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Gardener explains the little-known benefits of the mysterious 'moon garden': 'They primarily come out at night'

"I've never even thought about this."

"I’ve never even thought about this."

Photo Credit: iStock

Many gardeners like to grow plants and flowers that are brightly colored and eye-catching during the daytime — and these qualities have benefits that aren't just aesthetic, as they attract pollinators that keep everything thriving. 

But there is another, lesser-known way to attract pollinators and have a unique, beautiful garden: planting things that shine at night.

Permaculture designer and flower farmer Elizabeth (@seedandscribe) created a Reel to share her "moon gardens" knowledge with her Instagram followers.

"Have you ever heard of a moon garden?" Elizabeth asked. 

She explains that, unlike most gardens, which are designed to attract and support pollinators during the day, moon gardens are designed to attract the types of pollinators that come out at night. 

That means that instead of brightly colored flowers, moon gardens contain white and silvery plants that reflect moonlight and make the garden glow at night.

"When it comes to native flowers, one of the best pollinators are actually moths, and they primarily come out at night," Elizabeth said.

Moon gardens aren't a new concept but a relatively little-known one. Some common flower types used in them include sweet alyssum, candytuft, white creeping phlox, angel's trumpet, white bleeding heart, mock orange, moonflower vines, climbing white hydrangea, calla lilies, white lilacs, white lupine, and more.

Elizabeth went on to share her professional expertise about how to create such a garden. She laid out three steps gardeners can take: First, orient your garden on the north or northeast side of the property to create more shade and coolness in the summer and fall when moths are most active.

Second, she recommended using white and silver plants to reflect the moonlight and draw in the moths.

And third, she recommended growing in layers, varying the heights of the plants. And," she added, "if you're really curious, go look up the types of moths that are native to your area and what specific plants they seek out."

The concept entranced Elizabeth's followers.

"Yesssss I have always wanted one with a gazebo so I can sip tea in the moonlight," wrote one commenter.

"Wow this is so cool. I've never even thought about this. Thanks!" wrote another.

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