White gardens are traditionally planted to enjoy at night. Their white flowers reflect the moonlight and they seem to glow. Many white gardens are planted with flowers that only bloom at night or that only release their fragrance at night. For daytime interest, include a few plants that keep their flowers open all the time. Plant your white garden near an entrance or patio so you can enjoy the fragrance of the flowers glowing in the moonlight.
Moonflowers are a flowering annual vine for the back of your white garden. They look and grow similar to morning glories, but ppen their flowers at sunset and keep them open all night. Frame the back of your white flower garden with these easy-to-grow flowering vines. Provide a 6- to 8-foot trellis for them or site the white garden against a tall fence for them to climb upon. Plant seeds of moonflowers about 4 inches away from its base.
In the center of the white garden, plant nicotiana, also called flowering tobacco. This is a perennial tropical vine that is treated as an annual. It bears large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers that open in the evening. Their sweet and intense fragrance will perfume an entire yard. Nicotiana are technically a vine, but they grow about 18 inches high as they ramble along the ground. The produce interesting looking spiked seedpods that add daytime interest to the white garden. All parts of nicotiana are poisonous.
Plant all-white petunias in front of the nicotiana. They are the most fragrant of the petunia varieties and because their flowers stay open all day and night, will add daytime interest to your white garden. White petunias grow about 12 inches high and quickly grow to fill in the spaces between the plants. They are the most spectacular planted en masse in a single color. Pick off the faded flowers to encourage them to keep blooming all summer long.
Plant sweet alyssum as the border of your white flower garden. Sweet alyssum has masses of tiny white flowers on plants that grow about 6 to 8 inches high. Their leaves are long, thin and tiny and add to the lacy effect during daylight hours. Sweet alyssum are often planted in hanging baskets to cascade over the edges. They also make wonderful borders for annual or perennial flower gardens. Their lacy white flowers frame the bed and they exude a subtle fragrance. They give the illusion that they are floating in the darkness. Sweet alyssum are annuals that are prolific re-seeders.