If you only have a few free days per week it can be tough to find time to enjoy your garden. But what if you didn’t have to enjoy your garden during the day? What if you planted a garden that really comes alive at night?

You can do such a thing! It’s called a “moon garden,” and it’s perfect for relaxing in the evening with friends or enjoying some quiet time alone.

History of Moon Gardens

The moon has always played an important role in gardening. Long before calendars, we tracked time by the cycles of the moon. To this day, many of our full moon names hint at our agricultural past. For example, the strawberry moon -- which is the full moon in June typically coinciding with berry harvest season -- still reflect this connection.

The first recorded “moon garden” was created in 1933 by Benjamin Poore in Massachusetts. He outfitted the garden in bundles of bright white flowers and even invited a few white animals into the space, including cows and doves! The most famous moon garden was created during the 1950s at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England. The garden’s creator, Vita Sackville-West was an English writer who filled her garden with white flowers like peonies, roses, and irises.

Flowers for Moon Gardens

Incredibly, there are a few varieties of flowers that only bloom at in the very late afternoon or at night. Make room in your moon garden for:

  • Fragrant Evening Primrose
  • Night Phlox
  • Moonflower
  • Datura
  • Four O’ Clocks
  • Night-Blooming Jasmine

There are also flowers that are more fragrant at night than they are during the day. They’re perfect for dark evenings when you’re focused less on your sight and more on your other senses.

  • Gardenia Augusta
  • Tuberoses
  • Lady of the Night
  • Nicotiana
  • Angel’s Trumpets (Brugmansia)

Lastly, you can also select white and yellow flowers that stay open at night and during the day. Large clusters of these bright flowers look amazing under a moonlit sky.

  • Yarrow
  • Snowdrops
  • White Lillies
  • Hydrangea
  • Snow-in-Summer
  • White Daffodils

You can also include plants with light or variegated foliage including dusty miller, variegated hostas, and lamb’s ear.

Furniture & Lighting

Just as you’ll select flowers with light colors that stand out at night, choose patio furniture and pathway pavers in light shades of white or gray. Adding a few string lights or lanterns can make your garden enjoyable when the moon is waning or when there are overcast skies to help you set the stage for an evening with friends.


While your sight may be somewhat limited at night, your hearing won’t be. Add wind chimes or a fountain to give your garden more depth. Water features are also excellent for reflecting the moonlight.


While many people add bird feeders to their garden, if you want to enjoy your garden at night, you’ll need to think about nocturnal species. Night blooming flowers will certainly encourage nighttime pollinators like sphinx moths to visit your garden. Depending on where you live, you can also add bat or owl boxes to your property to encourage them to visit.

Enjoy your garden more this year, even if you are stuck inside during the day. Using these tips, you can create a wonderful evening atmosphere for any space. Need help picking out flowers for your moon garden? Visit us!

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