I smile when others “discover” garden lighting, especially subtle methods that don’t detract from night skies.
My first job out of college was being a design grunt at a firm in San Diego’s Mission Valley, in pre-AutoCAD 1989. They often used lighting, aware of its high-impact dimension in outdoor living.
What a difference, even in a new landscape.
In San Diego nearing the beaches, shade trees aren’t as necessary, and people there live outdoors all year like few others. Yet they appreciate night lighting, to extend garden time. In the high desert, even with low humidity and shading from trees and architecture, summer days outside are not so pleasant.
Then night comes, blissful except the hotter periods: that’s when garden lighting allows the landscape to be savored. Forestiera neomexicana in containers will be pruned and lifted once established, for more wow factor.
Winter isn’t bad to enjoy lighting, either, sans the breeze.
I must drop by as hospital staffing grows, to see how many break out on the patio. Not to mention what these Prosopis glandulosa trees will develop into, lit up at night.
That mesquite grouping will be joined by the Yucca rostrata as they also mature.
You may remember my former house from 1998 to 2013.
I rolled over in bed awakening to this many spring mornings, sleeping all night with the sliding doors open.
After specifying landscape lighting for a few clients who valued it, I figured I deserved it, too. Mine was low-voltage, but a quality brand – FX Luminaire.
Of course, luminarias add to the scene, but that’s only in chilly December.
Someone once asked (challenged) me, “why light up a cactus?”
The purple wall probably bothered her, too.
When trying out garden lighting, first experiment with a big box store brand to find where it will work and the effects you want, before spending more money on a higher-grade system to truly reveal your spaces.
Free advice: really, really rethink copying the “airport runway” look of path lights, which many default to.
Indirect lighting does something, not drawing attention to itself. The former provides a professional touch others will want to copy but you get to live with.
4/29/17 weather: 60 / 43 / .03