Even the smallest yard becomes a garden, a terrace, a secret evening getaway when we incorporate light into the landscape. The secret? It’s not the light, it’s the shadows. Or perhaps I should say the contrast between light and dark. In the tiniest space outside of a small ranch home of one customer, we recently focused on a beautiful tree. Gently up-lighting it created the most beautiful highlights, and when sitting out there you couldn’t stop looking at it. The owners didn’t want to block out the stars, and that fits our philosophy on outdoor lighting. This project was done with very low light. In fact, we think less is more outside. It takes very little light to create a big effect. The tree has textural bark that became stunning in this soft light. The leaves became all shades of green and shadows formed from the branches crossing gentle beams of light. The couple created a seating area on the patio and got rid of their traditional table and chairs. In fact, they told me it has changed the way they enjoy their yard for the better. It created a focal point, a vista, if you will. That project got me moving at my house. Low lighting near the edge of the deck, a little visual message that a step is there. Up-lighting an old birch makes it a whole lot more interesting at night now than it does during the day. And some accent lighting that complements some of the plantings. The whole thing is on a timer and when it comes on in the evening we just want to drift out there and sit.