Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

‘Celestial Gardens’ Illuminate a Home’s Landscape at Night

Perfect for twilight listing photos, these star-inspired gardens bring a new level of style to a home’s exterior.

Gardens are in full bloom, with more than half of American households saying they maintain one at home, according to a recent survey from Wakefield Research and Scotts Miracle-Gro, a top gardening brand. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, 18.3 million first-time gardeners have sprouted nationwide—and many are younger adults, according to the National Gardening Association.

Gardens, like other home features, have many different styles. An appealing characteristic to showcase in the backyard, consider a “celestial garden,” which is inspired by astrology and astronomy. “A celestial garden mimics the night sky and absolutely shines at night,” says Linda Vater, a horticulturist with Southern Living Plant Collection and host of her own gardening YouTube channel. “These gardens feature glowing orbs of light, celestial statuary and an inventive plant palette. In particular, plants with silver and white hues capture the starlit gleam that characterizes a celestial or ‘moon’ garden.”

Vater shares three characteristics of a celestial garden.

1. Shimmery star- and moon-inspired plants. Varieties with a soft silver and white glow are the “stars” in your celestial garden. For example, the “Sterling Moon” Lunar Lights Begonia, a shade-loving plant with mint and silver leaves, is a good choice, Vater says.

“Sterling Moon” Begonia Lunar Lights
“Sterling Moon” Begonia Lunar Lights. Photo courtesy: Southern Living Plant Collection.

Similarly, dusty miller, silver mound artemisia and the succulent Skyscraper Senecio also shimmer with a silvery hue.

Senecio Skyscraper
Skyscraper Senecio. Photo courtesy: Southern Living Plant Collection.

“White is the last color visible to the human eye as the sun sets each night, with white blooms catching our eye as moonbeams and starlight fall on white petals,” Vater says. “To help your celestial garden bloom month after month, select white flowers with multi-seasonal blooms, such as Encore Azaleas.” Vater recommends the Autumn Moonlight variety, which has white ruffled azalea blooms in spring, summer and fall.

Autumn Moonlight
Autumn Moonlight. Photo courtesy: Encore Azalea.

Also, the Autumn Starburst has coral stars on a bed of crisp white, Vater notes.

Autumn Starburst
Autumn Starburst. Photo courtesy: Encore Azalea.

She says flowers that bloom at night, like moonflowers and evening primroses, are another good option.

2. Glowing starbursts. “Look for blooms with an inflorescence, or flower head, in a shape called an ‘umbel,’” she says. “These fabulous blooms, which include agapanthus like the Ever White and Ever Twilight varieties, fan out with multiple small flowers that seem to pop like bursting stars in all directions.”

Agapanthus Ever White
Agapanthus Ever White. Photo courtesy: Southern Living Plant Collection.
Agapanthus Ever Twilight
Agapanthus Ever Twilight. Photo courtesy: Southern Living Plant Collection.

Other starburst-shaped plants include a red spider lily, which has swooping red stamens, and an ornamental onion, which has a 360-degree purple orb, Vater says.

3. Carve out a star-studded entryway. With its thin, towering stems and explosive flowers, a celestial garden is well-suited to line a path or entryway, Vater says. Another popular placement is in a secluded corner of a yard, where the specialty lighting and unique plant palette can anchor a bench or hammock to create an outdoor room, she adds. “No matter where you place it, with a little creativity and flair, your celestial garden will be the star of your landscape.”

How about a cottage garden … hot or not? Listen to a recent episode of the Real Estate Today podcast to learn about another hyped-up gardening style.


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