My Old Moon Garden
For years it has been my dream to create a themed moon garden here at the farm. White bloomers look cool under a full moon so, when we started one a few years ago, I focused on white bloomers. That original design was a mistake!
This year, as part of our vegetable garden, I planted a flower from my childhood. We put in Four-O-Clock seed, the same flowers I remember in my grandmother’s garden. I loved the large seeds that were always scattered in the bed and I loved the shimmering flowers that only opened late in the day. These flowers are shrouded in the mystery of their specific blooming pattern, and also notable because of the exotic, spicy fragrance they emit when open.
My New Moon Garden
Growing these plants again this year reminded me that a moon garden should not be just about white blooms. Many of the night blooming flowers around the world do happen to be white. It is believed that this is because the plant does not need to exert any effort in attracting pollinators with a lot of showy color. Instead, the pollination strategy alone is to attract insects that are only active at night. Because these plants are working in the dark, they do invest in a strategy that we can all appreciate; their scent! Some of the most exotic scented flowers are night blooming flowers. It is my dream to sit on my back patio under a full moon with the scent of nicotiana, gardenia, and jasmine washing over me as I enjoy a glass of wine with my husband.
This fall we will be ripping out my short-sighted plan for the old moon garden. We have a new plan and it involves many of the following list of night blooming flowers. I thought I would share them with you in case you are similarly inspired to plant for the night pollinators and fill your evening with heavenly fragrance:
Night Blooming Flowers for a Moon Garden
Moonflower (Ipomoea alba): hardy to zones 9-11
Night Gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis): hardy to zones 7-11
Nicotiana (Nicotiana alata): this grows as an annual that self-seeds
Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum): hardy to zone 8
Mock Orange (Philadelphus spp.): hardy in zones 4-7
Evening Stock (Matthiola incana): this grows as an annual that self-seeds
Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera lyrata): hardy to zone 5
Casablanca Lily (Lilium oriental): hardy in zones 3-8
Brugmansia (Brugmansia spp.): hardy in zones 9-11
Datura (Datura meteloides): hardy to zone 6
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa): hardy to zone 8
Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis): hardy in zones 8-11
Night Blooming Cereus (Paniocereus gregg): pollinated by sphinx moths and bats, this is hardy in zones 10-11
Four-O-Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa): hardy in zones 8-11, otherwise you can dig their tubers and store the over winter or allow them to self-seed.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis): pollinated by the sphinx moth and hardy in zones 3-11
Do you plant night blooming flowers? If so, which ones?