How to create a South African moon garden.

If you are a night owl or run a corporate operation that never sleeps, you might want to consider a garden that comes alive at night - a moon garden.

Creating a moon garden is no celestial feat - all one has to do is grow white plants that flower all year round. White plants are said to glow at night, which gives rise to the name ‘moon garden’.

© Simon

© Simon

There is something very peaceful and enchanting about a moon garden, and this is definitely something to consider if you spend a lot of time in your garden at night.

Interesting fact: The zodiac sign, Cancer, is typically associated with the moon and white flowers, especially white roses. So if you are born between 21st June and 22nd July, you may find you are particularly drawn to a moon garden.


Here is what Life Landscapes recommends you plant in a garden if this white glow wins your heart.


Should your garden have a fishpond, then we’d recommend planting indigenous arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) and river lilies (Crinum macowanii) around the pond, even though water lilies typically do close at night.

Life Landscapes also highly recommends adding pearl-coloured butterfly koi to provide a ghostly effect in the night waters.



Naturally, moon gardens provide a mysterious mood, and adding archways to your garden paths would further enhance this effect. Plant a white bougainvillea or the indigenous bushman’s pipe (Ceropegia ampliata) to trail up and over archways. The phallic look of the bushman’s pipe will also serve as quite the icebreaker in your moon garden.


Other moon garden accessories

White benches can be added to your garden so that the dream-deprived have a place to sit while watching the stars and looking out for barn owls. Fairy lights can also contribute to the ludic charm of a moon garden.



A moon garden is most effective when the plants have dark leaves and large white blossoms. The following indigenous shrubs are real moon children, due to  their dark green foliage and white flowers:

  • Natal bauhinia (Bauhinia natalensis)
  • Forest bell bush (Mackaya bella)
  • Num-num (Carissa bispinos)
  • Bride's bush (Most Pavetta species)

There are also larger white flowering trees that you can include in your moon garden. 

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Indigenous flowers

Plant the white cultivars of agapanthus (Agapanthus praecox), felicia daisies (Felicia amelloides) and tall spurflowers (Plectranthus ecklonii) for both the insomniacs and urban wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy at all hours.


Some exotic plants

St. Joseph’s lilies (Hippeastrum johnsonii), snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) and Diamond Frost euphorbia (Euphorbia hypericifolia ‘inneuphdia’) are like white on rice to a moon garden. Then there is Cancer’s own flower - the white rose - that can be added. Iceberg roses go down particularly well.


By the next full moon, Life Green Group could have your moon garden ready to glow. Looking for trees for your moon garden? Click here.


© Simon

© Simon