Tips for Creating a Night Garden

Tips for creating a night garden

Turn your garden into a evening retreat with the help of these tips.

In summer, with brighter evenings and (hopefully) balmy weather, it’s a treat to be able to relax in the garden until late. By adding night-scented plants and soft lighting, along with pale-coloured flowers and foliage that appear to glow in the fading light, your garden will become an enticing ‘room’ to sit in at the end of the day.

Gather the plants in pots and borders around seating areas to be enveloped in the heady aromas. Don’t forget to position some pots near doors and windows, so that the fragrance drifts indoors.

In summer, with brighter evenings and (hopefully) balmy weather, it’s a treat to be able to relax in the garden until late. By adding night-scented plants and soft lighting, along with pale-coloured flowers and foliage that appear to glow in the fading light, your garden will become an enticing ‘room’ to sit in at the end of the day.

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Gather the plants in pots and borders around seating areas to be enveloped in the heady aromas. Don’t forget to position some pots near doors and windows, so that the fragrance drifts indoors.

Discover 12 of the best plants for evening scent for more ideas.

Check out our tips for creating a night garden, below.

Scented plants are most potent in warm, still air.

Choose plants with pale flowers and foliage

White clematis flowers
White clematis flowers

Pale colours reflect light. So as the day fades, whites, creams, pale blues and lilacs have a luminous glow long after darker colours have disappeared. Silver and variegated foliage has a similar effect. Plants to consider include Clematis ‘Maria Cornelia’, Gaura lindheimeri ‘The Bride’Hosta ‘El Niño Green’, Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ and Petunia ‘Surfinia Lime’.


Grow plants with evening scent

Mauve night-scented stocks around a garden light
Mauve night-scented stocks around a garden light

Many plants release their scent at dusk in order to attract the night-flying moths that pollinate them. Scented plants are most potent in warm, still air, so maximise their fragrance by growing them in a sheltered location that gets lots of sun. Go for scented plants that are also pale for the best effect, such as honeysuckle, night phlox, night-scented stock, jasmine, summer phlox and nicotianas.


Use garden lighting

Candles in a glass garden lantern
Candles in a glass garden lantern

A garden lit up at night makes an attractive, atmospheric space. Having an outdoor power source gives you the most options, but you could also use candle lanterns, solar fairy lights and solar spike lights. Use them to highlight particular plants or position next to paths and seating. Homemade options include tin can lanterns and glass jar lanterns.


Cut flowers for fragrance

Cut sweet peas in a crystal vase on a garden table
Cut sweet peas in a crystal vase on a garden table

The following cut flowers will produce a delicious fragrance:

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  • Sweet peas
  • Phlox
  • Lilies
  • Dianthus
  • Night-scented stocks
  • Nicotiana

In summer, with brighter evenings and (hopefully) balmy weather, it’s a treat to be able to relax in the garden until late. By adding night-scented plants and soft lighting, along with pale-coloured flowers and foliage that appear to glow in the fading light, your garden will become an enticing ‘room’ to sit in at the end of the day.

Gather the plants in pots and borders around seating areas to be enveloped in the heady aromas. Don’t forget to position some pots near doors and windows, so that the fragrance drifts indoors.

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