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Moonlight (gardens) in Vermont

The idea behind a moonlight garden is to grow plants that can be experienced at night both through sight and smell. A moonlight or night garden contains primarily white or silver plants, as these colors reflect the most light and will glow in the light of the Moon.

Moonlight gardens are excellent ideas if you entertain in evenings, if you work by day so have little time then in the garden, or just want a space for meditation or relaxation.

Your garden needs to be placed where the moonlight will strike it. Walk around on a moonlit night to scout out possible sites. You need to avoid places where the trees will cast moon shadows.

Your garden spot also must get adequate Sun, as most flowering plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight.

Many gardeners like to design their beds in the shape of a full moon or crescent, even a star, though any shape that is pleasing to you is fine.

Another means to give your moonlight garden some variety is to include light yellow, cream, pale lavender, light pink, or other soft colors. These enhance the garden's appeal in the daylight hours too. Avoid red.

As a rule, only plants in the same shade of white should be combined.

For annuals with white blooms consider pansies, violas, white ageratum, 'Helen Campbell' spider flower, cosmos, white marigolds, white impatiens, white begonias (both the latter are good for shade), Marguerite daisies, dianthus, and white zinnias. Try new, low varieties of zinnias. White-scented alyssum, white-scented petunias, tall-flowering tobacco, night phlox, and stocks.

There are many white perennials to choose from.

These include certain species and cultivars (cultivated varieties) of violets, bellflowers, candytuft (Iberis), creeping phlox, Shasta daisies, daylilies, irises, dahlias (these are tender and will need to be dug up for winter), garden phlox 'David', peonies, foamflower, gooseneck loosestrife (site carefully as this one spreads aggressively), bugbane (Actaea), soapwort, foxglove, mums (these are grown as annuals in cold regions), and fall asters. White-scented perennials include roses and sweet rocket (Hesperis).

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