How to Create a Moon Garden

What is a Moon Garden?

I was first introduced to a moon garden when I wanted to create a garden area for night pollinating insects. Nocturnal pollinators include moths, bats, beetles, and even some species of bees take on the night shift to feast on nectar.

After some research online I was looking for perennial plants to form the structure each year, so they will come back year after year (as long as they don’t die or get eaten!). Some of these to be taller (blue) and some lower (purple). Around these are then annuals (red), used to fill any gaps and can either be grown on each year from seed or buy small plants from a nursery each year. I also wanted to add a moonflower which is a climber. See this PDF showing a possible layout.

Night pollinatorI decided that all the plants either have scent, evening scent, have silvery foliage or white flowers. I decided to keep to plants that are easily available, although some may not be so easy to find in local garden centres. My friend Julie Lazyell helped to design the layout as this is something I know very little about. Julie has worked with New Leaf since we first decided to start a Rural Life Design project.

Main Structure Plans for the Moon Garden – Taller plants (Blue)

Wormwood (Artemisia Powis Castle) Scented, silver leaves. Flowers June – Aug
Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) Scented silver leaves. Flowers July – Aug
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis). Scented flowers especially evenings. Flowers June – Sept
Japanese Anenome (Anenome x hybrida white form eg Honorine Jobert) Flowers Aug – Oct
Veronica ‘White Wands’ . Flowers June – Aug
Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) Flowers June – Sept
Coneflower (Echinacea White Swan) Flowers June – Sept

Low Growing Perennials for Moon Garden (Purple)

Euphorbia Diamond Frost Flowers Spring to Autumn
Lambs Ear (Stachys byzantine ) No flower just silver foliage
Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum) Flowers May – July
Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera Jack Frost) Flowers April – May
Night scented Phlox (Zaluzianskya ovata eg ‘Star Balsam’) Scented especially evenings. Flowers June to Aug – Not reliably hardy

How to Create a Moon Garden

Annuals for Moon Garden (Red)

Cosmos – Flowers – late summer into Autumn
Nicotiana Scented flowers – especially evenings Flowers June – Sept
Moon flower / Morning Glory Climber (Ipomea alba)Flowers June – Sept
Snapdragon SF (Antirrhinum – white form) Scented – Flowers June – Sept
Pinks / Dianthus (Scented white form) Scented especially in evening Flowers June – Sept
Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) Scented flowers especially evenings Flowers May – June
Night scented Stocks (Matthiola incana) Scented especially evenings Flowers June – Sept

Bulbs to Plant in Small groups for Moon Garden (Green)

White allium (Allium nigrum) Extend above other foliage Flowers May – June
White daffodil (Narcissus Thalia) Flowers March – Apr
White daffodil (Narcissus Paperwhite) Flowers March – Apr

There are also climbers for night time scent:

Honeysuckle –
Eg Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana’
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serontina’ or ‘Belgica’
Trachelospermum jasminoides

Here is a photo of the dug out part before planting. I’ve chosen a half moon design.

Moon Garden New Leaf
How to Create a Moon Garden

Here is a sketch of how it will look.

I’m planning a Spring planting session. Let me know how you get on with yours. If you have only a small balcony or window sill you can create a small mini magical moon garden especially if you enjoy the evenings.

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