Make A Beautiful Moonlight Garden

by RealHousewife

Flowers are largely planted to please the eye and olfactory system during the day. You can create a beautiful garden pleasing to the eye by moonlight!

White Orchid
White Orchid
Free Digital Photos / Rob Wiltshire

Enjoy A Garden that Blooms at Night!

I worked night shift hours for several years.  Working in a sleep lab is predominantly a night shift job.  I watched everyone else sleep but never actually slept myself.  In my neck of the woods - the world is partial to day time workers.  Nights are made for sleeping in the Midwest.  I would step outside at my 2 a.m. break and note that even the floral life was asleep.  The only thing I might see slinking around at dusk was a sneaky red fox that had been hanging around, aloof and wild for years.

On my nights off, I would creep around the house trying to be as quiet as possible so that I wouldn't wake anyone in the house.  I would turn the radio on low and do any cleaning that could be done quietly.  Sitting on the back porch on cool summer nights was peaceful.  I had a mature Cherry Tree, Apple Tree and a small L shaped garden around the porch.  It wasn't visually appealing as all of my flowers were also - sleeping. 

The Moonlit Garden

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The Moonlit Garden

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King Harvest - Dancing in the Moonlight

Moonlight Garden

I learned that not only is it possible to make a garden that is visible at night, but it is a popular gardening technique.  Moonlight Gardens can also be extremely fragrant.  Some flowers only release their fragrance at night.  Moths pollinate many of these types of flowers and some of them even bloom toward the moon.  Bats may also pollinate some of the night bloomers as well as they are drawn in by the scent.

A moonlight garden can be made for just about any region.  While many of the white flowering, night blooming varities are tropical almost any white flower can be used.  The trick is to use white flowers and mix them with bits of deep reds and blue florals.  These colors compliment the white and lighter shades of lavender, pink or light yellow that can be added.

Designers have made very elaborate night time gardens.  They are ideal for entertaining outdoors for parties, bar-b-ques, the ever-popular outdoor wedding or a romantic night alone with your hearts desire.

Types of Night Blooming Plant Life

There are many plants, annuals and perennials, bulbs, shrubs, vines, flowers and trees that are perfect for evening or night gardens.  Some are very fragrant while others have little to no scent. There are many companies that are making lights to accent night time patios. They can be beautiful additions to these gardens. Some popular night flowers are:

  • Evening Primroses
  • Moonflower
  • Nocturnal Daylilies
  • Yukka
  • Flowering Tobacco
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lilac
  • Night Blooming Cereus
  • Angel's Trumpet
  • Night Phlox
  • White Oleander

 White Flowers that Accent Moonlight Gardens

  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Foxglove
  • Impatiens
  • Hydrangeas
  • Lilacs
  • Verbena
  • White Forsythia

 NOTE:  White Oleaners are extremely toxic to humans and animals.  Every part of this plant is toxic but the sap is most concentrated with toxins.  This plant is used in some cultures as a medicinal treatment.  The plant has properties that can be numbing but deadly.  One leaf will kill a small child or animal so it should be planted with caution.  Gloves should be worn to handle this plant if cutting though some people report no symptoms others report a rash and illness.  Even when dried the leaves have been found to hold their toxicity.

If you have not read "White Oleander's," by Janet Fitch, I would highly recommend it as you enjoy your moonlight garden!


Updated: 03/13/2012, RealHousewife
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katiem2 on 04/01/2012

What a delightful idea, I love both gardening and enjoying a warm summers evening relaxing. I can't wait to include such beautiful plants and flowers into my landscape this season. Thanks for the great guide!

RealHousewife on 03/15/2012

Hi Misty! Thanks - I have never heard of that one. I did google it and it says it is very fragrant and the colors are beautiful so thank you for adding that. I have a Bartlett Pear Tree (non fruiting) and it looks gorgeous right now. My girls say they hate that tree because it smells terrible to them! lol

mistyhorizon2003 on 03/14/2012

A lovely article Kelly, I hadn't heard of planting a moonlight garden before. I do know another beautiful night scented flower though, and that is 'night scented stock'. I didn't see it on your list unless it is known by another name as well.

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