A couple weeks ago, people were buzzing over the ‘Supermoon’ an event in which the moon’s orbit is closest to earth. It was spectacular as it lit up the night sky as well as my backyard! It reminded me of an evening garden tour I took a few years ago. There was this one garden that stood out the most because it had no lights at all! Yet, it was very visible in the dead of night as the moon lit up the foliage of the plants which guided you as you walked the paths of the garden. We call these magical spaces ‘Moonlight’ gardens.
Fortunately anyone can have their own moonlight gardens, the trick is to use plants whose foliage has a rich silvery color and/or whose flowers are an elegant white. In the daytime they brighten and tone down other colors, but at night they are a source for reflecting light and when massed together they create a tapestry of texture.
So here is a list of plants you can use to light up your garden at night under moonlight:
|Artemisia – a diverse group of plants that are valued for their gray to silver foliage color that provides contrasting color value and horticultural interest: one particular variety is A. Powis Castle that is relatively small and has a soft texture and silvery-gray color. Short-lived, but well worth it!|
|Carpenteria californica (Bush Anemone) – has rich foliage and a flowering accent character with showy clusters of white flowers with yellow centers. It also has a slightly spicy fragrance when in bloom.|
|Choisya ternata (Mexican Orange) – has glossy green foliage and bright white star-shaped petals that are both fragrant that add value to small spaces.|
|Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-summer) – is a low spreading perennial with silver-gray foliage and bright white flowers that creates a carpet effect that is sure to light up under moon light.|
|Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) – has leaves that are soft, thick and covered with silvery hairs that have a wooly texture. It is used along borders and paving stones. Avoid placing it along your lawn’s edge as it tends to get ‘mushy’ with too much irrigation.|
Some other favorites:
Helictotrychon (Blue Oat Grass) So tough and versatile
Teucrium fruticans (Bush Germander) Another tough and versatile one seems to do ok in sun or shade
Nicotiana sylvestris–5’tall stems with tubular white flowers. Saw this in Laura Schaub’s garden and had to have it in mine!
Thanks Julia, you always have such great suggestions.