Spending as much time as possible enjoying our gardens not only allows us to appreciate the results of the work we have put into them, but it’s also a great way to relax and benefit from lovely fresh air – so extending the time we can spend outside can only be a good thing!
There are two easy ways to achieve this, and that’s using lighting and heating.
Lighting can create great mood and atmosphere, plus of course you’ll be able to see your garden, quite literally in a whole new light!
Adding a heat source brings that cosy element to ward off any evening chill – and also provides lovely ambient light too!
Let’s look at lighting first…
It wasn’t so long ago that outdoor garden lighting options were extremely limited – to simple porch lanterns, or the blinding glare of high-wattage security lights – but thankfully these days are over and there are now a number of choices to create welcoming, inviting spaces and to highlight features and planting.
First, you should decide on the areas you want to light, such as pathways and seating areas, and then any key features, such as particular trees, shrubs or planting, and then use garden lighting selectively to create ambience – and remember that darkness can also be used to great effect!
So how can you achieve this?
Solar-powered lights are extremely useful for lighting a garden path at night or in decorative, multi-coloured versions to make your ponds, beds, patio areas or balconies look bright and welcoming.
Their benefits include…
The most obvious benefit of solar-powered lights is that they don’t need mains power, instead they have small solar panels which use sunlight to charge a battery. Many of these lights store enough charge throughout the day to provide light for up to 10 hours, although this will depend on weather conditions and positioning of the panels.
The cable-less nature of solar lights also makes them incredibly convenient and extremely flexible, as they are easy to move around so that you can highlight features or planting at different times during the season, depending on what’s looking the best.
Clean, green & cost effective:
Generally, solar-powered lights are less expensive to buy than electrical garden lights and there are no installation costs. Plus, of course, since they run on solar panels, there are no costs associated with actually using them, which also makes them a great green choice too. They are a cheap and cost effective way to light our gardens and, because they’re so easy to install, it doesn’t cost the earth to create that wow factor and light your garden for a party or a special occasion.
Whether they create a canopy, decorate the under-side of a parasol, or illuminate structures, trees or pots, fairy lights have the ability to transform our gardens into glamorous, magically sparkling spaces.
And if you use battery-powered or solar fairy lights, then you don’t need to worry about an electrical supply or cables, and of course you’ll be able to move them around to wherever you fancy!
Great for an occasion, or just because you can!
Lanterns and Candles
The soft glow of light from candles and lanterns is a lovely way to add atmosphere to your garden, particularly around seating and dining areas, where they make intimate, inviting outdoor spaces.
You can choose to use candles ‘naked’ but using holders and lanterns makes them safer as they generally ‘contain’ the flame, and a holder or lantern will give your candles more protection which will avoid the need to re-light them. Plus of course, lanterns and holders can add their own pretty patterns of light and shadow to add to the special ambience.
And now for some heat!
When the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop, a heat source in your garden allows you to spend more time outside without feeling the chill – invaluable for warming guests, or yourselves if you just want to chat or do a little stargazing!
There are a few options to consider…
Fire Pits & Fire Bowls
With everyone gathered round on comfortable garden furniture, beer or wine in hand, a fire pit or bowl helps to create a real sense of closeness.
You can use a variety of fuels including real wood, smokeless logs or even a small amount of coal to keep the temperature up – and they’re ideal for toasting marshmallows or heating small gatherings.
Made from powdered coated steel or pressed aluminium, fire pits and bowls are available in a range of vibrant colourful finishes and both traditional and contemporary styles – so you won’t have a problem finding something to suit your space.
They are, of course, weather proof, but you can extend the life of your fire pit or bowl by covering it when it’s not in use, and storing it away over Winter.
Once you’ve made your choice, prepare to sit back, relax and enjoy – because whatever you choose, you can be sure that, on long Summer evenings, it will become a fabulously social focal point to your outdoor space.
Originally from Mexico, chimeneas were traditionally used as a heat source and for cooking – and they have since been adopted by those who love to spend time outdoors today where they do much the same , providing warmth as the sun goes down, and an attractive focal point too.
They are made from steel, cast iron or clay and there are a variety of options to choose from…
A contemporary look can usually be achieved with a steel chimenea, which can be finished in black, oxidised, or with a stainless finish.
Cast iron chimeneas are the most popular as they look more traditional, but offer the versatility of both heating and cooking.
Clay chimeneas generally feature floral or ornate designs with hand-painted finishes in a range of colours.
If you choose a clay chimenea, then you’ll need to cure it properly before use to avoid cracking, click here to see our helpful video guide.
All chimeneas should be covered when not in use and stored inside throughout the Winter to prevent rust on steel and cast iron models and to stop clay models from cracking.
When you’re relaxing or enjoying dinner outside, the last thing you want is to feel chilly – so why not raise the temperature with a stylish patio heater?
More traditional patio heaters are gas-powered, but there are also electric models available and either they can be tall free-standing models, incorporated into parasols or smaller table-top models.
All patio heaters should be covered when not in use to ensure they stay clean and rust-free.
Let our inspiration be the start of your journey into outdoor lighting and heating.
Visit us in-store to check out our great range of fire pits and bowls, chimeneas and patio heaters for cosy-ness, and solar-powered lights, lanterns, candles and fairy lights to create that perfect ambience – the only trouble is, when you create such a welcoming spot, your guests just might not want to leave!