Fifty years ago as a child, I can remember the excitement of watching the grand adventure of Apollo 11 on TV. I sat in awe on the edge of my seat as the Lunar Module landed on the surface of the moon and the astronauts reported back to Huston, “ Tranquility Bay here. The Eagle has landed.” A little while later Neil Armstrong jumped down off the ladder becoming the first human to step onto the surface of the moon!
For millenniums the moon has been an object of mystery, magic, and romance. As kids, we were told there was a man in the moon or it was made of green cheese. We all have marveled at the eerie white light of the full moon illuminating the ground below.
You can incorporate this sense of wonderment and magic by planting a moon garden. You need to watch the cycles of the moon to see where the light strikes the earth around your yard, and be sure not to have the area of your moon garden flooded out by street lamps or porch lights.
The dim light of the moon will reflect off-white flowers, and silver or gray foliage plants in your special moon garden. You want to place large shrubs and taller perennials in the back of the bed and smaller plants in the front.
Many people like to start with Moon Flowers (Ipomoea alba), a blooming vine in the Morning Glory family with large fragrant white flowers that open at night. They are easily grown from seed.
Another popular flower is the large white trumpet like flower called Datura. It is often called the Devil’s Trumpet, Moonflower, or Thorn Apple due to its spiny seed pods.
There is no end to the type of plants you can add to reflect the lunar light. White roses, Garden Phlox, Hydrangea, white Clematis, and white Cleome are just a few of many plants that can be grown in your magical lunar garden!
For spring try white tulips and daffodils, snow drops , early Anemone, Trillium, creeping Phlox and white Bleeding Hearts.
For summer let your imagination be your guide. Perennials like White Cone flowers, Yarrow, Queen Ann’s Lace, Daisies, and small shrubs like Deutzia, small Hydrangea and Butterfly Bush will nicely reflect the weak lunar beams of light.
Don’t forget sweet perfume permeating the night air by planting Lilies, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Wild Tobacco (Nicotiana) and others. Annual Brugmansia, or Angel Trumpets produce a large trumpet like flower that releases a strong aromatic perfume after the sun sets.
Also, plants with silver, gray or foliage like Lamb’s ear, Dusty Miller, and variegated Euonymus adds to the mystery of the illuminated garden.
Sit out on a warm summer evening snuggling with one you love, spellbound by the romance and magic of your very special moon garden!
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