Photo by Monica Hill.


Try a moon garden to enjoy the cooler evening hours

Story by Jennifer Williams

Moon gardens are becoming more popular in the gardening world. Gardeners are looking at new ways to enjoy their landscapes, and in the South, our hot summer temperatures may make it hard to sit outside and enjoy the view during the day. 

There really isn’t too much to worry about in planning your garden – the color of choice is white. White flowers, white variegated leaves, white, white, white. Coming in a close second is silver – any plant with silvery foliage will add some great contrast and brightness to the evening moon garden.

Some of my favorite white flowers are included in this plan, but reach for the moon in your planning. If you don’t want to worry about picking up the fruit of a crabapple consider a crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia) to add height. Clematis is a wonderful flowering vine that comes in a large variety of sizes and flower types, making it a wonderful perennial choice for your garden. Adding brightly colored pots filled with a variety of white flowers, variegated grasses, and trailing vines will add a brightness to the space, both day and night! Don’t overthink this garden plan, the goal is to light up the night and then sit back and enjoy.

A staple for centuries, white hyacinth (Hyacinthus spp. and cvs.) is a great addition to your moon garden. With large stalks of flowers and a strong fragrance, a small planting can go a long way. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Williams.
Oakleaf hydrangeas (H. quercifolia) are a wonderful plant for full sun to partial shade. It has beautiful large panicles of white blooms and it’s deer resistant. Choosing a variety to fit your site is key, as some can grow rather large while others are small and dainty. A variety that reaches 5-6 feet tall and wide will be a great addition with its summer blooms and unique fall color. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Williams.
This beautiful flowering star magnolia (M. stellata) has unique white flowers that bloom in spring before the leaves bud out. Planted in full sun, this deer-resistant species will reach 10-15 feet tall and 10-12 feet wide. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Williams.
‘Silver Carpet’ lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’) is a wonderful addition to any garden. It is best used as a ground cover to fill in empty spaces. The fuzzy light green leaves create a shimmery carpet under the moonlight. Photo courtesy of Sharon Bowen.
Utilizing white-flowering plants like the New Guinea impatiens (I. hawkeri) in this urn will enhance your moon garden. Combining plants such as these, dusty miller (Senecio cineraria), coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), and Vinca will add interest both day and night! Photo courtesy of Jennifer Williams.
Mother Nature’s painted masterpiece, Japanese painted fern is a beautiful addition to a moon garden. The light white vein margins and silver foliage will reflect the moonlight every night. This fern loves the shade. Photo courtesy of Bill Johnson.
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