Landscaping – Lighting the Garden

It may be a little early in the season to think about a garden.  However, if you are considering lighting your garden, this may be the best time of year to put your plan into action.

Depending on what type of lighting design you desire, you will most likely have to do some digging. For this reason, installing your lighting before growing season begins may be a good planning choice. When planning your outdoor lighting, start with a diagram of lighting placement, the plants you want in your garden, and perhaps think about a splash of color lighting as well.

Then ask yourself a few questions:

  • Will the lighting act as a “spot light” on the garden?
  • Would you rather have a softer illumination?
  • How much lighting do you want to use?
  • Placement of the lights?
  • What type of lighting?
  • What is your budget?
  • Will your budget allow for hiring a professional?

If you have already tackled outdoor lighting, and you are experienced with transformers and voltage, go ahead and start the project. But, if you are not experienced or properly equipped to complete a full outdoor lighting project, hire a professional to install your lighting.

You can purchase your lighting, fixtures, spot lights, etc. to save some costs, but hire a professional to perform the actual installation, especially if you need to dig and lay wiring.

A professional landscaper can take your diagram, work with your ideas, decipher your questions, and complete your garden lighting project before next spring—and do it safely.

Solar Lighting

If you choose a more modest do-it-yourself project, use solar lights, for they are a safer and quicker option.

Solar powered lighting has become a popular garden lighting option.  Solar lamps are portable and easy to maneuver. This will allow you to try different layouts and move the lamps around until you find a design you like. Garden solar lighting serves several purposes besides their easy maneuverability. First, they are energy efficient, and second, they emit a softer light and are not over powering. Solar lights are also a low cost option because they are so energy efficient. If you are concerned about high costs, price solar lights to determine if they meet your budget. Solar lighting is also ideal in warmer climates where the sun shines most of the year.

If you have any questions about which lights would be best for your garden, speak to a professional or visit your local hardware/nursery store. Many of the associates are knowledgeable about landscaping lighting options and may offer advice you have not heard before.

Regardless of the lights you choose, take time to select a design that works for your lifestyle and your décor. Treat your outside as you would your inside and you will have a garden you can cherish for years to come.

How to Improve Your Landscape and Curb Appeal – Fast

When you’re in the process of selling your house, putting your best foot forward is imperative to seal the deal. So many people focus on sprucing up the inside of their homes – fresh paint, staged furniture, new fixtures – but many forget to ramp up their landscape as well.

Sure, people mow and trim before a showing, but many people neglect to overhaul their yard in preparation for the event. Fortunately, you can employ some simple tactics to whip your yard into shape before house hunters come knocking on your door.

Sprucing Up Your Plant Life

When you’re getting you house ready for a showing, first clean up any overgrown grass and weeds on your sidewalks by using a weed killer and an edger. Remove any vegetation you find between sidewalk cracks as well.

After you mow, apply a weed killer to your lawn. This will keep it looking green, uniform, and tidy while you are showing your house. If you live on wooded land, rake stray leaves in your yard and remove the leaves from your property before people arrive.

Even if it’s too chilly to plant flowers in your beds, you can still add a splash of color with flowers in containers. Buy vibrant pots that match or complement your house’s color scheme, and fill them with cold weather-friendly flowers to display during showings. Hang some planters around your porch area and place others on the ground around your property. To preserve the life of your plants, bring them inside when you’re not showing your house.

Don’t neglect stray tree limbs. Grab some hedge trimmers and polish your tree’s appearance by cutting away any low-hanging branches. Remove them from your yard when you’re finished, and don’t forget to store all your tools before buyers show up.

Other Aesthetic Improvements

Your yard isn’t the only thing that needs polishing. Get the family together on a Saturday to clean all the gutters and windows on the outside of your home. Scrub decks and porches, then use a weather sealant to make them look like new again.

Next, it’s time to pull out the pressure washer and give the entire house a thorough once-over. Once you’ve conquered the sides of your home, hit the driveway to wash away dingy oil stains and dirt.

After your house has drip-dried, scout the premises for spider webs and remove any you find. Finally, use a small can of paint to touch up your home’s trim. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a little paint can make. Check that all exterior lighting is in working order and that every light fixture is in good condition.

Remember, potential buyers will make a value judgment about your home before they even walk inside. Even if the inside of your home is exactly what they’re looking for, the outside may leave a negative impression strong enough to kill the deal. That’s why a weekend of dedicated cleanup may just be the thing that sells your house.

Are you Feeling Overwhelmed with Your Landscape Lighting Design?

With so much information out there on how to add lighting to your landscape, it can become quite confusing to know how to bring it all together. You may have hundreds of pictures, talked to friends and family and you still feel like you are no closer to your goal.

It’s true that there are literally thousands of directions you could take with your landscape lighting design, but the best choice will be based on a few important factors. If you are the pen and paper list-making type, you will want to take notes. Additionally, speak to a skilled professional who has designed hundreds of landscapes. Since there are so many issues to solve when designing landscape lighting, they will have solid advice on how to work within the confines of your space.

When selecting fixtures and creating an overall design, focus on the important principles first so you end up with exactly what you want.

Accents – When looking for fixtures, don’t forget those that will accent beautiful features like fountains, rare trees and special areas. Use these focal points to “wow” your guests and offer a sense of awe when looking at your landscape.

Cohesion – Do all of the lighting fixtures work well together? Does each light flow seamlessly to the next? Envision the overall feel of your design and choose fixtures that work well together. Even when lighting focal points, ensure the spotlights match the overall look and feel of the whole.

Depth – Add three-dimensional effects by illuminating design elements near and far from your landscape. When you pull up to your driveway, the depth of your lighting will show how far your eyes can see. Pay attention to the effects you want as far as lighting distance is concerned before you select your fixtures.

Balance –Unless you are going for a chaotic look, opt for symmetry with your lighting. The proportions should be similar so the eye can look at the entire design as one cohesive whole while still being pulled to various accented features.

Different perspectives – One light may look amazing from a certain vantage point, but how does it look if you walk 10 feet in another direction? When designing your lighting, consider the point of view of each angle and all vantage points. A light may create a subtle effect on one side but blind another person on the other. Consistency is the name of the game. Ask friends and family to help you and have them walk around the property and even inside the home to ensure no lights are blinding or hitting areas they shouldn’t. Take special note of how the light hits your neighbor’s property as well.

Mood – If you are going for an overall mood, pay attention to how much light is emitted from a particular fixture. Look at narrow and broad beams as well as the direction, whether down lighting or up lighting.

Once you understand these important elements, you can plan out your design and execute it carefully. Speak to a professional if you need clarification. In some home improvement stores, knowledgeable salespeople can also provide assistance.