White Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

July 27, 2011

Hibiscus in White Garden, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Photo Courtesy: Robert Ayers

Hibiscus in White Garden, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Photo Courtesy: Robert Ayers

The Page-Rollins White Garden is a redesign of a preexisting White Garden at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens explains Jason Holmes, Curator, Doris Duke Center Gardens.  The white garden is based in part on one of the most famous gardens in England, Sissinghurst, and will be completed by Spring, 2012.  The designers and gardeners of Sissinghurst were revolutionary.  Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholson envisioned a new color pallette for a garden – white.

The beds for the White Garden at the Duke Gardens are five feet square and 20′ x 15′ rectangular enclosing the white gardens with boxwood.  “When you build a white garden in North Carolina you must consider the heat and humidity,” says Jason Holmes.  “The English rain comes down nice and slowly.  We have flash floods and must dig ditches and will also put in berms to accommodate the five inches of rain we can get in an afternoon.”

Below you will find a link to an article written by Crystal Cotton, intern at the Duke Gardens about the White Garden and a list of plants that have been planted as well as “wished” to be planted in the gardens:

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Page White Garden Palette

(Wish list of plant possibilities)


Cercis chinensis ‘Shirobana’ – White Flowered Chinese Redbud

Chionanthus virginicus – Fringe Tree or Chionanthus retusus – Chinese Fringe Tree

Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Princess’ – Flowering Dogwood

Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ – White Flowering Crepe Myrtle

Prunus serrulata ‘Alba’ or Prunus ‘Snowgoose’ – White Japanese Flowering Cherry

Styrax japonicus ‘Emerald Pagoda’ – Japanese Snowbell or Styrax obassia – Fragrant Snowbell


Aralia elata ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Japanese Angelica Tree

Buddleja davidii ‘White Ball’ – White Flowered Butterfly Bush

Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Justin Brouwers’ – Dwarf Korean Boxwood*

Buxus sempervirens ‘Elegantissima’ – Variegated Boxwood*

Callicarpa japonica ‘Leucocarpa’ – White Berry Japanese Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana ‘Lactea’ – White Berry American Beautyberry

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’ – White Flowering Quince

Clethra alnifolia ‘Crystalina’ – SUGARTINA® Summersweet Clethra

Fothergilla major or Fothergilla gardenia – Fothergilla

Gardenia augusta ‘Crown Jewel’ – Cape Jasmine

Gardenia augusta ‘Frost Proof’ – Cape Jasmine

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Diana’ – White Rose of Sharon Hibiscus

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ – Smooth Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’ – White Flowering Bigleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lamb’ and/or ‘Tardiva’ – White Flowering Panicle Hydrangea

Orixa japonica ‘Pearl Frost’ – Variegated Japanese Orixa*

Philadelphus x lemoinei ‘Manteau d’Hermine’ – Dwarf Double Mock Orange

Philadelphus x virginalis ‘Virginal’ – Double Mock Orange

Rosa rugosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ White Rugosa Rose

Rosa ‘Auscat’ – Winchester Cathedral David Austin® Rose

Rosa ‘Ausca’ – Fair Bianca David Austin® Rose

Rosa ‘Noaschnee’ – Flower Carpet® White Groundcover Rose

Rosa ‘Radwhite’ – White Out Shrub Rose

Spiraea prunifolia – Bridal Wreath Spirea

Spiraea x media ‘Darsnorm’ – Snow Storm™ Spirea

Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’ – Dwarf Arborvitae*

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Popcorn’ – Doublefile Viburnum

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Shasta’ or ‘Lanarth’- Doublefile Viburnum

Viburnum x juddii – Judd’s Viburnum

Yucca filamentosa – Adam’s Needle


Clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ – Armand Clematis

Clematis terniflora – Sweet Autumn Clematis

Clematis ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ and/or ‘Evitwo’ Artic Queen™ – Double White Clematis

Ipomoea alba – Moonflower, Moon Vine

Rosa banksiae – White Lady Bank’s Rose

Rosa ‘Climbing Iceberg’ or ‘Bobbie James’ or ‘Sally Holmes’ – Climbing Hybrid Roses

Rosa ‘Sombreuil’ – Antique White Climbing Rose

Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’ – Japanese Climbing Hydrangea

