A Place to RelaxBy Jeannette Adams (adamsbydezign)
August 1, 2008
I want to discuss quite possibly my favorite type of beds. There are several different types of plants to choose from. First you have to decide how big you want the bed to be and where you want your bed to be located. It may take some time a research for you to find the perfect plants for your tastes and or zone that you live in but it is well worth it in the end.
A night blooming garden can be a peaceful sanctuary in your own yard. When done properly with the right plants it will a lovely place to relax both day and night.
The plants that I have chosen for this are:
Evening Primroses: (Oenothera ) are perennials with sweetly scented blossoms of soft white, pink and bright yellow that open each evening.
Moonflower: (Ipomoea alba ) is a night-blooming relative of the morning glory that perfumes the garden with five- to six-inch white flowers.
Angel's Trumpet: (Brugmansia ) produces fragrant, six-inch white flowers that appear from midsummer until frost on this viney annual. Note that this plant is poisonous and should be kept away from children.
Night Phlox: (Phlox 'Midnight Candy' ) at dusk, flowers open to release a honey/almond/vanilla fragrance.
Evening Stock: (Matthiola incana ) has small pink or purplish flowers that are not showy, but emit an intoxicating fragrance at night.
Four O'Clock: (Mirabilis jalapa ) is a sweetly fragrant annual with colorful trumpet-shaped flowers that open in late afternoon and release a jasmine-like perfume.
Nottingham Catchfly: (Silene nutans ) offers a scent reminiscent of hyacinths. The flowers open on three successive nights before fading.
Night Blooming Cereus: (Selenicereus ) is known for its large, fragrant, night-blooming white flowers. This cactus is not hardy below 55°F, so grow it in a container and bring indoors for the winter.
Daylilies: (Hemerocallis ) that bloom at night include 'Moon Frolic' and 'Toltec Sundial'.
Yucca: (Yucca filamentosa ) bears flowers that are open both day and night.
Here is a diagram for the possible arrangement of these flowers. Now mind you this is only a suggestion the possibilities are endless. I have created this diagram to do in my own yard with a lovely bench to go in front of it or perhaps a nice covered swing.
Many Romantic evenings have been enjoyed in front of Night Blooming gardens. The sweet smell of the flowers as well as the beautiful blooms adds an heir of romance to the evening. Or curl up on a Garden bench with a few solar lanterns scattered about with a good book and a glass of wine, or coffee if you prefer.
Remember to plant your shorter flowers towards the front of your bed. You want them to get taller as they go back in the bed that way you can see them all well. It also gives you a nice cascading effect. Plant your shrubs and tallest plants in the back row in order to ensure than these do not hide your smaller plants.
Also some investigation should go into the choice of plants fragrance; several plants that smell wonderful individually may smell horrible when combined. Personal opinion will have to be taken into consideration as tastes do vary from person to person.
Something to consider would be to install a small pond with a waterfall in the bed. This would make a lovely background noise for your new serene relaxation area.
I intend to use my night booming garden area as a spot to do palates in the spring. You can add things such as yard art, or wind chimes, things that you find calming. after all what could be better than an area where you can relax at night with a loved one or a good book and do your yoga, palates, whatever you do to relax or exercise during the day.
Before you build a lattice wall or install a pond as in the above diagram you need to check with your local city or county to ensure that you are allowed to do this, also verify whether or not you need a permit to do so.
Photos courtesy of:
Daniel Adams, Elsie Jannet, and Wikipedia public domain
Also some plant information was gleaned from the Colorado state university extension office.