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the daily gardener blog

summer nights

After the fireflies go to sleep and the last purple glow dies on the horizon the soft breath of the garden blends fragrances and sounds. Very tall flowering tobacco, eerie in the moonlight, gathers night moths with irresistible force. White flowers that are unassuming during the day gain unexpected importance in the night garden by reflecting the sparse and diluted rays of moonlight.

A nightingale’s song turns the most banal summer planting into a magical land of make believe. Old forgotten childhood tales of Saint John’s Eve come back to memory. The story goes that on the night of June 24th all plants are granted special gifts, including the ability to walk and talk, so they can travel to attend an annual congregation where their beauty, fragrance and healing qualities are renewed.

I walk the familiar path knee deep in plant lore, every step so many times repeated that I could do it in my sleep, reaching out to move a low branch before it brushes against me, careful not to step on overgrowing myrtle that blends in the darkness. It smells like petunias and southern magnolia flowers.

The night garden is peacefully at rest.