How To Design A Moon Garden

Moon Garden at

Moon Gardens are truly a delight for the senses! Trending this year, moon gardens are special spots to enjoy at night by the light of the moon. Also known as ‘white gardens’, they consist mostly of white flowers, light-colored foliage, and reflective objects that glow in the evening …

What Is A Moon Garden?

A moon garden is simply a garden that is meant to be enjoyed by the light of the moon, or at nighttime. Moon garden designs include white or lightly colored blooms that open at night, plants that release sweet fragrances at night, and/or plant foliage that adds a unique texture, color or shape by the reflection of moonlight.

Light-colored hardscape and accessories further accentuate the nighttime ambience. In the dark, our eyes can only see a limited color spectrum and contrast. White flowers and silvery foliage take on a glow, appearing to float in the air as the contrasting green foliage disappears into the darkness, creating a magical effect. As night falls, our senses are heightened and we become more attuned to the sights, sounds, and smells of nature.  Enchanting!

Where To Place A Moon Garden

You don’t need to adorn your entire yard in moon garden plants. A small section of a patio or a secluded corner of the yard can be transformed into a nighttime sanctuary, an intimate destination for quiet reflection, or a special spot to share a glass of wine with friends.

Oftentimes, moon gardens are placed near a deck, patio, porch, or a large window … where the sights, sound and smells of the garden can be easily enjoyed.

It is also very important that you select a site where the plants will actually be exposed to moonlight, or artificial lighting, so it does not look just like any old dark garden bed. This may mean spending a few nights tracking the moonlight in your garden, during the hours that you are most likely to spend time in your moon garden.

Pay attention not only to where moonlight floods your garden, but also to how it casts shadows. Shadows of uniquely shaped plants can add appeal to the moon garden too. As with any garden design, moon garden layouts can include trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, perennials and annuals. Use your imagination and have fun with it!

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance

With the stars up above in your eyes …

~ Van Morrison

Elements Of A Moon Garden

To create the special feel of a moon garden, make sure to include a mix of plants, hardscaping, and accessories. It can be as basic or elaborate as you want, depending on budget, space, and your individual taste …

Hardscaping –

Use light-colored stone materials such as pebbles, flagstone, or white marble chips to accentuate garden areas. Paint a background wall white, or incorporate a white lattice trellis, which can also provide support for showy vines.

Pathways –

Make sure paths can be easily navigated at night for safety. Use white gravel to outline paths or install light-colored flagstone to walk on. Add soft solar lights or other artificial lighting if you want.

Seating –

Place a comfortable chair or bench where you can immerse yourself in the garden. Include a small table to set a cup of tea or your favorite beverage. A votive candle or solar lantern placed on the table will add subtle illumination and ambience.

Accessories –

Adorn the space with decorative accents such as a reflective gazing ball, light-colored statuary like an angel, buddha, or stone lantern.

Lighting –

Add supplemental lighting for illumination on overcast or moonless nights. Keep it subdued so it won’t overpower the natural light of the moon. Hang string lights above a patio or along a fence. Add candles, lanterns, or uplight trees for a soft glow.

Engage the senses –

Include elements that engage the senses of sight, smell, and sound. For example, a small reflecting pool or fountain is an excellent choice as the water will reflect the light and the sound will add to the ambiance. Fragrant plants also add to the sensory experience.

How To Design A Moon Garden by
Moon Garden at the Illinois State University (ISU) Horticulture Center in Normal, IL

Fly me to the moon

Let me play among the stars

Let me see what spring is like

On a-Jupiter and Mars

~ Lyrics Bart Howard 1954, Frank Sinatra’s popular version of the song released in 1964

Click Here For A Wonderful Collection Of White Blooming Perennials For Your Moon Garden

Plants For The Moon Garden

Plants are the stars of the moon garden. Choose varieties that will bloom at different times, as well as plants with attractive foliage that will lend continuity throughout the growing season. The most interesting moon gardens offer a mix of plants including annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses and even small trees. Don’t afraid to include a container filled with white flowering plants and trailing vines for varied height interest.

Recommended Plants For Your Moon Garden:

Moon Garden Design by
  1. Diamond Frost Euphorbia
  2. Iceberg Rose
  3. Powis Castle Artemisia
  4. Silver Falls Dichondra
  5. White Wonder Caladium
  6. Mountain Mint
  7. David Phlox
  8. Patriot Hosta
  9. Casa Blanca lily
  10. Night-Blooming Jasmine
  11. Moon Flower
  12. Flowering Tobacco
  13. Bridal Veil Astilbe
  14. Festival Star Baby’s Breath
  15. Henryi Clematis
  16. PowWow White Coneflower
  17. Running Tapestry Foamflower
  18. Whorled White Milkweed
  19. Bright Lights White Osteospermum
  20. Incrediball Hydrangea Arborescens
  21. Queen Anne’s Lace
  22. Japanese Dogwood Trees
  23. Angel’s Trumpet
  24. Doublefile Viburnum
  25. Fragrant Evening Primrose

Smaller Scale Moon Gardens

If you don’t have room for an in ground moon garden, then plant one in a container! White begonias, nicotiana, artemisia, dusty miller and miscanthus sinensis grasses are easy-to-care-for white flowering plants or silvery foliage choices that do well in container gardens.

Here’s an excellent “how to” video on a container moon garden from our friends at Proven Winners:

Summary Of Designing A Moon Garden

A moon garden should consist of flowers and plants designed to reflect moonlight but also remain visible and fragrant during an obscured or new moon. White flowers should occupy most of your plot, along with plants with silver and gray foliage to add to the special glow …

Explore An Extensive Collection Of White Perennials – Perfect For Moon Gardens … Right Here

Avoid any bright or strong colors or they will overpower the garden. When it comes to white flowers, group them in the same shade of white separated by green or another color for the best effect in how to design a moon garden.

There is perhaps nothing more romantic, or relaxing, than a warm summer night spent basking in the glow of the moon. Light-colored hardscape and accessories further accentuate the nighttime ambience. Have fun designing and enjoying your special moon garden …

How To Design A Moon Garden by
Enjoy Theme Gardens? Make Your Yard a Hummingbird Paradise! Check Out These Useful Tips To Attract These Winged Wonders To Your Plot …

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