By J. A. Young The nighttime garden is an enchanting place during the growing season. For gardeners who frequently entertain during evening hours, there are several plant varieties and garden features to consider for your landscape. There are also various ornaments and design possibilities that are ideal for a midnight garden. The following article discusses design and installation elements as well as night blooming plants for your midnight garden and evening soirees.

There is nothing quite like a fragrant garden spread beneath a canopy of lush trees and drenched in moonlight. While most gardeners work throughout the day planting, watering or mowing, they may want to reconsider their evenings for pure outdoor relaxation and entertainment. There are many ways to enjoy your garden at night - plants that are night blooming are a must for your midnight garden. Most night blooming flowers are intoxicatingly fragrant giving them all the more appeal.

The following night blooming plants are ideal selections for any garden style:

  • moonflower
  • white sand verbena
  • fragrant plantain lily
  • evening campion
  • yucca
  • night-flowering catchfly
  • thornapple
  • scarlet gaura
  • citron daylily
  • lemon lily
  • evening iris
  • evening star
  • gumbo lily
  • soapwort
  • vesper iris
  • evening primrose
  • night blooming tropical waterlilies
  • four o’clock
  • desert lily
  • white gaura
  • evening stock

Of course there are plenty of other great choices for plantings with entertainment in mind. Showy heirloom roses make attractive additions to any garden, but consider a lighting feature near your arbor or trellis to spotlight them for your guests. Also, white flowers appear luminescent under moonlight or your own lighting features. Amazon lilies, white tulips, white creeping phlox and white gardenias are other attractive choices, but there are thousands to consider, so choose what will grow best for your garden's conditions. Keep in mind that during twilight and evening hours pinks, yellows and lavenders will appear to shimmer so add flowers in these shades too. A few good choices might be: passionflower, lilac, silver sage and lavender.

When it comes to flowerbed design, consider something slightly Victorian and romantic like a maze or labyrinth of hedges. These may be shoulder high or low to the ground; they may be very large are cover a corner of your property. In any case, they make very attractive garden features for evening hours. Consider a surprise feature in the center of your plant maze like a candle-lit gazebo or a fountain lit with underwater lights. If your landscape contains a slope, consider planting a terrace garden also interspersed with lights or decorative torches.

White marble is another luminescent material for your garden. Steps or large stepping stones may be needed in your garden Marble features like statuettes make beautiful and classical garden props. Of course, marble is expensive so consider decorative tiling as an option for your patio floor or to rim a water feature like a patio pond or fountain. Large Medici vases make exceptional stone planters that could be set and lit almost anywhere in the garden. If your landscape is large, consider stone benches installed throughout your gardens to highlight excellent viewing areas.

Lighting has been mentioned, but it is quite important for the night time garden. Torches and candles may be appropriate for your garden style, but there are also many kinds of outdoor and water lighting features to otherwise consider. Lanterns are available online and at local garden centers in many different styles. Oil lamps may be ideal for patio tables, but there are also other types of tabletop lamps as well that are ideal for outdoor conditions. Most likely, you will want to set up lighting for your night blooming plants in order to highlight them and to attract viewers for your garden features like wall fountains and garden ponds.

While many plants appear quite lovely during daylight hours, the night will reflect different elements of many of your plants and add a completely new dimension to your garden. With appropriate lighting, you can showcase your special night blooming plants at all your evening garden parties or family gatherings.