One of my favorite books is “The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Clair who begins her chapter on white with quotes from Melville’s Moby Dick.  “The Whiteness of the Whale,” is a powerful chapter touching on the psychological effect of the color white. It can be powerful and ominous with many symbolic meanings.

White is the total reflection of light, an achromatic color, or a color with no hue.     We see the color white used in fashion and décor to create aristocratic and exclusive moods. Historically white flowers have symbolized purity and are often used for weddings and elegant occasions.

In early Renaissance paintings the single white lily symbolized both purity and fertility representing the Virgin Mary in paintings. Today it continues to be a popular color for weddings both for dresses, ceremony and reception flowers.

My inspiration to work with all white floral designs came from a John Singer Sargent painting of A Moroccan Woman.  The white colors moved from clear almost blue gray whites to creamy yellowish tones. Textural contrast comes strongly into play when working with a single color design.

The Moroccan Woman by John Singer Sargent inspired me to work with white and the vast shades and textures of white flowers.


The religious symbolism of purity is interpreted in this design of a crossed reed structure and two serene lily blossoms.

Textural contrasts interplay with the nautilus shell and one white ranunculus.This is an illustration of the relationships of forms and patterns of nature.

A volumetric design holds several varieties of white hydrangea with white clematis garland wound around the arrangement. A matte textured vase from Accent Décor adds another white element.

Spring brings lots of white blossoms to my garden. Here an almost white clay pot holds white azaleas and snowball viburnum. Cherry blossoms are waiting to add a bit of pale pink to the arrangement when they open.

White continues to be a popular color for brides and weddings. White roses, hydrangea and tuberoses combine with olive branches and white candles for a winter wedding display.