Acer griseum, paperbark maple, garden lighting. gardens

Explore the benefits of floodlighting a garden

On February 5, 2017 0 Comment(s)

Have you ever given thought to the benefit of floodlighting a garden? Read on and I think that you might see the benefit!

There’s a hint of longer days in the offing and it’s still light until just after five o’clock. There’s even talk of spring being not far away but let’s not get too carried away just yet!

True, we can get some of those earliest seeds sown, especially if you have a greenhouse of conservatory. Sweet peas, broad beans, chilli peppers, lettuce, pelargoniums and begonias all can be sown now.

But what if your garden was lit at night? Would you use it more, or just gaze at it from your fireside through the windows?

Well thought out garden lighting can absolutely transform a garden! The ambience is immediately improved!

Acer griseum, paperbark maple, Floodlighting a garden, garden lighting. gardens
Paperbark Maple – Acer griseum

The obvious place to start is to up-light key specimen plants and trees. These need to be of significant size and shape to get the best effect. Trees or shrubs that have attractive bark can be transformed by carefully placed lights at night. I have a large paper bark maple in our garden at Cleeve and, whilst we primarily up-light it for Christmas, I am always reluctant to pack the light away until winter is really gone. When all else is dark your focus is drawn to the magnificent cinnamon coloured peeling bark that this tree has. This works particularly well with ghostly white stemmed birch trees too.

But there are other trees without coloured trunks that work well. Pine trees under-lit can look magical and every twisted and gnarled branch is accentuated. If you are lucky enough to have well established Japanese maple trees on your plot that’s another option to explore.

But large shrubs, both evergreen and deciduous, will be transformed by carefully placing of lights to floodlight all or part of them. Here coloured filter lights might work particularly well. I’ve noticed that older well established bushes, especially when the lower branches are thinned out or lower leaves are removed work best of all. This is sometimes referred to as ‘crown or lifting canopies’. Hollies, viburnums, cotoneaster and many other evergreens are prime targets for this night time illumination.

Of course, discrete lighting of paths and driveways provide a welcoming and safer route into your garden or to and from your front door. Lit steps are not only safer but look good too.

But why stop there? If you have a water feature this too can be transformed by having water proof lights fitted at the water’s edge or better still under the water!

Of course solar powered lighting and led light systems have made it much easier floodlighting a garden yourself but if you are considering using mains electricity it is imperative that this is installed by a competent electrician with safety in mind.

Good positioning of lights so that they don’t annoy neighbours needs thought. And those extra lights in the garden will have an impact in deterring unwanted intruders too!

I’ll guarantee that carefully placed and well thought out, floodlighting a garden will have you using your garden more right away. But those evening barbecues later in the year will be when you will enjoy your garden lights most of all!

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