Urban Garden Denver Blog

Let There Be Light

January is a great time to think about light in your garden, because it is so dark. It’s easy to feel like we never even see our gardens in the daylight when we are working a day job away from home. Seeing the landscape lights outline the path in my garden is uplifting in the winter. While you may not want to undertake a light installation project until it is warmer out, here are a few thoughts on bringing light in this season:

— First of all, a wonderful thing about living in Denver is that it is our civic culture to keep our Christmas lights up through January (for the national western stock show, as in animals, for our friends from other parts).  In other towns you might be considered a slacker by leaving your lights up, but here it’s the norm.

— Porch lights! Install that energy-efficient bulb and leave your porch light on. It makes me crazy to see how many houses don’t turn on their porch light. It is a friendly gesture.

— Landscape lights look great spread along a path or illuminating a wall or tree or shrub.  Walk or drive around and notice homes with landscape lights and you will be convinced to install some. While my home is definitely green conscious (my daughter wanted to go off-grid in her bedroom in 3rd grade), I actually prefer the electric lights that are low-wattage to the solar lights. The electric lights give off a bit more light and are consistent in deep shade areas. One small caution, if you go to the trouble of installing electric lights, do keep in mind that pesky wire that is buried between the lights. Seems like one year I got a big overzealous in loosening the soil deeply to plant more bulbs and the wire was a casualty of my loosening. I almost cut the wire a second time last summer, but stopped myself just in time.

— Candles are a great solution to lighting up your porch when you are having people over on a winter evening. I’m  not much for candles in my house, but I have a set of candle lanterns that my sister gave me for Christmas a few years ago. They look perfect on the brick columns on my porch (1927 bungalow) and on the porch table. I just light them when I’m expecting guests after dark.

Lots of options for light, but we need it, our gardens need it and our neighborhoods could benefit from a little more light.

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  1. * Amy says:

    Love your blog! Looking forward to reading the great ideas and thoughts on gardening

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  2. * sandra schaffer says:

    I like your idea for lanterns or candles on the porch. I would love to have landscape lighting, but my husband would veto installing wiring. Solar lighting, as far as I’ve experienced, just doesn’t cut it.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago

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