Style Guide: Make the Most of Moonlight

Associate Garden Editor Rebecca Bull Reed shares tips and ideas for making your garden an evening retreat.


Hi, I'm Rebecca Reid associate gardner editor at Southern Living once the sun sets your garden takes on an entirely different mood. Cooler and more romantic it's the perfect time to entertain. if your like me it just may be dark more times then not when you roll in from work here's what you need to know about selecting the right colors that will make the most of moonlight. [MUSIC] Think light rather than bright. Pastel hues show up best with white and light pink topping the list. Variegated foliage or flowers with white centers or margins are also good choices, as they can light up the night. [MUSIC] While you may not be in your garden by day, Your plants are, don't forget to match the right plant to the right daytime light conditions. Moon vine, caladium's and inpatients for example play really well together. [MUSIC] If you are planning an important evening event such as a wedding or a reception, opt for white. You'll get the biggest buying for your buck. [MUSIC] Colors you should avoid, are anything dark. Red, oranges and even hot pink appear great at night. And blues and purples all but disappear. Purple may be your favorite color, but if you want to see what you've planted by night, opt for white. If you're not into flowers, foliage works too. Caladiums, lamb's ear, and variegated hosta really stand out at night. [SOUND] Variegated ginger, and ornamental grasses can be interesting too. Even shrubbery, the backbone of the landscape, can make the most of them surroundings. A good one to try, especially in the lower and coastal south, is variegated pittosporum. [MUSIC] Moonlight and candlelight go hand in hand, It's easy to make luminaries with items you've got around the house. Wrap wire around the lip of a mason jar or vase and suspend it from a tree or arbor. Another trick, paint the inside of an orchid pot white. This is perfect for adding ambiannce to a porch. Patio or deck. Fragrance guarantees romance is in the air. Plants such as nicotiana or flowering tobacco and moon vine become even sweeter after dark. Other so Southern selections to try include wisteria, gardenia. Tea olive, ginger, and magnolia. For more tips on how to make your garden glow, pick up a copy of Southern Living magazine and visit
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