Whether you work away from home or are able to putter in your garden plot in all the daylight hours, the gardening season needs to be savoured! This year why not plan some way to add a few extra hours onto the daily enjoyment of your garden.
The ‘Moon Garden’ is a thing! Traditionally it takes on a rounded shape but of course you as the creator can design it however you like. I’ll point out a few things for you to consider before starting on this new adventure.
First of all location is of primary importance. Not always is the moon visible but that shouldn’t be a deterrent to your enjoyment of the evening hours. You may have a quiet corner of your outdoor space that you are drawn to at night or maybe would prefer to sit in close vicinity to your back door...whichever works for you make sure you have adequate lighting to guide your way in case the moon is hiding behind the clouds. Solar lights, a candlestick chandelier or fluorescent painted patio stones are good choices. However keep artificial light to a minimum, it is a night garden after all.
Because a night garden is a sensory buffet try to check all the boxes:
- Sight: flowers should be white or at the very least light in colour (yellow or pink). These will reflect the moonlight. Silver or variegated foliage are great accents. Maybe even a favourite glass orb or a statue. Here’s a few ideas: white or pink gaura, yucca, passionflower, verbena bonarensis, white paniculata phlox, lavender, sweet alyssum, daylilies, artemisia, senecio angel wings, evening stocks, milkweed, sunflowers
- Smell: so many fragrant flowers strut their stuff as the cool evening air falls. Try to plant in front of a dark hedge or fence both to accentuate the lighter colours of the flowers and to facilitate trapping their delicate scents.
- Touch: definitely foliage falls into this category. So many thick leaves with different textures to enhance the soft flower petals.
- Sound: what sounds relax you? Lots of choices here. It could be a background trickle of a water fountain, a stand of ornamental grass rustling in the breeze or even the tinkling of wind chimes.
- Taste: why not...white eggplant, white tomatoes, white cucumber...sounds like a delicious salad to me!!
Remember to concentrate your plantings around where you plan to sit and near the doors where scents and colours will be maximized.
After completion you will discover that you will not be the only visitor after dark. Nocturnal pollinators will thank you. The light colouring of petals and musky fragrances will invite them to pollinate the flowers. Pause to enjoy their activity just at dusk and before dawn when they tend to be most active.