It’s the end of a busy day and you’re ready to unwind. But you don’t need to crawl into bed to drift off into this dreamland. In the soft glow of moonlight, a garden is truly magical. If an evening stroll through the garden is your way to unwind, here’s a design that shines by the light of the silvery moon.
An all-white moon garden
In the dim light of night, light shades are what you see first; that’s why this garden is primarily white. Pastel colors also show up well at night, but white is the most vivid. To make a monochromatic evening garden come alive, use shapes and colors that are easily spotted: If you love to star gaze, the star-shaped oriental lilies are always shining bright, whether cloudy or not. As you rest on the bench and look out, peppy round puffs of the bunny’s tail grass and small blossoms of the night phlox scattered across the ground mimic the shimmering night sky above.
Plants that appeal to the senses
Since you can’t see everything, try pleasing a different sense. Sweet fragrance completes the experience, and night phlox, oriental lilies and tuberose are some of the many gorgeous plants that become most fragrant at night.
Choosing white flowers in a mix of shapes is only part of the formula for a garden that lights up the dark. Planting in the right conditions is another important step. For this garden, plant in full sun and well-drained soil.
Planting this moon garden
Once this garden is established, the cedar, oriental lilies and the hollyhock won’t need to be replanted. Even as a short-lived perennial, the hollyhock reseeds for new plants each year.
The night phlox, bunny’s tail grass, tuberose and dahlia will need to be planted every year. If you don’t find an established plant at a nearby garden center or online, it’s easy to start them yourself. If you live in a climate colder than zone 7, start the night phlox and bunny’s tail grass from seed. Plant tuberose bulbs in a container indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the frost, along with the dahlia tubers. In warmer climates, sow seeds, bulbs and tubers outdoors after danger of frost has passed.
Fall maintenance tips
Let the romance of this garden in full bloom sweep you off your feet in mid- to late summer. Then in fall, take care of a few maintenance tasks to keep things looking tidy.
- In fall cut back the oriental lily when the foliage is no longer green and the dahlia after the first frost.
- Bring dahlia tubers and containers of tuberoses inside and store in a cool, dry place for winter.
- The bunny’s tail grass is an annual that blooms till frost; cut it back and keep the flowers for a dried arrangement, or just leave it and clean up in the spring.
Meet the plants in this moon garden
Are you starting to imagine your moon garden? Check out the lettered plan above and see the corresponding plant information in the slideshow below to learn more about the plants that shine as bright as the stars.