the garden near a
patio or deck will help you to relax and enjoy the ethereal colors and
sweet fragraces.. There’s something quite magical about a Moon Garden.
As a student of anything Moon or Sun-related, I know the magic celestial
bodies can do. Pale-colored
flowers reflect light from the setting sun and the rising moon.
An aromatic, night-blooming garden offers a peaceful and serene place
to unwind, relax and regroup at the end of the day.
gardens are gardens designed to highlight certain nocturnal plants which
either thrive at night or can be appreciated best with moonlight.
different effects produced by moonlight, compared to sunlight in human
color perception that emphasize the colors of certain flowers more than others,
bringing out different tones which are not available during daytime or
with artificial lights. Additionally there are some plants which blossom
or release their fragrance at night.
Certain flowers and
plants with specific colors and nocturnal habits are suited to Moon
Among these, lillies, angel's trumpet, sweet rocket, moonflower,
four o'clocks, irises, gladiolus, evening primrose,
magnolia, snowdrop, foxglove, Japanese dogwood, creeping phlox, lamb's
ear, silver mound artemisia, peonies, and lilac. These are all
commonly cultivated plants in moon gardens.
White flowers are
especially suited to moon gardens, but light pink and similar colors are
also common. Fragrance is also very important to the Moonlight Garden
For strong fragrance,
plant honeysuckle, gardenia, peonies, hydrangea, butterfly bushes and
A seating area to enjoy the Moon Garden is a
must-have. A bistro table and 2 chairs, or 2 garden benches facing each
other with a table in-between are best for enjoying a moonlight garden.
So is a weather-proof settee or loveseat with cusions and a little table
to set your refreshments upon.
Don't forget the warm
lights and light strings. I like to hang pretty solar fairy light
mason jars that look like little fireflies on tree limbs or from
trellises. You can purchase the solar light lids that fit on average mason
jars. There's a wire handle that clips onto the jar. Very pretty. I use
them all over the backyard for mood lighting at night. They're not too
bright. I set one on the tables in seating areas for a romantic glow. For
the practicality of seeing where I'm going, i use pretty warm white solar
path lights and motion detecting solar lights. They only go on when you
are within their range, and turn off a few seconds later. The small
lantern fairy lights look awesome between and beneath foliage plants for a
glow below your flowers.
will reflect moonlight, and fragrant plants will become
more fragrant at night. Especially on balmy summer nights if your area sees a lot of
dew resting on the plants after sunset. Other flower colors, such as
paler shades of yellow, blue and purples reflect
light well, so they will stand out in bright
moonlight. Gardenias have an amazing scent night or day, and look
absolutely beautiful in the moonlight.
also announce their
presence with an unmistakable perfume at night. My stargazers and white
Casa Blanca lilies fill the night air in the backyard, whether i'm on
the patio, or sitting in a little garden nook. It's quite intoxicating
and romantic. Lilies have tall, straight, sturdy stems and produce
big, bright blooms during the summer. All of mine have lovely intense
fragrances that fill the air and are noticeable on the breeze. I can
smell the fragrance in the house when the windows are open.
Roses. It doesn't
matter what pastel color, as long as they're a very fragrant variety. Best in
moonlight would be white, pale pink or pale yellow. I have fragrant
light pink thornless climbing roses growing over an iron archway on the
walkway between my patio and gardens. I plan on adding a few as
"entrances" to my other garden beds.
Pinks (carnations) have a clove-like scent
pale pink dwarf butterfly
bushes - Just one near the seating area is enough for a very sweet
vanilla type of perfume. The butterflies find it irreistible during the
day, and you'll find it irresistible in the evening.
Scented Geraniums in
white and pastel colors.There are various varieties and scents.....rose,
lemons, lime, citrusy minty and apple are a few..The leaves
contain the potent fragrance. Geraniums are annuals, but they make
pretty houseplants if you wish to winter them over. I do not favor
annuals - perennials are a mainstay of my permanent beds. But I have a
large hanging trailing ivy geranium that has been rotating in and out
for a few years. Geraniums look beautiful clustered in clay pots. It
looks very Tuscany to me.
would like a free design plan for a Moonlight Garden, click the pic below for
a .pdf format download.
Plans include a larger illustration, plant list and planting instructions.
substitute any other variety of flowers you wish, after checking
your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for plants that will thrive in your area.
Late in the spring
through the early summer, clematis, a climbing plant, blooms with masses
of star-shaped, flowers in many colors. I have nearly a dozen
trained to tall, narrow metal trellises, placed close to where you would
Throughout the summer, their neighboring honeysuckle
vines bloom and adds it's perfume.
almost no maintenance shrubs that produce big stems of large blooms late
spring until heavy frost. I have 4 that perfume the front and
backyards. Awesome cut flower. They're on woody stems that last a long
time when cut and put in a vase. When the vase water evaporates, the
flower will dry beautifully and in it's original shape for floral
Some flowers, like
four o' clocks, bloom only at night. Also known as Miracle of Peru,
these flowers open when the temperature begins to cool in the
evening, and their scent is reminiscemt of orange blossoms. The blooms will
be shriveled up by morning, and new flowers will bloom the following
primroses are tall plants with cup-shaped yellow flowers that open in the early evening and
are very fragrant.
plants that bloom at all times of the day, but get more fragrant at night.
