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Landscape Choices To Steer You In The White Direction

Amy Crutcher of ArtisTree Landscape explains how white can play a colorful role in your garden.

Presented by ArtisTree Landscape February 13, 2019

“I would love to find a client who would consider all white plants for their Florida landscape. For me, white really pops. It’s soft, but if you want to go real formal, there’s nothing prettier than white against dark green plantings like a hedge of podocarpus or Japanese boxwood. A Florida garden in all-white has the most delicious southern feel. Plus, white is the color of serenity - perfect for a relaxed, Florida lifestyle.”  – Amy Crutcher, Landscape Designer, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design 

White plants in Florida landscapes don’t always get the credit they deserve, primarily because they’re eclipsed by the more-perceived tropical colors of lemony yellows, brilliant oranges and dazzling violets. But white also deserves its day in the sun (and shade) for its amazing versatility to fit into almost any landscape. A mass of bright white plants or a few artfully placed specimens can pack a punch or serve as quiet, elegant garden accents. Here are some ArtisTree favorites to get you started in the white direction.

These fragrant evergreen shrubs do best in rich, well-drained soil and need plenty of circulation to help with pest prevention. You can plant them in full sun or a lightly shaded location, but either way, be prepared to pamper a bit. Well-prepped soil that’s consistently moist will prevent leaf drop. Done right, you’ll be graced with creamy white flowers that bloom profusely in spring and early summer, less so in the remaining warm months. We love the glossy green foliage as much as the perfumed flower for borders, hedges or singular specimens.

Crape Myrtles
You see these everywhere in pinks and lavenders, but the white ones are just as attention-getting with frothy flowers that contrast beautifully against background evergreen plantings. Heat- and drought-tolerant, the crape myrtle blooms prolifically May to early summer under full sun, and come winter when the leaves fall, you’ll have yourself a nice living sculpture to enjoy thanks to its multi-branching habit. We like crape myrtles planted in groups as a shrub border or as flowering specimen trees -- ideal near walkways and patios, too.

White Fountain Grass
When sunlight hits, the gently arching foliage of this ornamental grass is a sight to see. We like its fine, delicate texture and how it blooms off and on throughout the year. Wispy white plumes reach a height of four to five feet; plant in full to part sun and just let it do its thing. Yes, it can reseed and spread, but it’s easy to control and cold hardy (cut back in the spring). White fountain grass looks gorgeous around a large specimen plant, in front of tall hedge plants or as a stunning backdrop. Makes a nice privacy screen around pool cages as well.

Sweet Alyssum
Dense clusters of tiny snow-white flowers make this honey-scented annual an excellent choice for Florida’s cooler weather, especially as edging around boulders or beds or spilling out of containers. Sweet Alyssum isn’t picky – partial sun or shade will do, as long as your soil is well-drained, moist and organic (OK, maybe it’s a little picky). It spreads to about 12 inches wide and up to 10 inches tall, and although it’s a perennial, it’s usually grown as annual because it gets a bit scraggly by its second year. Other colors are also available, but for us, this one is the white choice for flowering groundcovers.

Star Jasmine
You can’t go wrong with this fragrant, easy-care shrub; it grows anywhere as though it’s eager to please. Starry white flowers shine against glossy, emerald-green leaves; all you have to do is plant in sun or shade and watch it grow. Stars are usually kept at about four feet tall and don’t mind “wet feet.” They can grace a blank wall, line a fence, fill a planter box or serve as an understory shrub. Stars are just one of those plants that fit in almost anywhere, with a soft natural look that makes you think Mother Nature just did her thing.

Dreaming of a landscape renovation? Choose the landscaper that luxury builders use by calling Jenni Lassen at 941.217.7438. Or visit www.artistree.com.

For community-wide HOA landscape maintenance services, contact Mike Casper at [email protected] and we’ll get your proposal started.  Our nationally ranked company serves Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

Amy Crutcher, ArtisTree Landscape Designer.