Light up your outdoor space

Kate Gould, award-winning garden designer and our guest blogger, makes light work of the dark nights…

It’s September, and although the nights are drawing in, the evenings are still be mild enough to sit outside. Adding lighting to your garden is a great way to create ambience and extend the use of your space beyond the natural daylight hours.

LEDs are long-life, cost effective, and work well recessed in paving and decking. They can be used to highlight steps, and changes in level on or around the house and terrace. In moderation, they also work well to highlight pots and planters.

If you wish to dine outside in the evening, do it by candlelight. A soft and flickering glow is more inviting than artificial light, and can always be combined with citronella to keep the mossies at bay. Tea lights in holders make excellent marker points through a garden, too, and a good old-fashioned hurricane lamp is hard to beat!

Here are my top garden lighting tips:

• Highlight architectural plants. Opt for a simple uplighter on a spike that can be moved around as the plant grows

• Not everything needs to be lit! Light pollution affects nocturnal animals and can irritate neighbours!

• Light your terrace softly and highlight a feature wall or plant as a focal point

• Try lighting up tree trunks. This produces dramatic effects all year round, and Silver Birch looks wonderful when lit up in the winter

• Contrast your lights with dark brick or painted walls that act as a backdrop for shadows to play upon. The leafier the plant you set against it, the better

•  Stick to a warm white lights. Plants look their best when softly lit

• Always employ a professional! If you don’t have a access to an electrician, consider always solar lighting. As long as you can charge the panels, these will produce a nice effect

Kate Gould is an award winning garden designer with more than a decade’s hands-on experience transforming gardens of all sizes. A regular exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower Show, Kate’s work can be found at   www.kategouldgardens.com 

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