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How do you all light your gardens?

Posted by linnea2 z5 NY (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 9, 05 at 22:15

If you even do, that is.
Part of the blessings of living in the country, to me, is dark nights,
star light, moon waxing and waning, no floodlit auto dealerships.

But, we need to see the paths, and a twinkle here and there in the trees,
or lighting up a special hardscape feature, or a beautiful plant or pond,
that just makes a night garden accessible and magical.

I tend to go with mini lights in the trees and a few solar spots and globes.
Big outdoor candles (IKEA has the best) in lanterns for parties.
One of my favorites is candles in paper lunch bags along a path, though it's
a bit of a bother when you're busy.
There never seems to be enough light on the grill around here.

I'm curious how other people do lighting, pictures, if you have any, would be
really interesting.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

Do you remember Nigella's Lights?

So simple, and much easier and quicker than the paperbag things.

Lightshades from discarded light fixtures, sitting in a bowl or saucer, tea light candles.

Someone on the Landscape Forum once remarked that they did not use any artificial lighting in their garden, only candles. Romantic notion, isn't it?


RE: How do you all light your gardens?

I'm leaning more and more towards live flame myself, I love your little lantern.

I put up three of my minilight strings and absolutely hate them.
Happily they were cheap and have other uses.
I'm back in the dark, which is good, but still feel the need for
some small light or lit something, not sure what.

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

Candles for everyday lighting are kind of a pain but I like them for when we have company. I tie wire around the rim of a recycled small jam jar, or some jar that size and create a handle with the wire. Hang it in the trees and insert a candle, it looks really pretty. To dress them up a bit you can add beads to the wire.

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

I still use the moon but sometimes I use a flashlight if I think deer are out there.

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

Hi Linnea
If you like flicker but the candles blow out try cutting mylar in thin strips and hanging them in front or behind light bulbs.
You can get them to look just like candles.
We get strong evening breezes and "candles' made with flickering mylar work great.

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

T.E, what a cute idea! I'll certainly try it.

There was a Cirque du Soleil show, maybe Allegria, that had those
huge "torches" made of raggedy fabric blown upwards by a fan around the bulbs.
It was awesome!

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

I use lanterns and candles, all sorts. No outdoor electricity source (do you have any idea how hard it is to string a Christmas light display without an outdoor receptacle?), so I resort to candle power. They are on my patio tables, hanging from trees, in free standing lanterns and in stick-like holders that can be inserted into the ground or containerized plantings. I also use luminarias (the bags with cut-outs) at Halloween to illuminate my walkway and for parties. I buy tea lights in bulk from Costco or Ikea and cheapo pillars and globes from Tuesday Morning or other discount place. Color doesn't really matter if using in a lantern outdoors.

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

Decided this summer to make some lightweight concrete oil torch holders. Plan to make smaller ones to hold pillar candles when I get a chance.


Here is a link that might be useful: Concrete Oil Torches

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

You are so clever! I'm going to do some concrete stepping stones, but I wouldn't have thought to venture as far as you have. Thanks for sharing those photos.

We will have to resort to low voltage lighting for the front, as we live on a dark suburban street. We're doing it in part for more security and in part for safety. I do have Christmas lights on the patio, but they're not pretty in the daytime, and I'm always a little worried that our east neighbor might find me tacky.

I plan to make some tin-can votive holders eventually. You get a safety-style can opener, take off the lid without leaving a sharp edge, fill with water and freeze, and punch out a design using a hammer and big nail. Then unfreeze and attach a wire handle. We'll see how that goes, if I ever get around to it. I think I got that idea from a book called Garden Junk.


RE: How do you all light your gardens?

I put up the mini lights along a much travelled stone path under maples,
from my back gate where I park. There is a homicidal stepping stone there
that juts out of what becomes a gully in wet seasons and the path
is hard to see in the dark.
I have never been able to have a flash light, it's either lost,
has dead batteries or is not with me when I'd need it. And,
one more thing to carry, remember, etc.
I got a timer for the mini lights, we're still figuring it out,
the plug doesn't fit on the gfi outlet so I have to get a short ext. cord.
They are closer together than I want or need, 12" would be perfect,
but is unavailable.

I'm far from satisfactory solutions yet. Any live flame is out of the question
in my main gardens, they're 700-1200' from my house. The best thing so far
are some small solar powered spots, 3 in a box with a small solar collector.
They're small, black, easy to hide and give off a surprising amount of light.
They actually throw light rather than just glowing.
The thin, black cords are 25' each and also easy to hide.
I'm thinking of getting some more and try someting with orange cloth,
since the light is too white.
The link shows the kind, though mine were 39.00 and have spikes that push
into the ground, or you can tie them to a tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solar spots (

RE: How do you all light your gardens?


RE: How do you all light your gardens?

Your cows glow in the dark?:)

RE: How do you all light your gardens?

I've always believed in the joy of a white night-time garden. For that reason, I planted white vinca along garden pathways. I used varigated leriope or Aztec grass as well. The whites come on strong around twilight, and that is my favorite time to wander around our garden. In the winter, I imagine the white/green poinsettas might serve the same function if the temp is not too brusque for them. Chartreuse leaves would glow as much as white I'm sure.

I did not get to try out my rope lighting before Katrina destroyed my home, but planned to locate the strips (fitted with a dimmer) beneath the holly ferns rimming our old brick patio, which would lead folks to the front door.

Those ornaments used at Christmas time, the long twisted plexiglas thingies, they tend to pick up the merest trace of light as they move around. Hanging them near a light would add ambiance as they say in the decorating books. :)

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