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evening garden, twilight garden, moon garden

Photo: Mary Bowe, Fine Gardening Magazine

Many gardeners or would-be gardeners work out of the home during the day, with little time to enjoy their gardens in the daylight hours.

Why not plan a garden that can be enjoyed in the evening with illuminating plants and intoxicating fragrances to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day?

Setting the Scene

Your evening garden, sometimes called a twilight or moon garden, should border a sitting area, such as a patio, bistro table, hammock, or bench. An open area that can be lit by the moon works well, but more private spaces under trees can be utilized with the addition of soft lighting.

There are many options of wired or solar-powered pathway lights that create an inviting walkway to your evening oasis.  Providing uplighting for trees can amplify the structure of the tree, making it look majestic and mystical. String lights have become increasingly popular for creating ambiance outdoors in the evening.

Growing scented vines along a fence or trellis can provide privacy and fragrance. The trickling sound of water flowing from a water feature can bring in an additional element of relaxation and romance.

Evening garden, twilight garden, plantsSelecting your Plants

When selecting plants for an evening garden, look for plants with variegated or silvery foliage that will be illuminated by the moonlight or your garden lighting, like Lamb’s Ears, Hostas, or Russian Sage.

Select plants with bright-coloured blooms, like white, orange, yellow, pink, or lavender. Some good perennial plant options include Echinacea, Shasta Daisies, and Dianthus. Some varieties of daylilies, despite their name, open their blooms in the evening and remain open throughout the night. Annuals like Marguerite daisies, Geraniums, Portulaca, Impatiens, Petunias, and Dichondra make excellent choices for your evening garden.

There are also many flowering shrubs that bloom in light colors, such as lilacs, peonies, roses, and hydrangeas, that will add a touch of brightness in the diminishing evening light.

Plants like Helichrysum, Alyssum, Angel’s Trumpet, and Jasmine release a sweet scent which carries through the evening creating a natural aromatherapy.


Your evening garden should be beautiful in the daytime as well, with different textures, colors, shapes, and plant heights.  Incorporating your evening plant selection with interesting daytime selections can make your garden multi-functional and enjoyable day and night.

Evening gardens are meant to create a relaxing place to sit back and appreciate the sights, scents, and sounds around you and create a different perspective of your garden.

Evening Garden, twilight garden