Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Add Structure (And Interest) To your Winter Garden With Lighting

Despite all my searching, I couldn't find good pictures of lighting in winter gardens, except for Christmas decorations. So if any of you have photos of lighting in your winter gardens, send them to us - We'd love to post them.

When the days are so short, a little outdoor lighting can be very helpful I think that is why holiday lights are so popular - they bring cheer to dark days. People even automate their Christmas lights with computer programs and set the whole thing to music - click here for a fun example.

Before you start you may need to ask yourself "What are my gardening needs and what am I trying to achieve with bringing lighting into my garden?"

As most decent garden lighting requires some sort of electrical cabling it would be wise to keep these away from areas that you will be digging a lot. For example, areas where you are likely to maintain annuals or bulbs etc.

When it comes to choosing the lighting that you want in your garden, think about what you are trying to achieve. Do you want the tree in the middle to stand out? Do you want some spindly plant silhouetted in the background? Do you want it lit from above, below, behind or in front?

  • Lighting for Water Features - there are so many options to have lighting in your ponds, waterfeatures, waterfalls etc and many are easy to install and only run on 12 volts.
  • Uplighting - this is achieved by placing lighting at the base of a plant, tree or architectural feature and can be very artistic.
  • Shadow Lighting placing lights at angles in front of a feature or plant to allow a shadow to be cast upon a wall can be very dramatic.
  • Silhouetted Lighting - this is the opposite of shadow lighting which is achieved from behind a plant or landscape feature to silhouette the item as you look toward it.
  • Illuminated Lighting - there is still a need for illumination in the garden so that people can find paths, navigate steps and stairs and also walk freely without falling victim to a hazardous toy left by your 3 year old.
There are as many options as there are ideas. Why not turn your garden into something you don't have to enjoy only in the daylight?

I also found this video interesting.

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