Sunday, March 3, 2013
Magical Moon Gardens
Last year I finally faced the truth: my front garden gets almost no direct sunlight. This was a difficult realization for me, since I planted every plant, shrub and tree in that yard. But trees and shrubs grow, and the laurel oak and wax myrtles I planted ten years ago are quite happy where they live. Still, this means my dream of a charming and colorful cottage garden in the front is dashed. No matter. A moon garden it is.
Over the last twelve months I have replaced the more colorful foundation plants with their white or variegated alternatives. The tragic holly trees which were never happy where they grew were replaced with dwarf magnolias. Bright red scraggly bottle brush was replaced with G.G. Gerbing white azaleas. I even risked a dogwood, on the off chance that at least some sunlight will get to the poor thing.
En lieu of bright, colorful plantings, I decided to do a white-on-white cottage garden wherever possible. Currently, white petunias are struggling to come back from the snail hoards which overran the garden this autumn. They probably won't make the cut for springtime. White variety of angelonia adds a little height to the beds and white garden mums left over from last September seem to be coming back well. Soon the star jasmine climbing my house and the Easter lily nubs I planted will bloom perfuming the spring air. Still waiting on the white coneflower to come back. Fingers crossed there.
As the season progresses, I'll fill in gaps with dusty miller, variegated hostas and, perhaps some ferns for texture. White impatiens should thrive in the laurel oak's shade. A delicate windchime and garden lights will complete the moon garden in time for warm summer months.
For your own moon garden, here are some tips: