Calm and serene, white is perhaps the most adaptable colour when it comes to floral design. Not only is it appropriate for every formal occasion from weddings to funerals, but notwithstanding these enduring associations, it comfortably meets a whole host of other challenges – from informal to formal; kitchen table to boardroom; spring to winter.
Joyfully, fragranced options abound throughout the year, starting with spring bulbs like narcissus and hyacinth (which enjoy an extended season thanks to the growers’ intervention and are still available now) moving on through the year to lily-of-the-valley, guelder rose (Viburnum opulus), white lilac, garden roses, jasmine and, towards the end of the year, winter honeysuckle.
White often comes tinged with another colour. For white with a hint of pink think of the peony Paeonia ‘Baroness Schroder’ and the tulip, Tulipa ‘Angelique’.
Creamy white blooms such as the carnation Dianthus ‘Delphi’ and the stock Matthiola incana are, subtly, more soothing and gentle than pure white. Mixing crisp white with creamy white brings definition to what would otherwise be a monochromatic scheme, allowing the individual flowers to stand out.
Although white berries are comparatively rare. Symphoricarpos ‘White Hedge’ is one example. Aside from the berries, there are plenty of heavenly blossoms to choose from including viburnum, magnolia and pussy-willow. Set against the textured stems these blooms have a stately simplicity that is often shown to its best when used alone.
African lily (Agapanthus)
Baby’s Breath (Gypsophilia)
Bleeding heart (Dicentra)
Bull Bay (Magnolia)
Canterbury bells (Campanula)
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Guelder rose (Viburnum)
Snake’s head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
Stephanotis (Stephanotis floribunda)
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa)