If you’re like us, while you’d rather be deep in the dirt ’round the clock, you’re more likely to gaze at your garden in the wee hours rather than in the light of day, at least during the workweek. So why not conjure up a collection of nature’s most delightful night-dwellers, and plant a moon garden? Night-blooming gardens are beautiful by day, luminescent by night. Dusk draws out a whole new appeal for these carefully curated collections.
Start by mapping the moon’s path through your garden. Pinpoint the location where it shines the brightest and is the most visible to you, whether you’re planning on enjoying from the house or the patio.
But don’t be fooled by the name—moon garden plants still yearn for light. Choose a sunny spot that affords partial or full light for most of the day, to recharge the plants’ nighttime potential.
Many moon garden plants are trailers, happiest when they can climb or creep, something to consider when you’re settling on a spot. Trellises, lattices and fences all offer creative carte blanche.
Plan for the masses—plant clusters of plants rather than single plants whose blooms will be swallowed both by foliage and night.
Finally pick your palette, sticking with pastels and whites for maximum glow power. Weave in your own brand of magic with not only flowers but foliage that glows. Think silver, blue-gray, variegated or veined. And speak to your senses with scent—there’s something magical about a delicate aroma wafting while you wind through the garden.
Not sure how to begin your spell? Tip things off with a few of our faves:
Phlox paniculata ‘David’, a 2002 PPA Perennial Plant of the Year with wonderfully fragrant, clear white, giant flower heads
Aquilegia caerulea ‘Songbird Blue Bird’, a super-large columbine with showstopping heavenly blue blooms that face upward
Dianthus ‘Early Bird Frosty’, with pure white double flowers and wonderful fragrance
Artemisia stelleriana ‘Silver Brocade’ with its silvery cut-leaf foliage. Bonus: deer resistant!
Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’, a lamb’s ear prized for its dense rosettes of thick, soft, velvety, silver-gray leaves
Iberis ‘Snowsurfer’, a candytuft featuring dark green uniform mounds of shiny leaves frosted with drifts of snow white flowers in spring
Digitalis purpurea ‘Dalmatian White’, a foxglove that spikes upright columns of beautiful bright white bells with maroon spots
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