a terrace dressed in white

by Sharon Santoni

dogs in front of house with white flowers

Over the years I’ve tried many different combinations of plants and pots on the terrace in front of the house.   At the moment though, I am loving a white theme.

The mixed borders along the terrace (that so many of you helped me plan several years ago!)  are basically planted in blues, whites and greys, with a nearly black elderflower on each side.   It works well to carry on the white theme on the terrace itself, but of course the challenge is to find the right plants that will relay from one to the next to allow for continual colour and bloom.

seats on terrace with white flowers

Right now is probably the most spectacular season with the big hydrangeas in flower, and the white agapanthus so proud, but I also use white gaura,  pansies (in white, blue and black); white penstemons; anthemis daisies and white roses.  I also have some big lavenders near the front door just for the pleasure of their perfume as we brush past them, and some little white flowering strawberries for my breakfast bowl.


Planting in pots has the advantage of being able to move the pots around to always have the best ones on show.  The pots that have finished flowering or are yet to do their stuff can be kept waiting on the sidelines.

Of course, the soil in a pot is limited and quickly exhausted, but providing you remember to water and feed regularly, pots are a great addition to the garden and can adapt to any climate or style.

terrace seen from overhead with white flowers in pots

I plan to bring in some pots of box for the fall and winter, that will be a great counterbalance for the busy flowers next year.

And how about you, in your part of the world?  What works best on your terrace?

dog lying beside pots of strawberries






Derick August 8, 2016 - 9:01 am

I use potted (I over-winter them inside) gardenias with pale pink and white geraniums with a couple of dark maroon geraniums (also over-wintered.) They do well in all but the hottest part of the summer here in the mid-west USA, during the hottest days they are moved into mostly shade with a few hours of direct sun. To be honest, I have them mostly for the winter blooms, which are most welcome in the dead of winter.

Susana K August 8, 2016 - 9:11 am

Dear Sharon,

Your blogs are always beautiful,natural,honest.Something like your pots filled with white flowers with plenty of fragrace.Whatever you are posting it on your web always uplifting,breath of fresh air.Photographs are lovely,presence of your 2 dogs make it even better.

Kind regards Susana

Taste of France August 8, 2016 - 9:13 am

Your garden is so lush and beautiful.
It’s hot and dry near Carcassonne, so we rely on plants that don’t need much water. Oleander and lavender give lots of color and stay green in winter. We had boxwood topiaries in planters on the terrace, but they died this year from the same malady that wiped out the boxwood at the neighboring château. I’m waiting a bit to replace them, to be sure the blight isn’t still around.
We also put some red peppers in pots. They are surprisingly ornamental, plus they add punch to our dinners.

Lyn Eglinton August 8, 2016 - 10:06 pm

Your boxwood blight is about in humid weather..I eliminate with a spray called mancozarb.
really works.
I am a landscape designer so have daily experience in clients gardens here in NZ so know it works.Cannot understand why mancozarb is not widely used by European gardens.

lorenza August 8, 2016 - 9:22 am

Your garden is so beautiful!I love it!

sharon malan August 8, 2016 - 9:29 am

Sharon, your blog and posts never cease to not impress , inspire and please the eye.. Thank you xx

Dottie monta August 8, 2016 - 10:02 am

Why am I not surprised! I find myself smiling at every one of your posts, so in simpatico with my choices and tastes. My white roses off the terrace shares space with only lavender, and in one corner, pale blue forget-me-nots. White nicotiana have done nicely and look very pretty as night falls (none available this year–only red!).
Would like to see an arrangement of hydrangea and roses, sil vous plait!

Our French Oasis August 8, 2016 - 11:30 am

Quite simply beautiful, I could look at your garden for hours! Ours is looking so dry, we’ve had one day of rain since June and it is suffering badly, but it always does at this time of year. The tubs on the terrace are thriving though, along with the vegetables, thanks to our well and nightly watering. We have lavender in pots and lots of herbs along with the classic red geranium, they thrive in the hot sun and cope much better than many other plants if they dry out a little, plus our house is white so they add a splash of colour.

Susan August 8, 2016 - 1:20 pm

I love white and blue in my garden. I also have deep blue avalanches, blue plumage which also comes in white, small gardening, and small white azaleas. I also like herbs in pots, rosemary, basil, and lavender. And iris, in white and deep purple. Love your hydrangeas.

Susan August 8, 2016 - 1:24 pm

Supposed to read agapanthas, plumbago, and gardenias. Auto correct obviously doesn’t garden.

