White garden

When I was a teenager, I worked as a gardener for a neighbor. She was a retired school librarian who maintained an extensive English-style country garden. Miss Collins was crazy about rare irises but not so enthusiastic about the “volunteers;” the forget-me-nots, poppies, and violets that seemed to pop up everywhere. I have many happy memories of pulling fistfuls of flowers every May in a futile attempt to keep order.


My own garden beds are full of some of the same perennials she loved, but way less organized. I love the wild abundance of forget-me-nots. At this time of year it’s hard to believe they’re all waiting, waiting under the snow.   




A few years ago, I got it into my head to create a white garden, which is exactly what it sounds like, a garden limited to white flowers and plants. It wasn’t long before colors started creeping in. I didn’t fight them. As actress Mae West once said, “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”