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....