Create a Fragrant Night Garden for Moths
In today's busy world, the only time that most of us have to enjoy our garden is at night, so many people are creating Moon Gardens with fragrant white flowers and plants with silvery foliage. The bonus to these types of gardens is that they attract important nocturnal pollinators like moths and mosquito eating bats. Such pollinators are on the decline, world wide, so in creating this nighttime sanctuary for yourself, you are also providing food for some of the beautiful and beneficial creatures of the night.
Enjoy the music while you view our Moon Garden.
Garden to Enjoy at Night
Many of us work long hours and the only time that we can enjoy our garden is at night. That is where a moon garden comes into play. Moon gardens feature white flowers and foliage that will glow in the moonlight and also sweet smelling flowers to please our human senses and which will also attract pollinators like colorful moths and other flying insects. The insects that are attracted to the nectar rich flowers may, if you're lucky, attract bats which will eat thousands of mosquitoes each night. Here is a list of some plants that have done well in our Southeastern Louisiana Moon Garden.
We have expanded the enjoyment of our moon garden by screening in little back carport. We never used it as a carport because it was too narrow, but it makes a perfect screen porch so that we can enjoy the garden at night in a mosquito free environment. It's funny how many of the old fashioned concepts like screened porches are becoming popular once again.
Moon Garden Poll
Do you have a Moon Garden?
Many of the photos seen here can be purchased in Naturegirl7's Zazzle Shop as print-on-demand products such as posters, cards, apparel, mugs, etc.
Plants for the Moon Garden
The fragrance of gold Angel Trumpet is stronger at night.
Evening Primroses (Oenothera spp.) are native perennials with sweet smelling white, pink and bright yellow flowers that open each evening. Our favorites are the shorter pink, Mexican Evening Primrose and the very tall yellow, Common Evening Primrose.
Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) is a night-blooming member of the morning glory family that perfumes the garden with five- to six-inch white flowers. Moonflowers are annuals and are easy to start from seed.
Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens) is a tropical woody plant that produces fragrant, 8-10 inch white, pink or yellow flowers that appear from late spring until frost. This plant is poisonous and hallucinogenic so care should be taken with small children and adventuresome teens.
Pink Angel's Trumpet
Phlox (phlox divaricata) is a native that has clusters of lovely fragrant flowers in white and shades of pink and blue.
Louisiana Blue Phlox Print
Owari Satsuma Tree
Satsumas are the hardiest of the oranges. Their white blossoms emit a heavenly fragrance.
Orange, Satsuma and Kumquat Blossoms (Citrus spp.) - Citrus trees have extremely fragrant blossoms day and night and they attract many insects. Another plus is that you will have wonderful fruit to eat and you may also attract some Giant Swallowtail Butterflies to your garden.
Common Stock (Matthiola incana) has small white, pink or purple clusters of attractive, sweet flowers flowers that give out a lovely night time fragrance. The photo below shows purple ones, along with pansies and snapdragons.
Four O'Clock (Mirabilis jalapa) is an old-fashioned, sweetly fragrant perennial (here in the south) with colorful trumpet-shaped flowers that open in late afternoon. In the old days they were a favorite plant to put around the privy.
Apricot Four O'clocks
White Swamp Spider Lily (Hymenocallis occidentalis) is a perennial bulb that grows in wet areas throughout the south. Its intoxicating fragrance is most evident at night, making it a wonderful selection for a moon garden.
White Swamp Spider Lily
Formosa Lilies (Lilium formosanum) are tall (up to 6 feet) perennial bulbs that look something like Easter Lilies. They bloom in late summer and are visited by hummingbirds, moths and other pollinators. Their fragrance is sweet, but not overpowering.
Night Blooming Cereus (Selenicereus ) is a succulent with large, fragrant, night-blooming white flowers. It is not hardy below 55Â°F, so we grow it in a container and bring it indoors or in the greenhouse for the winter.
Night Blooming Cerus
Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.), like the orange ones shown below, usually bloom during the day, but some that bloom at night include 'Moon Frolic' and 'Toltec Sundial'. There are many fragrant nearly white or pale yellow varieties that will add scent and color to the moon garden.
Yucca (Yucca filamentosa) is a native plant that bears clusters of waxy white flowers which are open both day and night. Y. filamentosa has softer, more bendable leaves that are less likely to stick someone.
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) is an annual with clusters of trumpet-like blooms prized for their inviting fragrance. They come in many colors, but the lighter colors are better for a moon garden. Watch out for the Carolina Sphinx Moth (Tobacco Hornworm) larvae.
by aussiegall & used under Creative Commons License
White Butterfly Ginger (Hedychium coronarium) or Peach Ginger (Hedychium hybrid) are both delightfully fragrant. Butterfly Ginger has white flowers and Peach Ginger is light pinkish-orange. As the photo shows, moths will visit these flowers.
Peach Ginger and Moth
Plantain Lily (Hosta spp.) is a perennial with beautiful foliage and trumpet-shaped clusters of flowers that have a sweet scent. Many also have variegated foliage in pale greens and yellows which will show up at night.
Hosta Lily 'Cadillac'
Pinks (Dianthus plumarius) are perennials with pale pink flowers smelling of cloves. Other members of the Dianthus family would also go well in a Moon Garden. By day these lovely blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Pinks - Dianthus
Mock Orange (Philadelphus coronarius) is a fast growing shrub that can reach 10 feet tall and several feet wide. In spring, it is covered with fragrant, single, white, flowers that smell like orange blossoms.
Paperwhites are easy to grow and will multiply and naturalize in the landscape.
Paper White Narcissus (Narcissus tazetta) are a lovely addition to the moon garden for early spring. The fragrant white blossoms come back every year from a bulb. Other Narcissus also have lovely fragrances and would add beauty both day and night.
Paper White Narcissus
For more information about and pictures of moon garden plants, check out Pictures of Late Spring Flowers in Louisiana on hubpages.
Planning and Planting a Moon Garden
A step-by-step how-to guide to help you plant your own moon garden.
Hummingbirds Moths are a member of the Sphinx Moth family and will visit flowers during the day as well as at dusk and dawn. Many people mistake this unusual looking moth for a baby hummingbird. To learn more about moths and other night flying insects visit Hummingbird Moth.
Once your night garden is established, you'll have many moth visitors. Here's a good book which will help you identify some of them.
A trickling fountain or water feature adds a soothing sound to the moon garden while providing water for your night and day time visitors. Visit Easy Water Features for more information about creating your own.
© 2009 Yvonne L. B.