How To Create A Garden That Comes Alive After Dark

In the summertime, you can relax and take it easy. The high point of the day during this time of year is the dusk, when the garden transforms into a piece of heaven. Unique fragrances spark emotions and memories. Those precious hours between the end of the day and the beginning of the night are magical. You immediately become absorbed by the interplay of light and shadow, which draws attention onto plants that you ignored during the bright midday sun. The garden becomes an enticing place at the end of the day.

Make the most of the outdoor surroundings and design a one-of-a-kind nocturnal garden. If you’re ready to start, consider these suggestions.

Use Plants That Release Their Sweet Fragrances as Dusk Falls

Plants that bloom or release their fragrances at night belong to the noctiflora group. Several plants are suited for a nocturnal garden, including:

  • Matthiola longipetala
  • Dianthus ‘Memories’
  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Zaluzianskya ovata
  • Gladiolus murielae

These plants have a beautiful perfume, so they add an extra dimension to the garden and allow you to make the most of the outdoor space. You’ll want to spend as much time as possible deadheading the spent flowers. When the plants fade out of bloom, pinch or cut off the stem below the spent flower and right above the first set of healthy leaves. This will encourage more flowers to bloom. You’ll have a fantastic garden that’s full of colour.

Grow herbs that will give your nocturnal garden a pleasant aroma. Popular nighttime herbs are Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Salvia officinalis (culinary sage), and Artemisia ludoviciana (Thymus ‘Silver Queen’), just to name a few. Lavender, in particular, has one of the most soothing aromas in the world. Since it’s quite a big plant, lavender needs to be grown outside, where it has enough space to spread out. Thyme ‘Silver Queen’ should be planted in soil that’s not too rich in nutrients because this will encourage it to become floppy and create an untidy appearance.

Illuminate The Outdoor Space

Outdoor lightning can bring your garden to life after dark. It will literally make the outdoor space glow. You can entertain guests, have meals, and spend time with the kids. Outdoor lights come in various shapes and sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect fit for your home. They create depth, manipulate perception, and enhance colour and structure. You can add candles, torches, or landscape lights. The decision is up to you. When it comes down to outdoor lighting, quality and smart placement are far more critical than price. You don’t need too many lights to create a sophisticated look.

Although planting the right night-scented plants will create a dramatic effect, if you genuinely want to enjoy the garden after nightfall, lighting is the key ingredient. You can highlight trees or trunks and create a defined space within the garden. The lights will silhouette surrounding foliage textures and show off delicate details. Equally, you can draw attention to architectural features, such as a gazebo or wall sculpture. Outdoor wall lights can be placed near strategic spots along corridors. Garden lighting can be as simple or as lavish as you want. However, you should opt for a cosy and warm feel.

Add One or Two Water Features

A water feature adds a touch of tranquillity by creating a peaceful and relaxing sound. Most importantly, it can accommodate a variety of wildlife and nature. A fountain offers graceful falls and will attract lots of birds to your nocturnal garden. A pond, on the other hand, attracts frogs, newts, and hedgehogs, which come for drinking and bathing. The sparkling, rippling surface of the pond is a sight for sore eyes.  You should treat your pond with a bacterial product every now and then. Aerobic bacteria keep algae at bay by eliminating excess nutrients.

Dig a hole where the water feature will go and insert the reservoir. Attach the loose end of the hose to the inlet at the bottom of the water feature. Lower the feature and close the lid of the reservoir. Adjust the flow rate from the pump via the water feature. Skim the leaves on a weekly basis and make sure the pumps and filters are free of clogs. The warmth of the summer and generous sunshine can encourage the growth of plants around your water feature. This, in turn, can create serious issues. Maintenance is, therefore, of the essence.

Use Sound to Attract Wildlife

Creating an audible landscape helps attract wildlife. Inviting birds to your nocturnal garden can add life, colour, not to mention peaceful serenity. The sound of the running water entices birds to bathe. It’s something they can’t ignore. Bells are a great way to create musical notes that respond to the breeze. They look stunning mounted on a back door or on the side of a garden shed. The sounds will help you understand the changes in the wind. Since we’re talking about decorative arrangements, we have to mention wind chimes. Artisans from all corners of the globe are bringing exciting chimes to the market.

When you hear the chimes in the middle of the night, you won’t be able to resist the temptation of looking out the window. If you spend the evening in the garden, you’ll be really amazed at the variety of sounds. Insects, like katydids and crickets, make a great deal of noise. They create a sort of nocturnal chorus. The chirping noises are meant to attract mates or warn predators. Frogs are your musical friends. That’s because they’re on the lookout for romantic partners. The frogs might disturb the night’s peace. Night-time predators make unique sounds. More often than not, it’s a combination of screams, chirps, grunts, and growls.

All in all, during the fleeting evening hours, the garden comes to life. The best way to enjoy your nocturnal garden is from afar. You’ll definitely enjoy the view. If you want, you can tap into the magic offered by the night sky. Magic is all around if you’re willing to see it.