Working all day and taking care of family and chores in the evening doesn’t leave time in the summer for leisurely enjoying a garden. When the daily pace finally slows down, the sun is setting and garden time has passed.
Not necessarily! You can extend your enjoyment of your garden with a night garden (also called moon garden or white garden) to enjoy on moonlit evenings. The essence of a moon garden is to plant a bed that consists almost entirely of white flowers. Well-chosen white flowers will stand out and glow in the light of the moon, creating an enchanting setting of beauty and evening fragrance. The effect on one’s senses is one of relaxation and calm serenity, releasing you from a hectic or stressful day.
The essence of a moon garden is to plant a bed that consists almost entirely of white flowers, Well-chosen white flowers will stand out and glow in the darkness, creating an enchanting setting of beauty and evening fragrance.
Site selection is important. A plot that catches full sun during the day will also reflect moonlight at night. Ideally, you’ll want the garden near an evening sitting area such as a deck, patio or porch. You need to sit because it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the night environment.
Plant selection is almost too much of a good thing. There are so many beautiful white flowers. Get used to the word alba when searching for white flowers as albus is Latin for “white”.
Nighttime “musts” include two annuals that are well worth planting anew each year. First, the Moonflower Vine (Ipomoea alba) which closely resembles a morning glory, but the ivory white flowers open only as darkness descends. It’s fascinating to watch a moonflower slowly open over a period of about twenty minutes. Another special annual is Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alba). The nicotiana flower withholds its fragrance until nighttime and then releases a heady scent that is really delightful.
There are so many perennials, annuals and shrubs that can be enjoyed in a moon garden, that it’s not practical to list them all. Pick out what excites you most and experiment from year to year. Attractive white flowering plants that blossom during the summer include deciduous shrubs Tor Spirea and Wild Spice Rose; shade perennials Deutschland Astilbe and White Turtlehead; and sun perennials Husker’s Red Beardstongue, Endless Love Asiatic Lily and David Phlox.