Creating a Moon Garden

Published On: February 21st, 2022


As the name suggests, a Moon Garden is a garden featuring plants that are best appreciated after dark. These include plants with white flowers, silver or variegated foliage, fragrant flowers, and even those that open only at night. Elements such a sound and garden lighting can provide additional sensory delight to the evening garden.

An interesting phenomenon in nature is that white flowers, and those that bloom at night, are frequently more fragrant that their colored or day blooming counterparts. Many flowers use colorful blossoms to attract pollinators. Flowers that lack color utilize other strategies – such as fragrance – to attract pollinators to their blossoms.

Moon Gardens incorporate fragrant flowers, white flowers, sound & light elements

Plants For Your Moon Garden

Fragrant Flowers

Perennials:

  • Phlox
  • Dianthus
  • Fairy Candles (Cimicifuga/Actaea)
  • Peony (Paeonia)
  • Lilies (Lilium)

Shrubs & Vines:

  • Lilacs (Syringa)
  • Wisteria
  • Roses (Rosa)
  • Mockorange (Philadelphus)
  • Koreanspice Viburnum
  • Sweet Autumn Clematis
  • Summersweet (Clethra)

Annuals & Tropicals:

  • Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
  • Pansies (Viola)
  • Indian Pipe Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris)
  • Heliotrope (white & pale lavender flowering varieties tend to be most fragrant)
  • Sweet Peas (heritage varieties tend to be most fragrant)
  • Madagascar Jasmine (Stephanotis)
  • Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum)

Plants with Fragrant Foliage:

  • Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium)
  • Herbs such as lavender, basil, thyme, oregano, sage, etc.
  • Beebalm (Monarda)
plant fragrant lilacs like Spice Island Viburnum to create a moon garden in your landscape

Spice Island Viburnum

plant fragrant flowers star jasmine trachelospermum in your moon gardens

Madagascar Jasmine (Stephanotis)

White Flowers

Perennials:

  • White flowering bulbs (Daffodils, Tulips, Summer Snowflake, Allium, etc)
  • Goatsbeard (Aruncus)
  • Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum)
  • White flowering Astilbe
  • White flowering Bell Flower (Campanula)
  • White flowering Coneflower (Echinacea)
  • White flowering Phlox
  • White flowering Anemone
  • Fairy Candles (Cimicifuga/Actaea)
  • White flowering Salvia
  • White flowering Veronica
  • Montrose White Catmint (Calamintha ‘Montrose White’)

Shrubs & Vines:

  • Deutzia
  • Hydrangea (old fashioned ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea is a spectacular Moon Garden plant due to its profusion of white flowers that last all summer long)
  • White flowering Clematis

Annuals:

Masses of white flowers can create the effect of actually glowing in the evening gardens. Annuals, which tend to bloom profusely throughout the summer months, are therefore perfect for creating this effect. White blooming annuals include:

  • Petunia
  • Verbena
  • Cleome
  • Euphorbia
  • Million Bells
  • Geranium
  • Browallia
plant fragrant and white flowering montrose white calamintha nepeta in your moon garden

White Flowering Petunia

The abundant white flowers of Annabelle hydrangea appear to glow in the moon garden

‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea

Silver/Variegated Foliage

Perennials:

  • Silver Brunnera
  • Variegated Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum)
  • Ice Dance Carex
  • Lungwort (Pulmonaria)
  • Variegated Hosta
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia)
  • Lamb’s Ear (Stachys)

Shrubs:

  • Ivory Halo® Dogwood (Cornus Ivory Halo®)
  • Dappled Willow (Salix integra ‘Hakura Nishiki’)
  • Dwarf Arctic Willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’)
  • Iceberg Alley™ Sageleaf Willow (Salix Iceberg Alley™)
  • Variegated Weigela

Annuals:

  • Silver Falls Dichondra
  • Dusty Miller
  • Licorice Plant
plant multi color silver veriagated foliage plants like pumonaria trevi fountain lungwort in your moon gardens

Trevi Fountain Lungwort

plant multi color silver veriagated foliage plants like salix hakura nashiki willow in your moon gardens

Hakura Nishiki Willow

Night Blooming Plants

Night-blooming plants can be an interesting addition to the Moon Garden. These plants open their flowers in the late afternoon or evening, stay open throughout the night, closing in the morning. Most are pollinated by night pollinators such as moths. Examples include:

  • Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)
  • Evening Primrose (Oenothera missuriensis/ macrocarpa)
  • Devil’s Trumpet (Datura)
Night blooming plants Moonflower vine

Moonflower

Evening Primrose opens in the afternoon and remains open all night before closing the next morning

Evening Primrose

Additional Notes About Your Moon Garden

Sound

The soothing sound of flowing water from a water feature such as a fountain, or the gentle musical tone of a small wind chime can further enrich your Moon Garden.

Illumination

Selective illumination can add to the magic of the Moon Garden. Spotlighting specimen plants, lighting pathways with small lights, or incorporating softly glowing, solar-powered garden art can also enhance the enjoyment of your garden at night.

the sound of a fountain adds to the senses in a night time moon garden
Selective illumination can add interest to the moon garden