Why a moon garden?
We have a fairly large garden at our home. My husband portioned off a part of our land to grow fruit and vegetables and I work on planting native plants that will attract both hummingbirds and butterflies to the front of our house. My husband sits in an office all day and I’m running around with the kids; we rarely have time to enjoy our garden while the sun is still out.
That’s why the kids, my husband, and I decided it might be fun to plant a moon garden!
What is a moon garden?
Well, the name should give you a hint. It is an area in your garden that blooms in the evening hours, is white or pale in color, is fragrant, and has grey or silver foliage.
The idea is that you get to enjoy this garden under the moonlight… kind of romantic, n’est pas?
And of course, you can still enjoy it during the day!
Creating a moon garden:
We headed to our closest Lowe’s to peruse the garden center for plants that are going to be visible in the moonlight, have interesting textures, and smell great.
With a little planning, a garden like this can create a unique and wonderful sensory experience, appealing to our senses of sight, touch, smell, and even taste!
Impatiens and Petunias are abundant annuals and relatively easy to care for.
Pale pink and purple flowers (or white flowers with colored accents) can also add a hint of color while still reflecting the moonlight.
Robust, white perennials to consider are Shasta Daisies and Queen Anne’s Lace.
In addition to flowers, there is foliage that can add a unique look and texture to your garden such as Artemisia, Lamb’s Ear, and Dusty Miller (they are really fun to touch). We find that these make a great border to the approach to our front door.
Lavender, Night-Blooming Jasmine, and Lilacs add a sweet fragrance to your garden. If you also want to appeal to your sense of taste, consider planting some herbs such as silver Sage and Thyme, and even Chamomile.
There are many other unique flowers that are not open during the day and only bloom at night. Children may find this fascinating and it can lead to a discussion about other plants and animals that are nocturnal!
The aptly named Moonflower is luminescent at night and each 6 inch bloom only lasts until the sun rises the next morning. Please note that although beautiful and perfectly fit for the job, Moonflower can be poisonous to children if eaten, so proceed with caution if you choose to plant this with young kids around.
Four o-clocks and Evening Primrose are wonderful choices for nocturnal blossoms. These plants may harder to find, so you may have to use seed packets or purchase them at a nursery.
There are four categories to consider when planning your own moon garden:
- White flowers
- Night blooming flowers
- Bright foliage (with interesting textures)
- Fragrant blossoms
Here is a list of some plants for you to consider when you take the kids plant shopping! Remember, there are many other plants and flowers that would fit into each of these categories, so you may want to look online for more ideas or just choose ones that appeal to you visually. Also, don’t forget to factor in planting zones so you know what will grow in your climate!
Impatiens, Petunias, Shasta Daisies, Fox Glove, Queen Anne’s Lace, Bleeding Hearts, Daffodils, Tulips, Mums, Snow in Summer, Sweet Alyssum, Clematis, Azaleas, Phlox, Cosmos
Night Blooming Flowers
Moonflower (again, may be poisonous to children if eaten), Evening Primrose, Night Phlox, Evening Stock, Night Gladiolus, Four O-Clocks
Artemesia (many varieties—have fun with the different textures), Dusty Miller, Eucalyptus, Variegated Hostas, Silver Thyme, Lamb’s Ear
Lilacs, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Peonies, Roses, Night Blooming Jasmine, Moonflower, Four O-Clocks
As you and your children look for plants and flowers to create your beautiful moon garden, don’t forget to consider the seasons! Trying to keep your garden in constant bloom requires some planning (what will bloom first in spring, next in summer, and last in autumn?). For example, you can plant white Tulips and Daffodils, but these flowers will only be in bloom in the early spring, leaving nothing to enjoy during the summer months. Similarly, if you choose white Mums, they will only bloom in the fall, leaving your moon garden dark until autumn. Additionally, remember to look for different textures, heights, fragrances, and shapes of both flowers and leaves to keep your moon garden interesting from spring through fall. And, if the moon doesn’t quite shine enough in your area, you might consider brightening up your moon garden with white rocks or shells and/or the use of solar powered or twinkly lights.
Now, where I live, it doesn’t get dark until well after 8:30 pm during the summer months and, on a good night, my children are in bed by then. Therefore, until it starts getting darker earlier the kids may not get to fully experience the moonlit effect or see the nocturnal flowers in bloom. However, they can certainly help create and plant the garden as well as enjoy the sight, feel, smell, and taste (herbs only, please) of it during the day.
So, although your moon garden might be more thoroughly enjoyed the grown-ups who are still awake once the sun goes down, your children can learn a lot from helping you plan and plant this garden and can certainly enjoy it when the sun is out.
Then, when night falls, tuck them in, kiss them goodnight, and once they are fast asleep, grab your favorite evening beverage and a loved one and go outside. Pull up a chair and listen to the crickets and frogs chirping from within the flowers and bushes (thought I forgot about the sense of hearing, didn’t you?), and enjoy your garden as it reflects the light of the moon above.
Moon garden resources:
The following list of websites helped us get started in planning our moon garden:
- Moon Gardens: Flowers and Plants that Show Up at Night
- Moon Gardens
- Plant A Moon Garden for Those Romantic Nights
Gardening with kids? We have that covered too:
Special thanks to my husband for taking the beautiful photos of the moon and our garden.
The Quirky Mommas are a part of the Lowe’s Creative Network. As a Lowe’s Creator, we receive information from Lowes along with gift cards to cover purchase expenses. All opinions expressed are our own.