Monday, January 25, 2010

In the Garden of Insomnia

As a long-time insomniac, I’ve done all sorts of things in the middle of the night that others do in the day…like bake, clean the house, listen to night sounds while swinging to and fro on a porch, go for a jog between two fields of corn on a bright moonlit night, and yes, sit in the garden. So, if I were to design a garden of insomnia how would it look, what would I plant?

White flowers and night bloomers would be first on my list, but before planting out comes the graph paper and a handy dandy ruler, hold on a moment…where will I put this mystical garden? Through the magic of the mind, I found the perfect location…a corner that needs some life.





Two half moons facing each other create a circle. A “full moon” bed lies in the center with a path leading around it. Of the utmost importance is a place to dream and listen to things that go bump in the night, so a seat or bench rests somewhere between the half moon and full moon beds.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

While I’m imagining my moon garden, I’m going to imagine big! A stone bench with white flowering thyme creeping up the side would be a perfect place to admire the ethereal beauty of the moon garden.
 
 
 
 
 
  Now it’s time to get dirt under the nails. White flowers are a must, as are night blooming plants. Any flower offered in white will work from asters to zinnias. For a moon garden to be luminous and fragrant, it must include plants that come alive at night like moonflower, evening primrose, four o’clocks, angel’s trumpet, some daylilies, and nicotiana. I’m not sure about night-blooming cerus and it’s exotic habitat, I’ll defer questions to Noelle over at Ramblings from a Desert Garden.


I want my moon garden to be interesting no matter what the season, so I’ll plant spring flowering bulbs all in shades of white, cream, and yellows. Including variegated foliage plants, grasses, and shrubs adds depth to the garden as well as winter beauty. I always grow ‘silver king’ Artemisia for the ghostly silhouette it casts at night. Other foliage plants like August hosta and fuzzy lamb’s ear add texture. Any plants that shimmer beneath a silvery moon create the nighttime look.



Night bloomers emit an intense fragrance so nocturnal pollinators can find the flowers of the dark. Be prepared for the sometimes-cloying fragrance that these flowers exude. I think I’ll consider placing a few pots of mosquito plant or penny royal near the stone bench. My stay may be brief, if I don’t have a way to keep the pesky biters away.

Blooming plants release a nocturnal fragrance that encompasses me while a full moon overhead winks from between clouds casting light onto this magical place, but I am not alone in the garden of insomnia. A chorus of peepers, toads, and crickets sing me a night song. Bats dart in the shadows as creatures peer through the grass wondering what a human is doing in the garden at this time of the night.  I’ll sit here until elusive sleep finally finds me and carries me away.

*Stone bench photo borrowed from Gardending with Herbs by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead





 

12 comments:

  1. A moon garden! What a fun idea to daydream about!

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  2. I've never actually implemented the design, but I've thought about it, especially on the farm and during long years of insomnia. Thanks for stopping by MJ.

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  3. love your idea! My dad just sent me these beautiful photos of Iran which show a traditional tea house. The 'tables' look like huge wooden bed frames positioned directly over manmade rivers, probably to cool you from below. Wouldn't it be great to have your seat/bench directly over flowing water to listen to? I am happy to send you the photo if you like :)

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  4. JP..I would love to see the photo! Please send! Thanks for your great comment on my imaginary moon garden.

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  5. You really must implement this wonderful plan, Teresa. I look forward to seeing photographs of the real thing. I feel I waste valuable time sleeping ... who needs to sleep when you can spend quality time "dreaming up" great new gardens.

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  6. Hi Pam,

    Maybe some time in the future I can make my moon garden a reality. There were many nights when I all I wanted to do was sleep, but it just refused to come my way. I'm happy to report, that these days I'm sleeping alot more than 2 hours a night.

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  7. I am a night person myself! I love the moon garden idea.

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  8. What a wonderful idea! I think you really need to make this garden happen.

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  9. Hi, you had visited my blog earlier via Christina. I have to say being an insomniac I am joining you in the garden.. Love your blog and now you have a new follower. nice to meet you.

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  10. I too wish to see this garden happen. That design is so satisfying on paper.

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  11. Teresa, a moon garden sounds great,lets make it happen! I have to find something interesting to occupy my time with.Don't have any big plans like we did last year other than another hop tower and potentially a brick barbeque.

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