I’ve always loved flowers and admired gardens. My earliest childhood memories are picking blooms peeking through neighbourhood fences or on pavement verges to decorate my room. I chose my first house for its sweeping garden; and started planting as soon as I was settled. But my enthusiasm didn’t half match the results; as nothing really grew very well! I gave up gardening pretty quickly as a new baby and a demanding job took my focus. My gardening interest safely contained in caring for potted house plants and the rest of the garden to the garden services.

Fast forward to 2000 and my interest in growing a pretty flower garden was rekindled as I stumbled upon the ancient practice of Lunar Gardening while studying astrology.

This study is about cycles and the natural rhythms of life and my Capricorn nature had long appreciated the maxim "as you sow, so shall you reap" (Galatians 6:7). So delighted to discover and adopt the philosophy of the "garden of life"

Astrologers follow all the planets cycles, and as the Moon is the closest ‘planet’ and has a short monthly (moon) cycle which reflects the natural ebb and flow of daily life as it moves through the phase cycle and zodiac signs.

I began to observe the moon’s motion and soon incorporated this in my astrology practice to advise others on timing personal cycles on an emotional, mental, spiritual and physical level.

Very excitedly, I applied the basic rules of Lunar gardening, delighted at the immediate success soon apparent with my first lasting and flourishing window box of pansies, (planted on a waxing Taurus Moon day). Keen to discover more than planting on the right day, I began researching how to use the moon to time all gardening and other daily routine activities, as others did in past times. I found that whilst in more recent times, lunar gardening was, with the development of modern horticulture, rejected by 'science' and cited as folklore, yet found that others had heard about Gardening by the Moon from grandparents or older gardener friends.

Research and observation showed me how the monthly lunar cycle mirrors the sun's annual cycle and naturally following the (sun’s) season cycle is the first step to successful gardening. The Moon’s cycle repeats twelve to thirteen times each year, enough to make any gardener or life planner excited. It seemed as if this non scientific and anecdotal evidence provides a rhythm in sync with the moon’s cycles.

I realized that to properly connect and apply, a moon calendar is an essential tool. As an astrologer I can easily refer to the daily chart or planet ephemeris, this felt remote and intangible. At first, I couldn't find a locally produced calendar, and later Fiona Symm's 'Fairy Moon Calendar' and was inspired to create my own.

Moonlight Calendar was born in 2005 and I continue to research, experiment and learn more about the Moon and her cycles. Moonlight Calendar has been accepted and supported by a growing number of gardeners who’d like to garden as naturally as possible and endorse the concept by purchasing Moonlight Calendar each year.

Moonlight Calendar 2017 edition is now (for even easier daily reference) printed in full colour and available for order.

Ilona Thorndike is a practicing Moon Astrologer, researcher and writer. She is the publisher of Moonlight Calendar; and is a contributing writer for The Gardener Magazine which includes her monthly Lunar gardening column. Ilona also compiled The Ultimate Guide to Gardening by the Moon, published by The Gardener/Die Tuinier in 2013.

For more information you can contact Ilona at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.