When you're working all day, sometimes the only time you get to spend in your garden is after dark, especially in the autumn and winter when the days are closing in.
There's no need to give up on your outside space, though. Design your garden to look just as good in the evening as during the day and you'll look forward to the moment when dusk falls, so you can go out into the night-time wonderland you've created just outside the back door.
In our garden centre in Ripley you'll find everything you need to bring your garden to life after dark. Here are a few suggestions to start you off:
- Lighting: Subtle lighting in the garden transforms it into a space full of mystery and intrigue. Uplight special trees or sculptures with spotlights fitted on spikes in the ground, or use torchlight flares along a path for a romantic invitation to explore. Small lights strung across a pergola twinkle in the dark; you can even float solar lights on your pond for a captivating light display.
- Planting: Pale colours shine out from dark shadows, emerging after dark to take centre stage. White foxgloves, white roses and palest blue forget-me-nots gleam in a night-time garden. Many plants also have evening scent: evening primrose, honeysuckles like 'Graham Thomas' and stately annual Nicotiana sylvestris release their heady perfumes as the light fades.
- Heating: As the sun goes down, so does the temperature later in the year. A source of heat adds a cosiness to outdoor evenings in autumn and keeps you outside for longer. Firepits, like bonfires in a dish, throw out heat intense enough to cook with, as do clay chiminea ovens: you'll find people irresistibly drawn to them at parties.
- Eating: Once you're looking at a bewitching evening garden, your chair pulled close to the fire, it won't be long before you start feeling peckish. Balmy autumn evenings were made for cooking outdoors, and you'll find everything you need in our garden centre, from kettle barbecues to luxury outdoor kitchens.
Please ask the staff in our Ripley garden centre for more information and advice about using your garden in the evening.