We invest most of our energy and time on the design and lighting of the interior of our homes, and because of that, we neglect to care for our outdoors. Even if we care for the plants and flowers in our garden often, garden lighting seems to be the last option when it comes to designing our homes.
Perhaps, we just don’t know the importance of an outdoor lighting. Or, maybe, we think more of the cost and labor, and less of the practical and aesthetic benefits that outdoor lights give to our homes.
Just a gist, outdoor lighting brings beauty to our exteriors by highlighting garden focal points such as our marvelous collection of different types of plants, or in creating a particular mood or ambiance for various styles of landscape designs. Aside from that, outdoor lights have safety and practical purposes. For example, they are used to light our frequently used pathways, grill area, and outdoor dining table.
Sounds good, isn’t it?
If you have now a change of heart and eager to bring the focus this time in lighting your outdoor areas, here are some modern lighting ideas that you can utilize to your advantage.
Bollards are great modern lights to cast a particular mood to your pathways and driveways. This type of lighting will give your guests a clear direction of where to walk. But it is advisable to place them sparingly at wide intervals to enjoy the contrast of light and shadow during the night.
Lamp posts are kind of similar in structure to bollard lights, but the former has more in height than the latter. Like bollards, it can provide direction when you place them in your walkways and driveways. It can also be a great feature not only as a light source but in adding character, charm, and elegance to your garden.
Most lamp posts come in traditional styles, but there are modern ones which are solar-powered that can complement to the contemporary setting of your gardens while also saving energy when you use them.
If you want a light for your garden that is concealed and unobtrusive, in-ground light is for you.
In-ground lights are perfect in providing subtle yet essential illumination for both safety and aesthetic appeal. For instance, it can add drama in casting its light under tall trees and dense foliage in your garden, while it is a staple in lighting pathways for you to walk your garden at night safely.
Garden Spike Lights
Garden spike light is a great modern outdoor lighting that is easy to install on a soft surface in your garden. It highlights a key landscape feature in your gardens such as an elegant palm or pine tree.
Most spike lights are LEDs, so you won’t have to worry about high electricity cost as LED lights are energy efficient. They also come in various colors to suit a particular style of a garden.
If you want to combine a retro and modern style to your garden, modern lanterns will do the work.
Modern lanterns are attractive as garden lighting design because they add a romantic atmosphere to your garden. They are also easy to move if you want to transfer them at will and come in a wide range of style that will suit your aesthetic biases. You can put them at the corners of the garden, beside the outdoor dining table, or on both sides of the pathway.
The traditional lanterns use candles as light, but modern ones use LED for both safety and energy-saving purposes.
String lights have the power to turn a simple, ordinary space into something like those you see in the fairy tales. They are also inexpensive and proved to be an easy way to light and beautify your garden. Just hang them in the tree, and your heart will skip a beat when you see them.
For a cozy and elegant ambiance for your garden, string lights are the best!
Orbs and Sphere Lights
If you want to pull another trick to turn your garden into something magical aside from string lights, orb- or sphere-shaped lights will do wonders.
Orbs and sphere lights come in a variety of colors. The more traditional color is the white color. It will set a modern and elegant mood when you hang them to light your garden and patio. But, if you want a more fun atmosphere for your outdoor area, you can go for the colored orbs and spheres.
You can hang them in a branching tree or float them in a small pond in your garden.
Pots and Planter Lights
If you think you know more about pots and planters because you have them in your garden serving as containers for your plants, think again.
Pots and planters don’t do just that. They also serve a dual purpose as both plant containers and light sources. They come in a variety of sizes and colors of light that will surely accentuate your plant collections and will provide an elegant beauty to your garden.
Gardens are an important aspect of our homes. Thus, it is only necessary that we give as much attention in providing beauty to them as we do with our interiors. Choosing the perfect modern outdoor lighting is one way to provide them with that.
Gardens are an important part of our homes. It is where we pass our time for relaxation and spend our bonding time with our family after a long tiring day from work. Therefore, providing it a vibrant and refreshing look should be among our home improvement priorities for us to make these moments more comfortable and memorable.
When looking for furniture, homeowners should keep the size and layout of the garden in mind. If you have a large, open garden, the furniture you need should differ from that of a smaller garden area. Also, you need to remember that garden furniture has three-fold purposes: comfort, style, and function.
It can be tempting to buy furniture right away because it’s 50% off or it looks chic, but buying the right one is not merely focusing on those qualities. You also need to take heed of the quality. Knowing how outdoor furniture was constructed and from what materials they come from, will surely deliver a value-for-money purchase.
Here are some tips for you to buy the right furniture for your garden.
Measure Your Garden Space
The type of furniture you want to display depends on the outdoor space available. For example, a 2-seater bistro set might be ideal for a smaller patio, while a cube set is a better fit for a bigger outdoor area.
Think of What Pieces of Furniture You Need
If you want to get purchase outdoor furniture, you must base it on how you will use your outdoor space. For example, if you want your garden to be an area of relaxation, comfort should be topmost in your furniture consideration. Furniture with cushions is perfect to cater this need.
Storage and Easy Care
Most garden furniture nowadays has ‘all-weather’ as its label. While cast aluminum pieces are specially designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, you still need a spot where you can protect them from the sun, wind, rain, and hail.
So, before buying an outdoor furniture, consider first if you have enough storage space for the winter season. If you lack space for storage, go for smaller furniture pieces that are easy to move indoors, or you can consider buying a suitable cover in the budget.
Quality is Key
Buying furniture should be thought of as an investment. When choosing furniture for the garden, test its smoothness by rubbing your hands over its surface. For metal furniture, check if any welding has cracked and if the coated finish is correctly applied. Also, check if joints are not glued but screwed.
Consider the Different Materials of a Furniture
Wood Garden Furniture
Wood furniture is a perfect choice if you want to provide your garden a casual and natural style. Besides, the look of wood is ideal for an outdoor setting. Woods are sturdy, non-heat-absorbing, and long-lasting if cared properly.
Wood material comes in many varieties. There is eucalyptus, teak, cedar, pine, and oak.
- Eucalyptus is a versatile hardwood and is resistant to moisture damage and insects. It is also ideal if you are tight on budget.
- Teak is a dense-grained tropical hardwood. If you are looking for a piece of furniture that is resistant to rotting and shrinkage, teak is the best choice. The only disadvantage of teak is that it is an expensive option.
- Cedar is a soft wood that has a distinctive scent that is insect resistant. It needs a regular maintenance because its color will turn to gray if left unsealed or unpainted.
- Pine, like cedar, is also a soft wood. It is used extensively as a material for modern furniture and has color varieties that range from cream to yellow brown with its typical marked growth rings.
- Oak is hardwood widely valued for its strength and attractive grain. It is used as solid furniture and in modern furniture as veneers. Oaks are moderately expensive and come in two variants of colors: grayish brown and reddish.
Wicker/Rattan Garden Furniture
Wicker and rattan are great as both an indoor and outdoor furniture. If you display it in your outdoor area, it makes a perfect complement to your porches and decks. They are available in a variety of colors that will give your garden a natural and rustic look. Its benefits include comfortable, movable, and flexible.
Plastic Garden Furniture
Plastic furniture is polyethylene-made. It comes from recycled plastic materials such as shampoo bottles and milk cartons.
The best thing with plastics is that it does not require painting or sealing. It can also be made to resemble the materials mentioned above such as wood and wicker. They are resistant to moisture, insects, stains, and mildew. Its weight is perfect if you need to move it around in other spaces.
Aluminum Garden Furniture
Aluminum furniture is good to go when you want to provide your garden a contemporary and modern design. Powder-coated aluminum is durable and only requires low-maintenance. The only catch is that aluminum becomes hot when exposed to the heat of the sun for too long.
Steel Garden Furniture
Steel furniture is heavier than aluminum and can give you a hard time moving it around. It is, however, an ideal complement to contemporary and modern gardens. For comfort, it is advisable that you provide it with cushions.
