5 stylish ways to light up your garden
Summer is here, and with the arrival of brighter days and warmer nights comes an abundance of reasons to spend more time in your garden. Here, Nicky Roeber, Online Horticultural Expert at Wyevale Garden Centres, shares his tips for lighting up your outdoor space so you can spend more time outside in the evening this summer.
The sunny season is a great opportunity to gather your nearest and dearest and spend some quality time lounging outside. But, when the sun sets and you're not quite ready to go inside, it'll help to have some beautiful garden lighting. Not only will this ensure you and your guests can see each other during those all-important conversations, but it'll also be key to keeping everybody safe.
No matter how big or small your garden, there are many great, cost-effective ways of lighting up your outdoor space. In this article, I will be sharing some of my top recommendations to create a garden that is beautifully and sophisticatedly illuminated.
Illuminate your dining area
Festoon lights are ideal for creating a rustic, festival vibe in your garden that will instantly make you feel relaxed. They will look particularly great strung up above your outdoor dining area, adding a welcoming feel while still allowing everybody seated to be able to socialise and tuck into their food. If you have a lazy Susan on your table, adding some bunched-up fairy lights will add an extra point of interest for your table décor and will look especially great layered over floral centrepieces.
Although it'll be handy to already have something above your dining area to attach these to, you can invest in some lighting poles to drape them from. Alternatively, you can use them in other places around your garden you would like to draw attention to. This could include attaching them to trees above your pond or lining your fences with them to show off the perimeter of your space.
Lead the way with lights
Your garden pathway isn't just there for aesthetic purposes: it will lead both you and your guests down an accessible route, preventing anyone from trampling on something they shouldn’t. But, when natural light is limited, it can be more difficult to find your way around.
Installing pathway lighting is a perfect solution to this problem and also looks great. Plus, as these will be just above floor level, they won't spoil the ambience of your dim, balmy summer evenings. If you want your path lights to be relatively subtle, I'd recommend using fairy lights to drape across any bollards you may have lining the way. Alternatively, you could make more of a statement by placing spotlights at sporadic intervals on the pathway border. These typically come in brighter hues but will still add to the relaxed atmosphere of your garden.
If you want to skip doing any electrical work, adding battery or solar-powered lanterns are a sure way to beautifully illuminate your pathway and add points of interest to your outdoor space.
Get inventive with plant lighting
One of the simplest ways you can add light to your garden is to coil some fairy lights around your topiary trees or use an outdoor battery net light that can cover the entire tree. This can also be extended to your taller trees, to give some illumination from above.
Tree branches are ideal for suspending festoon lighting or lanterns from to create a magical glow in your garden. I would recommend hanging these on trees near your dining and seating areas, so everybody can enjoy the warm glow they will give off as the sun sets for the evening.
Consider your larger lighting needs
While keeping an atmospheric vibe will be important — especially during the long summer nights you'll spend relaxing out in your garden — there will be some areas that could benefit from larger lights. Particularly dim areas that are shaded by trees and plants, or those that need to be illuminated for safety reasons could benefit from large bulk head lamps.
These can be drilled straight into your fences or suspended against your outdoor walls and come with battery-powered LED bulbs, so you won't have to worry about soaring electricity bills at the end of the month.
Enhance the exterior of your home
Garden lighting isn't just used to highlight your flowers and plants — it can also draw attention to the intricate design of your home. Adding uplights and downlights around your home can help to enhance any texture differences in the bricks or stone used in the structure of your home.
If you've got steps leading from your porch into the garden, it'll be a necessity to light these as they can pose a hazard for the whole family. Luckily, there are stylish ways you can do this. While sensor lights will be helpful for coming on when needed, you can add something a little more decorative with outdoor step lights. These are usually recessed into your stair frame from underneath the tread of each step, casting light upwards and illuminating the stairway.
Lighting up your garden is a great way of showing guests what you've done with your outdoor space, as well as ensuring it is a safe and sociable place to be. Try one of my recommendations above and enjoy being outdoors all summer long!