Twilight gardening really is a thing. Gardening as the sun goes down doesn’t require the same muscle intensity as daytime gardening. The summertime garden takes on a completely different look at sunset. Some gentle sitting/weeding and leisurely hand watering in the evening focuses all of your attention on your garden. It is a great way to achieve extreme mindfulness. And gardening around night-scented plants makes it a completely different experience. Here are a few night-scented plants to add a new experience to a twilight garden.
Nighttime Star Plants
Star Jasmine: An evergreen vine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) usually grown along a trellis. It is covered with small, pure white flowers. It is also fragrant in the daytime, but really throws out its sweet scent in the evening.
Gardenias: The longtime holy grail of “sweet smells.” Gardenia jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ (Cape Jasmine) is a shrub that survives in the Northwest winter. It remains mostly evergreen, and the pure white flowers slowly fade to an antique ivory. Feed it rhododendron fertilizer every few weeks Gardenia jasminoides will bloom into fall.
Flowering Tobacco: Nicotiana alata is a common annual that looks “eh” all day. Come dusk, though, and the flowers open and radiate a Hawaiian scent. It is easy to grow and thrives even in poor, dry soil.
Night Scented Stock: This fast-growing annual can still be started from seed for late-summer fragrance that peaks at twilight.
Petunias: All have a heavier scent in the evening, but the “Supertunia” is extra intoxicating.
The Garden in Every Sense and Season by Tovah Martin
The Garden in Every Sense and Season is Tovah Martin’s yearlong memoir chronicling all four seasons in her garden through smell, taste, touch, sound, and sight.
The senses angle is a new one, and Martin’s conclusions suggest that she has done the work. Her prose is gentle but thorough. This isn’t a book of lists; it’s a book of close observations filled with surprising attention to the smallest details that one would miss without being mindful.
Martin provides garden Zoom lectures through her website. The book is by Timber Press, $16.95.