While Dan blogged about an “ah ha” moment he had in a customer’s landscape, we began scoping out HOUZZ and Pinterest, Garden Design magazine and Fine Gardening magazine. We wanted to learn more about the magic of outdoor lighting so we, too, could make an enchanting space outside at night. Up-lighting small trees. Moonlighting from major trees. Wall washing to illuminate a space or highlight an interesting feature of your home. Path lighting. Deck lighting. Gentle ambient moonlighting. Defining steps. It’s all here in the pages of this website.
But that was not satisfying the quest for creating a moment like Dan’s. He says the customer changed the way they use their yard. How’d that happen? How does lighting your landscape change the way you use your “outdoor” rooms? Perhaps the most common piece of furniture in a yard is a patio table. We slog plates out the back door and pull up a chair and call it “outdoor entertaining.” Not very satisfying at all.
While searching, we found some inspiration. And loving lighting the way we do we simply have to share. If you love dinner parties, forget the requisite patio table. Carve out a space for holding dinner parties al fresco. Picture this: an arbor to ward off the late afternoon sun and define the space for “dining.” The table is under the arbor. An outdoor chandelier shimmers over the table, or a ceiling fan built to run in wet locations turns quietly in the warm air. It cools you and discourages the bugs, and kind of reminds you of Hemingway House, but that’s another story. Lights on the arbor add a textural element with tiny up-lights on the posts glancing off the leaves of the vine that will soon envelope the arbor. Green plantings near the table remind you of your connection to nature. A path cuts through the plantings and path lights lead your eyes into the lawn beyond. And off in the edge of your yard stands a lovely tree that you never realized was lovely until you saw it lit at night. Fantasy? Nope. It’s not at all. Finding inspiration happens in your own backyard with landscape lighting. At night everything looks different. Your up-lighting emphasizes the bark of that tree, and it’s really interesting! Your brick takes on these lovely shadows and highlights with wall-washing lights so something as simple as a garage wall becomes charming enclosure to your outdoor room. And the garden path to the lawn? In your imagination the lights at your feet leads to a secret garden at night…
At night a little light changes everything. It’s almost like theater. Truly. You start by lighting the space you spend time in. And you add touches of light to the destinations you create in your mind. A garden bench tucked near some arborvitae at the edge of your yard becomes a focal point when you bathe it in subtle light. Tuck in a low voltage spotlight and bounce light off the evergreens to backlight the bench. Wow. Instant garden art. And what Dan discovered is that letting your eyes rest on these little gems, nature’s hidden art ever so gently lit at night, changes the way you use the yard. You relax and reconnect with nature. And your yard becomes an enchanted garden every evening throughout the seasons.