Thursday, February 28, 2008

Night Lighting

Lighting in the garden is a must if you want to enjoy it after dark and want a sense of security and safety. I especially enjoy night lighting of both my garden and home. I also enjoy it in other resident's gardens as well, because lighting a house is a very public thing.

Gerianne and I have traveled to Nashville monthly for the Perennial Plant Society (PPS) meetings for two years plus. We enjoy the ride together and talking about our gardens, families and whatever happens to be on our minds at the time. We also enjoy the scenery. The PPS meetings are held at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in the Belle Meade area of Nashville. What a beautiful and historical and upper scale place Belle Meade seems to be. Even the pizza joint (Michelangio's) we always stop by for dinner is upscale if you can believe that! Great pizza too!

One thing Geri and I enjoy doing while traveling through Belle Meade is looking at the houses and gardens. This area is a mature area with grown shade trees and gorgeous huge brick houses. We get a good view going to the meetings since it is usually still light enough outside to see, then we get a good view in the evening as well because all of the homes seem to be lit up. Belle Meade sparkles after dark in a star like manner. I am not talking about floodlights, porch lights and standard track lights, but complete packages of combinations of all types of lights. The effect is cohesive and gives me a sense of the community when I drive through the neighborhood. The whole area is nicely done.

Lighting a home at night is not an easy thing to do. You do not want to over light the home and make it look like Wal-Mart, nor do you want to under light the house either by not providing enough lighting for accent and safety. I believe night lighting of a home should subtly highlight important features of the home, and when one looks at the home they should be able to get a feel for the entire house, not just special features.

The homes in Belle Meade have all established this sense of subtlety while providing highlights, safety and security. Recently I began taking an alternative route home from school; which has led me into a new area of Clarksville I rarely see. I was thrilled to see a semi-"Belle Meade" right here in Clarksville! There is an area of homes off from Memorial Drive which are beautifully lit up at night. The homes are very nice homes and the lighting of them combines all touches of subtlety while highlighting key features on the home AND in the landscape. I loved it and knew I should stop and ask if I could feature the homes on this blog in order to convey a sense of what I am talking about with night lighting.

Now I do know not everyone has the time to design a lighting plan or may even want to do so, but lights do add a great sense of beauty to your home, and for me, a sense of security and safety. If you don't have lighting for after dark activities but may at some point consider installing a simple set, remember to highlight and accent subtly and you too can have an after dark home which sparkles just like those in Belle Meade and semi Belle Meade here in Clarksville. While installing your lights be sure to stand back and look at the effect as you go along.

The pictures of these two homes do not do them justice. Pictures are, after all, just pictures. Coming by these two houses at night always catches my eye and takes my breath away. The first house belongs to David and Betty. Betty tells me her children designed the lighting plan for the house. In fact, Betty and David's son has recently opened a landscaping company here in Clarksville. He might even design a lighting system for your house!

Rusty and his family who live in the second house pictured, designed and installed their lighting system. I asked Rusty if his system was on a timer and he said no, it was hardwired directly. It takes commitment to remember to turn on your outside lights each night and Rusty has not failed to do so. Further along their road and right next door to both houses are more sparkling houses, but I always specifically notice these two, and for consideration of space and time I have chosen to spotlight just these two. Drivers on Memorial Drive can look at the area for themselves when they drive on Memorial Drive at nighttime.

I want to thank Rusty and Betty for allowing me to snap photos of their lovely homes. A stranger knocking on your door during the day is one thing, having her stop by your house at night to take pictures when you don't even know she is there, is a totally different thing. I hope I didn't disturb them too much the three times I had to stop by to snap pictures! I finally got the pictures I wanted and thanks!

in the garden....


  1. Wow! These are beautiful! Mine are motion detected, it can't be seen from the road. Never thought of nighttime enhancing. Just have it for the critters and whatnot that strolls into our driveway, lets us know.

  2. motion lighting is a grand thing too. folks down here like it because that way it is not on all the time like security lighting. i have an on all the time security light which i LOVE and need for my house. but i also have motion lighting too. do you wake up each time the lights come on? i often wonder that.

    i hope nikki is feeling better. no fun being out of school if one is sick.

    i'm on my way to the lawn and garden show and to drop off two pups. what fun! you are up early this morning.