Lynn August 8, 2016 - 2:02 pm

Plumbago. I was thinking about using white plumbago. Thanks for field testing it for me.

Ruth Ruch August 8, 2016 - 2:24 pm


Your gardens are absolutely beautiful!
Thank you for sharing them.

Enjoy the rest of summer,

Kate Dickerson August 8, 2016 - 3:39 pm

Love the variety of white blossoms! What a peaceful setting, Sharon!

The Enchanted Home August 8, 2016 - 3:49 pm

Absolutely gorgeous!! I love it….thanks for sharing.

Judy August 8, 2016 - 3:58 pm

Love your whites Sharon. My gardens tend to be reds and blues, geranium, blue hygrangea and lavender being the main plantings with lots of variations of greens. It stays vivid all season from April to October in our climate of British Columbia, Canada

Valorie August 8, 2016 - 4:47 pm

Love white in the garden. I do lots with pots and containers as they are easier on my aging body. So happy to see Ghetto! Happy Monday!

Janine Smith August 8, 2016 - 4:48 pm

Am suffering hydrangea envy! How lush and green your garden is.

Emm August 8, 2016 - 5:12 pm

Love the shadings of whites, and those little strawberries.
Ghetto is looking particularly winsome in your last photo.

AFN August 8, 2016 - 6:11 pm

Beautiful garden and so lush. Living in the desert, I’m managing fairly well with my
English type garden. The roses are resting and will be back in the Fall to delightful color.
The herbs do well as long as water is sufficient. The. Fig topiaries and wall sculptures
Handle the heat just fine. It has been a hot, hot summer at times. Two large shade trees help. They are mesquites, and oh the beans. Indians make flour from them. I could have had a mill, so many this year. Happy end of summer. AFN

Steven Yancey August 8, 2016 - 6:51 pm


Colleen Taylor August 8, 2016 - 7:01 pm

Absolutely breathtaking Sharon! White is so pure & simple but in a lavish way!

Loreen August 8, 2016 - 7:10 pm

Happy Monday Sharon! Thank you so much for sharing! Your posts are always so inspiring. But no gardening for me today…since I have just recently retired here in Southern California…I am off for a little kayaking with a good friend…

Have a great week. Hugs to you!

Sheila Murphy August 8, 2016 - 7:50 pm

Could Ghetto get any cuter???

cy August 8, 2016 - 11:28 pm

Love love lovely!
I have designed and planted my front yard as a garden. No grass. Stone wall hard scape. Two huge white flowering crepe myrtle trees are in full bloom right now, filled with bees a buzzing! My blue agapanthus have bloomed and in a day or so I will need to cut the stalks. White carpet roses add more white. Huge beautiful sage with gorgeous blue flowers roam here and there. I have two types of ornamental grasses, one tall and green/yellow, and one smaller, a blue gray. White gardenias hug the front wall of the house, with a couple of evergreen that bloom a tiny white flower at the tip of the branches. There are blue iris all along the wall and some white flowering bushes that I do not know what the name is, but the flowers bloom and appear to float. Huge queen palms are near the house. An ornate white birdbath, a white curved bench, a huge white trellis. I keep working on this and I do enjoy the combination of blue and white flowers that bloom. Every time I go in and out I look at it all in pleasure.

Marilyn August 9, 2016 - 2:28 am

Your white garden is wonderful. I do love the addition of plants and flowers in pots.

botanic bleu August 9, 2016 - 4:04 am

Scrolling along, admiring the flowers, enjoying your descriptions…. then stop! White agapanthus are so spectacular. I love the blue ones and have them on my deck in pots because agapanthus like crowded roots. After seeing your white ones, I will be looking for white to add to pots on my deck also next year.


Susan Carter August 9, 2016 - 7:09 pm

As we go into our 4th year of drought and I look at all the parched plants around me, I am so refreshed by your beautiful gardens and hold out hope that we may get rain in Southern California this winter.

Maywyn August 10, 2016 - 12:31 am

White theme gardens are enchanting at night with a bit of moonlight.
Beautiful garden, and photo of Ghetto

Sharon Santoni August 10, 2016 - 5:59 pm

Ghetto, always there somehow 😉

Darina August 10, 2016 - 9:06 am

Your garden is so beautiful! Such an serene place!

Yvonne McFadden August 11, 2016 - 4:32 pm

Beautiful white garden!
What breed is your smaller dog? Adorable!


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