Moonlight gardening is more than a “phase” you’re going through so get “glowing”

I have been told I am a goal oriented, driven person, who moves quickly when there is a job to be done. I recognize the launching pad of these characteristics were embedded as a child and are not a phase I’m going through. I was born and raised in the Apollo moonshot dreamers generation, when you instinctively learned that, just like the space program in the 1960’s, three things were needed to get something done: 1) I would need a goal 2) I would need a plan (usually made up as I go) and 3) Not enough time to do it.

Moon rise over Muskegon Lake

One of my goals was to plant more white flowers and silver foliage plants for summer time enjoyment in the evening hours. As the evening skies grow dark and the moon rises above the horizon in the warm July night sky, white flowers take center stage perfect for use around deck and entertaining areas to be enjoyed after dark.  Moonlight gardens, a composition in white, have been grown and enjoyed through the centuries.

I still think Moonflowers are the star of the show. Moonflower vine Ipomoea alba is easily grown from seed. With 4 to 6 inch wide trumpet shaped flowers they put on a show as the blooms twirl open at dusk. A good sunny spot where they have an arbor, trellis, fence or deck rails to twine around will provide the support for a mid summer night’s show. They like Morning Glories need to be shown who is boss however. If given too much nitrogen or tender loving care they might be content to just vine aggressively with green foliage. Some water stress or neglect can often get them to start blooming. White Cosmos, Bacopa or White Roses are other good choices for deck side blooming. A splash of deer resistant soft foliage perennial Lambs Ear as a ground cover with Little Lamb Hydrangeas would show in the moon’s glow. Remember fragrance, some artificial light and natural light (fireflies) add to the enchanting environment. Now blend in the sound of crickets and cicadas and the stage is set for you to enjoy a midsummer’s garden. I would have to say that 3 favorites of mine for July and August in addition to Moonflowers would be pictured below complete with some packets of easy to grow Moonflower seeds. Left to right they are Angelonia, Panicle Hydrangeas and Diamond Frost Euphorbia.

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