What Is A Nightscape: Learn How To Create A Nightscape Garden

Illuminated Garden by LED Lighting. Backyard Garden at Night Closeup Photo.
Image by welcomia

By Karen Boness, Owner of Wild Willow Landscape Design, ISA Certified Arborist, Certified Permaculture Designer

Don’t you just love to sit in your garden and savor the results of your hard work and Mother Nature? I do. It is so satisfying to let my eyes rest on the developing fig leaves, the blooming poppies, the lush bergenias and the tiny quivering silver pittosporum leaves. I appreciate each year’s growth and the changing seasons.

Why not extend our outdoor viewing pleasure into the darkness by creating a nightscape? Garden nightscape design is easy and so much fun. There are many ways to create the nightscape of your dreams. Read on for some nightscaping ideas.

How to Create a Nightscape Garden


You may be asking yourself, “What is a nightscape?” A nightscape is a garden you can comfortably dine in, sit in, and stroll in after dark. One of the best things about garden nightscape design is that you can highlight a particular garden with landscape lighting.

The most important aspect of garden nightscape design is lighting. You can add path and patio lights to make strolling safe and dining romantic. You can also install uplighting to accent the trunks and branches of focal point trees. Place some soft flood lighting in front of a beautiful masonry wall to wash it with glowing warmth. Place art objects in key locations where you can highlight them at night.

The key to all forms of landscape lighting is to keep it subtle. Don’t overpower the area with too much strong light or the landscape will appear garish. By limiting lighting to special areas, you can create drama, mystery and romance. Space your path lights far enough apart so they just overlap. Highlight just a few primary trees or focal points. Choose softer, low energy twinkling LED lights for the outdoor dining area.

Nightscaping Ideas

Other nightscaping ideas cover plant selection. Plants with silver leaves or white flowers stand out in the moonlight. Consider growing white roses or jasmine on a pergola. Install lambs ears or “Silver Dragon” lily turf in your nightscape garden. For structural plants, consider white blooming irises, white agapanthus and white foxglove. They all have a tall upright structure and their flowers really sparkle at night.

When darkness prevails, our other senses come alive. When creating a nightscape, scented plants are especially impactful. Jasmine, brugmansia, narcissus, and nicotiana have lovely aromas that fill the night air. Sounds stand out at night too. Consider a trickling solar powered fountain or seasonal creek bed to add auditory pleasure.

These are just a few ideas for you to consider as you develop your garden nightscape design. Make these changes and enjoy your beautiful garden both day and night!

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Garden Spaces.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: