Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~ Now that you have an idea of the types of plants that can be grown in a moon garden, let’s get down to the bones! Start by selecting a location for your garden. It can be in a little used corner of the yard for privacy or meditation, or it can sit smack dab in the middle of the yard. For trip-free nighttime strolls be sure and allow plenty of room for pathways that are both wide and clear. And if you are not the type of person who really wants to wander in the yard at night, consider placing the garden near a porch or deck where it can be enjoyed in relative comfort and safety.
Of course, your moon garden can be any shape or size you like, but the traditional moon garden shape is round. A circle can be arranged in many interesting ways. If the purpose of your moon garden is for relaxing or meditation, perhaps you might like to have a labyrinth of pathways within the circle that lead to a focal point in the center, such as a sitting area. A circle garden can be quartered to represent the four equinoxes, or wedged into twelve triangles to represent the months of the year. Half or crescent moon-shaped gardens lend themselves well to a fence or trellis against which climbing, night-blooming plants become the focal point.
Limited space or apartment living need not deter you from creating a small, but beautiful moon garden. It is surprising how many plants can be grown on the smallest deck or patio using pots, urns or tubs. Small wooden or plastic trellises are perfect for growing vining moonflowers or jasmine. To add some drama and flair to a small garden, use stands, blocks or empty pots to stagger plants at different heights. Hanging baskets, window boxes and many other space-saving planters are available to those with small spaces.
Water features are especially beautiful in moon gardens. Fountains make soothing gurgling sounds, while still ponds and bird baths shimmer and shine with the moon’s reflection. Particularly attractive in a moon garden are large structural elements such as glass orbs, statues and sculptures. Objects that reflect light or make soft sounds are all welcome additions to the moon garden. Stones don’t always shine, but they add a lot of architectural interest to any garden. Even light-colored pebbles in a pathway will glow in the moonlight, guiding you safely through the garden.
Obviously, a moon garden is meant to be viewed in the soft ambient light of the moon, which isn’t always available when we want it to be. For cloudy nights, or those of the new moon, a few strategically placed solar path lights will do wonders to make your garden shine. Even on full moon nights, one or two spotlights focused upwards or placed behind a predominant feature such as a fountain, statue or trellis might just take your garden from pretty to stunning. No matter what shape, size or configuration you choose for your moon garden, be sure to provide comfortable seating so you can sit back and enjoy the light of the silvery moon.
For thousands of years mankind has gazed into the heavens and been awed by the beauty of the moon. The ancient Hermetic teaching, “as above, so below” is one that is quite appropriate when contemplating a moon garden. For a moon garden is simply an earthly reflection of the heavens above. A moon garden teaches us to see things in a different light – both literally and figuratively. To see it correctly and to fully appreciate the smallest detail of a moon garden, we are forced to slow down and adjust our vision and perspective. Doing so allows a gentle light to really shine.
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Jill Henderson is an artist, author, and the editor of Show Me Oz . Her books, The Healing Power of Kitchen Herbs, The Garden Seed Saving Guide and A Journey of Seasons can be found in the Show Me Oz Bookstore. Jill is a contributing author for Acres USA and Llewellyn’s Herbal Almanac and her work has appeared in The Permaculture Activist and The Essential Herbal.
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