Saturday, 3 December 2011

Moon Garden (03 DEC 2011)

"Referred to as Moon Gardens, a white themed planting inversely glows at night , incorporating hints and tints from lime to blue."

When I first came across the concept of Moon Gardens while reading a post by Laura@Patiopatch, I was inspired to dedicate an area in my garden for moonlit viewing.

However, as with most of my whims, I thought about it, dreamt about it and did nothing.
Recently, a combination of events occurred which brought the idea to the fore again ...

Last week, I took a day off work (& life) to do some leisurely pottering in the garden. To start with I went to the diy store to buy some spring bulbs. Prices were slashed because they were sprouting already. I bought two packets of snowdrops as they were the least developed.


Before leaving, I was tempted to cast my eye over the sick plants shelf. I haven't bought any for a while, because I saw some pensioners jostling for them once, and thought maybe the plants should be left for them.

However, instead of the usual half-dead specimens begging for tlc, there were loads of plants on sale looking quite healthy considering the time of year; perennials that should have died down for the winter but still hanging in there. I bought four at £4.99 each, not being a regular plant buyer, I'm not sure if these were bargains.

Anyway here they are : 
pyracanthus with orange berries (back)
clematis (front) - I failed at growing clematis from seed this year
white, scented jasmine (left)
white, climbing hydrangea paniculata (right)



Winding down in the evening after digging up flower-beds, I noticed that this week Katarina's Blooming Friday meme is : Moonlit. If only I had a ...    and then I realised that my purchases today alone could turn the "woodland" into a moon garden eventually; snowdrops at the front, jasmine and hydrangea climbing up the rear wall. The following day, with no more procrastination, I took action and planted them. Finally, the dream of a moon garden was a step closer to becoming a reality.

The next steps planned were to add cuttings, seedlings and bulbs from the white-flowering plants currently residing around the rest of the garden.

Lily-of-the-valley, whitebells & iris for spring ...

                       


Poppies, roses, dianthus and lupins for summer ...

          


Nicotiana, anemone and viburnum for autumn ...
  
                    


                                     Hellebores for winter ...



Yesterday at about 5pm, I went out to view the site of my moon garden-to-be. The sky was clear, the moon three-quarters full, but the garden was so dark that I needed a torch. Where was the moonlight?  Then it dawned (or rather dusked) on me that I had never seen my garden (or any other) awash with moonlight. I had checked the internet for examples; there were several articles on moon garden design and suitable plants but no convincing photos of a moonlit garden.

I ventured forth into the darkness, with my torch and camera, from the front patio and down the path by the lawn ...

                                                 


up the steps and across the rear patio ....

                                                 


past the birdbath to the woodland  ...

                                        


Even photographing with a flash, you can only just about see the white rabbit statue on the left, behind the silvery leaves of dusty miller. However, I have to say that I have never drawn in the overall scent or listened to the garden the way I did that night. The articles that I have read mention that the senses of smell and hearing are heightened in a moon garden and you can take advantage of this by selecting scented plants or including a water feature. Extra lighting would be required, but then practically, would anyone trek to the "woodland" to sit and sniff in semi-darkness?

In hindsight, it would probably have made more sense to turn the patio in front of the lawn into a moon garden using pots of white-flowering plants, as it could be viewed through the back doorway from the comfort of the kitchen table. However, I'll leave that project for another day ...

How to design a Moon Garden :

List of plant suggestions for a Moon Garden :

Today I'm linking up to Katarina's meme Blooming Friday : Moonlit
Please check out : Roses & Stuff    for more Moonlit posts.

©Copyright 2011 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2011/12/moon-garden-03-dec-2011.html

29 comments:

b-a-g said...

If anyone has a post with a good photo of a moon garden at night, please could you add a link in a comment.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

My gosh, I wish I had photos of the moonlit gardens I designed. They were filled with white flowers and foliage. But their main intent was to attract the night feeding pollinators in addition to the scent that people enjoy sitting on the patio in the evening. They are some of my favorite gardens to design and I love all white and light colored flowers.

Stacy said...

Oh, how wonderful to take a day off work to do things in the garden, b-a-g! And how wonderful to be taking the plunge into (mystical voice) moon gardening. I don't have an actual white garden, but I do have some white flowering plants and spend many (most) summer evenings outside in the garden at dusk or after dark. I think of the effect more as a "ghost" garden, or maybe as a reverse photo-negative--not something strikingly white enough to create a "real" photograph, at least not without a tripod and sloooow shutter speed. A teeny bit of light is needed, from streetlights or dedicated garden lights or moonlight, to let the white blossoms loom out from the dusk, but you don't want too much. Really, sitting outside in the dark (as long as you can get there safely) is a huge pleasure--about the most relaxing thing I can think of. The white blossoms keep the darkness from being disorienting.

Esther Montgomery said...

Our moon is always obliterated by an excess of street lights. If I wanted, I could sit in our garden and read by them at night. (I've tried it!) Maybe your moon-garden idea will help me see this horrid light pollution in a new and positive way. Until this, I've been in mourning for darkness.

Alistair said...

Hi b-a-g, I have never heard the term moon garden before. All very exciting and something to look forward to. Your post is extremely interesting and set up beautifully. I have a feeling that your Hydrangea may have the wrong label, paniculata is a shrub form some do grow as high as nine feet, climber is petiolaris.
http://www.aberdeengardening.co.uk/diary/index.php/2011/03/hydrangea-petiolaris-2/

linniew said...

You got some good bargains in those plants b-a-g! And I am so pleased to see what a romantic you are-- Worth doing, I think, just so you can say 'moon garden' a lot... 'Last night, while I was out in my moon garden..' And I loved the night images.

HolleyGarden said...

