In fashion, neutrals are those colors that will complement any outfit. They don’t necessarily stand out, but always looks great in any season, at any event. In gardening, green is our neutral – any palette’s background color. All the shades of green (and there are so many) surround us and evoke feelings of calm and restraint. It’s the color of life and growth – hospital patients heal faster when they can see green plants!* White is similar – it is restful, subtle and subdued. Every other bloom and foliage color look great with white. Alone, white can really dazzle. In twilight, white is a gift outdoors because it will reflect the fading light. When green and white are the star colors of a garden or container, they can really shine.
So think about the effect you want your landscape to have on you – is there a part of your yard where you’d like a more quiet, peaceful feeling? Maybe it’s a private contemplative courtyard for sitting in the beginning or the end of the day, or perhaps you need an elegant, tranquil welcome at your front entry after a long day’s work, or you’re looking for a goes-with-anything backdrop for a riotous perennial collection… Consider combining green and white, and enjoy the serenity.
*For more information on the responses humans have to plants, see the People-Plant Interaction Resource Center http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/hih/index.asp