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A Moon Garden on Your Balcony

by Fern on September 17, 2009

in Frugal Container Gardening

Gardens are wonderful. We all–or almost all of us–can agree on that. But what if you’re busy working hard all day long and by the time you get home, the sun is long gone? Can you still get any enjoyment out of some plants on your balcony? My answer is a resounding: YES! Yes, you can.

Photo by Lucia

What is a moon garden, you may be asking. Well, it’s exactly as it sounds. A garden that is best enjoyed in moonlight. It is somewhere quiet to sit and relax at the end of the day while enjoying the white flowers that may seem plain during the day, but practically sparkle at night. Oftentimes these flowers produce a heavenly scent at dusk, so you could call it an aromatherapy garden as well.

In addition to white and other light colored flowers, look for silvery foliage plants like silver artemisia, lamb’s ear, and lavender. Variegated leaves also will help add interest around your balcony. Try a variety of Dead Nettle called ‘White Nancy.’ It’s a great “spiller” plant with milky white and green leaves.

I would choose dark or otherwise unassuming containers for a moon garden. You want the flowers to stand out, and for the garden to be peaceful, not bright or “loud.” And while scented flowers add a lot towards that goal, don’t overdo it. Too much perfume will detract from the relaxing atmosphere you’re trying to create.

You should also thing about adding something pleasing to listen to, like wind chimes or a water fountain.

Oh, and don’t forget a place to sit and enjoy your moon garden!

Moon Garden on a Budget?

If you need to be frugal when it comes to your garden, consider growing your plants from seed. For less than $20 you could have several balconies’ worth of plants best enjoyed at night.

  • Angel’s Trumpet – (sometimes also called Devil’s Trumpet) 2-3 foot tall plants produce beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers that produce a citrusy scent best enjoyed in the evening.
  • Moonflower – An attractive vine with heart shaped leaves and scented flowers that unfurl in the evening, revealing large white blossoms. Great for growing on your balcony railing.
  • Money Plant – A medium sized “filler” plant that gets its name from the silvery coin-like seedpods it produces.
  • Indian Peace Pipe – Another white flowered plant that produced a wonderful scent at night. Also known as Nicotiana, this plant produces tall stems that are dripping with tubular flowers.
  • Artemisia Fringed Sage – Has beautiful, deeply cut foliage that is silver-gray and has a pleasant herb scent when brushed against.

Have you entered the Twitter Contest yet? It’s a super easy way to win a copy of either The Green Gardener’s Guide by Joe Lamp’l or Sunset’s Western Garden Book

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