Twilight gardens have nothing to do with vampires

A garden aglow as the sun sets is not a trick; quite the opposite- a moonlight garden is a treat to enjoy when the day turns to night.

Nothing spooky here; just careful planning and picking a spot to be enjoyed from your favorite outdoor seating area.

A moonlight or twilight garden is filled with white and silver plants that reflect the moon rays to create a magical garden experience. Plants can include annuals, perennials, and shrubs and bloom throughout the season.

Before planting, think about materials used for landscaping and hardscaping. Light-colored stone gravel and pavers will reflect light. Cement planters and light-colored pottery will stand out in the landscape. Even gazing balls will add a reflecting element to the garden. Don’t forget about a water source. The water can also reflect the moonlight if housed in a light-colored vessel.

Well-placed lighting is always a smart idea in outdoor areas. If you aim to enhance the moonlight, choose a softer light and leave the bright lights to provide safety around doorways and driveways.

When deciding on plants, consider early spring bloomers such as tulips, irises, and phlox. Carry the white on with peonies, roses, and lilies. Late-season dahlias are also a favorite cut flower for bouquets.

Other plants include caladiums, whose large white leaves with green veining will glow. Hostas are another plant whose leaves have lots of white. Hostas will also add ground cover to the garden, but remember, the deer love them. Another variegated plant that will create a bit of height is Jacob’s ladder or Solomon’s Seal,

Lamb’s ear, with its fuzzy silver leaves, will brighten a border. Japanese fern with strokes of silver running through the leaves will work in a shady spot. Still looking for silver, try dusty miller or silver falls which will cascade over the sides of containers.

By adding silver to your plant assortment, you will be enhancing other white blooms. Here’s a bad example but one that proves my point- an old dingy white tee shirt compared to a brand new one. Both are white, but the new one looks extra white in comparison.

Snapdragons and new guinea impatients are other common annual flowers that can be considered twilight plants. Diamond frost is another annual that is a great filler.

Don’t forget about shasta daisies, sweet alyssums, candy tuff, hydrangeas, and roses.

Carrying white across the garden will let the entire space shine in the twilight hours. But of course, adding soft lavender and pale yellow will keep it interesting. So will a trellis or arbor used to vary the height of your landscape.

Oh, I almost forgot four o’clocks. Talk about a twilight plant. This delicate bloom opens late in the afternoon and close as the sun rises.

Plan now to create your moonlight garden for next year. There is still time to plant bulbs that will bloom in the spring. Maybe a few white tulip bulbs and a beautiful light-colored container make a twilight-themed gift. Add a vampire book or even a clove of garlic just for fun.