Light it up—Making the most of your garden at night

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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When the evening draws near, there's nothing better than knowing that you're the owner of an incredibly lit garden. Through the right lighting, you can transform your night garden into a magical place and draw the attention of the eye to wherever you want it to go. Highlight the flower beds, the pathway, statues, the fountain or the house itself all by drawing attention to that element through how you want to light it up.

Below are some examples and tips on how to make the best of your garden at night, what to feature and why. We'll be looking at how some of our professionals have done exactly this via light manipulation in their own gardens projects and the key points on which to focus to make them so alluring.

In another world…

 Garden by Planungsbüro STEFAN LAPORT
Planungsbüro STEFAN LAPORT

Festival International des Jardins La couleur des éléments

Planungsbüro STEFAN LAPORT

This scene doesn't strike you as your typical garden, the intense red, mass of shadows, the upward spreading reach of the trees and the smooth, angular formation of the stone face contribute towards this garden having a slightly alien feel to it. The intensity of the red lighting, in this design from Stefan Laport, even has a local atmospheric effect on the way we perceive the garden—take note of the purplish hue emitted by the sky. This is caused by red light, that's being transported in the area, interfering with the light of the night's sky that we percieve. 

Reproducing this effect domestically requires a relatively built up or enclosed natural surrounding. Blue light used to such an effect can alter the intensity of the blue light you receive form the night's sky as well (in fact there is a lot of freedom to experiment with this if you have the right setting).

Twilight

Early evening can also be a pleasurable time to enjoy subtle lighting in your garden; especially around water features and natural faced stone surfaces like in this garden design from Kirchner Garten + Teich.

Warm but strong lighting, positioned behind your plant arrangements, can help to draw out the intensity of the way the flowers look. In this picture, for example, we see a lit up, stone column set in the middle of a shrubbery: the shadows cast on the evergreen bushes in front help significantly in bringing out the  purple of the flowers in the foreground, darkening the immediate middle ground, while simultaneously drawing no attention away from the column itself. A calculated but very profound lighting effect.

Bring out the brick

Exposed brick face walls make a great subject for experimentation with light. In most cases you will be able to play with a stuttered gradient effect- depending on the height and angle of where you position the source of the light. This wall lighting idea from Laara Copely Smith provides us with a warm gradient of yellows and reds against these red brick columns. This technique also softens what we see of the interior; giving an added feel of privacy to the home.

Tranquil settings

The use of low level lighting in a garden can have an empowering effect on the soul. Walking along a pathway with the ground lit up just for you is just as calming as it is atmospheric.

This Buddhist  temple walkway theme here used by Jordi Sanchez uses the low level lighting to create a glowing ambiance with a golden aura that works well with the enclosed natural surrounding: like a woodland scene at sunset.

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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