Warm summer evenings are what many gardeners live for. It’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labours. This thought struck me last night as I sat out with a glass of wine at as the sun set, lent back and was gently assaulted by the wayward branches of my tobacco plants. Their ivory-white blooms shone in the dusk, and their fragrance stopped me in my tracks. Instead of brushing them away I breathed deeply to appreciate their glorious scent. This, I thought, is why I bothered sowing the seeds, potting on, planting out and all the other jobs. Pure bliss!
But how often have you been forced indoors by a lack of light? Or someone cleverly puts the security light on and everyone squints into the darkness? Luckily there are lots of ways to light your garden, and the choice of products has never been better.
Apologies for the blatant plug… but I do love my Gacoli table spotlight – it’s so cool!
It charges during the day (the charger is internal so there’s no ugly panel to look at) and gives you hours of light at night. It’s a gentle glow that’s powerful enough to make quite an impact on a small table, without making you squint. And if you forget to leave it out, or want to use it indoors, there’s a handy USB charger.
Fairy lights are another great way to light up your garden. Now that LED lights have become standard, many of the lights you buy at Christmas can be put up outside too. Obviously, multicoloured ones are always going to look a bit ‘Christmassy’, but plain white ones look great all year round. Just make sure you check the box whether they’re suitable for indoor or outdoor use, and always keep the transformer indoors.
Going Dutch – making a bike wheel chandelier
The latest addition to my garden lighting was inspired by a visit to a cafe in Holland: a bike wheel chandelier! It’s easier than it sounds… All you need is an old bike wheel, a hanging basket chain, a set of battery-powered fairy lights and some cable ties. Simply cable tie the battery pack to the centre of the bike wheel, arrange the fairy lights poking through the spokes then attach the hanging basket chain clips at equal distances around the rim of the wheel (think Mercedes logo) and hang it up!
I used some dark green washing line from Poundland, tied between two trees on either side of my deck, but any kind of hook and wire will do, as long as there’s space for the chandelier to hang freely. A chandelier for less than £15 – now there’s a bargain!