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Lighting Your Garden

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

If you're going for an inviting landscape and garden design, there's a lot you should know about choosing the right lights and setting the right mood for your garden.

Whatever kind of landscaping you're looking at, from a roof garden to a big back yard, the right lighting can make your landscaping gorgeous, day or night. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.

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Tip #1 -- Designing Lights for Your Walkways

Lighting along the path to your front door or along the path from your garden to your deck warmly invites guests into your home. Not only that, it helps you see where you're going, so you arrive free of skinned knees and bruises.

Tip #2 -- Choose Focal Points in your Garden

Brightly lighting your whole yard is a no, unless of course you're going for the "football stadium" look. That leaves you with the necessity of thoughtfully choosing the areas of your landscaping and garden design you do want to light. A light on your favorite palm tree or near your favorite bench will help keep your yard visually interesting at night. Free-standing lights make it easy to add a little warmth without adding any electrical wiring, so you can get creative on this one.

Tip #3 -- Think Safety

Good lighting can help you feel safe and secure. Motion-sensitive lights near your garage or in the dark corner near the hedges can help keep prowlers away and let you see that the strange rustling in the bushes is a cat, not a cat burglar.

If you've worked hard on your landscaping and garden design, there's no reason its wow should be cloaked in darkness every night. With the right lighting, it can be every bit as beautiful after the sun has gone done.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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