5 Tips for Building Your Own Moon Garden

Moon gardens are specifically designed to be experienced during nighttime, under moonlit skies. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)
Moon gardens are specifically designed to be experienced during nighttime, under moonlit skies. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

If you are someone who likes to stay awake at night rather than sleep like everyone else, you should consider creating a moon garden. Such gardens are specifically designed to be experienced during nighttime, under moonlit skies. This is not a new concept. Moon gardens have a long history and can be found in countries like India and Japan.

“In the early 1500s, India’s Mughal emperor Babur created the ‘Mehtab Bagh’ (literally meaning ‘Moon Garden’). Later, his descendant Shah Jehan included it as a part of the Taj Mahal complex, across the river from the mausoleum: envisioned it as a moonlit pleasure garden from which to view the Taj. Moon gardens were also planted in medieval Japan, using white or pale-coloured rocks and sand. Pools of water were used to catch the shimmering moonlight and white chrysanthemums were planted,” according to Houzz.

1. Location

Moon gardens should be created where there is space for you to sit and relax for hours without disturbance. As such, areas like the deck or patio can be ideal. The site should be well exposed to moonlight so that the true beauty of the flowers can shine through. Locations that have large trees overhead should be avoided, since these trees can block moonlight from getting to the flowers.

2. Night bloomers

The flowers you select for your moon garden should be night-blooming ones. Moonflower is an obvious choice for many people. These flowers are closed during the daytime. But during the night, they not only open up, but also release a nice, lemony smell. Night phlox has flowers that open at dusk, giving off a scent that is reminiscent of vanilla or honey. The flowers of the evening primrose also open at dusk. Some varieties are perennials and can quickly form a ground cover. Other great flowers for the garden include angel’s trumpet, honeysuckle, mock orange, and columbine. When it comes to color, white flowers are the first choice for any moon garden as they will have an excellent glow in the night. Light yellow and pink flowers are also ideal choices.

(Image: Sam Saunders via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

Night phlox has flowers that open at dusk, giving off a scent that is reminiscent of vanilla or honey. (Image: Sam Saunders via flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

3. Bright leaves

As far as the foliage is concerned, go for plants that have gray or silver-colored leaves. The soft light of the moon will reflect beautifully the color of such foliage. Plants that have such leaves include lamb’s ear, dusty miller, artemisia, variegated hostas, etc.

4. Soothing sounds

It is not just flowers that make a moon garden special, but also the acoustic environment you create. A good moon garden will have soothing sounds. Such sounds can come from small tabletop fountains or other similar water structures. Wind chimes that emit a soft sound are an excellent addition to the garden. Also, consider planting some ornamental grasses so you can hear the calming rustling sound they make whenever the wind blows.

(Image via Pexels / CC0 1.0)

Adding elements such as wind chimes to a moon garden help create a soothing acoustic environment. (Image: via Pexels / CC0 1.0)

5. Lights and décor

You can accentuate the moon garden by installing soft lights throughout. These lights shouldn’t be so stark that they will blind you if you look at them. That would defeat the purpose of a moon garden being a soothing place. The colors should not be jarring, so it is best to avoid colors like red. Instead, choose lights that emit purple or shades of violet. In terms of décor, use chairs or benches made of wood. They should be comfortable enough to allow for lounging for long periods. The ground can be covered in gravel. White gravel can glow in the night light, adding to the overall enchanting environment.

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