty one, no scent though as far as I can tell.

  8. A lovely Six. The Anthemis is beautiful. Can’t understand why I haven’t grown it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is very easy to grow!

  9. That’s a lovely Six! I am very taken with your white Aquilegia, but sadly we seem to have the dreaded mildew disease killing them round here. So, I’ll have to try that changing allium instead.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Is that the same mildew that is affecting oriental poppies? I was going to order some from the Beth Chatto nursery (not so far from you I guess) and they have some disease.

  10. Chloris says:

    I love all your whites, the anthemis is fabulous. I grow the iberis too and I forget about it until it blooms, but what a glistening Persil white it is.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Anthemis is a blessing here. It grows quickly, flowers for ages and cuttings are simple. Which reminds me that I should take a few new ones, JIC!

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