Notes from the Garden: The Moon Garden

It is always interesting to visit gardens that invite you to discover different ideas. The moon garden design, surrounded by hedges of trees or shrubs such as California Privets, Boxwoods, Holly, or an elegant tree line of Hornbeams, creates a divide for a garden area that offers a dramatic effect. Surrounded by these trees or shrubs, the idea of a moon garden is formed, and also is the selection of a focal point and accessories that will complement the entire design. Evening gardens look extremely romantic and inspiring when surrounded by hedges containing a specific entrance to it, either in a gap between the hedges, a door or a gate of wood or iron. It makes a romantic entrance that leads the eye to view the garden directly, or to a central focal point such as an urn, statue or bird bath.

The concept is of a garden that is attractive in the daylight and magical in the moonlight, filled with flowers, variegated and silver foliage, and scented plants. A large quantity of white flowers and variegated leaves will shine until moonlight strikes the garden. Scented flowers and pungent foliage stimulates the senses, adding appeal to these gardens. The beds can be designed around the hedges or geometrically towards the center of the space. Flowers such as Nicotiana, Moonflower, Petunia, Hosta, Casablanca Lily, Shasta Daisy and Lavender can be planted along the borders or beds creating a graceful effect of shapes and heights. Shrubs like Tardiva Hydrangea, “Ellen Willmont” Lilac, Deutzia, or white shrub roses should be planted in the corners to give more depth to the design. Gray plants or variegated foliage will complement this purpose if added by the edges of beds such as variegated Ivy, Stachys, and Artemesia. White Tulips, Narcissus and Snow Drop bulbs can be planted in the fall for a magnificent spring display, keeping the garden’s interest vibrating from early spring to fall.

The moon garden can also be located on a terrace. White flowers will reflect light of the evening, long after brighter blooms fade into darkness, and white furniture should complement the garden. The terrace can be done with “gray stones” such as the very popular blue-stone or river-bottom stone for a more rustic appearance. White gravel can be spread between the stones, as flowers in containers will create much of the display. Geraniums, Petunias, Lobelias, Gaura, Scaviola with variegated Vinca or any other gray cascading foliage, will complement the planters with these annual flowers. The planters should be situated around the patio and will look especially attractive if seated on the white gravel. A large gray urn in the center of the terrace containing an abundance of white flowers and variegated leaves creates a perfect focal point for the garden. Vines will also blend into the design when either attached to a wall or

growing in a pergola. Climbing roses and vines such as Silver Lace vine, Clematis Montana, New Dawn Rose or Iceberg Rose gives a spectacular amount of white flowers to frame the gardens.

Illuminating your moon garden after dark; the lighting conveys a romantic mood and hopefully expands the use of these garden areas. Adequately lighting an evening garden can be done with metal lanterns, hurricane lamps, pedestal candles or any soft light that gives a special accent to the natural light characteristics of the garden. Torches are also suitable in moon gardens and citronella oil should be used to spread a scent that will protect you from pesky nighttime bugs.

Moon gardens are designed to impart a particular mood, with a certain kind of design and a cooler palette of plantings. Different styles of designs can be applied to this concept; even a very modern meadow using silver ornamental grasses and birch trees will look remarkable. There are many native plants that are also appropriate for your landscape and apply for this garden design concept.

The whole idea is to remain inspired by nature and be able to enjoy the landscape using creative garden ideas.

—Landscape Designer, Writer, and Lecturer Frederico Azevedo of Unlimited Earth Care.

Concept Store located at 2249 Scuttle Hole Road, Bridgehampton, on the corner of Scuttle Hole Road and Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. For more information; call (631) 725-7551, or visit www.unlimitedearthcare.com.

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