  3. Very nice pics of gorgeous houses.
    I also enjoy a pretty house with nice night time lighting.

    Dawn I sure do hope Nikki feels better soon.

  4. Great pictures Tina! It is really difficult to get a good night shot so you did good…

    We installed some solar lights facing the front of the house. They do not light up the house like I had wanted them. They give it more of a glowing effect. Saint likes that better but I don’t. They will remain as is for now...

    We have a Georgia Power security light (on a phone/electric pole) in the back yard. Everyone on our street has one because it is soooo dark being in the country. It lights up the entire backyard and we can watch the critters under the feeders and can see the patio area. I really do like that light a lot. In the summer, the Saint says that when the light comes on, it is time for me to get out of the garden and yard! LOL…

    I like it when a beautiful tree has a light under it shining upwards. Looks really pretty at night...

  5. Most of the time it wakes me up. Even when we were in the mobile and I had a small light going down the driveway. SOMETIMES... the wind can get the best of my imagination. Touchy lights, disconnected the alarm that came with one.

  6. Good morning,Everybody!
    The last pictures remind me that my front porch light is out! My husband took a look and at the same pictures and said,"That's a lot of front lawn". He does like the lights that go on and off automatically.
    My neighbor installed security lights that still iluminate my bedroom each night before I put the black poster board in the window and draw the blinds. The baby white pine tree I planted between us is not much help yet. But she is very cute. Poor baby survied a surprise catapillar attack last year.
    After seeing the green arbor I took out what is left of an old failed PVC project. I am in the process of constructing something unique and hopefully structurely sound for my mail order Sweet Autumn Clematis Vine.
    Then I see the Ocean and I am stopped in my tracks and just breath for a happy moment. I am craving ice plants and Manzanita Trees and talking to my Chix.
    What lovely gardens you all have. I enjoy this Blog soooo much.

  7. hey Tina,

    Hope you had a good time at the show...


  8. Hello Tina, hope you had a great day at the lawn and garden show. You did a good job on the night photography.

    We have landscaping lights around the house on a timer. They are really great, until the electricity goes off and you have to reset the timer which in the country can be quite often. Animals are forever knocking the tops off them. We have had them for several years, so there is probably something more up to date than what we have. I have put the solar lights around the hillside garden.

  9. hello everyone. back from nashville. super super day! well planned out, good buys, new island for my kitchen-free! geri gave it to me. that was the best bargain. but do you know we got tree peonies for just $15! they are usually $60-$80 per in catalogs. she found them. hers is red and mine is yellow. my favorite color in the garden. hope it grows well. they have tons of stuff there. BUT, for anyone wanting to go there, make sure you bring plenty of checks or cash as not many booths took debit or even credit. that can be a problem. saw some friends there too! didn't get much other than the tree peony, a few small sedums for the hypertufa, a holly fern and crinum bulb. that is all. just got my first notice for jury duty ever. wonder what it will be like? anyone else done jury duty?

    cj and bruiser were handed over to glenda. i do have pictures of their goodbye i am sending to sandy of the pet people blog.

    mom, do you see many houses in maine lit up like this? i don't remember any. i have always liked it. not even the huge farmhouses. maybe some of the bigger cities have some lit up houses?

    skeeter, it was hard getting the right pictures. i am beginning to love my old little digital. now if i could just get that battery..

    i remember we talked about that light and that when it came on it was time to go in! you're tired by that time anyhow!

    there are some uplit trees on these properties too, but i didn't get good pictures. i love uplit. do you have some?

    dawn with peaches, i would think you would get used to the light coming on alot. but definitely disconnect the alarm!

    ginger-how are you? good i hope. glad you are enjoying and that ocean picture was for you as it had been awhile since i posted one.

    what failed pvc project? did you like mine? i hope it is strong enough for my vine and you also have a sweet autumn clematis? they get big fast if they are happy and can take over. make sure your arbor is strong. my one vine i have growing pulled a lantern off of a 4x4. then it covered it up on me!

    i am so glad you are enjoying the blog and talk with us and i bet before long you will have some ice plants and manzanita trees (i have no idea what this is) blooming. there were ice plants at the lawn and garden show today. cool plants.

    gail-had a great time at the show. did you go or are you going? lots of unique varieties and good speakers, though we didn't see any lectures.

    hi nina, i too have that problem with having to reset my timers when the power goes out-or even worse-when the days get longer and shorter. hate it! but i so like night lighting. i probably have the same lights as you-from last decade? my tops get knocked off to by kids or animals or plant activities and shovels. but oh don't they work and are so reliable. i added a few spotlights to highlight my house at night to the older lights but have some newer ones in other areas. i say, it it works-keep it! i can't wait to see your hillside garden as i am hearing more and more about it.

