This Month's Color in the Garden: January 2017-White for Moon Garden

White Flowers for Moon Garden 
The color white is considered neutral in the garden and often radiates a sense of peace, romance and elegance. White blooms and foliage offer contrast in the daytime garden and make other colors “pop”, but as darkness approaches they take on yet another role. Plants with white blooms or silvery-white foliage have a tendency to become more prominent during the early dawn and evening hours, and have become quite popular in the design of moon, or night gardens. Moon gardens are designed with plants whose foliage and blooms cause them to stand out at night and can be planned to create a peaceful oasis. Many night-blooming plants, such as Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) have blooms that are white and extremely fragrant, while some blooms, such as petunia, release their fragrance at night. When using foliage plants such as such as Stachys (Lamb’s Ear), Dusty Miller or Artemeisia in a moon garden, their silvery-white leaves appears to “glow” in the moonlight.

Moon gate Blithewood Mansion Rhode Island

Hardscape elements can also be added to highlight a moon garden. This rounded structure is known as a moon gate, named for its shape, but would look lovely as an entrance to your night time garden. White gravel paths and lighting can also enhance your space for viewing in darkness. When it comes to selecting plants, Spring blooming flowers with white blooms include Allium ‘Mount Everest’, Crocus, Hyacinth, Tulip, Lilly of the Valley, Candytuft and Snowdrops. Summer blooming white blooms include Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer), Astilbe ‘Visions White’, Aruncus (Goat’s Beard) and Oriental Lily Cassablanca. Late summer blooms include Dahlia, Montauk Daisy, Echinacea ‘White Swan’ and Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’. Shrubs with beautiful white blooms include Azalea ‘Autumn Angel’, Hydrangea ‘Pee Gee’, ‘Limelight’, ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Blushing Bride’, Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’ and Butterfly Bush ‘White Profusion’. For silvery-white to white foliage try Dusty Miller, Lamb’s Ear, Artemeisia or variegated plants such as ‘Patriot’ Hosta, with green and white variegated leaves. There are numerous plants to choose from. Here are some suggested plants with their descriptions. 

Allium Mount Everest Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, N.Y. 
Plant Type: Bulb, Perennial

Hardiness Zones:  5-9
Height: 3-4′ Tall

Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring

White Crocus Jeanne D’Arc 
Plant Type: Bulb, Perennial 
Hardiness Zones: 3-8 
Height: 4-6″ Tall 
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring
Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer) 

Plant Type: Perennial 
Hardiness Zone: 3-7 
Height: 4-8″ Tall 
Lighting:  Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring-Early Summer

Aruncus dioicus (Goat’s Beard)
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones:  3-7
Height: 4-6′ Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Early-Mid SummerOriental Lilly Casablanca
Plant Type: Bulb, Perennial 
Hardiness Zones:  4-9
Height: 3-4′ Tall
Lighting: Full Sun
Bloom Time: Mid-Late SummerDahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum Long Island, N.Y.
Plant Type: Bulb (Variety: Brookside Snowball)
Hardiness Zones:  8-10
Height: 4-6′ Tall
Lighting: Full Sun
Bloom Time: Late Summer
Nipponanthemum nipponicum (Montauk Daisy)
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones:  5-9
Height: 24-36″ Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Summer-Fall
Hosta ‘Patriot’
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones:  4-8
Height: 14-24″ Tall
Lighting: Part-Full Shade
Bloom Time: Mid-Summer (Light Lavender Flowers)
Dusty Miller
Plant Type: Annual
Hardiness Zones:  8-10
Height: 12-24″ Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: None-Foliage Silvery-White
Stachys (Lamb’s Ear)
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Height: 8-12″ Tall

Lighting:  Full Sun-Part Shade 

Bloom Time: Early Summer (Purplish-Pink Blooms)

 Summer Snowflake Viburnum
Plant Type: Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Hardiness Zones:  5-8
Height: 6-8′ Tall
Lighting: Full Sun-Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring-Summer

 Annabelle Hydrangea
Plant Type: Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Hardiness Zones:  4-9
Height: 3-5′ Tall
Lighting: Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring-Fall

Pee Gee Hydrangea
Plant Type: Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Hardiness Zones:  3-8 
Height: 10-25′ Tall 
Lighting:  Full Sun-Part Shade
  Bloom Time:  Mid-Late Summer
Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, N.Y, Springtime White Azalea Blooms

Any combination of plants with the characteristics discussed can be used to help plan your moon garden and bring another dimension to your space. I hope you enjoyed This Month’s Color in the Garden. Next up is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up on the 15th. and Color Our World Round Up on the 30th.

Have you read my book, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Zones 3-9, covering plants hardy in a range of zones from 3-9 and gardening techniques? Learn about landscape design principles, butterfly gardening, deer resistant plants, long blooming perennials, globe and weeping evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs, native plantings, shade gardening and more.  Come along on my journey into the world of gardening! To check out the preview at Amazon, simply click on the image or links for details! Also, watch for my second book, soon to be officially announced!

It’s official as of January 13th! Read about the launching of my new book: Landscape Design Combinations

As Always…Happy Gardening! 

Author: [email protected] Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved