Moonflower

Q: How can I incorporate a lunar theme in my garden to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing?

A: It’s only fitting that a full moon occurs just before we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on Saturday, July 20. Pick a few plants with celestial names to enliven your garden for this historic event.

The moonflower (Ipomoea alba) is a striking, easy-to-grow annual vine. This night bloomer unfurls fragrant, tubular flowers with a face about 5 inches wide.

For a long-term commitment, try a full moon maple from the Japanese maple family. The shrub-like tree reaches up to 6 feet tall with a weeping form and deeply dissected leaves. Tropical Cajun hibiscus plants like Saffron Moon and Rising Moon add bright yellow or pink and cream hues.

For the shade garden, try Holley Moon begonias or Raspberry Moon caladiums with leaves of chartreuse flecked with rich pink.In a sunny spot, plant Big Sky Harvest Moon coneflowers. The yellow petals surrounding an orange center are attractive to bees and butterflies as nectar sources. For a bright yellow springtime show, plant Baby Moon narcissus bulbs this fall.

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..