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TOPIC: The Night Garden

The Night Garden 5 years 1 month ago #639

  • LadyM
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Night Flowering Plants

Evening Primrose
These soft-scented flowers have four satiny heart-shaped petals that come together forming two inch open cups with frilly long stamens. When they open in the evening, the blossoms are a soft clear white that gradually fades into pink as the flowers mature. Their luscious scent reminds us of a cross between honeysuckle and lemon custard. The flowers open every evening throughout summer until first frost.

Sweet-scented Nicotiana
These nicotianas have creamy-white tubular flowers borne in graceful sprays on softly draping branches. The 2 to 3 inch trumpet-shaped blossoms are closed in the daytime but in the late afternoon and evening they fill the air with a jasmine-like scent.

These 6 inch trumpet flowers unfurl in slow motion every night just at sunset. Pure white with faint green tracings, the blossoms are very fragrant all evening. By noon, the flowers dwindle and close and are barely seen in the dense foliage.

"Midnight Candy" Night Phlox
These tidy upright plants bear umbrella-like clusters of small, delicate phlox-like flowers. The insides of the petals are pure white and the outsides are a satiny maroon with a hint of white where petals overlap. During the day, the flowers are tightly closed, just showing a hint of color. As dusk comes on there is a magic moment when they open like a display of little firework stars, releasing a delicious almond/honey/vanilla-like fragrance that wafts throughout the garden.

Angel's Trumpet
Datura meteloides has six-inch white trumpet flowers that open at night and remain open well into the following day. This flower is a favorite subject of Georgia O'Keefe. . . . TAKE CARE - POISIONOUS

Evening Stock
Many branched 1½ foot plants have gray-green leaves and 1 inch star shaped flowers of very pale violet. The blooms are closed tightly all day but open at dusk to pour out a fantastic spicy fragrance.

Nottingham Catchfly, Night-flowering Catchfly, and White Campion
These are all members of the genus Silene, which also has several day-blooming members. These plants have sticky stems, hence the name 'catchfly'. The odor of the Nottingham catchfly is described as sweet and reminiscent of hyacinths, and its flowers open on three successive nights before withering.

Four o'Clocks
In late afternoon, Mirabilis jalapa's two inch trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl, releasing a rich jasmine-like perfume. These plants, with blooms in pink, rose, white, orange, and yellow, are very easy to grow and fast growing.

August Lily (fragrant Hosta)
The leaves are about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, with 8 pairs of impressed veins. The white, waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers appear on 30 inch scapes and each is 5 inches long and 3 inches wide. The scent is of pure honey.

Vesper Iris
A native of Mongolia, the sweetly fragrant flowers are a dull greenish white spotted with brownish purple or reddish purple with white splotches. Like many iris blossoms, they become spirally twisted after flowering. There are also about 50 different cultivars of daylilies which bloom at night. Some of my favorites are called 'After the Fall' (tangerine and copper blend with yellow halo), 'Jewel of Hearts' (dark red flowers with a red-black center), 'Moon Frolic' (near white), 'Toltec Sundial' (fragrant sunshine yellow) and 'Witches Dance' (dark red with a green throat).

Night Fragrant Plants

Many plants will have flowers open during the day, but they don't release their scent until evening:

Perfumed Fairy Lily
Chlidanthus fragrans has a rich lily fragrance at night. Three or four yellow, funnel shaped flowers are carried on stems up to a foot high.

Night Gladiolus
Gladiolus tristus has creamy yellow blossoms that are intensely fragrant at night with a spicy-sweet perfume, and the unusual leaves look like a pinwheel cut in half.

Victorians loved this sweet and heady (almost overpowering) fragrance. The flowers are waxy white and 2 inches long.

Carolina Jessamine (also known as evening trumpet flower)
The evergreen leaves surround sweetly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers of bright yellow that are particularly sweet as evening approaches. This grows wild in the South.

Sweet Rocket
Also known as Dame's Rocket, Dame's Violet, and Mother of the Evening, Hesperis Matronalis is perfect for a night garden. Colors range from white to purple, and the smell, which is released in the evening, is incredibly delicious. They get about 3-4 feet high.
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