I experience this with peonies, gardenias and lilac.
tree wisteria, a climbing plant with beautiful cascades of lavender hanging
flowers are very pretty and Zen. I have one in each end of the gardens.
One is attached to a trellis and is being trained to stay attached to it.
The other is in a giant pot, and is being trained into a small tree.
White or pale flowers
look very pretty in and around dark green or variegated foliage plants.
creeping thyme and
sages make great evening plants. As does rosemary.
The silver look
on many foliage plants is the product of many thousands of tiny hairs that
cover the surface of the leaves, which reflect sunlight and keep plants
cool in hot climates.
One of my
favorite foliage plants for every imaginable scenario is actually an
ornamental grass, shown below. "Elijah Blue" fescue (festucca)
is an amazing little ball of bluish green, grassy, evergreen foliage
specimen. It grows to about a foot tall, is very polite and doesn't
spread, and is shaped like a mound. It looks very pretty and has a little
bit of a silver feathery glow when light reflects on the leaves. I use it
to edge all of my gardens, or at the base of very tall plants. It grows in
and around my Zen and Water Gardens. It's beautiful as an evergreen
ornamental with snow all around it. Awesome as a ground cover.
Summer - Yes, it does resemble a petite little plant covered with a
dusting of snow. And it's perfect for a Moonlight Garden. Especially if
you add teeny little warm white solar string lights in and among the
plants. Very pretty groundcover or specimen plant, wonderful spilling over
the edges of pots or down from windowboxes. I keep dividing it and
planting it because it serves as a beautiful plant everywhere in the
garden and creeps along filling in under other plants. Fuzzy blue-green
foliage is delicate-looking and the plant is almost entirely covered by
little white blossoms most of late spring til frost. Both of these
groundcover foliage plants are perennial evergreens. Growing both of these
together has quite an impact in the evening.
Feather plant has
feathery leaves with a frosted look. It's a pretty groundcover and
trailing from pots or hanging baskets with
flowering plants. Silver Mound Artemisa is also a favorite of mine day
or night. I love the feathery texture and blue-green color. Silver Carpet has thick
silvery leaves that feel soft to the touch. It makes a good border plant
discovered a pretty succulent called "dorothea trailing red
mazoo" - I'll never get the name right...it's a gorgeous vine with
small green and yellow/white variegation, and the substance and compact
growth of a succulent, that i bring it in and hang them in the windows so
that I can use them again next season. It's a fast-grower that's gorgeous
in pots trailing over the edges and down to the ground. It has a tiny
bright red bloom that screams "look at me" among the lighter
green and white leaves. This trailing succulent is my number one pick for
foliage plantings in a Moon Garden. I prefer to grow perennials, but i
make an exception for this groundcover.
very pretty in hanging baskets when the tiny red blooms appear with the
variegated leaves - it looks like Christmas to me. It grows thickly and
low. No weed can live happily under the thick mass. It's an annual, so it
needs to be brought in and babied over the winter if you want them in
spring outdoors. They're hard to find in my area, so i treat them well.
These look amazing at night with the faint glow of solar lighting placed
in their center in the potted plants. They're a vision as a base plant
growing beneath strawberry plants. The red berries and flowers among dark
green and light green leaves with white markings is awesome.
foliage favorite in Moonlit Gardens is Hosta "Patriot". The
blue-green leaves with large white center markings stand out with the wite
centers reflecting moonlight or solar lighting. The leaves grow in a
lovely curling pattern. Any white flower would stand out with this hosta
as the understory or groundcover plant. I grow them closer together than
recommended, and they create a beautiful edging along the garden's walking
paths. Weeds don't stand a chance. They need no care except for a
bit of shading, if possible, when the summer sun beats down on them. They
look beautiful under white irises, dwarf gladiola or white Casa Blanca
Flowers That Will Bloom
All Season in Rotation
think whites and pastels
spring flowers, such as hyacinths, pale tulips, dwarf and
mid-size, re-blooming irises.
Evening primrose is pretty and smells wonderful in early spring
gardens. Pansies with their pretty little "faces" look
magical in pots in and around the Moonlight Garden. They're very
cute in pots set on bistro or side tables.
for late spring, lilies, Chinese Wisteria vines on trellises
gladiolas and late-season perennials that re-bloom, like clematis
and honeysuckle vines.
roses, Moonflower, clematis and honeysuckle for summer through
fall. Also for fall, I have re-blooming lilacs, along with
fragrant white hydrangeas, and small White Diamond rose blooms
until a hard frost.
Trumpets don't grow well in my climate, so i don't use them. I did
have the yellow varieties growing in my southern gardens.
Beautiful fragrance. If you can grow them, they're an amazing
sight to see and smell.
Practicality and reality tend to collide with garden design and
recommended flowers and plants.... I live in the northeast. I
won't use the spring Moon Garden suggestions, unless the plant has
a long season. I know for sure that I won't be relaxing out in the
garden during our winter-springs. Anything that grows well
after May 1st , or when night-time temperatures are warm enough to
relax or feel romantic in the garden has my attention. Early
bloomers have a place of honor in my front yard or pollinator
advice is to plant similar or recommended plants for your
Moonlight Garden that you will actually get to enjoy, and that
will thrive, according to your USDA Hardiness Zone Map and
according to the conditions that will be present in your garden.