Choosing the right furniture is essential if you want to provide your garden a comfortable and functional purpose. In achieving this, it is important to know the needs of your outdoor area first, then learn the different materials of the furniture for you to have an insight on how you will complement it to the look of your outdoor area. In this way, you won’t need to waste money and worry that is typical in any furniture mistakes.
Orchids are beautiful, vibrant and popular flowers, which can turn a table, a hallway or a window sill into a beautiful scene. Although they are not the easiest plant to look after, if attended properly orchids will live and flower once or twice each year for many years to come. No flowery language – here are a few easy tips on how to grow orchids to treasure.
Most garden centres or nurseries will only stock fully-labelled plants, so this should give you a rough idea about the level of care you need to provide for your type of orchid. Further advice can be found by visiting agrarianorganics.com/
There are around 30,000 species of orchids that grow across the world, and each type has different requirements.
The most common type of orchid is the moth orchid, or phalaenopsis, which is popular because it can bloom throughout the year. Others include the dendrobium, which has flowers that can also last several weeks, while the oncidium family includes the popular Dancing Lady.
Be realistic – orchids mounted on sticks require daily attention, and sunlight is imperative for blooming. Is your home hot or cold, and is it humid? If you cannot provide these essentials it may be worth looking for alternatives.
Orchids are beautiful, vibrant and popular flowers (photo Getty Images)
But if you can, these marvellous flowers can look great anywhere in the house, including the living room, dining room, bedroom, and even the bathroom. justaddiceorchids.com said: “The steam and heat from your bathroom shower will keep your plant hydrated and warm. If your bathroom doesn’t have any windows, you should take your plant out of the room for part of the day, transporting it to another area of the home with indirect sunlight. Rotating your orchid between the bathroom and another room of your house also discourages mold growth from too much moisture.”
Orchids are naturally found in tropical rain forests in Central and South America, thriving near sources of water. Inexperienced gardeners take this to mean they should water their housebound orchid several times a week, which is a guaranteed way of killing it off. Beautiful orchids.com says: “The general rule of thumb for orchids grown in the home is to water every five to 12 days, depending on the type of orchid, the temperature the plant is grown in, and the time of year. During the warm summer months when days are long, more frequent watering is required than in the cooler, shorter days of winter.”
It is far more harmful to give your orchid too much food or fertiliser than too little, and many gardeners barely feed them at all. Drip-feeders are cheap and provide a gradual balanced release of nutrition – snip the end, pop them in and leave them to it.
The biggest frustration for orchid growers is a lack of flowers, and a single sad vertical stump. The most common reason is lack of light – easily rectified. Strong but indirect light is the best solution, although you can also place a fluorescent light nearby, about 1-2 feet above.
The North of England Orchid Society says: “For warm growing Phalaenopsis, look around your house to find a nice well lit window, ideally facing east or west, and having some shade, i.e. a net curtain, as the midday sun will damage and burn the leaves. Next think about the temperature, if the night time temperature in this position falls below 55 degrees the plant will suffer.”
Orchids do not suffer from the usual problems and ailments suffered by other garden plants, but it is still worth sprinkling leaves with a slug liquid periodically. Applying isopropyl alcohol (methylated spirits) to leaves will banish greenfly, spider mite and mealybugs, horrible little pests that leave a trail of stickiness that can enable sooty mould growth.
Repotting is a real challenge, but has its benefits. Your orchid’s roots may have outgrown its original pot, or the compost may have broken down and is not providing the air the plant needs to flourish. Perhaps you wish to divide it, or you suspect pests in the potting medium.
But heed this advice from everything-orchids.com: “Unless the repotting is urgent and the orchid will be severely harmed without immediate action (rotting medium, pests, massive dead roots, fertilizer build-up), it’s best to wait until the perfect time to repot. Perfect time means when your orchid is active and has sufficient strength to reestablish itself quickly from the somewhat traumatic experience.”
A social affair
It is easy to become addicted to growing orchids and once you are hooked you might consider joining a society, which will advise on feeding, sunlight, and position. You may even move on to showing!