A guide to moon gardens
Many people are eager to plant their own garden, but those who have busy schedules may not have the time to tend to – or simply sit and enjoy – their flowers until after dark. That's a major reason why moon gardens have been steadily becoming more popular. By strategically planting blossoms that look best by the moonlight, you can appreciate these blooms in an entirely new way while reflecting, reading a book or savoring a late-night cocktail outside. So what does it take to build one of these majestic gardens?
Here's all you need to know in order to create your own evening floral sanctuary:
The perfect plants for your moon garden
Some flowers are more ideal than others for a moon garden, mainly due to the way the light reflects on their petals. For example, bright white, cream and ivory blossoms have an especially stunning effect by night because they almost appear to glow in the moonlight. On the other hand, blooms with bright petals or multiple colors can tend to take on a muddy appearance.
HGTV Gardens recommended opting for light colored caladiums, which boast enormous, heart-shaped leaves, like the "White Queen" or "Moonlight" varieties. In the springtime, the "String of Pearls" tulip, "Carnegie" hyacinth and Lilies of the Valley are all striking choices. You might also consider white snapdragons, crocuses, snowdrops, irises or delphiniums.
Once summer comes, the news source suggested planting some "white swan" coneflowers or "annabelle" hydrangeas. Don't forget about "Casa Blanca" Oriental lilies and "White Profusion" butterfly bush. Fall is the time to look for "White Perfection," "Eternal Snow" and "Playa Blanca" dahlias.
In fact, some flowers have actually evolved so that they blossom as the day comes to an end. W. John Kress, a botanist who specializes in pollination biology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, told The Wall Street Journal that this allows them to thrive without having to compete with other flowers for pollinators. Night pollinators such as Moonflowers, a type of morning glory, are a perfect example of this, as are angel's and devil's trumpets. These flowers also emit a very particular aroma that becomes stronger by night.
What could be more awe-inspiring than flowers that seem to shimmer in the moonlight? HGTV Gardens noted that lamb's ears and artemisia both have a silvery quality that makes them a moon garden must-have.
Add intrigue to your moon garden
There's more to a moon garden than the blossoms, though. First, you'll definitely want to have somewhere to sit down and enjoy looking at your glorious garden. Consider a bench along the edge, or if you want to immerse yourself more fully in the flowers, put a chair right in the middle of the garden. You could even hang a swing from a branch if a tree is nearby. Keep in mind that the more comfortable the seating, the more likely you are to stay and take in the breathtaking view.
If you have outdoor speakers, you may want to add some sound effects that enhance the tranquil vibe of your garden. You could also decorations to make the space a little more lively. HGTV Gardens suggested setting a mirrored gazing ball on a pedestal, which will reflect moonlight in a remarkable way. By covering pathways with crushed granite, you can make them extra sparkly. You could also hang some outdoor lanterns for added light near your bench or loveseat so that it's easier to read. If you're going for a more elegant look, the source pointed out that stringing tiny lights or paper lanterns can lend a soft luminescence.
F. Todd Lasseigne, executive director of the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, in Kernersville, N.C., told The Wall Street Journal that his plan is for the moon garden to be the shape of an hourglass "to emphasize the element of time with plants that bloom in the evening."