Different colours played very important roles in medieval times. White gardens were originally part of monastery gardens and a place where monks could find calm for meditation, (white symbolising purity and spirituality).
White roses (Rosa sp.), Lily (Lilium sp.), lily of the valley (Convallaria sp.) and pinks (Dianthus sp.) were often included in paintings with religious themes. In later centuries, the white corners of the royal gardens became fashionable. The inspiration and a symbol of “garden perfection” in dealing with the design of white gardens in the last century is the white garden at Sissinghurst, Kent. It was the idea of writer Lady Nicolson (more commonly known as Vita Sackville – West). Sissinghurst was influenced by the work of one of Britain’s greatest architect-garden designers, Gertrude Jekyll. Her style and overall layout had a strong influence on garden design throughout the early 20th century.
Our “white garden” was the original grassy area, with boundaries lined with shaped hedges of hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.). The hedge separated this space from the other garden areas. Standing out against a green background are white flowering shrubs spiraeas (Spiraea sp.), mock orange (Philadelphus sp.), kalin (Viburnum sp.) deutzia (Deutzia sp.) and hydrangeas (Hydrangea sp.).
Other beds are planted with shrubs, perennials and annuals with white flowers, such as royal lily (Lilium regale E. Wilson), bushy peony (Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews) and Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis (Sims) Sweet). Overall, the informal garden layout creates a feeling of harmony and peace.