Friday, October 1, 2010 – by Bonnie Baranowski, Crabtree Volunteer and Master Gardener
“Oh, the summer night,Has a smile of light,And she sits on a azure throne.”- Barry Cornwall
As summer boring draws to a abutting and black temperatures moderate, it’s a abundant time to analysis your garden as it cools at dusk, and to accept to crickets and frogs sing afterwards night falls. But what is there to adore in the garden already the sun goes down? Plenty, if you accept a moon garden! A moon garden is buried accurately to be beheld in the low ablaze of the evening, and additionally appeals to the senses of aroma and touch.
Moon breadth date as far aback as Medieval Japan, breadth anemic rocks, sand, white chrysanthemums and pools of baptize were the capital features. In 1639, Mogul Emperor Jahan of Red Fort, Delhi, India broadcast the palette by application jasmine, narcissus, tuberoses and lilies for his garden. This blazon of garden accomplished the acme of its announcement in the 19th aeon Massachusetts garden of Alice Morse Earle, which featured 700 anxiety of borders with white flowers and foliage, in accession to white livestock.
In the 21st century, there are a array of affidavit to bulb a moon garden. If you are an alfresco lover or ardent gardener, how can you say no to accession acumen to go outside? Having a garden to adore at night is a acceptable way to become acquainted of the alien apple in our own backyards. For night owls and alive professionals, black may be the alone time they accept accessible to affix with nature. Advantages abound; as admirers of moon breadth are addicted of saying, weeds do not appearance at night!
Carefully allotment the breadth for your moon garden will enhance your amusement of its beauty. Since moon garden architecture relies on the comedy of annex on lighter-colored plants adjoin aphotic backgrounds, it’s a acceptable abstraction to seek out areas in your backyard that are aflame by the moon as you activate to design. A abode that receives lots of sun is additionally apparent to the moonlight, and makes an accomplished choice.
Shady sites can additionally work, but the adverse will be a bit lower because the annex will be partially blocked by copse or buildings. Including some affectionate of bendable lighting can advice to accession this contrast. Best solar lights are aloof ablaze abundant to accommodate attenuate illumination. Candles are a low-tech, if not romantic, alternative; in addition, their smoke can advice repel mosquitoes.
Site your garden in a abandoned alcove or a comfortable bend abutting to your home, abroad from the acrid blaze of floodlights and streetlights. This should be a abode breadth you can feel amidst and belted as you adore the adorableness of your garden. If it is available, use an absolute fence or barrier as a simple and bargain accomplishments to authorize the garden’s structure. Remember to assets amplitude in your armpit for a basement breadth area you can relax and adore your creation!
Because a moon garden is advised to be enjoyed in low light, the capital architecture elements accommodate blush contrast, fragrance, and sound. The accomplishments for the garden should amalgamate beloved and deciduous copse and shrubs with aphotic leaves. Options like pieris, azalea, and rhododendron adopt shade. Lorapetalum, beginning dogwood, summersweet, hydrangea, gardenia, deutzia, and snowball viburnum will abide a mix of sun and shade; brilliant magnolia, crabapple and white baptisia, adopt brilliant areas.
The mainstay plants of any moon garden are the night-bloomers; these plants accept acquired with this appropriate to abstain aggressive with those that blossom by day. The ambrosial flowers of some night-bloomers allure pollinators like bewilderment moths, and alike bats. A chat of caution, however: abounding night-bloomers are poisonous, and should not be buried in areas breadth adolescent accouchement play.
Moonflower vine, boasting white or dejected flowers up to six inches in diameter, serves as a centerpiece for abounding moon gardens. Since it charge be accurate by a filigree and ascend to blossom fully, this backcountry can accommodate one of the vertical elements of the garden’s structure. Other night-bloomers accommodate black primrose, night-scented stock, four o’clocks, night-blooming jasmine, night phlox, night-blooming cereus, and night-blooming baptize lilies.
Blooms brave with white, silver, anemic chicken accommodate a arresting adverse to the aphotic accomplishments foliage, and reflect the moonlight. Cosmos, delphinium, abiding candytuft, petunias, daffodils, “Silver Queen” columbine, “Tennessee White” Dwarf crested iris anatomy a bounce tapestry. As summer arrives, attending to phlox, nicotiana, baby’s breath, candied alyssum, “Casa Blanca” datura, and “Snowball Hybrid” marigold to abide the show. Fall bloomers like anemones, mums, tuberoses, and asters annular out the season.
Don’t balloon to accommodate foliage plants to aggrandize your architecture palette: artemisia, arenaceous miller, lamb’s ear, snow-in-summer, different hosta and Japanese corrective bracken all fit the bill. Plants with chartreuse appearance such as coleus and candied potato backcountry are additionally appear to afterglow by the ablaze of the moon. For a absolutely different twist, accommodate edibles: white pumpkins (“Moonshine”, “Baby Boo”, or “Lumina” varieties), “Alba” white eggplant, cauliflower, “Delicata” winter squash, argent sage, argent thyme, bristling thyme, chamomile and dill. The herbs do amateur duty, accouterment color, aftertaste and fragrance.
While abounding of the night-blooming plants avowal exhilarant fragrances, you can additionally about-face to candied pea, autumn clematis, ambrosial geraniums, hyacinths and passionflower backcountry if you charge added options.
Since best birds don’t sing at night, your garden may assume eerily quiet unless you booty the aspect of complete into annual in your design. Native or pampas grasses, bamboo (in containers, please!) and pines with best all-overs crackle acclaim as they are bent by the black breeze. The bendable crawl of a baptize affection or the tinkling of wind angelus can additionally be a acceptable addition.
These architecture account and attempt can additionally be activated to awning porches, decks, and sunrooms for accommodation and townhouse dwellers, or those who adopt to booty in attributes from a added amid angle point. The architecture options for moon breadth are acutely endless, and an agog association of moon gardeners exists in book and online. Check the accessible bulb sales in Chattanooga to banal up on your admired moon garden plants!
Helpful Links: (Special acknowledgment to Ann Brown for administration resources)
A abundant account of books on moon gardens:http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/moon/msg1107342327733.html
Caring for moonflower vine:http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/893/
Local Fall Bulb Sales:Chattanooga Breadth Food Bank: http://chattfoodbank.org/?page_id=295
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