Keep it simple... - Pasquesi Home and Gardens
blog, keep-it-simple with boxwood pachysandra

Keep it simple…

Keep it simple and elegant… and contemporary.

A green and white palette in landscape design allows for a sculptural simplicity in your garden design… something like a black and white photograph. The design is also enhanced by using evergreen groundcover and evergreen shrubs that will give your landscape green and white colors in the winter months, too. With a minimal color garden, you’ll also get a chance to focus on textures instead of bright colors. Add pop to your design with white flowers and when it comes to merging green and white in the garden, Hostas are a natural pick. Keep your design simple and plant low maintenance groundcovers, shrubs and flowers to achieve a beautiful garden where you can sit back and enjoy!



Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) is a low-growing and spreading groundcover, best used in partly shady borders, edging (curvy beds or straight) or as a foundation plant in front of your home.  Pachysandra also has a tidy habit and a nice texture and will grow into a dense mat of rich, dark green foliage with small, white flowers in spring. Keep this roving groundcover in line by edging the boundaries of the bed. 6-10” tall.

When paired with evergreen boxwood shrubs, you’ll have a landscape combination that is evergreen throughout the year and generally, low maintenance.

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) is an attractive, low-spreading groundcover or pathway edging for shady gardens and a woodland setting. It spreads quickly in rich soil with consistent moisture. White flowers emerge in late spring – summer. 6-12” tall.

Hostas (Hosta) make an excellent, low maintenance groundcover, too. Available in many sizes & patterns of green & white. 

Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is a low maintenance & creeping, woody-stemmed groundcover (approx. 3” tall.) Plant in full sun in well-draining soil. Flowers appear in June-July in white, pink, red and purple. 



Boxwood (Buxus) is a well-behaved, small-leaved, evergreen shrub that thrives in part sun/ shade. It’s relatively low maintenance. Clip in spring and fall to keep its tidy appearance or it can be allowed to grow naturally without pruning. Boxwood can also be highly sculpted into designer-shaped topiaries in spirals, cones and globes of green which work well as focal points in containers, foundation plantings, herb gardens or in pairs flanking an entryway. Boxwood shrubs are slow-growing and versatile. They can be planted as individual specimens or grown together into neat hedges. ‘Green Velvet’ boxwood is a hardy favorite for our zone 5 with glossy leaves and a tidy appearance (3-4 ft. tall and wide).  ‘New Gen’ boxwood (New Gen ‘Independence’ and New Gen ‘Freedom’) is a new generation of boxwood that arrived in 2020. This new boxwood variety was developed to have good disease-resistance to boxwood blight. (Sun, part sun, shade)



Light: A wide range from deep shade to light sun

Soil: Since pachysandra* and boxwood are in the same family, they both prefer acidic soils, but can tolerate neutral to slightly alkaline soils. *Edging: To prevent the spreading of pachysandra’s rhizomes into the lawn area, edge the beds where it is planted.

Water: Both prefer to be kept moist but can withstand some dryness once established. After planting shrubs and groundcover, water deeply. Then add 2-3 inches of mulch on the exposed soil around plantings to keep weeds from sprouting and to provide a neat appearance.



The abundant flowers of Hydrangeas (Macrophylla/Big Leaf; Arborescens/Smooth; Paniculata/Panicle Hydrangeas (also known as peegee hydrangeas, hardy hydrangeas, and Limelight hydrangeas), are the easiest to grow, and most adaptable of all hydrangeas.; Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Quercifolia) shrubs also add height and contrast to the smaller textured, evergreen boxwood shrubs.

  • White-flowering, Big Leaf Hydrangeas: Blushing Bride, Fireworks

Light: Sun to part shade… morning sun & afternoon shade is best.

Water: A consistent supply of water will keep this plant looking its best.

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil is best. Add a 2-3” layer of mulch to keep soil cool and moist.

  • White-flowering Smooth Hydrangeas: Annabelle, Incrediball

Light: Full sun, partial sun

Water: Consistent moisture in well-drained soil

Soil: Plant in humus rich soil or cover soil with 2-3” of wood chip mulch to keep them moist. All hydrangeas have shallow root systems that can dry out easily.

  • White-flowering Panicle Hydrangeas (sun, part sun): Tardiva, Limelight, Little Lime, Bobo

Light: At least 4 hours of bright sun each day; 6 or more hours are preferable, as it encourages strong stems and abundant flowers.

Water: Water consistently for the first 1-2 years. Once established, regular watering is recommended.

Soil: Not fussy. They are tolerant of a range of pH levels from acidic to alkaline.

  • White-flowering Oakleaf Hydrangeas (part sun, shade): Alice (flowers age to pink), Gatsby Moon (flowers age to green), Little Honey (yellow-green leaves, dwarf variety), Tara (double, white panicles in spring… rich red fall foliage.)

Light: Full sun to part shade

Water: Consistent moisture in well-drained soil

Soil: Slightly acidic, well-drained & plenty of compost

*To keep hydrangeas bright white, you’ll need to water them properly, maintain a rich soil level, and provide them with a high-quality organic, slow release, all purpose, balanced fertilizer.


White-flowering Perennials

Sun/Part Sun: Plantain Lily Hosta, Shasta Daisy/Leucanthemum x superbum, Coneflower/Echinacea ‘White Swan,’ Liatris ‘Floristan White’, Herbaceaous Peony, Tree Peony, Yarrow/Achillea, Roses/ Drift, Climbers, Tea, Knock Outs

Part Sun/Shade: Astilbe, Aruncus/Goatsbeard, Dicentra/Bleeding Hearts, Fall Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’


White-flowering Annuals

Sun/Part Sun: Cosmos, Daisies, Coneflowers, Dahlias, Asters, Mums, Allyssum

Part Sun/Shade: Cosmos, Impatiens, New Guinea Impatiens, Begonias, Mums


Spring Bulbs

Keep the white and green theme going in springtime by planting white-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, crocus, allium, hyacinth, Chionodoxa or Muscari. Dig in these bulbs between the groundcover in the fall. After blooming, the yellowing foliage of the bulbs will be somewhat camouflaged by the groundcover or hostas.


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