The scents that waft from my garden are almost as important to me as the appearance of the plants. In mid-summer, it is too hot to sit outside during the day, but I love to sit outside and sip a glass of wine while I watch the sun wave goodbye to the day. Because I want to smell sweet things while I do this, I began looking for fragrant plants that would work around my porch area and that would bloom at night. Next spring, I plan to plant masses of moonflower vines, and I also plan to plant several other night-blooming plants that work well with moonflowers. I’ll add strings of tiny white lights, and in no time, I’ll have a night garden paradise.
Better Homes & Gardens also offers a Free Plan for a Fragrant Moon Garden, and that is essentially what I want–a place to enjoy my garden during the evening.
“There is something quite magical about a garden at night. To truly appreciate it, you have to sit down and let the worries of the day fade for at least 10 minutes until your eyes adjust to the dark. Light colors and white take on a new glow, and many blooms appear to float because the green stems and leaves fade into the darkness. What¿s more, the lighter colors of variegated plants become more pronounced in the evening.
“Although a moon garden is often conceived as a summer garden, don’t neglect plants that can be enjoyed in other seasons. Plants with interesting architectural form, such as the Harry Lauder’s walking stick in this garden, offer interest even in the dead of winter.
“Night-bloomers such as moonflowers, four-o’clocks, and angels’ trumpets, add their own unique qualities to the garden; their fragrances attract night pollinators. Sound is another element to consider. At sunset, when temperatures cool and breezes whip up, there’s nothing quite like the swishing foliage of grasses, bamboos, and even pine trees as they flutter in the wind.
“One of the most important components of a moon garden is a place to sit and take in the view. You can put a chair in the middle of the garden or place a bench along the perimeter. There is no right or wrong spot; just make sure it’s comfortable. No matter how good that wrought-iron love seat looks, it won’t get much use without cushions to soften the perch.” BHG
L ‘Sunday Gloves’ daylily (Hemerocallis spp.), 30×18 inches, Zones 3-10, three plants
M Blue fescue (Festuca glauca), 12×12 inches, Zones 4-8, five plants
N ‘Munstead’ lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), 18×24 inches, Zones 5-8, six plants – best in full sun
O Snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata), 3 feet x 18 inches, self-seeding annual, three plants
P White cleome (Cleome hassleriana), [[Spider Plant] 5 feet x 18 inches, annual, five plants
R White climbing rose (Rosa spp.), hardiness depends on cultivar, one plant [I plant Climbing Iceberg – It is virtually disease-free]
S Angels’ trumpets (Brugmansia arborea), 7×5 feet, annual, one plant
T Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris), 5×2 feet, annual, six plants
U Blue lobelia (Lobelia erinus), 6×6 inches, annual, five plants
B Variegated yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Variegata’), 30 inches x5 feet, Zones 5-10, three plants
C Moonflower (Ipomoea alba), 12-15 feet, annual, five plants Needs as much sun as possible
D Cardinal climber (Ipomoea x multifida), 6-10 feet, annual, five plants – prefers full sun
E Coleus ‘The Line‘ (Solenostemon scutellarioides), 30×30 inches, annual, five plants
F ‘Bitsy’ daylily (Hemerocallis spp.), 18×12 inches, Zones 3-10, three plants
G Golden Hakonechloa grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’), 14×16 inches, Zones 5-9, seven plants – Shade
H ‘Albert Greenberg’ waterlily (Nymphaea spp.), 2 feet tall, Zones 8-11 or annual, one plant
I Lamb’s-ears (Stachys byzantina), 18 inches x 2 feet, Zones 4-8, five plants – wants full sun
J Hosta ‘Patriot,’ foliage: 2×3 feet, flowers: 30 inches, Zones 3-8, three plants
K Four-o’clocks (Mirabilis jalapa), 3×2 feet, self-seeding annual, five plants – Best in full sun
A Harry Lauder’s walking stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’), 12-15 feet, Zones 3-9, one plant
[Corkscrew Willow is similar]
K Four-o’clocks (Mirabilis jalapa), 3×2 feet, self-seeding annual, five plants
L ‘Sunday Gloves’ daylily (Hemerocallis spp.), 30×18 inches, Zones 3-10, three plants P White cleome (Cleome hassleriana), 5 feet x 18 inches, annual, five plants
Q Clematis ‘Henryi,‘ Zones 4-9, two plants
R White climbing rose (Rosa spp.), hardiness depends on cultivar, one plant