What is a moon garden?

Posted May 3, 2018 in Landscape Design, Plant and Tree

There is something magical about a property at night.  When the sun sets and the moon starts to glow, landscape and accent lighting come alive and the atmosphere transforms into a romantic and relaxing environment.  While early evening and nighttime may be the only quality time some get to spend unwinding from long hours in the office during the week, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your outdoor living spaces just as much as you would if the sun were in full force.  One sweet, charming and aromatic way to heighten your evening experience would be to plan a moon garden somewhere on your property.

What is a moon garden?  Glad you asked.  Moon gardens are designed to be best enjoyed at night and include a majority of light-colored variegated plants and light/bright/white flowers, specifically selected for their ability to reflect the moonlight and emit intoxicating fragrances to help shoo away any stress and usher in a calming effect.  Within 10 minutes of settling down in this space, your eyes will adjust to the dark and the light color of the plants will seem to glow and float as their stems and leaves fade into the surrounding darkness.

Clever yet calculated plantings are selected to touch upon the senses, without having to be sharply seen.  When the temperatures take their dip at night, you can comfortably sit outside and listen to the gentle rustling and swishing of the foliage and grasses nearby, while catching subtle sweet notes of perfume in the air.  The four main types of plants that work well in a moon garden will fall into the categories of: white flowers, bright foliage, night bloomers and evening fragrance.  Planting en masse will guarantee a successful visual and aromatic night delight, as opposed to planting white flowers here and there and hoping for the best.

What plants and flowers are best for homeowners in the good ‘ol northeast Pennsylvania, you ask?  Another fabulous question!  While flowers bloom at different times of the year, it is important to include spring, summer and fall bloomers into your plan, to keep it successful as far into the season as possible.  Here is a quick season breakdown of suggested plantings to include in your magical moon garden:


  • Snowdrops
  • Hyacinth
  • Lily of the valley
  • Creeping Phlox
  • Fothergilla
  • Magnolia trees
  • Bleeding hearts
  • White daffodils and tulips
  • Evening primrose



  • Mums
  • Tall phlox
  • Sweet autumn clematis

A good number of night-blooming flowers are hardy and perennial in zones warmer than ours, but that shouldn’t keep you from incorporating them into your landscape.  These flowers will act as annuals in your moon garden, so they can still be enjoyed for the season!  Our favorite annual evening flowers are moon flower, angel’s trumpet, four o’clocks and ever-flowering gladiolus, their fragrances are simply awesome.

Besides flowers and foliage, there are some other features that can be integrated to ensure the success of your garden.  Add comfortable seating and lounge chairs to the space so you can completely unwind, integrate a glass or mirrored gazing ball to capture and reflect the soft moon glow or you can even add a water feature nearby to create the soothing trickling sound of water to block out any unwanted neighbor or road noise around you!  Finish the space off with the soft, warm glow accent of string lights to enhance the moon’s glow, and you will have yourself one beautiful and tranquil oasis.  Your outdoor enjoyment certainly does not need to end once the sun sets for the night, and a moon garden is a wonderful addition to your property to ease into your perfect peaceful place.

MasterPLAN Outdoor Living understands that you work hard to provide for your family; this is why we want to make your landscape design process as fun, seamless and a purely positive experience so you can relish in your successes and enjoy your free time at home with your family in an outdoor space you love.  Thinking outside of the box, solving problems and creating outdoor spaces that are beautiful and functional to fit your needs, lifestyle and architecture of your home is our specialty and our passion.  If you would like to discuss the options to turn your outdoor dreams into a reality, reach out to MasterPLAN, we would love to chat!

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