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Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Let there be light!

I took a few minutes the other night, after dark, to string up some leftover Christmas lights around the large wisteria trellis at the back of the house. It is a bit early to be planning for my annual garden party in June, but since they were lying around I figured I might as well put them up.

The back garden doesn't get a lot of use after dark except by the nightly visiting opossum and feral cats of the neighborhood. I want to remedy this as the nights start to get warmer. Often, in the heat of the summer, the only time you can enjoy the garden is after the sun has set. Any day that rises above 100 degrees F usually leaves 70-80 degree F nights in its wake. The trellis lights are merely step on in the process of lighting up the back garden.

I have been looking at various landscape light sets, much the light the one I have in the front yard. That set came with a transformer, wire, 6 pedestal lights and 3 spot lights. I realize now, as most people do, that pedestal lights are fairly worthless in lighting up a garden. The simple up-lighting of my Elm tree, my tree fern and the azalea bushes in front of our porch are much more interesting than the wash of light on the driveway from the pedestals.

I think I am going to go and buy the parts separately and build my own system for the back garden. First, it will be almost entirely spot and flood lights. I have lots of good opportunities for up and down lighting throughout the back. It will probably cost more than a packaged lighting system, but I think it will be much more attractive and useful. It will also take longer to install, but if I start soon I should be done in plenty of time for summer outdoor fun. I will post more and the project comes together.


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