Lighting Up Your Garden to Complement Diverse Flora

The beauty of a garden comes from its unique bounty. You might grow a diverse assortment of perennials and annuals, while your neighbor tends flowering bushes and colorful ground-level accents. No matter what your green thumb grows, it’s worth showing off—even at night. And, just like your garden is unique and diverse, so too are your options for illuminating it at night.

Why light your garden?

Lighting up your garden is a wonderful way to showcase your flora even after the sun goes down. Whether you’re part of your neighborhood’s summer garden showcase or are a homeowner with tremendous pride of property, casting a little light is a simple way to illustrate the beauty of a well-tended garden.

There are also practical reasons for lighting your garden. For starters, lighting your property at night is a simple security measure that can deter unwanted trespassers—human and animal alike! And, if you’re lighting features like an address rock or stately garden feature, it’s hard for any evening visitors to miss your home.

Above all, the best reason to illuminate your garden is for personal satisfaction. Being a garden is hard work and your diverse flora requires a lot of care. Shouldn’t you be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor at all hours of the day and night?

Be mindful of color when lighting

There’s a lot more to lighting your garden than casting a high-watt flood light on it! First, be mindful of color—both the color of your flora and the warmth and color of your lights. Light color and flora hue need to complement each other. If you blast white peony bushes with a bright, cold light, you’ll completely wash them out! Likewise, warm light on marigold bushes might blur everything together.

You want your floral features to stand out. Try to pair the hue of each plant to a complementary bulb warmth and light with low intensity to keep focus on the plants, not the illumination itself. Consider adjustable warmth LEDs for a wholly customizable solution.

Method matters; choose light fixture with care

As mentioned, blasting your flora with flood lights isn’t going to do much in the way of complementing it. Choose smaller, more focused outdoor light fixtures for each unique plant cluster in your garden. Mini flood lights work well for shrubs like boxwoods, while horizontal stake-in lights amongst your tulip clusters can add a beautiful glow.

Look at how different fixtures cast light and how you can use them to exemplify each unique element in your garden. Focused beams, light diffusing fixtures, horizontal lights and more can all result in dynamic appeal when used correctly in your garden. Turn to a company like TouchStone Lights to learn more about broad outdoor lighting fixture options.

Light with intent to illuminate

How do you choose the right outdoor light fixture for each segment of your garden? Light with intent to illuminate! What do you want people to see when they look at your garden, and how do you want them to see it? Take a look at some common examples and inspiration ideas:

  • Project low flood lighting onto flowering bushes and shrubs, to feature blooms
  • Place gentle horizontal lighting amongst flower clusters to help them ‘glow’
  • Use wall fixtures and vertical lighting to cast light on vines and creepers
  • Install close-proximity uplighting in front of garden features, like stones
  • Stake-in perimeter lamps to outline the full garden area with gentle illumination
  • Uplight walls behind bushes, shrubs and foreground plants to add depth

Keep in mind factors like lighting depth, foreground vs. background lighting, light intensity, beam angle and more. Adjusting one element of your lights (like beam intensity) can cause you to make adjustments elsewhere (like lighting depth).

Here’s what to avoid

For most property owners, lighting their beautiful garden is a process of trial and error. Expect to stake-in and re-stake lighting, adjust light intensity and even reconfigure your entire lighting approach! Experimenting is okay. What you want to avoid is overdoing it—blasting your garden with so much light that it detracts from the uniqueness of your blooms. Here are a few things to avoid:

  • If you need to squint or shield your eyes against the light, it’s too bright
  • If you can’t see the many colors of your flora, adjust light placement or intensity
  • It’s hard to bring attention to your garden if your proper is over-illuminated
  • Don’t be too diverse in your lighting warmth or it can create unevenness

Start minimal and scale up—you can always add more. Highlight the features you’re most proud of first and get those accents illuminated right. Then, expand to showcase more of your garden. Little by little, your bountiful garden will become more and more eye-catching after dark.

Give your garden its rightful recognition

Nothing on your landscape compares to the beauty and splendor of a well-lit garden after the sun goes down. When you take as much care in lighting your garden as you do planting and tending it, the effects are breathtaking. While other landscapes look black and bleak when the sun disappears, yours will stand out with vibrant color, personality and unmatched beauty.