Planting a moon garden is a practice as old as the ages. These enchanting gardens create a serene and mystical spot for contemplation, romance and meditation – day or night.
The key to creating a Moon Garden is to choose plants that will magically shine under a night sky in the light of the moon. Choose flowers that open or release scent at night, plants with silver or variegated foliage, and for a full sensory experience, choose highly fragrant varieties.
In general, annuals will have more blooms throughout the summer, but last only one season; whereas perennials have a more limited bloom period, but serve as a great long-term investment as they return each year with more vigor.
These are our picks for the best moon garden blooms for your buck. Channel your inner moon child and get planting!
Dramatic Lunar Backdrop
For vertical interest and a stunning backdrop, these are some of our favorite moon garden climbers and vines to choose from.
White Mandevilla Evergreen, twining annual vine that produces stunning white trumpet flowers from spring until fall. Its glossy leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year, reflecting the moonlight.
Climbing Hydrangea Native to the woodlands of Japan, sought after for its stunning fragrant white lace-cap flowers that cover the branches from early to mid-summer, with dark, glossy heart-shaped leaves to catch in the moonlight.
Vase Vine Clematis – A perennial and another climber that we like for its celestial appeal. This vine looks like the night sky when it fills with dainty, star-like and sweetly scented white flowers late in the season.
Moonlight Thrillers & Fillers
We like these choices for lushness, greenery, scent and profusions of flowers at varying heights throughout the season.
Summer Jewel White Sage This annual has masses of beautiful spikes of white tubular flowers rising above the foliage from mid-spring to mid-fall. Its attractive fragrant and fine-textured leaves remain green in color throughout the season.
Guardian White Larkspur A perennial with bold spikes of white flowers with chartreuse eyes rising above the foliage from early to mid-summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its deeply cut lobed leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season.
Liatris ‘Blazing Star’ Also known as Gayfeather, this is a perennial with tall rigidly upright and towering form, featuring featherlike spikes of star-shaped white flowers rising toward the sky from mid-summer to early fall.
Surdiva White Fan Flower An annual beauty with dainty white flowers along the stems from mid-spring to late summer. Its small serrated oval leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season.
White Rugosa Rose An old-fashioned hardy shrub rose, covered in fragrant single white flowers with repeat blooms from late spring to late summer.
Dixieland Maiden Grass Also known as Japanese Silver Grass, the attractive grassy green leaves with showy white variegation throughout the summer are extra catchy in the light of the moon. Later in the season, silver seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from early fall to late winter.
The Moon At Your Feet
Get grounded and anchor your moon garden with these low growers.
Woodland Tobacco A dense herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth, featuring tall and showy spikes of highly fragrant, long white blooms that look like shooting stars above large green foliage.
Cloud Nine White Floss Flower Another dense herbaceous annual with a mounded form, featuring masses of beautiful white flat-top button flowers at the ends of the stems from late spring to mid fall.
Thorn Apple This annual has a ground-hugging habit of growth, featuring fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers that will spread over a large area from early to late summer. Its attractive heart-shaped leaves remain dark green in color, with distinctive creamy white veins throughout the season.
Moonshadow Shining Silvers
We’ve taken a shine to these silver lined selections for their understated elegance in the moonlight.
Silver Mound Artemesia Although it doesn’t flower, we like this perennial in the Moon Garden for the way its silvery foliage tends to reflect the light, and for its textile appeal – silky soft with a woody, herbaceous scent when touched.
Silver Lemon Thyme This perennial herb is commonly grown for its edible qualities, although with tiny fragrant round green leaves with showy white variegation, we love its unexpected moon garden merits as well. The leaves have a savory taste and a pleasant fragrance that can be harvested at any time in the season.
Silver Dust Dusty Miller An interesting and beautiful annual, producing silver-gray, deeply lobed, lace-like fuzzy foliage throughout the season.
Dreamy & Enchanting Moonlit Containers
Don’t forget how much interest can be achieved with containers for varying heights, movable interest and trailing habits.
Easy Wave® White Petunia This annual will stand out, with a trailing habit of growth, draped in stunning white trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems that bloom freely from mid-spring to late summer.
Clear Crystal White Sweet Alyssum This annual is clothed in stunning clusters of fragrant white star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from mid-spring to mid-fall. Tiny narrow grayish-green leaves bring an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.
Glitz Euphorbia A well-branched and vigorous annual, producing whimsical and airy clusters of white flowers at the ends of the stems from mid-spring to mid-fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting.
Get Pro Moon Garden Guidance
The selections featured here are mostly inspiration for full sun applications. We invite you to consult our Garden Center staff onsite for guidance to create a moon garden design with the right plants for your space and conditions.
Want a moon garden but don’t want to tackle it alone? Our Landscape pros are your best local resource for garden design and installation. Reach out for a free consultation.
For more inspiration, use our free online Plant Finder Tool to browse our inventory and search by specific plant criteria. You can tag your favorites to create and save your own personal Moon Garden Wishlist. Bring with your Wishlist on your next visit to Studley’s, or look in the footer of the Wishlist to email it to us. We’ll reply with a quote, to arrange payment and local pick-up or delivery.
My Pro Tip:
The phases of the moon have been used by many cultures for centuries, as a guiding light by which to determine the optimum planting time for crops.
Mother Nature still always has the final say on when it is safe to plant, but if we take our cues from the moon as our ancestors did, we’ll know what she’s telling us.
The full moon in May is also known as the Full Flower Moon, and is considered the official lunar green light for planting, as it is usually a signal of the last frost.
For 2022 The Full Flower Moon occurs May 15-16th. Permission to plant!
See you at Studley’s!