Wednesday, September 23, 2015




The moonlight herbscape is a garden bed that is pretty by day, but comes alive at the end of the day.  In addition to herbs and flowers with silver foliage, white blooms and evening fragrance, include light-gravel pathways and a light-grey limestone bench.  The herbs and flowers will catch the moonlight and a gentle breeze will provide a scent that is sweeter and stronger than during the day.  For fun, take a flashlight with you on an evening stroll to spotlight a special flower or see things hidden from the noonday sun.


The Silvers

Herbs with silver foliage look wonderful in the reflected light and also add texture to the herbscape between their foliage, flowers and seed heads.



Artemisia (Artemisia spp) – fine-textured silver foliage

Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)deeply lobed and heavily spined green to grey-green downy leaves  and large blue thistle heads

Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii) - heart-shaped, green to gray-green aromatic leaves

Curry plant (Helichrysum incanum) – silver foliage with clusters of yellow flowers 

Dittany-of-Crete (Origanum dictamnus) - grey-green velvety leaves  with pale pink flowers forming a cascade of elongated clusters

Silver Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) -
grey-leaved downy plant with crinkled foliage resembling mint




Lamb’s-ears (Stachys byzantina) - thick and somewhat wrinkled leaves  with curved shape and white, soft, fur-like hair coating

Lavender (Lavendula spp) – fragrant flowers and grey-green foliage

Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus) - finely divided, silvery and aromatic foliage with yellow or white composite flowers

Mullein (Verbascum spp) - known as velvet plant with large, soft silver ears of woolly down

Rue (Ruta graveolens) – lacey, bluish leaves

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) - grayish white stems with lobed, deeply notched silvery-grey leaves and purple flowers




Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum) - resembles a thistle with burr-shaped, metallic blue flowers

Silver Sage (Salvia argentea) - large rosette of soft, felt-like, downy, silver-gray leaves

Silver Speedwell (Veronica incana) – silver/grey foliage with purple flower spikes

Silver Thyme (Thymus  × citriodorus 'Argenteus')  - tiny pale green, lemon-scented leaves edged in silver and produces lilac flowers

Bursts of White

Summer bloomers with white flowers seem to float and bob against the darkness of night and the addition of bulbs like white-flowering crocuses, tulips, and narcissuses extend the moonlight herbscape to early spring.

White Anise Hyssop (Agastache spp) - flower spires that bloom all season

White Wood Betony (Stachys officinalis) – spiked white flowers

White Foxglove (Digitalis spp) – tall spikes of pure white flowers




White Pinks (Dianthus deltoides ‘Alba’) - bloom in masses with little white-fringed clove-scented flowers 

White Roses (Rosa spp) - color range from stark blue-white, pale cream and ivory

White Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria ‘Alba’) - silvery, woolly leaves and small white flowers

White Viola (Viola odorata) – aromatic white flowers

White-flowering Yarrows (Achillea millefolium) - compact cluster of tiny white flowers with yellow centers over ferny foliage

Fragrance in the Night

Lots of fragrant plants are a sweet addition to the moonlight herbscape and enhance the sense of peace.





Night-blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum ) - powerful, sweet perfume is released at night

Evening Primrose (Oenothera odorata) - gray-green leaves and just before sunset, the buds open and release a lovely citrus-jasmine scent




The Lord watches over you –
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night
Psalm 121:5-6

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