By Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Once popular, white gardens or moon gardens seem to have lost their appeal. Perhaps because we spend more time inside than decades ago.
A moon garden will typically include plants with white flowers (which seem to glow) or variegated foliage, creating a multi-sensory experience. These colors are used because they can be seen at night which creates an air of mystery in a bed or yard.
Step one is to choose a site. It can be an area around a patio or your whole yard. It should be a spot that receives moonlight and can be seen from inside your home or patio.
Step two is planning. Pick out hardscape such as white rocks, marble chips and flagstone. A white background wall or fence will help reflect the light onto the plants. Moon shaped accessories will help to emphasize the night theme of your garden.
A comfortable bench or chair to enjoy the new garden and a glass of tea or your favorite beverage. White string lights can be used as well as safely placed candles. Remember to blow them out before you go in since a West Texas wind could be disastrous.
Water features will also help with reflection in your moon garden and you may have a few frogs move in which is a nice addition in the evenings. Choose plants that are highly scented.
Step three is the planting. Blackfoot Daisy, white Lantana, white Guara, Moonflower, Achillea yarrow, Frogfruit (ground cover), Alyssum, White Carpet Phlox, or Sweet Allysum are some of the choices you might consider.
For the variegated or accent plants you might consider Aztec Grass, Artemesia, Oregano, lemon yellow Rosemallow or palm grass.
Permian Basin Master Gardeners wishes you a Happy New Year, and Happy Gardening!
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.