Many people have a favorite color. I learned how seriously some people can take their preference for a particular color when I was in high school, and taking care of the yardwork for a few homes in the neighborhood. There were three tract homes next to each other. One was grayish blue, with a silvery blue Sedan deVille in the garage, and a garden of blue flowers. The middle house next door was soft amber yellow, with a buttery yellow Oldsmobile 98 in the garage, and a garden of exclusively yellow flowers. The house next door to that was iron oxide red, with an exquisite rich red Electra in the garage, and a garden of, you guessed it, red flowers.
The blue garden was the most challenging because true blue is not easy to find, and the big hydrangea kept trying to bloom pink in the slightly alkaline soil. Yellow was the easiest. There is no such thing as too many marigolds; and I really like nasturtiums! Red was my favorite because it included a few white flowers to contrast with the rich dark shades of red. Between the dark green juniper hedge and the deep red petunias, I grew a row of white petunias. A few white pansies got mixed with two shades of red pansies. I grew my first white geranium there, with several shades of pink and red. I really liked the white flowers.
Then I went to school with Brent. He was from a neighborhood with a purple Bonneville and an orange Caprice with a small dent in the driver side tail flank (which I can explain in another essay). Brent loves color! To him, white is only good for brightening dark areas or highlighting other colors. I can not argue with him. He is a landscape designer. I am primarily a grower. He knows a lot more about color than I do.
Well, by the 1990s, while I was growing citrus trees (which, incidentally bloom primarily white), ‘white gardens’ became a fad. How annoying! I always liked white; but loathed fads! I had this thing down long before it became a quaint coffee table book! It was mine! Brent thought that it was funny, especially since my garden had very little white in it. I would not give up my brightly colored nasturtiums and geraniums that I had taken with me to every home I lived in since childhood. I grew sunflowers, and yellow and orange gladiolus in front because they looked so good on my old apartment building. Too much white just would not have been right.
Eventually, I moved my blue lily-of-the-Nile and roses from a side yard that was not visible from out front, and planted only white flowers around a big white oleander tree. I had callas, daisies, iris, dahlias and white lily-of-the-Nile. There was not a lot of bloom at any one time, but there was enough for me to brag to Brent about. I had such attitude about it that Brent said it was more than a mere ‘white garden’. He said it was my ‘White Supremacy Garden’! Oh my! Take a look at the picture above. That is Brent and me back in the early 1990s. I am on the right. When we were in school, Brent would sometimes get marked absent at our night classes.