I've often thought of a moon garden, but always get side tracked with other colors! I think the moon gardens are supposed to be viewed at dusk - light enough to see, but dark enough for the white plants to shine. I did once grow moonflowers on the columns of my back porch. I loved seeing them at night - illuminated by the back porch light, of course!

b-a-g said...

Hi Donna - Night pollinators, never thought of those. I hope I don't have moths flying in my face ... or bats.

Thanks Stacy - I didn't know about the slow shutter speed. I'm going to try it if my camera has that facility.

Hi Esther - I now have an image of you in my head, reading a book under a streetlamp, surrounded by scented plants (& night pollinators).

Thanks Alastair - I'm pretty sure that you already have a moon garden without realising it.

Thanks Linnie - I'm not really a romantic, I just want to spend more time with my plants ...

Hi Holly - A back porch sounds like a lovely place to sit in the evenings. I don't think we have those in the UK.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

I have quite an extensive white garden that blooms with bulbs in spring and white blooms through fall. I continually add more white blooms for each season to make it bloom whiter...it is beautiful in moonlight and I can view it from the gazebo next to it without mosquitoes...unfortunately my point and click camera is not great at taking night photos...I hope you keep going with your white garden...it is worth it...happy to compile a list of the plants I used...

Christine @ the Gardening Blog said...

Hi Bag - I love the idea of a moon garden! I was sitting out back this evening and was really thrilled with the way all the white flowers in my garden show up at night! I think its worth doing - even if it is a walk away from the house, you'll enjoy the odd evening stroll to go and admire your moon garden!

b-a-g said...

Hi Donna & Christine - Your comments have convinced me that I need a moon garden in my life. If you could let me know your top three favourite plants for night-time appearance and scent that would be great.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

I have a moon garden around my patio where we eat at night when the weather is nice. There are white and scented flowers, but don't forget white and silver foliage, which lasts much longer. White flowers: camellias, smaller magnolias (I have sweetbay for scent and oyama magnolia), white astilbe, hardy geraniums, snowdrops, hellebores. Foliage: silver leafed lamium (Purple Dragon or White Nancy), silver pulmonaria (Majeste or Diana Clare), white or silver brunnera (Jack Frost or Dawson's White). I am sure there's more. The fun has just begun.

b-a-g said...

Thanks for the plant suggestions Carolyn.

Kininvie said...

Hi b-a-g, Alistair's right about the climbing hydrangea - petiolaris. If your plant has little sucker-type rootlets, that's what it will be, and it will stick itself to a wall without any help. It's hard to tell from the picture, but your jasmine looks more like stephanotis to me.. in which case it is likely to be a bit tender to grow outdoors. Do you have a full name for it?

debsgarden said...

I love the idea of a moon garden! I think it will be quite romantic. Now, all you need are some lanterns and a cozy bench for you and your honey!

Katarina said...

I would love to have a Moon garden - the mere name gives me pleasure...

Carolyn ♥ said...

Never heard of a moon garden before... but you've captured my imagination. I sense this may be my next garden project come Spring.

b-a-g said...

Kininvie - Yes, Alistair was right, I misread the name. The jasmine is labelled : jasminoides trachelospermum

Deb, Carolyn & Katarina - Glad this post inspired you. Imagine all the gardens in the neighbourhood lit up at night.

PatioPatch said...

ah b-a-g, this is charming. So glad to have been the spark that lit your planting design. Good choice of seasonal plants you have already and the more perfume the better. I love Night-scented Stock, (purple blooms pale in the night light). Sit in the dark and your eyes will acclimatise as your senses rise. Try a little moon bathing when its full moon - clothes are optional. William Blake used to do it and look at his poetry!

b-a-g said...

Thanks Laura - Judging by your poetic prose, I suspect that you've been indulging in some moon bathing yourself ...

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Hi b-a-g, never heard of a moon garden, though I do love the way white flowers sing out at dusk. Good luck with your project, and perhaps you can plant some white night blooming flowers in pots around your patio to get the best of both worlds? Oh, and I think those are definitely plant bargains, I'm sure the pensioners can allow you the occasional foray into the sale bins.

Becky said...

Right now my whole garden is a moon garden, but the white is from the snow. I love to plant moonflower, evening scented stock and white flowering tobacco. Sometimes I venture out there at night, but here the night usually belongs to the critters.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Janet - Best of both worlds sounds good to me. The woodland would be magical at night but its visible to all around. The patio is more private, and it would be easier to run into the house if I get attacked by the creatures of the night.

Welcome Becky - We had heavy snow last winter, it was beautiful, but I feared for the plants. I was surprised to learn that snow actually protects plants from the cold. Thanks for the plant suggestions, I need to check out moonflower as I'm not aware of it.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

B-A-G I like phlox David for color and scent. Carolyn has lots of my other favs. I also planted white peonies and lots of white daffs for white color and scent. I really need to do a good inventory of my white garden plants. I add so many for foliage interest that have white flowers like heucheras and hostas. I will do a better inventory and then do a post next fall.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Donna - for reminding me of peonies, I can get a bit of root from my mum's garden. I look forward to reading your post.

Malar said...

I have read about moon term gardening before.
My mother with indian belief use to tell that plant everything while the moon is growing! Same philosophy? ;)

b-a-g said...

Hi Malar - That is the subject of the next post. There are lunar (moon) calendars on-line which advise when to plant, but I might try your Mum's tip instead.

Elephant's Eye said...

(delete Anon, that's SPAM!)

When they built the Baxter theatre I was enchanted by the garden. Predominantly white plumbago, and wonderfully effective when wandering out for a breath of air during the interval.

b-a-g said...

Diana - I googled Baxter theatre out of curiosity, but no pictures of the garden unfortunately.

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