How To Create A Magical Moon Garden In Your Backyard

As you plan your spring garden, why not create a backyard oasis with a Moon Garden that you can enjoy on moonlit night? Try these easy ideas to create yours!

Celebrate moonlit nights by relaxing in your very own Moon Garden, planted specifically to show off the lunar glow! A Moon Garden is an oasis you create, whose design features plants with white flowers and silver foliage, as well as highly fragrant blossoms, and plants with blooms that open only at night. This type of beautiful sensory garden design is easy to accomplish—try these tips to create yours!

When’s the next full Moon?

How To Plant A Moon Garden

Mock orange is a perfect addition to your Moon Garden.

Plant in big groupings. Make a huge statement with bold drifts of white flowers, which will stand out in the pale light of the Moon. Try these selections for a bright impact:

  • Snow-in-Summer (this has the added bonus of silver foliage)
  • Snowdrop
  • White Bleeding Heart
  • White Daffodil
  • Bacopa
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Mock orange (the fragrance is outstanding, as well)
  • Hydrangea
Oakleaf hydrangea - Garden

Choose The Right Foliage

Display plants with silver or gray foliage, or even variegated foliage. The subdued light from the Moon will beautifully reflect these colors. Try plants such as:

  • Artemisia
  • Dusty Miller
  • Variegated Hosta
  • Variegated Euonymus
  • Lamb’s Ear
Moon Garden plants
Dusty Miller

Use Night-Blooming Flowers

While they don’t always sport white flowers, plants with blooms that only open late in the day or at night are often used in Moon Gardens. Four o’clocks, moonflower, and evening primrose are delightful examples. Relaxing in your Moon Garden offers the opportunity to enjoy these pretty plants that may be overlooked during the daytime.

Moon Garden
Plants with blooms that only open late in the day or at night, like moonflowers, are often used in Moon Gardens.

Go For The Scents Appeal

Moon Garden plants
Night Scented Stock

At night, when the light is low, it is important to appeal to other senses besides sight. The scent of some well-chosen plants is important in a Moon Garden. Consider these selections:

  • Night Scented Stock
  • Lilac
  • Rose
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Nicotiana

Add Soothing Sounds . . . Ahhhh!

Moon Garden plants
Small fountains and other water features create soothing sounds in your Moon Garden.

The sound of small tabletop fountains and other water features are pleasing to the ear, and moonlight will shimmer in the gently moving water. If the noise won’t annoy your neighbors, softly tinkling wind chimes may be a wonderful addition. Ornamental grasses, with their rustling seed heads and stems, are another option to bring soothing sound to the Moon Garden.

What Size Should Your Moon Garden Be?

Your Moon Garden may be any size you wish; it can be part of a larger bed or even smaller beds, joined by pathways. Consider using white gravel in walkways to further capture the effect of the light. If you have a very small space, fill containers with plants suitable for Moon Garden and group the planters together.

White flowers and silver foliage are complementary with nearly any other color scheme in the garden so it is usually easy to add Moon Garden elements to your existing plantings. Don’t be afraid to mix annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs for maximum impact. To increase the enjoyment of your Moon Garden, plan your plantings so that bloom time is staggered throughout the growing season.

Site your Moon Garden so that it enjoys maximum exposure to lunar light. Deeply shaded locations will not usually work as the light cannot penetrate. Additionally, flowers like moonflower need full sun to grow and bloom and don’t like shady spots.

When the Moon isn’t full, subtle accent lights may be incorporated. Use solar lanterns, stake lights, or LED candles to show off your Moon plants.

Don’t forget to create a seating area so that you and your family and friends can unwind after a long day and enjoy your garden in the moonlight!

Don’t forget to check our Planting by the Moon calendar so you know when to plant!

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Sheryl Normandeau
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Sheryl Normandeau, BA, is a Master Gardener and writer from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her articles and short stories have appeared in several international publications. She is the co-author (with Janet Melrose) of the Guides for the Prairie Gardener series.

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Sandy Lawn Care

Thank you for the great post I really enjoyed it! I really enjoyed your creativity in designing such a unique lawn and garden.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sandy Lawn Care

You have given me a great idea for a garden revamp. I don’t what I was thinking when I created a circle garden divided into 5 pie-shaped areas that was supposed to be filled with hundreds of annuals. 1/5 of the garden is planted with Dusty Miller which is the only good plant in the garden. The rest was supposed to be filled with pansies and summer annuals. It’s so labor intensive and expensive that it’s no longer feasible. I think if I kept the Dusty Miller and added what you suggested to the other pie-shaped areas; snowdrops, white daffodils, sweet alyssum, and white bleeding hearts it would look beautiful. And the perennials would spread in time to fill each area. I even have lots of Daisy Becky and white Siberian Iris I could transplant into the moon garden. I’m kind of looking forward to this project!

Susan Higgins

Molly, we would LOVE to see pictures when you’re done! How exciting!


Does anyone have tips for moongarden plants that deers will leave alone?

Susan Higgins

Hi Mariah, we’ve been talking about deer resistant plants all week at FA. We have an article for the top 10 but keep in m ind that deer seem to be eating everything, this list is of plants that deer tend to steer clear of. Some of these, like lambsear, might be nice in a moon garden. Take a look here.

Yuvraj Singh Rathore


Patricia Cunningham

I’ll plant my MOON GARDEN by my stream! There’s a nice clearing that just needs a little work!

Susan Higgins

We’d love to see pictures when it’s in full bloom! Thanks, Patricia!

Renee Bensley

love this idea, i have moonflower seeds to plant. Now i know what i’m going to do

Susan Higgins

Wonderful, Renee, we look forward to seeing pictures when it’s in bloom!

sea glass jewelry

Love it. Must have a go. Thank you.

Susan Stecklair

This is awesome! I’m going to try it. Thanks

Susan Higgins

Wonderful! Be sure to share pictures with us on our Facebook page when it’s ready!

Cheryl Engle

For an incredible scent..have a magnolia tree nearby!

Jo Ann Psrnell

Moon flowers are beautiful when they are blooming. Sometimes I can get them to grow, sometimes they won’t grow. But I do love them.


Night-blooming jasmine is an undistinguished plant by day (in my Florida garden the leaves were always kind of chewed on) but the scent when in bloom is exquisite. And the tiny clusters of flowers are white.


Thank you for the information. It is very useful. However, I wish you had more depictions of planting designs for the Moon Garden.


I had three different colors of perennials of flowering tobacco – bloomed early morning and again late evening – wonderful fragrance


Wow. Never considered flowering tobacco an option. That would be nice to try!


Its ellegal to plant here unless your native

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