17 May 2012

The Muse: The White Garden

The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle

 Over the years I've read about white gardens in various books, including Stephanie Barron's novel about Virginia Woolfe entitled The White Garden. Also called moon gardens I most recently read about a white garden in a cemetery in Amanda Stevens' Graveyard Queen series (they are wonderful, you really must read them!). The flowers featured in them are not exclusively white, but the majority are, also variegated foliage on leaves, pale foliage (think dusty miller), and night blooming flowers are the focal point of such gardens, which if you hadn't already guessed are designed to be viewed by moonlight.
 The white takes on a luminescence when viewed by moonlight that makes these gardens very striking. Clearly this is a nineteenth century concept, as they were enamored with these types of gardens and rather impractical ideas, seeking a closer and constant relationship with nature, even in the inconvenient dark. The most famous white garden is at the castle of Sissinghurst, located in the Weald of Kent. The family who resided there in the 1930's, the Sackville-Wests created the garden, only one of many, which have since become some of the most famous in the United Kingdom. While I myself am no gardener I am a great admirer of them and the science that goes into creating them, from soil chemistry, to cross-breeding and hybridization, and even plant rotation. I think gardeners are a particularly hardy breed, putting huge amounts of efforts into their creations, often for purely aesthetic reasons.
I know the flowers are pink at the hem, but strictly speaking you
could have pink blooms, besides it makes it a little less monochromatic, the white vines, lines, whatever they are also remind me of waving grasses another popular favorite for moonlit gardens.

 Dress: Style & Co. via Macy's
Sweater: Forever 21, thrifted Blackstone Valley Prep's "Green" Clothing Sale
Shoes: City Streets via J.C. Penny
These sparklies were an extremely pocket friendly $10,
I also think they mimic the night sky above a white garden rather well

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