Saturday, June 7, 2014

Create a Moon Garden

Monochromatic Garden Scheme

One of the simplest color schemes for your garden is the monochromatic scheme. This scheme is composed around one color. You may ask, Won't a garden with just one color be boring?  A well planned monochromatic garden can be cooling, refined, imaginative, straightforward, calming, hot, delicate or lively… will never be boring. Keep in mind, a one color scheme can incorporate numerous shades, tints and tones of that single color. The possibilities are unlimited. A solitary color scheme liberates you so you can focus on form and texture. Height, Shape and foliage composition are more noticeable, and subsequently, they become substantially more important in a monochromatic scheme. Combining imaginative form, texture, and design with subtleness of a monochromatic color scheme can bring about an extremely sophisticated effect. Another plus of the monochromatic color scheme its that it creates a felling of spaciousness, since it's not hindered or broken by an alternate color. Therefore, it's a fantastic scheme for a smaller garden. A solitary color does NOT suggest a solitary flower. Besides annuals and perennials, consider bushes, trees and vines that will "upgrade" your solitary color plan with their blossoms, foliage, bark and buds. Here are a few simple guidelines for a rewarding monochromatic garden.

The crimson tones in the coleus and impatiens are dazzling in this monochromatic planting.

Simple Guidelines for a Rewarding Monochromatic Garden

1. Use numerous tints, shades and tones of a single color.
2. Use the entire color line of a single color.
3. Remember less is more.
5. Pay attention to the deviations of a solitary color and integrate them in your scheme for captivation.
6. Texture and repetition help characterize the garden. Redundancy likewise brings together a garden blueprint.
7. To clearly define color masses pay special attention to height variations.
8. To add enthusiasm to the monochromatic garden pay attention to form.
9. To move from one shade to the next utilize the green foliage.
10. Use plant groupings of distinctive sizes, contingent upon the darkness or lightness of your solitary color.   Plan your plantings of various shapes and sizes around the lightness or darkness of the color. To gain a satisfactory visual expression, plant a greater amount of the lighter color plants than darker ones.
11. Increase the number of plants in each group by 1/3 as the shade of your color becomes lighter. As an example, for a pink color scheme you could utilize nine light pink plants, six red/pinkish plants and three burgundy plants.

To complete your monochromatic garden, don’t overlook architectural elements. For a more completed look you can include color-coordinated hardscaping. Use shades of your color on structures for fascinating impacts. Fences, arbors, benches, structures and ornaments dont always need to be a dull brown or grey.  Bold window boxes and painted pots an supplement your plantings. A vividly painted birdhouse, a bright blue bench or even a purple doghouse can make monochromatic garden come alive.


My favorite monochromatic garden scheme is a moon garden. A moon garden is the ideal spot to prop up your feet at the end of a hectic day. The garden is a retreat, loaded with soothing sounds, fragrant aromas of blooms and moonlit magnificence. A well-planed moon garden conveys stillness and tranquility. As the daylight ends and nightfall descends, take a bit of time to relax. Invest that time in a garden that is elevating and moving, rather than before the TV. Making a moon garden incorporates serenity into your landscape, and its simpler than you might suspect.

To create a moon garden that overflows with tranquility, begin with a prime area, not a huge size. Without a doubt, the garden ought to be large enough to incorporate a couple of the fundamental components, however it needn't be intimidating to make or keep up. More modest, more personal gardens regularly lend themselves to unwinding. They encompass you and focus your senses more than wide, open spaces.

    1. White blossoms are the hallmark of any moon garden
    2. Silver foliage lighten up the moon garden and glow in the moonlight
    3. A fountain adds soothing and jovial sounds of moving water.
    4. Candles or low lights add to the mystic of a moon garden
    5. Mirrored balls can reflect the low light and add interest.
    6. A few colored accents are welcomed and add interest during the day. Too many colors become muddy at night
    7. Mosquitoes are attracted to moon gardens also so take precautions. 
    8. Bat houses or ponds stocked with goldfish can help with insect control.

Plant the fundamental part of the garden around a living space, then utilize a percentage of the same plants out farther into the outlying areas to make the garden appear to subside into the night, giving a greater feeling of space and softening the garden directly into the night. Placing your moon garden at the end of a delicately lit path will incorporate the journey into the gardens character.  In order to make your moon garden a peaceful oasis, privacy will be a significant factor in the placement of the garden.

Regardless of the size and area of your moon garden, there are a handful of key segments that assume important roles in making your evening sanctum. A garden is physically constructed of plants and blossoms, yet a moon garden is portrayed by its climate, as well. The center of your garden is its soul, its tone and the mind-set its intended to conjure. Basically, the right sorts of plants and blooms, mixed with the finest trimmings, can mold a garden to both stir your senses and settle your spirit.

