White beauties

If yellow is the predominant color of March, then white must be the star of the April garden. Although the yoshino cherries were short-lived, the dogwoods have been spectacular and long lasting. In addition to dogwoods, there are many other white flowering shrubs and trees in the April garden.

Here are some of the whites in our garden:

"Maureen" tulips - this is the only tulip I've ever grown that come back year after year. These tulips have been in the garden for over six years. You can see the "Lady Banks" rose in the background covering a portion of the garden wall.

Azalea "Delaware Valley White" growing next to "Crimson Queen" Japanese maple.

Climbing Raspberry (Rubus rosifolius 'Coronarius') - I love the blooms which are reminiscent of an old rose. A tendency to sucker and spread doesn't diminish my fondness for this beautiful plant.

Viburnum "Shasta", not as pretty as she used to be because of shadier conditions and tight quarters. This is a big shrub that needs lots of room. Last year I pruned off some dead growth which also affected the beautiful tiered growth.

Another large shrub that is happier in its spot is Viburnum macrocephalum (Chinese Snowball). More tall and vertical, it towers ten feet in the air and is covered with huge balls of bloom.

Despite the lack of rain, it is shaping up to be a beautiful spring. The temperatures have been cool (for the most part) and the garden is so lush this time of year.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. You have such beautiful vignettes all over your garden! Even the old fashioned rambling rose looks so elegant!

  2. I'm a huge fan of the viburnum. We had the snowballs at my house as a kid and my grandparents had dozens of them so they're another favourite.

  3. You make white look so classy in the garden. Isn't it romantic at night too?

  4. You bet your garden is lush. It is gorgeous. I have a viburnum that looks a lot like your Shasta. It is called PT something or other.It blooms beautifully in the shade. I took a photo of it just the other evening trying to capture the way it lights up the dark corner it is in. Of course my camera didn't see what I saw. I have a baby snowball bush too. I can't wait until it is a towering 10 footer.

  5. Your garden looks so lovely with all the white, one of my favorite colors in the garden! You should be very proud!

  6. Your gardens are always so beautiful. A real charm about them.

    We have a raspberry to plant in a large container instead of the ground. It's been waiting for me for weeks while I'm out working on everything except containers!

  7. Wonderful Whites! They've been ruling my garden for quite sometime now. I guess I could use some color here though.

  8. Hi Phillip

    That statue works brilliantly just behind the tulips with lady banks in the background, what a shot!

    Love the viburnum 'shasta' and the azalea. I sometimes see azaleas as a bit 'in your face' in terms of solid colour but that one's a gem.

    Your snowball's out! It'll be a while yet before she blooms here. They're called 'boule de neige' in my neck of the woods.

    By the way, I read the short profile you did on Hyacinth bean in a Southern Garden which has prompted me to grow it this year.

  9. Oh Phillip, with each post your garden beckons! It is the way a garden should be, like a dreamy experience of lushness with paths to meander. I am intrigued by the rubus, amazing large flowers just like a rose. Does it fruit?

  10. I think late April gives us so many white flowers to contrast and calm the Azaleas. Several natives here are peaking with white flowers, Black Locust and Carolina Cherry Laurel.

  11. Hi Phillip, what I wouldn't give to be able to grow Lady Banks here. Blackberry rose too, but neither are hardy this far north.

    Your viburnum are lovely. They look wonderful there surrounded by the lush green foliage of other shrubs.

  12. I just love your white flowers. Everything looks so fresh.

    Always Growing

  13. Beautiful Viburnums, and I love your Lady Banks rose!

  14. Everything is looking so cheery and bright!

  15. I do love your gardens... they must be a marvelous place to visit! I tried shasta a number of years ago, but we are milder now... I think it needs a second look! Larry

  16. You've shown us that white-flowering shrubs can whisper spring and be heard just as well as a screaming red tulip ;-]

    Lovely scenes everywhere, Phillip - 'Maureen' and the snowball viburnum are making me nostalgic!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  17. I'm jealous of your snowball bush. I bought one 5 years ago, but every year, by the middle of summer, the leaves have all been eaten. I finally found the critters who eat it and posted a picture on my blog to see if anyone can identify them. Insecticide isn't working. My grandmother had a very large snowball bush when I was growing up. My sister and I had a snowball fight one day with the flowers we could reach. Needless to say, we got in trouble. Sure had fun though. I fear I might have to get rid of mine.


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