Lighting the Way for Family Time in the Garden


This year, I’ve made the decision to take on and conquer my summer garden. The West Midlands is getting an upgrade. Hang on to your hats, Grand Designs, and get ready for something special. I’m thinking a play area for the children and a rest and relaxation zone for the adults. And I’m thinking lighting that turns the lush daytime greenery into a mood lit magical wonderland at night, where fairies live in the trees and toadstools act as stepping stones for mischievous garden gnomes. Time to plan.

Bright Nights

LED spike lights are top of the list. I love the design that throws out light in a starburst pattern, creating the impression of light shining through palm trees. I especially like it when this pattern overlaps to look something like how I expect light would look on a jungle floor. Whilst you may be a fan of bollard lights or wall lights, I’m thinking more along the lines of a lighting bundle that I can hang from an as yet undecided vertical surface. The starry night effect adds to the chilled vibes. See here for garden light inspiration.

Of course, outdoor festoon lighting would be my personal hedonistic ideal – but admittedly perhaps a little over the top for a Tuesday evening watching the children play in the dying sunlight while I leaf blissfully through a copy of the local paper. What do you think? Maybe it’s best to save the festoon theme for weddings and anniversary parties, but I can’t promise anything.

Swing Chair

Perhaps it’s my inner child speaking, but a three-seater swing chair has always seemed homelier and more fun than a rigid chair and table setup. Sticking to a wood theme to match with my plans for a children’s play area (see below), I’m thinking a chunky frame with a green canopy and thick cushions will be the best fit seating solution for all the family. I’ve shopped around and noticed there are options available where the cushions are conveniently completely separate to the bench – anyone who has children will know that small people and food or drink do not mix well with upholstery. With removeable cushions, the bench will still be useable whilst any necessary clean-up operation takes place following those accidental spills and dropped splodges of yoghurt.

Children’s Play Area

As a mother of two young boys, the garden becomes multi-functional. I want my children to grow up loving nature. I want them to spend time in the garden, not just hooked up to a tablet playing endless levels of this month’s must-have gaming app. I’ve got my eye on a sandpit and perhaps a wooden wendy house. I’m hoping this will become their den away from home that they ask to play in rather than asking for time online.

That just about covers it. A place to play, a place to sit, and a dusky night time view to die for. This is my plan and it shall be done. Now we just need to hope the sun makes an appearance this year!

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