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4 April 2024 : 
The White Garden
Chris Bird

Chris Bird brought his unique and entertaining style of presentation to a packed hall on this wet evening with a fantastic slideshow of white plants and how to incorporate them into your own garden plan.

He kicked off with some of the key things any gardener needs to know about the plants they are getting, including height and spread.  This has changed recently on plan labels which used to give an ultimate height/spread measurement.  This changed to a 10yr height/spread, but this has now reduced to a 5yr height/spread.  Be careful when you're buying your plants!

Chris talked about the use of white in a garden - adding highlights, creating relaxing and calming spaces.  He mentioned the use of repetition - that white plants are generally more noticeable to the eye when it scans a border.  He also noted the luminosity of white blooms - glowing even on a miserable day or at dusk.

Chris asked a lot of questions of the audience, and enjoyed giving out points to either side of the room for their responses - a great way of involving the group and keeping them engaged.

He also explained the latin albopicta (albo = white, picta = middle of leaf) and albomarginata (marginata = edge of leaf)

Some of the featured plants ; 

- myosotis scorpioides 'Alba' - a white forget me not

- white forms of lavender

- centaurea montana 'Alba' - prone to flopping, but you can do the Chelsea Chop on it!

- hosta fortunei var. albopicta

- anthriscus sylvestris

- romneya coulteri 'White Cloud' - Calafornian poppy looking like a fried egg

- hydrangea paniculata 'Brussels Lace' - long interest as flowers go from green to white to pink to brown

- exochorda x macrantha "The Bride"

- zaluzianskya ovata - an unusual new plant from Mexico with wine red bugs opening white

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