Thunbergia alata ‘’White Form’’ – White Thunbergia Vine

Trachelospermum jasminoides – Confederate Jasmine


Acanthus mollis ‘Alba’ – White Bear’s Breeches

Aconitum napellus ‘Album’ – White Flowered Monkshood

Agapanthus ‘White Heaven’ – White Lily-of-the-Nile

Allium schoenoprasum ‘Snowcap’ – White Flowering Chives

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Avalanche’ – White Flowered Japanese Anemone

Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ – Hybrid Anemone

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ – Artemisia*

Artemsia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’ – Satiny Wormwood*

Arundo donax ‘Peppermint Stick’ – Variegated Giant Reed Grass*

Baptisia alba var. macrophylla – Largeleaf Wild White Indigo

Bletilla striata ‘Alba Variegata’ – Variegated White Flowered Hardy Orchid

Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’ – False Aster, False Chamomile

Campanula glomerata ‘Alba’ – White Clustered Bellflower

Canna ‘Ermine’ – White Canna Lily

Chrysanthemum rubellum ‘Venus’ – White Flowered Garden Mum

Conoclinium coelestinum ‘Alba’ – White Mist Flower

Coreopsis rosea ‘Alba’ – White Flowered Tickseed

Crinum ‘White Prince’ – Crinum Lily

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’ – White Old Fashion Bleeding heart

Dictamnus albus (fraxinella) – Gas Plant

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Angel’ or ‘White Swan’ – White Coneflower

Eupatoriadelphus (Eupatorium) maculatum ‘Bartered Bride’ – White Spotted Joe Pye Weed

Filipendula ulmaria ‘Flora Plena’ – Double White Meadowsweet, Queen of the Meadow

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ – Tall White Gaura

Gaura lindheimeri ‘So White’ – White Gaura

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ or ‘Album’ – White Cranesbill

Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’ – White Bloody Cranesbill

Helleborus ‘Snow White’ – White Hybrid Hellebore

Hemerocallis ‘Gentle Shepherd’ or ‘Joan Senior’ – White Flowered Daylily

Hibiscus coccineus ‘Alba’ – White Texas Star Hibiscus

Hibiscus ‘Blue River II’ – White Rose Mallow

Iris cristata ‘Alba’ or ‘Tennessee White’ – White Dwarf Crested Iris

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ – White Bearded Iris

Iris germanica ‘Eternal Bliss’ – White Bearded Iris

Iris siberica ‘Snow Queen’ or ‘White Swirl’ – White Siberian Iris

Iris tectorum ‘Album’ or ‘Jimmy Stewart White Form’ – White Japanese Roof Iris

Iris unguicularis ‘Great White’ – White Flowered Winter Blooming Iris

Kalimeris pinnatifida – Japanese Aster

Lavandula x intermedia ‘Alba’ – White Flowered Lavender

Liatris spicata ‘Floristan White’ – White Gayfeather

Lychnis coronaria ‘Alba’ – White Rose Campion

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Cosmopolitan’ and/or ‘Dixieland’ – Variegated Maiden Grass*

Monarda ‘Snow White’ – White Beebalm

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Snowflake’ or ‘Alba’ – White Catmint

Oenothera speciosa ‘Alba’ – White Showy Evening Primrose

Paeonia ‘Krinkle White’ and/or ‘White Grace’ – White Hybrid Peony

Penstemon ‘Snowstorm’ – White Penstemon

Phlox divaricata ‘Fuller’s White’ – White Woodland Phlox

Phlox paniculata ‘David’ – White Garden Phlox

Physostegia virginiana ‘Miss Manners’ – White Obedient Plant

Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Hakone White’ – Double White Balloon Flower

Salvia farinacea ‘Augusta Duelberg’ – Perennial Mealy Cup Sage

Salvia nemorosa ‘Snow Hill’ – White Meadow Sage

Senecio viravira – Argentine Dustymiller*

Stachys minor ‘Alba’ – White Hedgenettle

Stokesia laevis ‘Silver Moon’ – White Stoke’s Aster

Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Bonningdale White’ – White New York Aster

Verbena ‘Snowflurry’ – Perennial White Verbena

Veronica spicata ‘Icicle’ – White Speedwell

Zephyranthes candida – White Rain Lily

Annuals & Biennials

Angelonia angustifolia Serena™ White – Summer Snapdragon

Bacopa (any superior white cultivars) – White Bacopa

Begonia (any superior white cultivars) – White Begonia

Brassica oleracea (White Foliage Forms) – Ornamental Cabbage, Kale, Chard

Cleome hassleriana ‘Sparkler White’ or ‘Spirit Frost’– White Spider Flower**

Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sonata White’ – White Cosmos

Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Snow Puff’ – Double White Cosmos

Dahlia (any superior white cultivars) – White Dahlia

Datura metel ‘Alba’ – White Devil’s Trumpet, Horn of Plenty

Dendranthemum (any superior white cultivars) – White Garden Mum

Digitalis purpurea ‘Alba’ – White Foxglove

Impatiens (any superior white cultivars) – White Impatiens

Nemesia (any superior white cultivars) – White Nemesia

Nicotiana sylvestris – White Woodland Tobacco**

Nigella damascena ‘’White seed strain’’ – White Flowering Love-in-a-mist**

Omphalodes linifolia – Venus’s Navelwort**

Orthosiphon aristatus – White Cat’s Whiskers

Papaver somniferum ‘Album’ – White Poppy**

Pelargonium (any superior white cultivars) – White Geranium

Pennisetum villosum – Feathertop Grass

Pentas lanceolata ‘Butterfly White’ – Egyptian Starflower

Petunia x hybrida (any superior white cultivars) – White Petunia

Portulaca grandiflora Tequila™ White – White Purslane

Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’ – White Texas Sage

Salvia ‘Vatican White’ –

Salvia (any superior white cultivars) – White Sage

Verbena ‘Turkana White’ – White Trailing Verbena

Viola x wittrockiana (any superior white cultivars) – White Pansy, Johnny Jump-up

Zinnia ‘Profusion White’ – White Zinnia

Bulbs used as Perennials & Annuals

Allium giganteum ‘Album’ – White Ornamental Onion

Allium karataviense ‘Ivory Queen’

Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’ – White Windflower

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ – White Grecian Windflower

Anemone coronaria ‘Mount Everest’ – Double White Grecian Windflower

Camassia leichtlinii ‘Sacajawea’ – White-edged Cammas

Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Alba’ – White Glory of the Snow

Colchicum autumnale ‘Alboplenum’ – Double White Autumn Colchicum

Colchicum autumnale ‘Album’ – White Autumn Colchicum

Crocus cartwrightianus ‘Albus’ – White Fall Crocus

Crocus ochroleucus – Fall Crocus

Crocus speciosus ‘Albus’ – White Species Fall Crocus

Crocus vernus ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ and/or ‘Purity’

Eremurus himalaicus – Himalayan Foxtail Lily

Galanthus nivalis – Winter Snowdrop

Galanthus nivalis var. monosticus – Fall Blooming Snowdrop

Gladiolus (any superior white cultivars) – White Gladiolus

Hyacinthoides hispanica ‘White City’ – White Spanish Bluebells

Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Carnegie’ – White Hyacinth

Ipheion uniflorum ‘White Star’ – Spring Starflower

Iris x hollandia ‘Casablanca’ – White Dutch Iris

Iris reticulata ‘Natascha’ – Dwarf White Rock Iris

Leucojum aestivum – Summer Snowflake

Lilium browni – Brown’s Lily and/or Lilium formosanum – Formosan Lily

Lilium candidum – Madonna Lily

Lilium ‘White Stargazer’ and/or ‘Casa Blanca’ – White Oriental Lily

Lycoris x albiflora – White Surprise Lily

Narcissus (any superior white cultivars) – White Daffodil, Jonquil

Puschkinia scilloides ‘Alba’ – White Flowered Puschkinia

Scilla siberica ‘Alba’ – White Siberian Squill

Tulipa (any superior white cultivars) – White Tulip

Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Albomaculata’ – White Spotted Calla Lily


Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Vareigata’ – Variegated Giant Elephant Ear*

Begonia maculata var. wightii – Polka Dot Begonia

Brugmansia ‘Cypress Gardens’ – Dwarf White Angel’s Trumpet

Brugmansia ‘Super Nova’ – White Angel’s Trumpet

Brugmansia suaveolens ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Angel’s Trumpet

Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Tasmanian Flax*

Plumbago auriculata ‘Alba’– White Cape Plumbago

Xanthosoma atrovirens ‘Albo marginata’ – Mickey Mouse Taro*

* Primary use is foliage

** Annual may seed in as perennials


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