The nocturnal garden is a place of wonder, moon glow and magic. Night-blooming plants provide the backdrop for a singular garden experience that anyone can enjoy in the backyard. With light-reflective blooms, heady scents and a self-timer for prompt evening shows, night bloomers are an underutilized garden treasure. Choose a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors and scents to create the perfect evening experience, and enjoy your garden in the light of the sun and moon.
Some of the most visually arresting garden flowers are large, night-blooming varieties that reveal their forms in the low light of evening. Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba), cousins of the morning glory, open to 6 inches wide in a white, circular form borne on climbing vines. Take special care growing the 3- to 4-foot-tall Angel's Trumpet (Datura innoxia). Bursting forth in evening with gorgeous, 6-inch-long, sweetly scented blooms, it is unfortunately poisonous, especially for pets and children.
Capable of growing 2 feet tall and bush-like, 4 o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) are aptly named bloomers that make their appearance around that hour. Their flowers of light or dark pink, white, yellow and orange are shaped like little 2-inch-long trumpets and emit a heady scent. Evening primrose (Oenothera) provides lovely, 2-inch petal cups of a diaphanous nature that shift from white to pink with maturity. These heart-shaped, petaled wonders smell delectable.
Night phlox, known as Midnight Candy, is named for its confection-like coloring and scent. Small white blooms with deep red edges remain wound during the day, then unfurl at night, revealing their striking beauty and heavenly aroma. A sticky stemmed, tiny bloomer, Nottingham catchfly bears little white blossoms that open three evenings in a row before fading away. For a spicier fragrance rather than sweet, try evening stock. Faded purple, star-shaped blooms on foot-tall stalks waft fragrance after opening to the night air.