When to downlight or light up your landscape

directional lighting

Light has the ability to evoke emotion and add a tasteful element of beauty when it is placed in the right spot. Needless to say, It can be very challenging, but also fun, to mount your outdoor lighting either above or below features in your garden, depending on what you are hoping to illuminate. In the end, it is all about direction. Whether you delicately place lights in your trees our strategically mount lights along a pathway, there are so many possibilities when it comes to directional lighting.

When should you light up your landscape?

Up lighting provides your backyard with alluring effects that embellish your landscape. When outdoor lights are mounted below a tree or shrub and are shined upwards, they have the ability to show off added elements of the plant or structure that is not as visible during the day.

For instance, directional lighting that is placed upwards shows the intricate details and bumps of the tree bark, the curvy structure of the branches and the gentle venation pattern of each individual leaf. When it comes to architectural structures, lighting up columns has the ability to add a dramatic effect by casting shadows against the pillars.

It is important to note that you can also up light your garden using well lights — fixtures that sit even with the level of the ground shining directional lighting onto lower sitting shrubbery. These lights are ideal for flower beds because they shine straight up highlighting the beauty of the petals.

When should you downlight your landscape?

Although it may seem like the more light you have to display your garden features at night the better, sometimes less is actually more when it comes to lighting. Outdoor seating is a perfect feature to consider downlighting. Usually benches and chairs are not as pleasing to the eye so when you cast a subtle shadow, usually underneath the objects, they are highlighted enough to see in order to navigate around them, but not highlighted as something that needs to be put on display.

Use faux lighting to resemble natural lighting

One of the best and most effective form of downlighting is the beautiful hued glow of the moonlight beating down upon your garden. If the moon doesn’t always grace you with its presence, perhaps placing a light fixture high up inside your tree could offer the same aesthetic appeal that feels natural to the eye.

Patios, driveways and ponds are two ideal places that always look amazing cascaded under moonlight, while also helpful to guide you in the pitch darkness. Entertain your guests with your own moonlit sky and light up your garden the way mother nature does with some awesome directional lighting.

What are some ways that you light up or downlight your garden? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Decorating ideas to highlight your garden fountain

highlight your garden fountain

There is a certain hint of elegance that resonates when you hear the sound of a slow trickling stream echoing throughout your garden. Garden fountains are beautiful additions to any outdoor living space and come in an array of designs and styles. Placing one of these statement pieces in your garden has the ability to turn your backyard into a magical oasis, though there are many ways to add unique touches that highlight your garden fountain.

Plant flower beds around your fountain

Adding flowers is always an ideal way to decorate any garden but planting a colorful variety of flowers around your fountain will really make it stand out from a distance.

Aside from making sure the flowers you select will grow well in the area around the fountain, you may also want to consider the maturity height of them. You wouldn’t want your flowers to grow above the fountain and hide it from your field of vision! Ideally, you’d like your blossoming beauties to compliment the space and accent the garden with their natural charm.

Don’t be afraid to add a little greenery

Although your garden is already popping with various shades of green and deep brown tones, the more greenery you plant in and around your fountain, the more natural your outdoor space will look. Ivy is always a flawless choice as it has the ability to climb the finish of your fountain and camouflage the base. Remember, just like flowers, keep in mind your greenery choices because you don’t want them to block the fountain.

Use herbs to spice up your fountain

Planting herbs around your garden is both beneficial for the look of the area and growth of the plants. Herbs provide a different visual view of your garden and the simple splashes from the trickling fountain also provide them with the suitable amount of moisture that is needed to help them grow. Another bonus is that herbs don’t usually grow too tall, making them the perfect plants to highlight your garden fountain.

Accompany the area with vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruit add a sweet touch to any backyard garden, but they also add a tasty bit of color. Just like ivy, strawberry and bean plants also weave themselves around the fountain base.

Construct a pathway to your fountain

While plants and flowers with vivid colors create a visual pathway, constructing a physical pathway creates a finished look and allows an easy access to your fountain. Also consider installing some path lights to light your way when the moonlight isn’t doing the trick.  

Figurines gives your fountain a personality

Garden gnomes and ceramic mushrooms are a few wildly popular choices when it comes to garden figurines. These objects give your garden a personality and they provide visual accents when you are trying to highlight your garden fountain.

Take a seat and enjoy the sounds of nature

If you really want to immerse yourself in the beauty of your garden, providing the appropriate seating will allow you to enjoy the fascinating elements for longer periods of time. Read a book, take a nap or simply bird watch as nature unfolds before your eyes.

Outdoor lighting with make your fountain glow

We’ve already made it pretty clear how you can enjoy your fountain when the sun is shining brightly, but how about when moon comes out? Adding some twinkly directional lights to your outdoor fountain will really accent the piece at night, while placing some well lights can also add character to the landscape surrounding the fountain.

Make your fountain something that you can enjoy around-the-clock.

How do you plan to highlight your garden fountain? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

5 Quirky Summer Garden Party Ideas

5 Quirky Summer Garden Party Ideas

Summer has just begun, and instead of the usual backyard barbecue, you’re dreaming of a quirky garden affair, full of charm and whimsy. Not sure where to start? Fear not, we have put together a list of top five quirky summer garden party ideas to spark your creativity!

Mismatched dinnerware and vintage objects

To create a whimsical, quirky ambiance, you’ll want to leave the dull dinnerware set in the cupboard for this party. Instead, opt for wonderfully mismatched plates, bowls, and cutlery. If you don’t happen to have those lying around your house, it’s just the excuse you need to pop into your favorite thrift store.

While you’re at it, pick up some vintage objects such as odd wind chimes, garden ornaments, and décor items. For instance, you can use an old wheelbarrow to store your cold refreshments on ice or small decorative birdcages for visual interest.

Bunting, garlands, and pom poms

Nothing says whimsy like bunting, garlands, and pom poms strung up in your backyard. It’s also an excellent opportunity to add a splash of color and character to your garden party. You can create your own colorful ones or find the perfect decorative accessories online or at a party store in your neighborhood. Choose items with quirky patterns; think mustaches, vintage prints, and oddities.

5 Quirky Summer Garden Party Ideas

Lawn games

Indulge everyone’s inner child and up the fun factor by including entertaining lawn games; some options are croquet, bocci balls, cornholes, and giant Jenga. On a budget? You can add some DIY games such as ring toss using spray painted wine or beer bottles from your last party!

Having lawn games at your party will encourage friendly (or fierce) competition among your guests and get people moving and mingling, which makes hosting a breeze.

Photo booth and Polaroids

It’s no exaggeration that guests love photo booths. Just a quick search on Instagram reveals close to 4 million photos with the eponymous hashtag! Skip the expensive rental and have fun creating a unique booth, with the backdrop of your choice and lots of quirky and peculiar props and toys.

If you want to memorialize the party on social media, provide your guests with a catchy hashtag that they can use to share their photos. You can also have a Polaroid or another instant camera handy so that your friends can take a printed souvenir home with them.

Lighting

The fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. Use a combination soft rope lighting, well lighting, and strategically placed directional lights to add to the quirky atmosphere and keep the party going.

You’ll want to make sure your photo booth and lawn games areas have ample lighting. Well and directional lights do an excellent job at highlighting specific areas of your garden party while landscape lighting‘s circle spread of warm light is ideal for areas where your guests will be sitting and conversing.

Do you plan on trying out any of these fun summer garden party ideas? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook wall!