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!
How To Plant A 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)
- White Bleeding Heart
- White Daffodil
- Sweet Alyssum
- Mock orange (the fragrance is outstanding, as well)
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:
- Dusty Miller
- Variegated Hosta
- Variegated Euonymus
- Lamb’s Ear
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.
Go For The Scents Appeal
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
- Anise Hyssop
Add Soothing Sounds . . . Ahhhh!
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!
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.