Plans for My Moon Garden

For the past 2 months, I have been building a network, arbors, and trellises that will further enclose my back, side garden.  july13c

There was a lot of work to do.  I needed a foot of dirt in places, and I am building a 24′ deck — to serve as a sitting area.  At this point, I have focused on plants that are most noted for their daytime performance.  The entire time, I have been thinking about what I’ll do to make my garden more enjoyable after dark.  I’ll begin by examining the plants that have a night time appeal.

Flowers around the clock
Morning glories and most daylilies are among the first flowers to open on a summer day, and poppies,zinnias, and marigolds follow along early in the day. By noon, the morning glories have usually closed up shop. When evening comes, it’s time for the four o’clocks, moonflowers, creamy-white tuberoses, and other night bloomers — many of them fragrant. Phlox, flowering tobacco, and lilies are all especially fragrant in the evening, but if you’re up early, you may also catch a whiff of them, and of your four o’clocks, on your way to work in the morning.

1.  Four-O’Clocks – A Fragrant Plant That Only Blooms at Night

Four-O’Clocks are available in several colors.  My favorite color is blue, and because several of the night flowers are white, I feel that the blue would be a nice backdrop.

“Four o’clocks are easy to grow from seed. Plants get to be two or three feet tall in sunny spots or in part shade, and they bloom from midsummer until frost. In relatively warm-winter climates, four o’clocks will come back every year from tubers that overwinter in the ground. Seedlings can be a nuisance, but sometimes they find their way to the most interesting places in the garden, and plants you don’t want are easy to weed out when they’re small.

“Four o’clocks are old-fashioned favorites for a commuter’s garden, says Peter Loewer, author of The Evening Garden and an expert on the flowers that bloom from dusk until dawn. Moonflowers, evening primrose, flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata), some tropical water lilies, and even a few daylilies also bloom in the evening, which makes them nice choices for around a patio, where you can enjoy their flowers after you get home from work. They’re especially pretty on moonlit nights, and in the flash of fireflies.”

Their abundant, trumpet-shaped blooms may be bright yellow, white, magenta, or wonderfully striped or splashed with pink, orange, or yellow. Sometimes several flower colors can be seen on the same plant. The flowers are fragrant, with a scent that is both lemony and sweet, and hummingbirds and moths are attracted to them.

2. Moonflower – Giant White

HEIRLOOM. Fragrant 6″ flowers open in the evening.
These old fashioned flowers, as the name implies, open in the evening. As evening falls, you can actually watch them open. For added interest, mix them with morning bloomers such as morning glories. Grown as an annual but perennial in mild areas, they’re easy to grow and grow best in full sun.
They take their time but are absolutely worth the wait and they can take the heat. Start inside as early as possible to give them the head start that they need. Once they start blooming they will be an attention getter. They open at night and are beautifully fragrant and they glow in the dark almost. Close about mid morning till the next night and are impressive in size and vine coverage. I planted one on each side of my trellis and it was magnificent. Make sure you soak them over night and water them well and plant in full sun.
My tried and true way to grow these is to soak the seeds overnight in a mason jar. Then I add a seed sprouting lid (like the kind you sprout alfalfa seeds for salads and sandwiches). Keep them warm for a few days and rinse them daily and you will see a high germination rate….almost 100%. I then plant them root down in my prepared bed cover with a little soil and snug them in and keep them watered well. I diligently train the vines to a trellis again a barn wall. I plant about 10 packages every year with breathtaking results. Hummingbird moths love them and give me an evening show after the blooms start. It is so worth the extra effort to start early but wait until the ground is warm to plant the seeds. It’s all about timing. Can’t go without Moonflowers. Burpee’s seeds are the best.

LifeCycle: Annual

Uses: Trellis or Lattice

Sun: Full Sun

Spread: 8-10  feet

Sowing Method: Direct Sow/Indoor Sow

4.  Tuberose – Reviewers were not very pleased with this plant

Today, I found the neatest candle holder on clearance at Lowe’s.  It is a 2-part metal device that is designed to clamp around the pole of a patio umbrella.  It includes 6 glass candle holders to fit inside the metal bases.

I am not a big fan of patio umbrellas, but I do like the look of black wrought iron, and this piece does have that look.  Because they were on clearance, I bought a couple of these and began to think about how I could use them without the umbrella pole.

I had alread begun building a series of 2′ x 8′  ladder-like arbors to surround my side back garden.


In the above photo, you see a narrow space and a larger one.  The larger area is an 8′ x 8′ space that will become 2 raised beds [with a path between].  I’ll plant Scarlet Runner Beans on the trellis.  There is an identical trellis on each corner of this bed.

I am building a roof over the narrow space.  That will become a 4′ x 8′ outside storage shed.

But back to the ladder-like trellis.

The candle piece that I bought today is actually 2 separate pieces–each holds 3 candle cups.  I plan  to mount a piece on the next to the top rung of each trellis.

In the following drawing, you see the 8′ x 8′ garden area.  Next to that is an 8′ x 12′ kitchen/dining area.  The yellow notes the 4 trellises that surround the dining area.

I have returned to Lowe’s and bought more of the candle pieces; and I’ll mount a candle sconce on each of these trellises and one on the back wall, next to the grill.


In the following photo, you see the grape arbor/entry into this area of my garden.  Just a few feet into the first box, you may turn right into the 8’x 8′ kitchen garden. The dining area will be next to that .  That is the northern-most part of the 24′ wide deck that will connect the kitchen garden/dining area to the back rose arbor/sitting area/ fireplace.



The above image shows the Southern-most deck/rose arbor area that I have begun.  Again, there will be 24′ of deck from the rose arbor to the kitchen garden.  The dining area/kitchen is on the Northern-most part of that deck.  The middle part of the deck is the entry into the sunroom, on the back of my house.


The above photo is a closer look at the sitting area/rose arbor.  You can see that 1 trellis has been built [on the left side of the gate]; an identical trellis will be built on the other side of the gate.  I’ll hang a candle sconce on each of these trellises.  This rose arbor and gate are an entry into the back garden.  The grape arbor is entry into the side garden.  That is where i am focusing my work this year.


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