Brent, my colleague down south, scoffs at my predilection for white, as well as the exclusivity of the white garden from which I got pictures for Six on Saturday for last week. I suppose that he is entitled to that since he is a renowned landscape designer and I am not. White is my favorite color regardless; although I lack a white garden of my own, and have no intention of developing one. Exclusivity is no simple task. Some flowers that are not white are too appealing to easily dismiss. Some move in without invitation. Some are not what they should be.

1. Cestrum nocturnum – night blooming jasmine blooms pale white. After installing it, I learned that it might bloom pale yellow! Fortunately, it is next door, just barely beyond the landscape.

2. Bergenia crassifolia – pigsqueak has inhabited the space behind el Catedral de Santa Clara de Los Gatos longer than anyone can remember. It blooms pink, but is not visible from out front.

3. Bergenia crassifolia – pigsqueak should be groomed of old desiccated leaves. Incidentally, leaves blackened by frost are used as tea. I am unimpressed. These leaves are not frosted, just old.

4. Lychnis coronaria – rose campion is naturalized here, but is too pretty to pull while the landscape is still so sparse. It can bloom white, as well as red or pink, but I have not seen it do so yet.

5. Agapanthus orientalis – lily of the Nile was likely here about as long as the pigsqueak out back. Now that the first white lily of the Nile here was added at the road, the blue will be dismissed.

6. Hydrangea macrophylla – hydrangea got relocated to here from another landscape specifically because it was white. Now it is doing this. I do not know what color this is, but it is not white.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


8 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Integration

    1. Yes and no. Blue hydrangeas turn pink in the Santa Clara Valley because the soil is alkaline. Pink hydrangeas turn blue in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains because the soil is slightly acidic. Pink and blue can be interchangeable, although some cultivars are better at blue, and some are better at pink. White hydrangeas should always be white though. Obviously, I am missing some information here.


    1. No, I am none too keen on Annabelles. However, I selected none of our hydrangeas. Since the larger sorts are old plants, none are Annabelles, but they are otherwise an unidentifiable mix of cultivars. The smaller sorts are florist hydranges that were left behind in the chapel (Cathedral) after weddings. This is the first difficulty I encountered with white hydrangeas staying white. Blue and pink are interchangeable, according to pH, but white should always be white. This is a new one for me.

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      1. Mopheads were all I knew when I was a kid, and I did not actually meet any of the other types until we started growing them on the farm. Oak leaf hydrangea was still rather rare back then. I believed that hydrangeas ‘should’ be pink because most of them in the Santa Clara Valley were. Two neighbors gave theirs bluing for nice blue bloom, but they looked weird to me in that particular neighborhood. In the Santa Cruz Mountains, just a few miles away, most hydrangeas were blue, unless of course, they were given something acidifying. However, in San Francisco, hydrangeas were white and big! I thought that the hydrangeas in the big beds on a particularly zigzaging street (Lombard Street) looked odd because they were either pink or blue, depending on how they were fertilized. Of course, nowadays, hydrangeas are just as variable in San Francisco as they are everywhere else.

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      2. Ah! Yes! That used to be very rare here, and only in old Victorian landscapes that had not been renovated in a while. They have been more available from nurseries for the past several years.

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