Night Gardens: Moon Gardens.

outdoor-lighting-night (1)If you will be spending time outdoors at night, why not plan your garden to put on a good show when the sun goes down?
One type of evening garden contains white and pastel flowers that are visible at night. As the twilight deepens, the vivid reds, blues, oranges, and purples that stand up so well to strong sunlight start to fade and disappear. But flowers of white, pale pink, cream, and pale yellow begin to glow in the fading light.
Night gardens can also include some of the palest silver-leaved foliage plants such as beach wormwood or dusty miller.
The other way to choose plants for night gardens is to include flowers that do not open until sunset and those whose fragrance intensifies after dark. Most night-blooming flowers are white, and many are sweetly scented to attract the night-flying moths that pollinate them. Be sure to include some of the night-blooming flowers listed below in your after-dark garden.
You should also consider lighting, both for safety reasons and for added drama.
The type you choose will depend on the effect you want to achieve. For example, floodlights mounted in trees cast a soft light on paths or garden beds on the ground; at the same time they cast interesting shadow patterns from tree limbs and foliage. This kind of lighting can create a mysterious quality as well as being functional. Lamps can be mounted on posts or poles of various heights to light different areas of the garden from above. These fixtures can illuminate areas, such as a patio used at night for dining or entertaining, or a recreation area.
Along pathways, you might consider down-lights in short, fat posts {bollards} that have lamps built into them. There are also low-voltage light systems for this purpose; low-voltage kits are easy ti install and may not require a licensed electrician.
To highlight night-blooming gardens or particular plants, install swivel-mounted fixtures at ground level to cast light upward. You can also install lamps recessed into the ground to provide up-lighting. Spotlights trained on plants create very dramatic effects; you can also light plants from behind to silhouette them.
Night-blooming flowers {all blooming in summer} include the following:

 

Datura innoxia and D. metel {datura}.

Vining or bushy annuals that produce huge, white, trumpet-shaped flowers with an intense, sweet scent. Not recommended for households with children and pets because they are extremely poisonous.
Nicotiana alata {nicotiana}.
These annuals are fragrant at night; cultivars come in many colors. Two other, taller species-N. affinis and N. sylestris-have more fragrant tubular white flowers. You should grow them as annuals.
Ipomoea alba {moonflower}.
This morning glory relative is a vigorous annual vine that produces fragrant white 4- to 6-inch flowers that open in the afternoon and closes the next morning.
Oeonothera caespitosa and O. pallida {evening primrose}.
Oeonothera caespitosa, the gumbo lily, grows well in clay soils, opening its fragrant white blossoms late in the day. It is biennial or a short-lived perennial but will bloom the first year if you start seeds early indoors. O.pallida is a perennial hardy in Zones 5 to 8; it has fragrant white cup-shaped flowers and grows about 18-inches tall.
Mattiola longipetala {night-scented stock}.
Unremarkable during the day, at night this hardy annual opens strongly scented pink to purple flowers. The plant will bloom all summer long.
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