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Roger's Pick: Moon Garden

Summer is here and what a delight to spend more time out in the garden especially in the evening. As daylight draws to a close, there can still be adventure lurking out in a moon garden with its perfumes and dotting white flowers.

The specialized moon garden has been enjoyed for centuries, especially just after dusk when the landscape comes alive in the blackened surroundings. Consider creating a white garden of your own.

Create small intimate niches or secret spaces around a corner and consider some patches of white flowers dotted here and there and you’ll be amazed how much fun it is to see them in the dark.

Bringing that new dimension to any garden’s atmosphere is possible by using an assortment of white flowers to illuminate your nighttime landscape. This gathering of white flowering plants can be in the form of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, bulbs, and seasonal annuals.

Injecting aroma into the equation brings about an entire new drama for our senses through nocturnal fragrances. Consider jasmines, gardenias, philadelphus, osmanthus, honeysuckle and others. Our native Matilija poppy en-masse has a slight aroma as well.

Trees to consider for white flowers and fragrance are Magnolia Little Gem, Crape Myrtle, white flowering Redbud, Fringe tree, Michelia dolsopa, white flowering Bauhinia and birches for their white dramatic bark and branches to mention a few..

Besides just white flowers, consider the world of variegated foliages like var. pittosporum, variegated flax/dianella and also try grays like Dusty Miller for a real good gray-white show plant. With an assortment of white flowering bulbs you can add another dimension of whites to the garden with paper white narcissus, white freesias, ranunculus, galtonia, tulbaghia, alliums, urginea and a whole bunch more.

There is a wonderful mystery in sitting out in the garden at night to appreciate the whispers among the foliage with the chirping of crickets, the croaking of frogs, the rustle of the leaves and the hooting of unseen owls.

The list of the white flowers in a moon garden is lengthy, so if you are interested in learning more, send a large self addressed- stamped envelope to P.O. Box 1806, Fallbrook, Calif. 92088 and I’ll be glad to pass along a list of them for your enjoyment.

Roger Boddaert is a landscape horticulturist and consultant who can be reached at (760) 728-4297.


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