- Author: Kim Schwind
What is a moon garden? It is a garden that incorporates reflective surfaces, light-colored flowers, fragrant plants, and peaceful sounds, all meant to be enjoyed by the light of the moon. It is the perfect garden spot for busy professionals who don't have time during the day to enjoy their gardens.
A moon garden can include trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials and annuals. It is usually created as a summer garden, but by adding deciduous shrubs and trees with interesting architectural form, a moon garden can be enjoyed year round.
Plants that have light green or gray foliage will also reflect can add another layer of interest as the moonlight reflects off the leaves. Possibilities include lamb's ears, silver mound Artemisia, hosta, blue fescue and lavender.
Once you have created your romantic, whimsical garden, don't forget to take some time to enjoy it. Once outside, allow at least ten minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. As you gaze on the garden and begin to notice reflections from the moonlight, you will see that the flowers and leaves appear to be floating. Take in the sounds of your water feature or wind chimes. Breathe in the fragrance of the night-blooming flowers. Relax and enjoy.
For more inspiration: The UC Davis Arboretum has a moon garden, the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo. You can learn about it here.
If you have a gardening question or problem, call the Master Gardener Hotline at (530) 538-7201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The UC Master Gardeners of Butte County are part of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) system, serving our community in a variety of ways, including 4H, farm advisors, and nutrition and physical activity programs. Our mission is to enhance local quality of life by bringing practical, scientifically-based knowledge directly to our community. To learn more about UCCE Butte County Master Gardeners and their upcoming events, and for help with gardening in our area, visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/.
By Cindy Weiner, UC Master Gardener of Butte County, June 15, 2018
One plant suitable for dry shade is Catalina perfume or evergreen currant (scientific name Ribes viburnifolium). Native to Catalina Island and Baja California, it is a small evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves that have a spicy fragrance. The arching red stems reach 3 feet tall and spread about 6 feet. Pruning the stem tips will increase the density of the plant. Small rose-colored flowers appear from February to April. The fruit, a reddish-orange berry, isn't commonly seen in garden settings. While Catalina perfume needs no supplemental water once established, it can tolerate more, so it can be grown alongside plants with greater water requirements.
Island alum root (Heuchera maxima) is native to the Channel Islands. It grows one to three feet tall and has creamy white to pinkish flowers. Crevice alumroot (Heuchera micrantha) grows on rocky mountain outcrops from central California north to Oregon. It is smaller than island alum root and its flowers are white or pink. Many cultivars of crevice alum root are available in general nurseries. These cultivars have been selected for foliage with silvery, bronze or purple tones. Three of the cultivars are “painted lady,” “Blessingham bronze,” and “purple palace.”
For more information on gardening in our area, visit the Butte County Master Gardener web page at: http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/. If you have a gardening question or problem, call our Hotline at (530) 538-7201.