ece5e0bb7dd55160191cf0d6c6498850

Enjoy your garden day and night. My moonlight garden means enjoying my garden any time of the day or night.

The idea for a moonlight garden began when I visited Nantucket one summer. It was evening and at the entrance to an art gallery an all-white garden caught my attention.

At the back of the garden was a white flowering dogwood, Cornus kousa. Over the silvery flowerbed, its branches formed an airy canopy over part of the garden. Silvery foliage plants and flowers in various shades of white made the garden shimmer in the June moonlight.

hydrangea white_diamonds

Returning home from our trip I began to create my moonlight garden. Choosing the site was easy. I added plants and shrubs to my herb garden that would reflect the light at night. The plants in the herb garden—rosemary, sage, lavender, artemesia, silver thymes, a curry plant, Russian sage and yarrow added iridescence and gave me a head start on creating my moonlight garden.

Even when a full moon is not out, a few garden lights illuminate the white-flowered plants and silver foliage. Their soft, gray leaves add a glow to the garden. White roses, shasta daisies, lamb’s ears silver gray-green foliage can take the sun; shade lovers like white astilbe, white bleeding heart and even some hostas are good plants for the moonlight garden with partial sun.

Fragrant plants like nicotiana, white Asian lilies, sweet alyssum and white petunias will bring lovely scents to the garden. Your moonlight garden can be planted with bulbs like glads, dahlias and irises in a variety of white tones. And you can begin as early as spring for your moonlight garden; plant bulbs—daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and snowdrops.

novalis_plants_that_work_lily_looks_tiny_sulawesi_.jpg

The moonlight garden can have shrubs and trees if you have the space. At the back of the garden, place Annabelle hydrangea, white lilac, a weeping silver pear, a butterfly bush or a mock orange and towards the center, white peonies and white-bearded iris followed by low growing ground covers like variegated silver and white foliage lamium or a carpet of white sweet woodruff. I love the tiny white whorls of sweet woodruff’s flowers atop shiny stiff green foliage; however, it can be invasive.

Vines can be a part of the moonlight garden. White morning glories, white clematis and moonvine, a night bloomer, are nice additions to the moonlight garden. A small pergola, trellis or arbor can support these climbers.

Containers are not to be overlooked for holding plants that shine at night. The nice thing about containers is their mobility for placing them where the plants will be seen in the moonlight. Cascading petunias, portulaca, impatiens, begonias, sweet alyssum come in shades of white and make good container plants.

As always, location of the garden is important. Is it in the backyard, on a back deck or a spot in the front of the house? Plant your garden where you know you will spend a lot of time. Note where the light shines both day and night when you are choosing a location. If space is limited, even those who live in an apartment can enjoy a moonlight garden. This is where you will fill containers with plants to catch the moonlight and you can add outdoor garden lighting, too.

terra_nova_nurseries_-_begonia_silver_splendor1_2.jpg

Ornaments in the moonlight garden will also catch the light and act as reflectors in the garden. I like soft gray stone statuary, a water fountain, a gray stone birdbath and some stones to reflect and replay the light of the moon. A birdbath filled with water when the moon is shining gives off a shimmering reflection.

Once your moonlight garden is completed, dining and entertaining there will be wonderful. The fragrant blooms will send a heady scent throughout the garden and cast a spell of enchantment. A full moon or the garden lights beckon me to my garden of the night for magical moments.

Tips for a Moonlight Garden: 

  • Keep in mind the growing habits of plants as to whether they prefer sun or shade. The plants will be blooming in the daytime, so if a sun-loving plant is planted in a shady spot, it will not be flowering well in the night garden. Also, if you plant a shade-loving plant in full sun, it could wilt by nighttime.
  • At night, our eyes view objects differently. Most colors vanish and blue becomes white. Choose some of these blue flowering plants: forget-me-nots with masses of pale blue flowers and rosemary with tiny blue flowers. For blue or white blooms, balloon flower and scabiosa daisy offer both colors.

Carole McCray is an award-winning garden and lifestyle writer and artist who lives, writes gardens and paints in the scenic Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania. She won the 2003 Garden Writers Award of Achievement for her article on Native Seeds published in The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper. You can read Carole's profile at www.theMulch.com/my-profile/userprofile/laurelmt.


Plant Care Reminders

Buddleia Monthly Plant Care
Shrubs Steve Brigham

Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Pot Marigold Mohtly Plant Care
Herbs Coastal Sage Gardening

Marigold - Pot (Calendula officinalis) - Monthly Plant Care Reminders

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Carrot - Scarlet Nantes (Daucus carota…

1944 San Diego Seed Company
Carrot Plant Care Reminders
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Rose (Rosa hybrid 'Home Run') - Monthly…

2836 Proven Winners
Rose Monthly Plant Care Midwest
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Avocado - Haas (Persea americana…

8677 Steve Brigham
Avocado Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Gardening Articles

Lady Bug Eating Aphids

Life and Death Struggles at play in your Garden

Not long ago gardeners seemed to spend as much time controlling pests as they did any other garden activity.
Jason Kubrock
Expert Bios Jason Kubrock

Jason Kubrock - Southwest

Region: Southern California - Coastal, Inland

Easy to Grow and Share Paperwhites

4206
Bulb sizes differ
There is nothing like the intoxicating, spicy perfume of Narcissus Paperwhites ‘Ziva’ to…

Julian Duval - Southwest

12685
Julian Duval
Region: Southwest

April is an Active Time in Local Gardens

5954
Hydrangeas
I suspect that April might be the busiest month of the year for most local gardeners.

Plant Recommendations

Walter Andersen
Plant Recommendations walter andersen

Must Have Tools - Southern California

Walter Andersen's Top Recommendations: Favorite "Must Have" Tools.
Taylor Murphy
Plant Recommendations Taylor Murphy

Carnivorous Plants - Southern California

Taylor Murphy's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Carnivorous Plants for Southern California. 

Trees - Southern California

7389 Chris Greenwood
Magnolia quinquepeta
Chris Greenwood's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Trees for Southern California. 

European Fruit Trees - Southern…

9199 Richard Frost
Anna Apples
Richard Frost's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite European Fruit Trees for Southern…

Medium Sized Foundational and Accent…

22029 Greg Rubin
Leymus 'Canyon Prine'
Greg Rubin's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Medium Sized Foundational and Accent…

Featured Plant Care

California Wild Grape Monthly Plant Care

Vitis californica (California Wild Grape) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Vines
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
White Ginger Lily Monthly Plant Care

Hedychium coronarium (White Ginger Lily) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Douglas Iris

Iris douglasiana - (Douglas Iris) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Alyogyne hakeifolia Monthly Plant Care

Hibiscus - Red Centered (Alyogyne hakeifolia) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Shrubs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Latest Articles

Edit Your Tagged Photos!

How to Edit or Remove A Plant "Tag" In Your Garden Photos

Instead of 'Tagging' your friends on Facebook, now you can 'Tag' your Plants in your…

Popular Articles

Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…
Kahili Ginger Plant Care

Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)