Perhaps one of the most underutilized design elements and one of the most impactful is lighting. “What I love about lighting is its flexibility,” shares Peter Wimberg. “You can have a complete landscape, one that’s even quite established and adding lighting can be done with ease. With thoughtfully positioned lights we can accentuate elements of the garden we wish to enjoy into the evening. And, let’s face it, many of us work during the day and being able to enjoy our landscapes after the sun goes down is a wonderful thing.”
Find Our Way
Save your guests and the pizza man the frustration of finding your home with lighting. For a more traditional home, a stone column at the base of the drive topped with a carriage light makes it easy to read the home’s numbers. Or, should your house be a bit more contemporary, a sleek post with recessed lighting illuminating brushed metal numbers is sculptural and helpful.
The Black Hole
If you are apt to close the blinds at night, even if you have a private yard, it may be because at night the view out the window is that of a black void. Strategically placed lights in the landscape illuminate stone features, specimen trees as well as the underside of a large tree’s canopy. Lighting tucked within a stone wall or using carriage lights highlights the elegant lines of the gardens and the great texture of the stone wall.
Minimal works well, too.
The entire yard and home does not have to be lit up like the noonday sun. In fact, too much lighting can be harsh, intrusive and rather unattractive. We want to accentuate, not dominate. When in doubt, less is more. In some case, subtle lighting is exactly what the garden calls for. For example, spotlighting one tree, it the back of the yard and then softly illuminating areas of the garden, approaching the home banishes the black void without feeling overbearing.
We often think of outdoor lighting as a way to deter criminal elements. Lighting is also a way to extend our enjoyment of the landscape after dark- such as when we need fresh air, walk the dog or enjoy a quiet night with a glass of wine on the patio. Proper lighting keeps us safe from trips and fall, makes the area feel more inviting and cozy and allows us to see the lovely gardens around us.
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