A touch of white: Variegated foliage plants create a leafy froth around white flowers in a pot with a celadon glazed finish. Steven R. Lorton Sunset's Northwest bureau chief put it together in less than an hour.
E. Spencer Toy

Refresh the scene by potting up plants in white or lime green

Kathleen Norris Brenzel

If the heat has your garden in the doldrums, refresh a tired corner with a splash of white or lime. In containers, plants with white flowers look clean and cool; those with lime or mint green blooms or leaves are as inviting as an icy drink.

Start with a glazed container, and select foliage plants and flowers to suit the color scheme you like. Choose a tall plant for the back of the pot, shorter accents to go around it, and low trailers to spill over the edges. Some choices follow; many of the flowers come in shades of white as well as colors. Place the pot on a patio or amid garden foliage.


Foliage: Feverfew, licorice plant, ‘Vancouver Centennial’ zonal geranium.

Flowers: Cosmos, dahlia, Madagascar periwinkle, million bells, nicotiana, petunia, summer phlox, zinnia.

Fringe: Bacopa, lime thyme, sweet alyssum.


Foliage: Coleus, variegated hosta, Plectranthus forsteri ‘Marginatus’, Sprenger asparagus.

Flowers: Hydrangea, impatiens, lobelia.

Fringe: Bacopa, campanula, creeping Jenny, Lamium maculatum.

Six Combos

These grow in full sun except as noted.

Combine dwarf nicotiana’s lime-colored flowers, licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare ‘Limelight’), and creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’).

Place a single asparagus fern in a long-necked urn; edge it with ‘Olympic Gold’ bacopa. Part shade.

Pair ‘Vancouver Centennial’ zonal geranium (lime green leaves edged in red) and trailing ‘Angelina’ sedum (needlelike lime green leaves) in a rust brown pot.

Flank a single ‘Raspberry Ruffles’ coleus (or other red-and-green-leafed variety) with two lime-gold coleus such as ‘Golda’ or a golden-green sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’). Shade or part shade.

Put a single white-flowered hydrangea in a large container (at least 18 in. wide). Put white-flowered bacopa or campanula around it. Shade or part shade.

Plant Tropicanna Gold canna (yellow-and-green-striped leaves) in a large pot. Fringe it with ‘Angelina’ sedum and sweet potato vine.

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