On warm summer nights what better place to be than in the garden, enjoying the soft, perfumed breezes and luminous plants in a moonlit garden. White flowers, silvery foliage, and fragrant blooms combine with discreet lighting to lend a dramatic flair to your garden. Ready to enjoy some foliage and flowers at night illuminated by the moon?
Top Plants for a Night Garden
Creating a night garden can offer a unique and mysterious venue for your next evening get together. Or simply sit back and enjoy these wonderful flowers at night as you relax after a long day. Nothing quite beats the calming feeling associated with plants that look good at night. Here are my top choices for stunning moon garden plants:
Silvery Foliage for Night Gardens
The silvery foliage of Artemisia, painted ferns, and dusty miller all have that iridescent quality that stands out. The same is true of lamb's ears, although it seems to die out in high humidity or moist soil. I have grown all of these and word of caution with Artemisia "” it can be aggressive. The 'Valerie Finnis' variety is supposed to be less so. Try these silvery plants:
- Dappled or variegated willow (Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki')
- Euphorbia (E. hypericfolia 'Diamond Frost')
- Ghost fern (Athyrium 'Ghost')
- Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum hybrids)
- Licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare 'White Licorice')
- Senecio (S. candicans 'Angel Wings')
- Silver sage (Salvia argentea)
Night Flowers for Fragrance
For fragrance, moonflower does, indeed, have a heavenly scent and so does the large, white blossom of Casa Blanca lily. Gardenia has a heady, unmistakable aroma.
- Casa Blanca lily (Lilium 'Casa Blanca')
- Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
- Nicotiana (N. alata 'Jasmine' and N. Sylvestris)
- Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis)
- Moonflower vine (Ipomoea alba)
- Star Jasmine (Jasminum nitidum)
White Flowers at Night
Bright white flowers such as Angelonia, Profusion zinnia, 'David' phlox, and Blue River II hibiscus are sure to turn heads in the garden. Angelonia (summer snapdragon) looks great in containers too. Mix it with Profusion zinnia and Diamond Frost euphorbia for a stunning display. Here are some others:
- Black-eyed-susan vine (Thunbergia alata 'White-Eyed Susie')
- Fleece flower (Persicaria polymorpha)
- Hardy hibiscus (H. moscheutos 'Blue River II')
- Pinky Winky hydrangea (H. paniculata 'DVPpinky') - stunning pink and white flowers
- Night phlox
Several of these plants are hardy in warm zones 9 to 11. In cooler zones, the plants can be treated as annuals or grown in pots and overwintered. Even without moonlight, you can cast a warm glow on evening specimens with landscape lights, candles, and torches.
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After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English, Susan pursued a career in communications. In addition, she wrote garden articles for magazines and authored a newspaper gardening column for many years. She contributed South-Central regional gardening columns for four years to Lowes.com. While living in Oklahoma, she served as a master gardener for 17 years.
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