Along the Garden Path: A garden that glows at night


Being in or close to the garden is something we enjoy at the end of a good day or early evening. Sometimes we feel as if we’re the only people out on their deck or porches but we look forward to an hour or so just relaxing in the garden.

When evening falls and it’s too dark to weed, deadhead, or start a new project, we feel it’s time to turn off the busy mind and turn on our senses. The garden becomes a whole new place after dark, filled with sounds, fragrances and colors.

Now is the time to start thinking about what you will plant this year in your garden.

If you want to tune into your garden in the evening you need to slow down. The best way is to tune in is just to sit down. If you don’t already have a chair or bench to sit on, get yourself one. Though a pretty bench can be an attractive garden feature as well as a practical one, your garden seating can be as simple as an old kitchen chair or a plank of wood balanced on two stumps.

There are many flowers that become more heavily scented after dark because they use their fragrance to attract moths and other nighttime pollinators. In the calm, moist air of evening, the fragrance of flowers can seem to hover over the entire garden. Think about adding Nicotianas that are white and most fragrant. Brugmansia is scentless in the daytime but they turn it on after dark. Moonflower, a vine that thrives in the heat, is a great plant to add to your garden. White flowers and silvery-gray foliage glow as daylight fades. Night phlox, Stock, Dianthus, Mockorange are beautiful white flowers in the garden. Try adding Alyssum that becomes quite fragrant after dark along with Guacamole Hosta, Petunia and Heliotrope (both purple and white) having a vanilla fragrance.

At dusk, and especially when there is moonlight in the garden, white flowers become luminous and can be seen from quite a distance. Other flowers to consider adding to your garden include white varieties of Clematis, Roses, Foxgloves, Daisies, Cosmos, Impatiens, and Cleome. Sprinkle them around the garden to create little patches of moonlight.

Pale gray foliage, especially if the leaves are slightly fuzzy, really seems to glow in the evening light. Think of Lamb’s ear, Artemesia, Lavender, garden Sage, licorice Mint or Russian sage to add beauty.

A white fence really glows at dusk and can serve as a wonderful backdrop. Moving water catches moonlight in a magical way and a little pond or self-contained water feature can take on a whole new life after dark.

As winds calm and noise levels drop, you can really start appreciating the sounds of the garden with leaves rustling and possibly the sound of soft tinkling of wind chimes.

Mark your calendars for Ansonia FFA greenhouse Mother’s Day Spectacular – May 7 from 8-5. It is a huge event that includes an additional vendor tent with more than 15 companies selling all sorts of craft and novelty items! Also, check out the Greenville FFA greenhouse for more of your gardening plants.

Whether you enjoy your evening garden in the company of your spouse with your favorite drink with friends and family, or on a silent stroll by yourself, you’ll find its a soothing, soulful way to put the day to rest.

By Charlene Thornhill

Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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