While reading, enjoy some Moonlight inspired music:
Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
Moondance (Van Morrison)
Shame on the Moon (Bob Seager)
Blue Moon (Frank Sinatra)
Fly me to the Moon (Frank Sinatra)
On Moonlight Bay (Doris Day)
Moonlight (Grace VanderWaal)
“Well it’s a marvelous night for a moon dance….” Listen to Van Morrison’s famous hit, ‘Moondance’, and let it inspire you as we explore ways to create our very own moonlit garden. Photos of moonlit gardens contain billowy beds filled with white, silver and multiple textures. While the pictures are pretty, how many gardeners have transformed that inspiration into action? After a long day of work, relaxing in a comfortable, aesthetic space soothes the soul and calms the mind. Keep reading for inspiration to create a moonlit garden.
To extend the life of your garden into the dusk and evening hours, there are several design elements to consider: color, texture, garden features, and scent.
As shadows fall at dusk, light is reflected off of white, silver and pale yellow plants. Conversely, garden plants with deep, saturated colors like deep purple, reds, and dark green fade into the shadows by early evening. If you have a bright, sunny yard, saturated colors don’t wash out. Keep these bold exclamation points. To reflect evening light, use white pots and trellises, silver accents, and water. Tuck white flowers and silver leaved plants into your garden, pots, and beds to add a pop of evening interest. Repeat groupings of white and silver plants throughout. While white shrub and perennial flowers offer an elegant touch, the blooms can often be unsightly when they die. Think of a magnolia, white azalea or rhododendron when the flowers die…their brown flowers hang on for days. It is not a bad choice to select these types of shrubs; you just need to balance them with other longer blooming plants for staggered bloom times. Attractive examples of long blooming white shrubs and perennials are hydrangea paniculata, hydrangea annabelle, Astilbes, Coneflowers, Cerastium, Daisies and the leaves of ornamental grasses.
You don’t need flowers to add a reflective quality to your landscape. Bulbs, leaves and water also offer evening interest. Plants with white or gray foliage reflect light and pop in the shadows. Some plants to consider include Caladium, Lamium, Brunerria, Ferns, and gray evergreens like spruce and junipers. All of these offer wonderful texture.
Water is a multi-dimensional feature in a garden. Water that moves stimulates our senses with the soothing, ambient sounds of nature. Water also reflects the light and color of the nearby plants. Strategically placed lights and even mirrors add accents to plant material and highlight special elements such as white or silver pots and trellises. A ‘moon light’ is when a light is placed in a tree and shines down on the garden to create the effect of the moon in your landscape….something to consider if the moonlight doesn’t make it to your oasis.
Make sure not to overlook plants that come to life at night by either blooming at dusk or offering a lovely scent like Gardenia Augusta (annual), Evening Primrose (perennial), Angel’s Trumpet (annual), Polianthes tuberosa (tender bulb), Nicotiana (annual), Four O’Clocks (annual), Casa Blanca Lily (hardy bulb), Jasmine floridium (tender), and moonflower. Shrubs that bloom white and smell lovely are lilacs, Korean Spice Viburnum, and Daphne. Tuck these plants close to your seating area or entrance so you don’t miss the scent.
Incorporating a moonlit garden into your outdoor space is easy. Make your dreams of an inviting evening spot a reality by recognizing color, texture, garden features, and scent. Then strategically place these elements where they will reflect the moonlight, extending the time you can enjoy your lovely garden. Whether you enjoy stretching your bare toes in the grass, gazing at the constellations in the night sky, or enjoying an intimate dance with your partner, a moonlit garden is full of sweet possibilities.
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Gwen Wisniewski: Landscape and Garden Designer. Contact me. Let me help you integrate these garden inspirations. Choose the links below to find out more about my landscape design service or to make an appointment.