Foliage Plants

Foliage plants are the backbone of any garden, creating a backdrop for flowering plants. In a moon garden foliage plants have their own characteristics, this is especially true when using variegated foliage plants. To naturally lighten up the moon garden use foliage plants with white and cream colored leaves that will reflect the moonlight beautifully.

I like to start with a handful of Dappled Willow trees. They lend height to the moon garden and are used to define the area of the garden. I then add a few dwarf conifers to extend the backdrop for the lighter-shaded flowers and to keep interest during the winter. If you have a larger space regular conifers can be used for the same effect. Woody plants will establish a foundation for your moon garden, so choose them carefully. Don’t go overboard, remember more is not always better.

Dappled willow trees and shrubs will grow well in full sun, part sun or part shade.  Best color is produced in full sun.

Now that we have a foundation for our moon garden and the perimeter has been established  we can add a natural privacy fence for a more intimate garden. I like to create my fence using a mixture of grasses like: Blue Fescue, Panicum Heavy Metal and Blue Oat Grass

To complete the foundation of the moon garden add a few grayish-blue accents by adding perennials like: false indigo, lamb’s ears and sea holly. Not only will these plants lighten the moon garden up, they will also give it compelling textural notes with their upright, spiny and soft foliages.


Now the fun begins, creating the heart and soul of your moon garden. Choosing flowers for your moon garden is like throwing an exclusive party with a members only guest list. White and cream-colored flowers like: white oriental lilies, angel’s trumpet and moonflowers, sparkle in the twilight. Coupled with their delicious nighttime fragrance they are a must have for any moon garden.

Moonflowers only bloom at night. their fragrance is full and delightful.

Mix annuals that have sheer blooming power with perennials that have longevity. Including non-fragrant perennials and annuals like: Gaura, white coneflowers, garden phlox, sweet alyssum and Shasta daisies, will keep the moon garden from overpowering the senses and allow it to have interest during the daytime hours.

Mixing typical gray-foliaged plants, with simple day-blooming white flowers, and blossoms with a true nocturnal nature, the ghostlike paleness of blooms and leaves and the mystical buzzing and floating of the nighttime moths can be enjoyed together. The entire moon garden can be coordinated to showcase the extraordinary magnificence of plants in cool, blue lunar light.

Garden Furniture

You will need a reflective area to relax in order to utilize your moon garden for solace. The furniture placed in your moon garden ought to be inviting to you and your visitors. Overstuffed weatherproof chairs will allow you to sink down into luxury. A hand carved wooden bench will give a more natural feel to the moon garden.  Alternately, you may need to include a sprinkle of pale shades by adding some painted patio furniture to draw the eye. Whatever you choose, make sure it is comfortable and agrees with your homes style. A foot stool, a chaise or even a bistro table for wine glasses isn’t a bad idea either.


You could install an in-ground water feature for the moon garden to add the soothing and jovial sounds of moving water. However, a standing fountain will provide the same traits at half the cost. Never buy a fountain without being able to hear it first. Noisy motors aren’t attractive and you will have to decide if you want a babbling sound or a trickling one. Hide the fountain in the foliage plants so it doesn’t become a prominent focal point and make sure you bury the cord in conduit to avoid accidents in the dark. Wind chimes can be used as an alternative to a fountain. Deep hollow bamboo tones or clean, crisp metal notes are great choices.


Placing a chimnea or fire pit in the center of your moon garden’s sitting area allows you to enjoy the garden year round. On cold night it will warm the toes as you sip warm beverages to warm your insides. For a bit of romance and subtleness you can incorporate hanging candle chandeliers, votives, or candelabras all of which will look alluring in the dusk.

Under the moon, a garden communicates its magnificence through the cadenced of light and shade in its reflecting surfaces.  Some will enjoy it in silent seclusion while others in jovial jubilation. However you enjoy yours, a moon garden is a place where life’s treasures can be cherished and revealed.


  1. I confess, it's never occurred to me to try and create a monochromatic garden before. But maybe I'll just start with a few pots to experiment with first?

    Love the tips on the moon garden (confession: didn't know about moon garden until I read this post!!) But like you said, the biggest part of a garden is just having that place to relax and put your feet up and read a book instead of watching t.v.!!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Monochromatic gardens are easy to create and a great way to explore color. Say you wanted to try using red or orange in your garden thinking it may go with the colors you already have but are not sure. Simply start with a few pots like you said that are darker shades of pink or something that has dark pink and white in them. Chances are the lighter red shade will not overpower your color scheme you have going now so you can look and see how they work. If they seem to go well then add one more pot that is a lighter red color and work your way up to a more brilliant shade of red. If all of that works well you would probably be able to tell whether or not a orange would go and then move on from there. Moon gardens are great because you can relax in them. Another benefit that helps you relax in them is that they are meant to be enjoyed in the evening when the light is less. So you don't see all the weeds or things you think you have to do to the garden as much, you can just relax in the low light and take care of the weeds in the day :)


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