Most desert dwellers know that during the hot summer, they spend the majority of their time outside during the early mornings and evenings. So why not create a garden that is designed to experience specifically at night? A Moonlight Garden does just that! A well designed Moonlight Garden goes beyond just the sense of sight; it touches on all five senses to create a fully immersive experience. When our sense of sight is compromised, we use the senses of smell, sound, touch, and even taste to fully understand our surrounding environment. When selecting plants for a Moonlight garden (for a list of Low Desert Moonlight Garden Plant Selections
, click here
), all of these senses should be considered. Not only do Moonlight Gardens benefit people, but many nocturnal pollinators that we have here in the desert as well, including moths and bats. There are also many night blooming plants that are native to the Sonoran Desert including Queen of the Night (Peniocereus greggii), Desert Four o'Clocks (Mirabilis longiflora), Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii), Night Blooming Hesperaloe (Hesperaloe nocturna), and many species of native Morning Glories. With so many desert nightblooming plants that attract nocturnal pollinators, the southwest makes a perfect setting for a Moonlight Garden. In this presentation professional horticulturist and designer, Jason Wiley, will discuss his plant selection technique as well as dive into other hardscape and lighting considerations for a Moonlight Garden.
Jason grew up on a sod farm cultivating his career in horticulture which inspired him and to connect people to their environment by creating meaningful experiences in the landscape. He received his Bachelors of Science in Horticulture from Arizona State University and also studied Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University for 3 years. He has worked in public gardens and for 9 years and has been a professional horticulturist for 16 years.
He currently curates the Tropical Deciduous Forest, Cactus Garden, and Agave Garden at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. He self-initiated the transformation of the Cactus Garden which was once overlooked, and is now the most highly visited and photographed garden at the museum. He also designed, proposed, managed, and raised funds for the renewal of the Agave Garden. He is currently working on a project to expand the current Boojum Hill which represents the Catavina Boulder Field in Baja where Boojums naturally grow. His inspiration for this current presentation and hopefully soon to come garden is the purchase of his first house which sits on a blank 1/4 acre, where he will spend most of his time in the evenings.
This will be an excellent program that you will truly enjoy. Talk with other members and visitors and make new friends. Visit our library and check out some books! During the break, you will truly want to enjoy the great refreshments. Also, try to win some of the plants available in the raffle, and be sure to stay until the end of the meeting and get your free plant offered to you by the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society.