The days are getting shorter. I know I know….the days are not actually getting shorter; we are just having fewer hours of day light. Anyway, the days are definitely getting shorter, which makes you think that you have less time to enjoy your garden. These longer evenings can give you an opportunity to enjoy and experience you garden in a whole different way. A night garden plays with your senses; causing your eyes to focus on luminous blooms, touching foliage and catching the scent of a hidden flower. A night garden can be a totally separate part of your garden or it can be incorporated into the existing one.
When the sunsets in the evening, the garden usually fades with the light, but with certain plants you can bring out the beauty of the garden in the moonlight.
White blooms, such as large mop head hydrangeas, take on a luminous glow in the evening light. Yellows and pinks can take on a beautiful glow at night that they cannot achieve in the bright sunlight. Patterned flowers and variegated foliage become more visible at night. One of my favorites is Minuteman Hosta; its dark green foliage is deeply edged in white, which stands out in the half-light of dusk.
If you are looking for a night blooming plant, look no further than the Moonflower vine. It is an annual vine which can be prolific in its growth. It produces six inch pure white trumpet flowers that unfurl in slow motion every night at sunset. The blooms only last one day, I mean evening, and remain fragrant well into the night. It may be a fast growing vine, but it doesn’t freely reseed itself so save some seeds for next year. Along with the moonflower, other flowers wait until nightfall to release their perfume into the air, such as nicotiana and four-o’clocks.
A night garden takes on an exotic appearance at dusk with different sounds, smells and sights and can extend your garden enjoyment for a couple hours longer each day.