Create Your Own Show Garden!
Top Tips for Garden Lighting Design
Gardens are a luxury and are beginning to be treated as such, with the time and energy dedicated to creating wonderful living spaces that draw family and friends outdoors. Creating a contemporary lighting scheme is important for creating drama in your own show garden; lighting of pathways, architectural foliage, great task lighting for BBQ’s and intimate uplight spaces ensure pockets of interest that can distinguish one area from another.
With the trend for large areas of glazing in your living space you will be confronted with the ‘black mirror effect’. This is where you see your own reflections in the glazing not the garden beyond. Imaginatively designed garden illumination will avoid this, drawing the eye out to focal points within the garden and creating an extended sense of internal space.
Think carefully about the key features you want to illuminate. It is very easy to over-light a garden, make use of dark voids and dense planting as these will allow the other light focal points greater attention. One of the strengths of lighting is the illusion of light – seeing the object without noticing the source of light – to create an elegant refined atmosphere. So small earthy coloured fittings that can be easily be concealed with the addition of glare guards are a must.
“Next generation” LEDs are perfect for use in the garden. They are durable, long lasting and energy efficient reducing the maintenance required. The emergence of smart exterior lighting controls open up a myriad of lighting possibilities to match your mood!
Gardens are being transformed into havens of fun, from crazy neon party spaces to more seductive use of discreet lights to frame the space and soften the shadow on people’s faces. There is nothing more enchanting than the whisper of a flame or the dance of shadow from a central fire pit or candles. We are drawn to the flame as moths are drawn to the light, it is very primal. We always incorporate a natural kinetic element in to our lighting schemes to ensure the right ambience in which to enjoy, play or seduce.
A trend that is set to continue with the use of new technologies is outside dining. This stunning courtyard garden in Chelsea was designed with the focal point being the enjoyment of food, preparing, cooking and eating. The concrete cooking bar, designed by award-winning garden designer Charlotte Rowe, was accentuated with soft under lighting creating a flattering form to the shape whilst a surface spot ensured that the food would always be beautifully cooked as there was plenty of task lighting.
Charlotte Rowe has also designed the moving WW1 “No Man’s Land”
Memorial Garden for the ABF The Soldier’s Charity at the 2014 Chelsea
Flower Show, which we were delighted to be involved with.
Hope you get to see it.