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How to Make an Amazing Moon Garden You'll Love

 Feb 13, 2020    Do It Yourself, The Great Outdoors

How to Make an Amazing Moon Garden You’ll Love

Most of us use our gardens in the daytime to entertain friends, grow fragrant flowers, and even herbs and vegetables that serve both to feed us and add a pop of color to our outdoor space. It isn’t too often that we think about our garden as a space for evening and night excursions as well.

But, with a few small changes, you can enjoy your garden once the sun goes down as well!  Or, create a garden that is unspectacular during the day, but really comes alive at night. Either way, you’ll have a moon garden!

  • Here are the essentials to a moon garden: [ungrouped list]
  • Plants (of course). Specifically evergreens and light or white color blooming plants that bloom at night. It’s better if they are fragrant too.
  • An outdoor water fountain. The ambiance and a relaxing atmosphere is what a moon garden is all about, and nothing does better at promoting that than a water fountain!
  • Lighting. Though the moon should be able to showcase most of your garden, you still need some outdoor lighting. Something subtle and natural is best, and that accents the darker areas of your garden.

Step One

The first thing you have to do when planning a moon garden (or honestly, any garden) is to make a plan. Creating a blueprint of your area lets you see what you have to work with and what changes you need to make for your dream to become a reality. In some cases, you don’t have to do anything, but in others, it may be necessary to do some grading or other similar landscaping.

Once you’ve made those changes, you’ll want to choose what products you’d like and larger greenery. We recommend printing out images of what you’re thinking that’s to scale for your blueprint and place them where you think they should go.

Step Two

Install your gas and water lines. Now that you have a plan, it’s time to install the lines that run to your gas-powered and water features. A moon garden should be able to showcase your beautiful plants and ornaments without much light, but some light is essential. Once your lines are installed, you can place your products.

Please remember that it’s essential for your gas products to be installed and/or inspected by a professional. Gas leaks are dangerous!

Liberty Cast Aluminum Tiki Torch
Tiki torches like this one are a great choice for garden lighting. They provide warmth and the fire is a natural light source that can be paired nicely with light colors like oranges and yellows in your garden.
Cazo 360° Copper Fire and Water Bowl
Though not strictly necessary, a water feature adds soothing background noise to your garden, which goes a long way towards ambiance— an essential since your moon garden is all about tranquility!

Step Three

Planting evergreen bushes and small trees should be your next step. Using your blueprint, plant these larger items first so that it’s easier to plant the runner ups next! What you get depends heavily on where you live as some plants thrive in a crisp, cold climate while others do best with tropical temperatures.

Image of False Cypress
False Cypress, for example, grows well in zones 4 – 8. In other words, most of the continental U.S.

The next set is the ‘runner ups’, that is, the plants that compliment your main attraction with silvery-green foliage or softer colors that pair nicely with the main plants that you’ll feature. Here are a few great choices for your runner up plants:

Anything from the Artemisia family. Mugwort and wormwood are both from this family and feature feathery silver leaves. They are also great when it comes to repelling bugs. Plus, if you deal with anxiety, you might want to check out the benefits of just taking a nice, deep breath of mugwort!

Lavender offers the best of both worlds due to its gray-green leaves and delicate purple blooms. Many stores already have lavender out this time of the year, so it’s easy to go pick one up. Though lavender can get quite big, it likes to fit in a space snugly so you can absolutely put it in a pot. Why not check out some of our planters and see what strikes your fancy?

If you live in hardiness zone 8 or warmer (California, Texas, basically the entire south) then agave might be a good choice. There are a few varieties but one, in particular, the marginata, has silver-blue leaves that create a stunning, otherworldly look. And, it gets to be quite large so it would be perfect for breaking up lush, dark evergreens!

Lastly, you want the showstoppers. Most of these will be potted depending on where you live. Many plants are annuals in colder climates, but perennials in warmer ones. These are called tender perennials that are only annuals in climates they don’t tolerate as well. If you are in a colder climate and have tender perennials, you can actually bring them in year after year and enjoy them without worrying about the process of gathering, treating, and sowing seeds. Now that you know that, why not take a look at some of your options?

Moonflower mid-bloom
Moonflowers are beautiful at night! During the day they remain closed, but at night they unfurl and are a gorgeous addition to gardens of the night!

Moonflower. The blooms can get up to 5 inches across and be white or pink. And, it looks like a delicately folded tissue with a little yellow bloom in the very center. If kept in a tropical climate this beautiful plant is perennial. It can be a prolific grower and get to be quite large so for those who want to bring it inside it may be easier to treat it like an annual.

Lastly, you want your runner ups, and this can be anything you like. Many people like the pop of color, such as what you’d see with a bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) which was named well due to the vibrant pink/red of the heart-shaped flower. 

If you prefer for your garden to be less colorful, then snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are a great choice. These downward facing blooms bloom early, so plant them intermingled with mid and late bloomers so that all areas of your garden will bloom throughout the season.

Step Four

Not everyone can or wants to do this step, but we encourage it. You can add certain plants to your garden that attract wildlife. Many of the blooming flowers commonly found in moon gardens are great for moths and bees, but you can also help the bat population too! Simply build or buy a bat box.

Did you know…..

  • Bats play an important part in the ecosystem! One single bat can eat over 1,000 mosquitoes and similar irritating insects every hour!
  • Bats are pollinators that spread flower and fruit seeds!
  • Bat droppings, when collected responsibly are actually fantastic fertilizer!

Step Five

Lastly…enjoy! Fire and water bowls really add to the ambiance of a moon garden. Relaxing in a hammock or gazebo while listening to the soft trickle of water, watching lighting bugs (brought in by wildflowers you can scatter in undisturbed areas of your yard), and relaxing with fragrant flowers around you is the perfect way to shed stress at the end of the day.

 
Last updated on September 17th 2020.

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