How to make a night garden that comes alive under starlight

transcendent moon

Night-lovers – here’s how to make a night garden! See our night gardening ideas for sweet scents, pale plants and enticing the creatures of the night!

How to make a night garden

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Most of the time it heavily involves, well, the sun. If you like flowers but are not hugely impressed with the sun, what you need is a Moon Garden, also known as a night garden. This is a garden that is planted to be enjoyed at dusk and in the moonlight. Moon Gardens typically have pale flowers and plants that reflect moonlight well or smell their best in the evening. From choosing flowers and plants to encouraging the creatures of the night to love your garden, there’s so much you can do to make your own night garden shine! Let’s take a look at the following:

  1. Night garden decoration ideas
  2. Night garden animals
  3. Night garden plants and flowers

Ways to decorate a night garden

  • Every night garden secretly wants a sundial.
  • Stone garden statues can pick up the fading dusk light in strange ways, casting eerie shadows…
  • You can get solar fairy lights and drape them round bushes. Invisible during the day, but they come alive at night…

Creatures of the night (garden)

Lots of critturs love the night, and you can entice them into your night garden in all kinds of ways…

  • Build a bat box! This has a narrow entrance on the bottom and a little grooved ladder for bats to scale. You can secure your bat box to a tree.
  • Attract more bats with moths and insects. These buzzers and flutterers love it when you plant lots of different kinds of flowers, not just one kind.
  • Plant more pale flowers (see below for ideas). These are easier for insects to see once the sun has set, so you’ll get more night-time insects (and a higher chance of bats).
  • Shrubs and bushes create hidey-holes for small mammals to feel safe when they come and visit. Overturned and broken pots create palaces for creepy-crawlies. All kinds of your favourite night creatures love to eat creepy crawlies, from hedgehogs to owls!

Attracting Bats to Night Gardens

Moth Trap for Night Gardens

Flowers of the Night Garden

Moon-friendly flowers can get lost during the daylight hours but at night they simply shine. Moon friendly flowers will be light in colour, normally white, cream or light yellow. These colours will pop out under the light of the moon and will appear to glow in low light. Many of these flowers come in multiple colours, so make sure you get a colour that will look good in your night garden!

Pale flowers that glow under the moonlight

  • Petunias
  • Irises
  • Lilies
  • Peonies
  • Lily of the valley
  • Yucca
  • Baby’s breath

Night-scented flowers

While white and light-coloured flowers are pretty, gardening is a feast for ALL the senses. You’ll want not only to tempt the eyes, but the nose as well. Many beautiful flowers only produce scent at night and often have a stronger scent than their day-blooming counterparts. It’s best to plant scented night garden flowers where you’ll brush against them or come close to them. Try planting them around doors and paths.

  • Moonflower (yes, really that is its name!)
  • Evening primrose
  • Datura (beloved of witches – be careful, it’s poisonous)
  • Honeysuckle
  • Nicotina
  • Jasmine
  • Garden heliotrope

Pale plants for your night garden

Foliage is an often-overlooked element to any garden, but for a Moon Garden, foliage plants can take a lovely garden and turn it into a stunning garden. Foliage plants that do best in a Moon Garden are either silver coloured, chartreuse or variegated. The light colours of these leafy plants reflect moonlight much in the same way that light coloured flowers do but, unlike flowers, foliage does not fade quickly. Foliage will help keep your Moon Garden glowing even when you are in-between flowering flushes on your flowering plants.

Ideas for pale plants offering moonglow:

  • Dusty miller
  • Lamb’s ears
  • Wormwood (like the absinthe kind)
  • Hostas
  • Sweet potato vine
  • Golden oregano

Final night garden tips

While we have made some plant suggestions in this article, feel free to take a look around your local garden nursery (many have evening hours) for other plants and flowers that will work well in your Moon Garden. Just remember to look for plants with light coloured flowers or foliage and you can be on your way to gardening by the luminscent glow of the moon’s light.

  • Dogwood burns eerie silver by the light of the moon
  • Honeysuckle smells sweet
  • There is also something called moon gardening, whereby one gardens according to the phases of the moon.