Your Guide to Moon Gardens
If you love to entertain outdoors but don’t have time during the day to relax in your garden we have the solution…
A moon garden is specifically designed to be enjoyed after dark. A garden that comes alive by the light of the moon provides a detox zone, where busy professionals can unwind and reconnect with nature into the small hours.
In order to create a beautiful lunar garden, you should consider incorporating as many of these key types of plants…
Opting for one colour creates drama especially in a moon garden. A sea of white flowers has a much bigger impact and has a better chance of being seen at night.
It’s good to keep in mind the seasonal nature of your white blooms and choose carefully to ensure your garden glows throughout the year.
Try early bloomers like snowdrops, magnolias, white tulips and white daffodils. For midseason, we’d suggest cute Shasta daisies, frothy Queen Anne’s lace, alpine favourite Snow in summer and climbing hydrangea. For late in the year there’s white Night phlox, white Obedient and autumn flowering Clematis.
For more white garden inspiration take a look at Vita Sackville-West’s pale garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden.
Variegated, gold-coloured and silver foliaged plants make great additions to any moon garden and require a little less maintenance than their flowering counterparts.
Those that shimmer come nightfall are the aptly-named Moonshadow wintercreeper, Dusty millers, lamb’s ear and variegated gold Hostas.
Night-blooming flowers like Evening Primrose add a splash of colour and have the good grace to look their best when you’re around to enjoy them.
Brugmansia ‘Cypress Gardens’ or Angel’s Trumpet is a tender perennial whose delicate hanging white flowers only open for a week at a time with the full moon. Be warned though, these innocently-named flowers are poisonous.
Moonflowers are also a night garden favourite.
Moon gardens can be appreciated in darkness because they contain fragrant plants you can appreciate with your nose.
Of course, their heady perfume isn’t just for moon garden dwellers’ delectation, but is pumped out to lure night pollinators.
As soon as dusk falls this cast of flowers starts to scent the air and the evening becomes even lovelier. Our favourites are jasmine, white wisteria, night-scented stock and honeysuckle.
The most dedicated of plants people can take the orchid cactus Epiphyllum oxypetalum, otherwise known as the Queen of the Night, out for warm summer evenings. Enjoy the spectacle as the buds open fully and give off an intoxicating scent, only to wilt as the day starts to dawn.
In the East, its blooming inspires ‘sundowner parties’ where the tradition is to sit, sip Singapore slings, and breathe in the scented air.
A great way of capturing the flowers’ fragrance in your night garden is with hedging which can help pool scents around seating areas.
Where should my moon garden grow?
- Whether you plan to create a secluded moon garden or devote your entire outdoor space to the scheme, try to keep it away from light polluting street lamps which could affect the natural glow of the moon onto your space.
- Often moon gardens border a patio, decked area or garden building in order to draw you out into the open air to enjoy dinner or a cocktail under the moon’s rays.
- Try to seek out the most peaceful spot for your lunar garden, where you can sit and whisper your secrets to the moon, listen to the wind through the plants or the trickle of a water feature.
Falling under the spell of the moon’s magic?
In this 50th anniversary year since the moon landings, there couldn’t be a better time to find celestial events to inspire you.
To find events being held near you, visit Moon UK’s website here.
We also like the sound of learning some astrophotography. Head to the Royal Museums Greenwich’s website here to find top tips on how to get started.