Friday, July 13, 2007

Drawing visitors to your fairy garden

When the sunsets on the garden, the night shift begins.
Many plants bloom exclusively at night. Many more wait until evening to release their heady scent. White flowers and plants with variegated foliage glow softly as they reflect the moonlight. But for a few of our flying friends, the work goes on. The bright blooms of some plants and heavenly scent of some flowers attract NOT only fairies but--> nectar-feeding bats, owls, and crickets. These pollinators work only after dark. Other bats are drawn to the night-blooming garden to prey on insects. They each can consume 600 mosquitoes per hour.

Include plants from each of these categories:

For a night garden, alba or white flowers are used because their iridescent color will stand out in the twilight and evening darkness. Especially helpful in a night garden are flowers that have a strong sweet smell particularly at night, such as Nicotiana affinism,--> tobacco plant, Mirablis jalapa, Four o'clock flowers, Hesperis matronalis or Dame's violet or Sweet rocket.

Tobacco: (Nicotiana ) is a lovely annual with long, trumpet-like blooms valued for their intense evening fragrance.

Night Gladiolus: (Gladiolus tristus ) features creamy yellow blossoms with an intensely spicy night fragrance.

August Lily: (Hosta ) produce waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers with a honey scent.

Fragrant Columbine: (Aquilegia fragrans ) offers creamy white flowers with a rich honeysuckle scent.

Pinks: (Dianthus plumarius ) display pale pink flowers smelling of cloves.

Fairy Lily: (Chlidanths fragrans ) bears yellow, fragrant flowers on stalks in mid-summer

White blooms and reflective foliage plants

Plants with white blooms that reflect light include 'Purity' cosmos, 'Armour White' verbena, 'Alba' foxglove, 'Bride' impatiens, 'Alba' bleeding heart , 'Moonraker' cape fuchsia, 'Perry's White' Oriental poppy, White forsythia, 'Alba' columbine and 'White lace' dianthus .
The silver or white hairs on some leaves contribute a distinct character to the night garden. Plant silver artemesia, lamb's ears, silver sage, caladiums or variegated cannas.

Vegetables and herbs

Candidates for the night garden are not limited to plants in the flower garden. The vegetable garden can be a moonlit and fragrant attraction as well. Look for herb varieties with white or cream-colored leaf variegation. Some plants you may want to try are 'Alba' white fruited eggplant, 'Casper' or 'Boo' white pumpkins, silver thyme, basils, mints and oreganos.

Night-flowering Plants

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.

Notingham Catchfly: (Silene nutans ) ottoffers 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.


January *~* Wolf Moon, gnomes, brownies

February*~* Ice Moon, house faeries, both of the home itself and of House plants

March *~* Storm Moon, Mer-people, Air and Water beings who are connecte
with spring rains and storms

April *~* Growing Moon, plant faeries

May *~* Hare Moon, faeries, elves

June *~* Mead Moon, sylphs, zephyrs

July *~* Hay Moon, hobgoblins (small, grotesque but Friendly Brownie type

creatures), faeries of harvested crop

August*~* Corn Moon, dryads

September - Harvest Moon,trooping faeries

October *~* Blood Moon,frost faeries, plant faeries

November ~ Snow Moon, subterranean faeries

December ~ Cold Moon, snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries

Variable ~ Blue Moon, Banshees and other beings who carry

messages between the worlds