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Monday, June 20, 2011

Garden After Dark...A Moonlight Garden

I am revisiting a series that I have been working on when time review this post to get things started!

I have been thinking about the different types of gardens that one can plant. I heard one comment a while back that suggested my garden had a specific design style. (and here I thought I was just doing it Tootsie Style!!! ha-ha) This led me to explore the different types of gardens and take some time to examine and share each type of garden.

First up is a garden type that is VERY new to me. In fact, until I was sent a question about them by a lady named Diann, it had never even crossed this Toot’s mind!

So? Would you like to explore the different garden types with me? It will be an adventure of the imagination and the senses…

A garden at any time of the day can be a magical place. The different foliage plants and flowers can awaken your senses and temp your imagination to places in your dreams or far away.

Morning brings a crisp new start- everything looks fresh and cheery. The dew brings thoughts of fairies and gnomes at play under the leaves in a mystical habitat that we can only imagine. Optimism and encouragement for a brand new day are abundant during the mornings in my gardens.

Afternoon on a very sunny day brings warm feelings of success and growth. On hot days, as sense of calm almost falls over you when you look at all the blooms so still and so pretty. They watch like spectators from their stations as you move around the garden.

Evening rolls in and the sun begins to go down just enough to cause a magnificent glow to fall over all of the colors in the blooms. The hues of all the different colors become more vivid and the different textures in the foliage and structures seem to POP from the garden. It is a feast for the eyes. But what happens after the sun has sunk too low and the night begins to creep in? Does the day in the gardens really have to end?

Let us begin with moonlight gardens. A moonlight garden is a garden which is designed to be enjoyed at night, under the light of the full moon. It is a very old concept originating from China in the 1600’s. It is a garden type in a category all it’s own, but can be incorporated with other garden types such as shade, water or rock. Creating a place where the moon is welcome to showcase the plantings is creating a magical –almost romantic display that carries imaginations far away.


Creating a moonlight garden is as simple as choosing plants that an reflect the light of the moon is as simple as choosing the right plants. Using light colored leaves, or reflective blooms can create an ambiance that will awaken your senses. Scented blooms and soft light colors can be accented by either natural moonlight or by the addition of a tasteful amount of solar or electric garden lights.

My current version of a moonlight garden is one that was made completely by accident. I had no idea it fit this category until I started to read up on moonlight gardens! I was shocked that I had one! It may not be technically the exact list that I will share with you of plantings, but hey-gardening is not Rocket Science- it is an expression of a gardener much like art is to the artist.


In my moonlight garden I have monkshood, an Elder, marigolds, lilies, Nicotana, Thyme, Silver Wave Petunias, and a few other things. My moonlight garden is also my rock garden the garden that I display my olden things in, such as my wagon wheels etc. It is located in a fairly dark area of the garden and I wanted to be able to highlight it a bit, so I added a string of mini-lights to the garden…I wove them in between the plants low to the ground, around the rocks and olden things. The lights create a glow after dark and on evenings when the moon is not strong enough to light the garden for me.


I planted a moonlight garden before I even knew there was such a thing! Had I known about this very special type of garden, I might have added a few more of the plants off the list (coming at the end of this post)- but there is always next year right? I AM the Queen of Annuals!!!! heh heh


I love the way the light dances on the different elements in this bed. I feels to me like a world far away when the night falls- like a magic land. I loved to sit and look at it at night. (that is until I realized that there is a family of BATS flying around in my garden after dark! Now-all after dark enjoyment has been pre-empted due to irrational fears and Tootsie screaming and crying and running as fast as she can into the house with the first sight of flying mice! A.K.A. BATS) I don’t care how wonderful Bats are for the garden…they are not my friend…not at all…I am S-C-A-R-E-D! and that will not go away. Go ahead…call me a sissy girl…I don’t care!


AHEM. sorry…got a bit sidetracked there…where were we?

Oh yes..

So? What does that list of plant suggestions for a moonlight garden look like?

cosmos, daisies, zinnias, dianthus, marigolds, alyssum, candytuft, snapdragons, foxglove, dahlias, mums, asters, white bellflowers, jasmine, clematis, roses, morning glory, honeysuckle, creeping phlox, rose of Sharon, dogwood, lilac, hydrangea, nicotana, heliotrope, soapwort, lilies, daffodils, freesia, wisteria, snow in summer, and lamb's ears.

So there you have it. Suggestions and all. Remember- when it comes to planting YOUR garden- moonlight, rock or whatever- the only rule is to plant what makes YOU feel go to the magical place that a gardener goes when he/she‘s done a garden his/ her way. ( just keep in mind the specific need of each plant and the location of your bed before you add them to your garden- otherwise….) Have at-er! Let your creative side go!


Here’s my garden room with some lights added. It sure is hard to photograph and get the mood…but you get the idea. Now that I have my new camera...I will be updating this post with new and fabulous photos soon!!! (for now...we suffer with the last year photos)


What’s your version of a moonlight garden? I would love to see it! What is your favorite garden design style? English? Victorian? Moss? Rock? ...the possiblities are endless...leave me a comment to tell me may be featured in a future post about your style!

Fertilizer Friday is just a few trips around the clock away- share your gardens- moonlight or not with me!

Hugs and smiles to you all and and extra little wink for the “3” I do so love to see looking! *) *) *) You know who you are!

Until next time...Happy Gardening!!!

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

Original posting July 14/10

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eileeninmd said...

Thanks for all the neat tips and suggestions. Your moonlight garden is beautiful.

Darla said...

Great tips here and I'm looking forward to reading about the other types of gardens....

Jeanette said...

Such wonderful ideas and suggestions. I used to have a white garden every year that we enjoyed in the evening. I always had a lot of moonflower in it. I am enjoying your lovely blog so much.

The JR said...

We use to have lots more bats. They never really got that close to me. Sorry you are scared of them.

Me, snakes - can't stand them. Big rats - high up on the list.

Luv your moonlight garden.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

YOur gardens are gorgeous whether it's day or night. Your lighting is magical and what great tips and ideas. Love it. Hugs, Marty

Lona said...

Now this is going to be an interesting series.You always have such great ideas.
It is so nice to see pictures of your garden at night. It looks so lovely and enchanting all lite up.

Tamara Jansen said...

I LOVE your moonlight garden!!

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Gorgeous! I have one question. How do you run your electricity out to all of those areas?

siteseer said...

Love the garden room with the string of lights around the top. I don't really have any lighting, but I do have 3 little solar globes that change colors throughout the night. Gotta say that MM would draw the line on me wanting to light up the gardens lol. Just sayin... he makes me turn of lights when I'm not in the room and everything. See you tomorrow for FF

Marlee said...

So beautiful! It looks magical! Following from the Monday Mom blog hop :).

Camille said...

Your garden is beautiful!!! I love it! I love being outside on warm summer nights and your garden looks like the perfect place to be! I found you over at KdBuggie and I love your blog! I am your newest follower and would love to have to stop by our blog and follow back if you want!
Camille @

Beth said...

Tootsie, My favorite kind of garden is a cottage garden! When I began gardening, I just bought things I liked but soon decided I needed a design plan and from there on out I created my cottage garden. I also have a moonlight garden as part of my cottage garden. See you at Fertilizer Friday. I'm showcasing a TREE this time - it is a special tree, on an island!!! Hope you will come visit.
Blessings, Beth