Lighting a garden | Living the Country Life

Lighting a garden

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Experiment with lighting

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Eric Liskey, deputy editor of garden and outdoor living, Better Homes and Gardens

My flowers are so vibrant in the sun, I'd like to see them at night, too. Maybe you have parts of your landscape you'd like to see after dark.

It's not a matter of sticking a few lights in the ground and pointing them directly at the leaves. Take a look at the garden from inside the house, and take note of everything that's easily seen from the windows. Then, use flashlights to experiment with effects and help determine where the best light placement will be.

Eric Liskey is a garden editor with Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and says the most common way to show off your special plants is through accent lighting.

"Usually those are put in place where you have an interesting plant in terms of branching structure," Liskey says. "If you have a nice Japanese maple or something that's known for nice branching, you would put a spotlight below it shining up and it would create silhouettes with the branches, or perhaps cast a shadow onto the wall of your home with the pattern of the branching. That looks very nice."

Usually the light color is white. But you can create a whole new look at night by experimenting with different colored bulbs. Yellow light will freshen up the greens and warm up the overall tone of the garden. Red light will make anything green appear darker and will accentuate warm colors. Blue light is cooling, and green bulbs will emphasize the green foliage more.

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