often-used media phrase for the modern garden is the ‘outdoor
room’. Many of us
have friends to dinner in the summer, perhaps lighting candles for
ambience and heating up the overworked barbecue for alfresco
dining. So what do
you do when the nights draw in and winter drags the late sun
beneath a cold horizon?
a switch! Just like you
would for an indoor room, if the garden is thoughtfully prepared, you
can enjoy a different garden by night.
It isn’t just the feel of the garden that changes but also the
wildlife. Plants take on different forms, dancing light and shadows
giving a sense of theatre. Nocturnal creatures venture out after dark,
replacing their day-living neighbours.
good, but where do you start? Safety first and always.
For those with a limited budget there are low wattage kits from
many of the local garden centres that will provide a low cost and safe
solution to lighting paths or edges of a terrace. With a bit more
spending power, the garden really does become a playground for night
a relatively low cost 50W spotlight close to the base of a tree and
suddenly the trunk and branches come alive with myriad shadows and
textures. The key thing to remember is, try to hide the source of the
light away from the eye. It’s better to see the effect, not the light
itself. Next time you see a
stage production at the theatre, you’ll see how true this is.
other benefit of adding lighting to a garden is of course security. Many
homes have glaring halogen lamps flooding the garden.
Place a few carefully selected lights near entrances and
boundaries and you’ll have the enhanced benefit of lighting the
grounds around the house rather than the house itself.
again as always. Higher
wattage lighting should always be linked with armoured cable and run
under patios or along walls out of the way of spades and forks. If in
doubt, call an electrician.
flick a switch, sit back and enjoy the show.
to the advice point, please
adam s bailey
BA Hons (Garden Design), MGLD
Unit 9, Home Farm, 3 Riverside, Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0AE
Garden design in Kent • East Sussex
• Essex • South East London
The Guild of