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A Beginner’s Guide to ‘Moon Gardens’

Moon gardens, also known as night gardens, are landscapes designed to be enjoyed at night without flooding your backyard or terrace with artificial light. The moon garden takes on a new dimension as the sun sets thanks to the lovely aroma of flowers that bloom at night, and as an extra bonus, the tranquil glow of exquisite white blooms in the evening light.

Aarushi Chadha
A moon garden
A moon garden

Moon gardens are the ideal outdoor setting for unwinding, meditating, or sipping garden cocktails with loved ones when the moon is out. Suigetsu, a poetic phrase for "water moon," is how the Japanese refer to the moon's reflection in the water. It is stated that during the Heian period (approximately the 1100s), people celebrated the Japanese autumn harvest moon festival by admiring the moon's reflection in their gardens' ponds and washbasins.

This is a tutorial on creating one at home.

Are Moon Gardens a New Concept?

The modern world is familiar with moon gardens. Babur, the first Mughal ruler of India, built the "Mehtab Bagh" (literally, "Moon Garden"). Later, across the river from the mausoleum, his descendant Shah Jehan included it as a part of the Taj Mahal complex. He envisioned it as a moonlit pleasure garden from which to admire the Taj. Jasmine, narcissus, and lilies were among the beautiful white flowers that bloomed at night in this garden. In medieval Japan, moon gardens were also created using sand and white or light-colored pebbles. White chrysanthemums were planted, and there were pools of water to catch the dazzling moonlight.

What’s Needed to Create a Moon Garden?

The following key components make up a moon garden:

  • Flowering plants, both scented and unscented (preferably white)

  • Plants with white or vibrant foliage

  • Reflective elements

  • Bright or white garden décor

  • Musical components, such as wind chimes

  • Sculptures

The secret is to enhance the experiences of sight, smell, sound, and touch in the garden in order to create an environment that enthralls all the senses. Place the plants where you will most appreciate them. For people with limited space, container gardening works very well to create the ideal ambiance. With the right plants and garden accessories, one can quickly transcend the physical limitations of space and be transported into a self-created moonlit sanctuary. To admire the moon on the water, add reflecting surfaces.

While the moon's sharp, quiet reflection on the lake is lovely, the moon drifting like a mirage over the water that has been stirred by the breeze is even more enthralling. The best way to fully bring the moon into your landscape is with a reflecting pool that is shaped like a large shallow water basin. Heavenly, especially on evenings with a full moon.

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