  10. Hi Tina, Glad you had a great time at the garden show. It was super nice here today --a few more tulips are making themselves known by the mailbox. And, of course the daffy's by the farmers are blooming more and more each day. They always put a smile on our face and we race each other to see who will see them first (small boy and me). Today he was talking to the cows, they are in the pasture back by the daffodils. Talk about cow patties --wowser there were tons of them. Small boy really gets a kick out of the cows --and they seem to enjoy watching him ride his scooter --one cow came over to the fence to look out at him, lol. It was funny! Have a great night --

  11. i was just about to write to you! wondering where you were today, but i know you usually get on here before you hit the sack after a busy day with the kids. i am tired and about to hit the sack too! glad to hear all is well and still more tulips coming. i don't need to tell you how great it is to keep finding new surprises in the garden. isn't it great. maybe the little one will make a friend of one or two of the cows and you can ask the farmer for some manure for fertilizer too!:)

    goodnight all.

  12. Great pics. Lights make home lovely even at night. Not to mention the security it provides. Lights seem to bother the thieves or in some cases it just makes it easier for them to see. My house from inside looks like day. I have nite lights all over. Started mostly so I could see without turning on big light. Being in city there is plenty of street lights that light up the whole neighborhood. Due to the work my hubby did he had city to install another light on pole at edge of the yard. I'm sure the neighbors liked that. But hey, more light the better. I could do gardening at night if I was so inclined. lol lol lol.
    Glad you are home safe & had a good time.
    Sad, you will miss the little ones but know they are in a good home.

    I don't think solar lights are as bright as the electric ones. Mine are electric. I wanted to get solar to get rid of wires but Young'un didn't want. They only mark the walkway at night. Don't think they have to be that bright for that purpose. I just don't want to trip over wires. No. they are not buried. Have to move them every time we {he} mows.
    Good buy on the tree peonies. What ARE the other plants you were talking about? Had to order my tuberose--not to be in stores till end of March. Can't wait.
    Gotta go, the little one won't go to bed unless I do.
    Have a good night all.

  13. Tina there are quite a few houses that have night lighting, even right here in our little town. The famous church in town used to be so pretty at night but they changed the lighting to some darn modern lights this year and it sucks. Does not go with that old church at all. I am not the only one that says that either.

    Ginger we have not heard from you much....good to hear from you.

  14. lola, i like both solar and hardwired lights, but the wired lights are actually safer and more reliable. wires need to be protected.

    i bought mostly sedums, a few pineapple sages, dames rocket, and a holly fern. i was a bit disappointed there wasn't more. i was specifically looking for euphorbias (same family as poinsettias)

    now i have seen tuberoses. i am surprised they are coming so late down there. they were at the lawn and garden show. not too expensive. i planted mine nina sent and am anxiously waiting for them to come up. will share as able!

    mom, i did not know there were houses with night lighting. i will make it a point to look next time i come up.

    i think i have seen the church with its new lighting and i seem to recall i liked it. why don't you like it?

  15. It is too madern for that beautiful
    old church and does not light it up as well.

  16. Tina, I found the milorganite at the local wal-mart tonight after I had already got it at Lowe's yesterday. I also found the tuberose at Lowe's when they told me on phone they didn't have them. Some don't know what is going on, others don't care. Got another whiskey barrel to plant my blue berry bush in. Think I'll put some flowers around edge till it gets bigger. Picked up some flowers to replace dead ones in window boxes on shed. It's a start.

  17. Lola,
    Is the tuber rose in root form with bulbs and tubers or in a pot as a plant? I have looked all over for them here in GA with no luck...

  18. bulbs skeeter. they had them at the lawn and garden show, but i haven't seen them anywhere else. must have them there though if lola got some.

  19. I have looked at two different Lowes store, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and a local family owned nursery with no luck. Will keep looking though....