The 3 Elements of a Magical Night Garden

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Since the long summer nights are waning, we love our evenings in the backyard more and more. Busy modern lifestyles may lead to hurried days, with early morning and evening being the only real time we must savor our gardens.

There’s a magic BBC television show for very young kids called In the Night Garden that is intended to calm kids down at the end of the day and pay them for mattress. Our own gardens can become magical at night, a place where we could unwind and destress. With just a little idea on what we plant, in which we plant it and how we use garden lighting, we could have our very own magical night gardens.

As the light fades, a few aspects of the backyard become enhanced — white, pale blue and yellow blossoms can take on an enchanting luminescence that isn’t observed in daylight, while scent is discharged from night-scented blossoms as the warmth of the day lingers into the evening.

Let us take a look at the three ways we could acheive this magic in our houses at night, by mixing plants that perform best in the evening and at night using all the subtle use of garden light.

Katia Goffin Gardens

1. Color

White-flowering plants possess a wonderful glow in the evening garden. The bright colours of annuals and perennials that meet summertime boundaries — oranges, reds and yellows — lose their intensity as light levels fall. White blossoms, such as these hydrangeas, signify each scrap of light, which makes them appear brighter as other colours fade.

Jess Knowles

Pale blues and lilacs also appear their best in fading light. Sea Hollyhas tiny blue flowers that sit within the rosettes of silvery-gray bracts of the architectural plant. Eryngium grows best in poor to moderately fertile soil in full sun.

Bright foliage also creates an evening glow in the backyard. Light-colored, variegated and silver-leaf plants signify any available light, be it natural or artificial, while dark-colored foliage absorbs light.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, sets 3 to 8(shown here)is a perennial grown for its big, heart-shape silver leaves, edged and veined with green, along with sprays of small blue flowers in spring.

Lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina, sets 4 to 8) has leaves that glisten in the moonlight. A ground-covering perennial, it has the most amazing silvery leaves that have a woolly appearance. Leaves are often kept quite late into fall or winter in mild regions, but the plant isn’t properly evergreen.

Plants blossom in midsummer, and the thick, silvery, felty stems with knotty buds are a significant feature. The purple-pink blossoms are not too conspicuous, being concealed among the leaves that are fluffy. Established plants are pretty drought tolerant, which makes this a fantastic plant for a dry, sunny border.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Pale, light-reflecting grasses are ideal to border a path with. Here their reflective lighting isn’t only decorative; it acts as a safety feature, illuminating the border of the path.

Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, zones 5 to 9) is a fantastic, clump-forming deciduous grass growing to 12 inches, with narrow, arching, green-striped, glowing yellow leaves, often reddish tinged in fall and early winter. Here, Japanese forest grass is planted under immaculate white Hydrangea paniculata, producing an enchanting evening walkway.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

2. Scent

Scent is the second bit of our nighttime garden puzzle. The warmth of the day lingering into evening is represented by pathways and walls, helping diffuse the scent from flowers that are pollinated by night-flying insects. These plants tend to be mild or white, which also enhances their visability in the evening.

Lily ‘Casa Blanca’, revealed here among other white-flowering plants, is a sensational, highly scented lily with glistening white blossoms. It’s among the biggest Oriental lilies you’ll be able to grow. Lilies have among the must-have aromas of the the summer, a strong, sweet fragrance that permeates through a hot summer’s evening.

Petunias may seem be an odd choice for a night backyard, however they have a secret. Petunias are nighttime scented. Some smell during the daytime, but not to the same intensity of the night scent. Plant them in window boxes or hanging baskets to obtain the entire benefit of the evening scent.

Petunia ‘Tumbelina’ are among the most highly scented, making wafts of vanilla aroma that are most powerful in the dead of night.

Yaniv Schwartz – Photographer

3. Garden Lighting

Though setting the ideal night-flowering plants in the ideal area will provide you stunning consequences, if you want to really enjoy your backyard after dark, backyard light is the last ingredient.

Make an effort to not floodlight your whole garden. Instead, pick out specific trees and plants to showcase. Emphasize architectural crops such as yucca, Phormium, Dicksonia and Trachycarpus.

Rugo/ Raff Ltd.. Architects

It requires a lot of light to highlight a tree — crops appear to just soak up light. Uplights showcase plants attractively at night. These are lights on the ground, either put on a polished or spike into the ground.

The light in this courtyard garden superbly encircle the principal specimen trees and plants, casting interesting shadows on the pathway.

The usage of mainly clipped evergreens from the planting means there are no white or light-colored blossoms to reflect any light, natural or artificial. However, the benefit of this is that the wonderful play of dark and light on the trimmed contours generated by the clever lighting.


Maybe these illuminated pots, planted with night-scented blossoms in whites, yellows and blues, are the best way to combine all the characteristics of a magical night backyard.

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