Manolo for the HomeNature at night | Manolo for the Home

Nature at night

By Christa Terry

When I think of gardens, the first image that springs to mind is clusters of colorful flowers, bright greenery, stone pathways, and possibly a fountain or two. The greenspace that exists fully formed in my thoughts is meant to be enjoyed actively…it’s the domain of walkers and sniffers and pollinators and diggers. Take a slice out of your nearest arboretum or botanical garden, and you get the idea.

But there are other gardens out there meant to be savored in different ways. My college, for instance, had a small garden created specifically for the blind to enjoy. I’d close my eyes and walk through it, smelling the various fragrances that wafted my way and feeling the leaves and flowers of plants chosen for their tactile pleasantness.

Another sort of garden, the moon garden, is meant to be enjoyed at night, usually from the comfort of a bench or porch swing. White and light-colored blossoms glow in the moonlight, and the sounds of nature seem amplified when darkness is all around you.

Best enjoyed at night!

Creating your own moon garden is simply a matter of populating a patch of earth with flora that fulfills its true potential when the sun goes down. There are no right or wrong planting schemes, though consider limiting the number of fragrant plants you include so you can appreciate the nuances of one fragrant blossom or shrub.

Plants that look radiant at night:

  • lamb’s ears
  • sombreuil roses
  • artemisia
  • maiden grass
  • gayfeather
  • abelia
  • evening primrose

Plants that bloom at night:

  • moonflower
  • four o’clocks
  • some tropical water lilies
  • angel’s trumpet

Plants that make beautiful music in the breeze:

  • thick grasses
  • bamboo
  • pines

Plants that delight the nose at dusk:

  • blooming jasmine
  • flowering tobacco
  • sweet autumn clematis
  • summersweet

If you haven’t already guessed, moon gardens are amazingly relaxing. When you draw up your plans, don’t forget to include a spot for a chair or bench so you can recline comfortably and revel in the unexpected loveliness all around you…preferably with a nice cocktail and a favorite person or two!

11 Responses to “Nature at night”

  1. TeleriB Says:

    ZOMG, bamboo?! Plant bamboo responsibly. We lived in a place where a prior tenant had planted some as a privacy screen around the back deck – a little 4′ run of bamboo. It spread – my goodness, did it spread. Under the deck. Out the other side. Threatening to crack the asphalt of the driveway with bamboo shoots! We had bamboo in our central air conditioning vents. (It was a trailer, okay? The bamboo got under the trailer, started pushing out through the skirting, and got its stalks into the A/C vents. There was a shoot coming up through the intake vent in the kitchen!)

    I am convinced that bamboo is one of the psycho slasher/stalkers of the plant world. It just keeps growing and nothing will stop it! We hacked down every shoot we could reach, poured salt water on it, covered it with black tarps – and still had to pull up new shoots regularly, because the runners were deep underground and would not die.

    I have seen some people maintain groves of bamboo. I think it takes unending vigilance, and (for preference) a natural boundary like a stream or cliff on as many sides as possible. Beware!

  2. Never teh Bride Says:

    I don’t know why, TeleriB, but the idea of a plant coming through one of my home’s vents freaks me the heck out. It would give me the creeps!

  3. Jennie Says:

    Seymore, FEED ME!!!!

  4. rachel Says:

    For real, be careful with bamboo! I love it and have had it in all my gardens, but it really does require a lot of maintenance. If you want bamboo, make sure to pull up the shoots when they fist begin to appear. Try walking around the area with barefeet and you can feel them before you can see them. They’re super tasty in stir-fries and stuff.

  5. Never teh Bride Says:

    You can eat bamboo shoots? I guess I’ve probably had them in stir fries before, but when I first read your comment I was downright amazed…

  6. Carol Says:

    There’s more than one kind of bamboo – plant the stuff that doesn’t spread. Fargesia robusta is a “clumping” type that grows from rhizomes. The kind you don’t want is the “running” type. That kind will take over the world eventually…

  7. Jennie Says:

    Kudzu, wisteria, and bamboo have taken over the south! Find any ravine off the interstate and this is what you will see.

  8. Lori Says:

    Mexican primrose and lamb’s ear are two others that spread.

  9. Eilish Says:

    I also echo the bamboo warning, but as Carol said, there are a number of lovely clumping varieties that will not spread aggressively. Make sure to ask a good nursery for suggestions.

    As for a moon garden, my personal suggestion is a beautiful (and non-aggressive) perennial called lamium. It has a very soft purple flower and a light green, heart-shaped leaf with a white blush. It is so beautiful at night!

  10. Mariah Mirza Says:

    I love spending time in my garden at night, even though none of my plants are visible without light. The smells alone make it beautiful, but I’d still love to put in some sombreuil roses.

  11. Crablobster Says:

    my hubby always love small gardens and zen gardens, but i’m going to tell him about these. he’ll love the idea of enjoying outdoors at nighttimwe.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
Copyright © 2004-2009; Manolo the Shoeblogger, All Rights Reserved

  • Recent Comments:

    • The Mid-Century Moment (1)
      • Joanna: The retro modern wing back with geometric motif would be stunning in a gentleman’s study or bedroom....

    • There’s Nothing Harder Than Saying Goodbye (7)
      • Christa Terry: Thanks, all! @joods They will remain in the archives, so enjoy!

      • molly: Thought something was going on! Thanks for the amazing blog! Good luck, and have a great life!

      • joods: Oops…forgot something. Will your old posts and your links (on the right side of the page) remain? If...

    • Chandeliers: How Low CAN You Go? (6)
      • Jennifer Man: My personal opinion is that if you want a chandelier you should get one. When having a low ceiling, of...

      • DENY Designs: I hate to say it but you might be out of luck. I don’t think you can go very low with...

      • marvel: I think it depends. No, seriously, I like the look of the chandelier over the table, where it is clearly out...

  • Shop for the Home! Free Shipping Orders Over $200

    Shop Domestications

    VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style Hundreds of Eco-Friendly Products


  • Beautiful Reads

  • Designers We Love

  • Houses and Homes

  • Just Because

  • Manolo's Blogs

  • Outdoorsy Stuff

  • Prettify Your Place

  • Meta

    Subscribe to Manolo for the Home

    RSS 2.0
    Comments RSS 2.0

    Manolo for the Home is powered by WordPress

    Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Mr. Manolo Blahnik. This website is not affiliated in any way with Mr. Manolo Blahnik, any products bearing the federally registered trademarks MANOlO®, BlAHNIK® or MANOlO BlAHNIK®, or any licensee of said federally registered trademarks. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the author.



    Christa Terry
    (a.k.a. Never teh Bride)


    Manolo the Shoeblogger