Sow There! Bright, white flowers for hot nights, May 10, 2019

Bright, white flowers for hot nights | Sow There!

Thank you, wise gardeners at the Patrick Ranch Museum, for planting flowers that brighten my way through darkness. (Photo by Heather Hacking)
May 10, 2019 at 2:35 am

Oh the bliss of coaxing a good friend into taking a nice stroll around the neighborhood.

I much prefer this type of exercise to going to the gym. With a good friend, you can solve most of the world’s problems and see the world through quieter eyes. People are tinkling silverware in the sink or playing board games with their children. Sometimes people are sipping wine and singing at the top of their voices.

At night, you can smell the flowers down the road, even if you can’t see them – Daphne odora in February, or honeysuckle in spring and into early summer. The Handsome Woodsman would always stop and pick me a gardenia on our evening walks, they’re easy to spot – bright and white under the glow of the streetlights.

Thank you, wise gardeners at the Patrick Ranch Museum, for planting flowers that brighten my way through darkness. (Photo by Heather Hacking)

I spend some time in the early evening and into the night out at the Patrick Ranch Museum, where I have an intermittent part-time job. Lately, I’ve become enamored by flowers best viewed under the light of the moon.

The master gardener at the ranch must share this enthusiasm, because white flowers are easy to spot. The Dahlias are huge right about now, as if waving hello from the shadows near the porch of the Italianate grey, brick house. Candy tufts bounce with brightness in the otherwise darkness. Even bright yellow flowers like coreopsis have a dainty glow when you’re otherwise fumbling around to see the sidewalk.

At my own house, I have Vinca Rosea, which survived the winter when I covered the plants during cold spells. They’re haggard, but I sort of like the fact that they brighten my way late at night. Sweet William is almost overlooked in daylight in the shade of the picnic table. Yet, at night, this beauty is a stand-out.

FTD Florist ( compiled a list of white flowers for every season – no doubt to entice the wedding clientele that makes up a good percentage of their business.

For the impending summer, the florist touts white clematis, daisies, hydrangea, scabiosa and phlox. They also mention jasmine, which is still blooming along my neighbor’s fence.

Around here, it’s difficult to take a walk without walking under a towering Magnolia tree. The flowers smell heavenly outdoors, but make the house smell funny when you try to enjoy them inside. Plus, I usually end up bringing home ants on those oversized blooms.

I have a few of those faux wine barrels made from hard plastic. With an investment of as little as $20, I plunk a few six-packs of white Vinca Rosea into the soil. Vinca Rosea is one of my go-to plants for Chico, and should be purchased as soon as you spot them. They’ll bloom all summer and are fairly forgiving about the torturous summer heat

More from FTD

As for that FTD website, the narrative includes the type of flowery writing one would expect. They also include what the blooms represent. Again, this information is probably most important to superstitious brides who want to ensure (or avoid) flowers that boast of purity, hope, wisdom, et al.

I took a peek, so I’d be in the know about some of the flowers nearby. The aforementioned jasmine, for example, is good luck. Sweet William includes gallantry and finesse. My beloved gardenia – beauty and love, as well as remembrance of someone who has passed away.

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