Gardening By The Light Of The Full Moon – Chelsea Flower Show 2008

  • 4 June 2021 4:55 pm


20 May 2008 – Inchbald graduate, Haruko Seki, will today be unveiling her second Chelsea garden, following her Bronze Medal in 2007 with ‘Garden of Transience’. Haruko’s 2008 entry, ‘Garden in the Silver Moonlight’, takes the beauty and elegance of the full moon as its starting point, to be reflected and captured in a pond in the garden. In the daytime the moon will appear by shot-blasted glass lit from the bottom of the water, to be replaced by the real full moon on the evening of 20 May. The moon will be reflected into the pond and viewed from the platform at the highest point of the garden. In addition, the colour scheme of the garden is silver-grey, just as everything is turned into silver under the moonlight that enables us to communicate with the invisible world.

The moon has long held a fascination with the gardening community and is especially popular in the Mediterranean. Andrew Duff, Director at the Inchbald School of Garden Design comments, ‘Contrary to popular opinion, Moon or Lunar gardening has nothing to do with gardening by moonlight but is affected by two primary factors: the phase that the moon is in and the sign of the zodiac that the moon is in. The theory holds scientific weight as scientifically, the waxing or growing moon is when the moisture level in the soil is at its highest, making it a very good time for planting. The waning or diminishing moon means that moisture levels are at their lowest so this is a good time for pruning.’

Farmers and gardeners also look to the signs of the zodiac for assistance, allocating certain tasks to specific points of the year. ‘Zodiac Tips’ include:

Plant when the moon is in the water signs such as the fickle Pisces
Remove weeds when the moon moves into Aries, Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius and Aquarius
Avoid making decisions when the moon is in Libra!
Cancer tops the list of fruitful signs: plant, transplant, graft and bud
Capricorn is the least fruitful: good for root crops and tubers

In 2008, Haruko will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Inchbald alumni, Marcus Barnett and Phillip Nixon, who won Chelsea gold for two consecutive years working on the Savills garden together. This year Phillip Nixon returns to Chelsea going it alone with the Savills garden hoping to scoop his first solo gold.