With the onset of summer there are plenty of ways to make our gardens a useable nocturnal space as well as a daytime retreat.
Some forethought will be required in our garden styling to ensure that we reap the maximum benefit that the witching hours have to offer, so read on and find our best advice below.
Good lighting will of course be an obvious necessity when outfitting your garden for night time appreciation, first of all for safety, since any poorly lit area is often a recipe for disaster, but also from aesthetic perspective since light is instinctually welcoming, not to mention neccessary to appreciate the visual appeal of your garden styling. Lighting can take forms varying from traditional oriental lanterns for lighting a path, to spotlights which can direct the focus of the observer to interesting planting or structural features in the garden. Up-lighters to trees can create a wonderful canopy effect and in winter can also reveal the sculptural skeleton of the tree and any interesting bark formations too.
You might even consider tiki torches or a fire pit – moving us nicely along to our next design element: heat. We’d like to pretend we live in hot a climate (and most dad’s do when it comes to a barbeque) however, our desires and reality do not always coincide, but fortunately there are many options to achieve and cosy, toasty garden even on a bitter winter nights. You can either heat the space via electric wall heaters or with freestanding gas varieties, or you can take a more rustic route and use a woodstove or a fire pit. Surround one of these with comfortable, well-placed furniture, such as outdoor sofas, hammocks or built-in bench seats, as well as an abundance of blankets and cushions, and you’ll never want to go indoors.
While the presence of a fire pit makes for a dramatic addition to any garden styling, nothing creates atmosphere better than some complementary music and for this we’d recommend a waterproof outdoor speaker system and, for real punch, you might even construct an outdoor television or cinema set up so that your guests can enjoy watching their favourite stars under their favourite stars!
Between the warmth of your blankets, the sights of your fire pit and the auditory sensations the sound system will provide, it seems only our olfactory senses remain neglected – which in the context of gardening is a crime! To remedy this, don’t forget to include in your garden styling species of plants which release their fragrance in the evening. We recommend Honeysuckle, Phlox, Tobacco Plant, Trachelospermum and Night-Scented Stocks, whose common theme, as the last name suggests, is that their scents are most strongly notable after dark and will therefore provide a feast of nasal delight. Colour schemes are important too. Use blooms in pastel shades of blue, mauve and white as these are most eye catching in fading light.