Garden of Night Delights adding allure to the evening landscape.


Garden of Night Delights
  • Posted April 17, 2017

When planting the spaces that provide daytime pleasure, why not incorporate plants and hardscape elements that also have attributes providing nighttime interest? Ideally, soft and intriguing sounds, dramatic silhouettes and shadows, intoxicating scents, and patches of shimmering luminosity will invite one to slow down, unwind and bask in evening's enchantment.

Night Garden Elements

Sounds stand out in the twilight hours, when our sense of hearing is more instinctively on alert and we aren't channeling energy to all the visual distraction of daytime-bright blooms in blazing sun. The sounds of leaves rustling, water tumbling, pathways crunching underfoot and chimes singing softly are doubly delightful as dusk settles into night.
Silhouettes & Shadows in the night garden can provide focal points and artful aesthetics with their strongly defined, uncluttered lines while their mystery can be used to lure visitors down paths to destination points in the garden. They can also define boundaries - as backdrops or as division between, non-shadowy features and areas. Broad-leafed, very slender-leafed vertical plants and those with mounding or weeping growth habits throw wonderful shadows. Spot lighting plants, sculptures or tree trunks can create multiple layers of shadowy beauty and intrigue.
Scent stands out in the evening landscape. Nighttime fragrance can entice you to linger, or draw you deeper into the garden as you seek out the source. Fragrant blooms or foliage can easily enhance mood with relaxing, uplifting or romantic aromas. Scents can also add to the feeling of escape and illusion in a garden with the distraction and sense of immersion they provide.
Shimmer & Luminosity are the dance partners to silhouette and shadow in the evening landscape. They can have mood lighting, spotlighting or directional lighting effects. Silver-leafed plants provide pools of shimmer to the night garden with soft, alluring ambiance. Plants having white or very pale blooms, or foliage touched with generous amounts of white, serve as beacons to pull one into the garden or create guiding and defining boundaries. Landscape lights, spotlights, candles and even light-colored materials for paths, fences and walls can supply luminosity and illumination.

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Tips for Incorporating Night Garden Elements

1. Sound – palms, grasses, weeping trees and ones with papery leaves, water features, gravel pathways, chimes

2. Silhouette & Shadow – plants with very broad or very slender leaves, and strongly vertical or mounded growth habits, sculpture & lighting

3. Scent – Jasmine & Night Blooming Jasmine, Nicotiana, Moon Flowers, Evening Primrose, Gladiolus tristis, Chiladanthus fragrans, Datura inoxia

4. Shimmer & Luminosity – plants with blooms of white, palest yellows & pinks, plants with silvery foliage, light colored pathways, landscape lights, spotlights, and candles