There’s nothing quite like long, sunny days lazing in the garden. But what happens when the sun goes down? Garden lighting can add a whole new dimension to your garden, allowing you to use it for longer, move safely around it in the dark and enjoy looking out onto it from indoors. In this blog, we share some of our tips on how to light up your garden.
For us, this is the key part of garden lighting. There are LOTS of styles to choose from and it all comes down to personal taste and what style suits the style of your garden. But what they do is as important as what they look like…
We always recommend adding uplighters into a gardening scheme. They are often used to highlight feature trees and shrubs around the garden. Sometimes they are hidden amongst herbaceous providing a glow within borders. Often they are used to highlight focal points around the garden such as sculptures and water features.
Post lights can be a wonderful way to help you navigate around the garden. Think about where you want to locate these – avoid putting them in lawn or they will get damaged when you cut the grass. They can look lovely positioned in borders at the side of a path, nestled amongst planting to add to the soft glow of the garden.
Downlighters or brick lights on walls and fences are a great way to add interest around the garden in the evening. These can be shining down onto garden art or planting and can create a lovely glow to the perimeter of the garden. They can be used in rendered raised beds to great effect too.
Deck lights are popular and easy to fit. Small round recessed lights are a great way to add lighting but there are other options to add wow to your decking such as lights fitted into the steps or large glass blocks with brick lighting underneath for a more dramatic effect.
These are a great way to add a WOW to your garden. They can run along steps, in water features, raised beds or sit at the bottom of rendered walls to add a wonderful effect after dark.
The big trend in garden lighting at the moment is festival lighting. These trendy fairy lights add a fizz of excitement to the garden and turn the evening into an event. Also, look at the wide variety of fairy lights on offer – from meteor showers to LED curtains there will be something to suit your style and budget. Think about where they will plug in and how they will be strung for full effect.
Technology is constantly improving and the quality of solar lighting is better than it has ever been. Resist the urge to buy bargains in budget stores and splash out on better quality solar lights in order for them to give a decent effect and to last longer than one summer!
Our favourite colour of lighting is always warm white in gardens as we feel it gives the nicest glow but colour can be used to great effect in gardens. Too many colours in a small garden can look too much though so restrict your choice for the best effect.
Not to be forgotten, security lighting is important in ensuring your home and garden are kept safe at night. Using a PIR can ensure it comes on at the right time and can be used to guide you safely to the door too.
As with so many parts of our lives these days, your garden lighting can also be controlled by your Alexa or a smartphone. They can also be set to come on at dusk for a certain amount of time, leaving you to just sit back and pour another drink!
At Vialii, we can help you design your garden lighting scheme so that you get the most out of your garden day AND night! Please get in touch for more information on how you can light up your garden.
What a beautiful day it was on Sunday 6th June 2021 in Bridge of Allan and not just because the sun was shining. Several talented gardeners kindly agreed to open their gardens to the public as part of Scotland’s Garden Scheme. Spread across Bridge of Allan, there were all sorts of sizes and styles to see, something to suit all tastes. Here are some photos from our visits…
We had a wonderful afternoon exploring these gardens and we highly recommend visiting when the opportunity arises.
Our clients asked us to redesign their garden and wanted to get rid of their old decking and create a seating area in the sunniest corner of the garden. The rear boundary needed to be unified and made more appealing and new paths and planting was a must. With design tools at the ready, we set about creating a relaxing garden in Dunblane!
The clients were adding a new contemporary extension to the house and wanted a beautiful garden to look out onto and enjoy. Existing trees were kept and new planting added to provide year round interest. The “utility” area was revamped with new veg beds, paving and gravel.
The new paths and patio were created using a beautiful golden sandstone edged in setts. Chunky timber sleepers were used as a retaining wall in order to create a flatter lawn area and step down to the new patio.
A beautiful array of planting provides year round interest, attracts wildlife, provides scent as you relax in the sunshine and softens the hard landscaping.
Where the old deck was, new lawn and planting was added. A new horizontally slatted fence at the bottom of the garden unifies this are and provides a backdrop to the new planting.
If you have a garden that you need help designing please get in touch to arrange our free design consultation.
1. Bluebells are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. You can be heavily fined for picking, uprooting or destroying a wild bluebell.
2. The bluebell has many names: English bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle, Cuckoo’s Boots, Wood Hyacinth, Lady’s Nightcap and Witches’ Thimbles, fairy flowers and Hyacinthoides non-scripta.
3. Over half the world’s populations of these iconic wildflowers grow in the UK.
4. If you wish to plant bluebells, please ensure it’s the English bluebell, not the Spanish version. This is a more vigorous plant and could out-compete our delicate native flower.
5. Bees enjoy bluebells pollen and nectar. Sometimes they ‘steal’ it by biting a hole in the top of the flower.
6. Bluebells can take years to recover after footfall damage. If a bluebell’s leaves are crushed, they die back from lack of food as the leaves cannot photosynthesise. So think twice before going skipping through them!
7. Bluebells have been used for a variety of different things throughout history, not just for ornamental purposes. Their sticky sap was once used to bind the pages of books and glue the feathers onto arrows, and during the Elizabethan period, their bulbs were crushed to make starch for the ruffs of collars and sleeves.
8. Due to their toxicity, there has been little use for bluebells in modern medicine. However, their bulbs have diuretic (increases urination) and styptic (helps to stop bleeding) properties, and research on how these flowers could potentially help fight cancer is ongoing.
9. It takes several years for a native bluebell seed to grow into a bulb & subsequently flower.
10. Bluebells have a rich folklore, hinted at by the colloquial name: ‘fairy flowers’. In medieval tales, when forests were perceived as forbidding places, people believed that the bluebells rang out to summon fairies to their gatherings.
Certainly a magical plant worthy of our wonder as we enjoy our Spring walks past them.
Water butts are great additions to any garden. In this blog we look at why you should find a home for one in your garden, where they can go, and what you need. Mind your butt!
A water butt is the perfect solution to harvest and store rain water:
Water butts can be added to any structure in your garden where there is a natural run off of rain water. The main places are on the house, garage, greenhouse, shed and summerhouse. Ideally locate it near where you need to water a lot, ie veg beds. Site the rainwater butt in the shade if you can, as the water will be kept cooler, reducing the growth of bacteria. Keep the guttering clear of debris as the organic material can encourage the growth of bacteria in the collected water.
You will need some DIY skills as you will need to follow the instructions on the diverter kit which will involve cutting through the downpipe – sounds a bit daunting if you’re not sure what you are doing. It’s quite straight forward but you can always call the experts (us) if you want someone to take care of it for you.
Do keep a lid on the rainwater butt – it will not only mean that creatures can’t fall in and drown, but it will also stop mosquitoes and midges breeding in there.
For a quote to get a water butt fitted in your garden please get in touch.
We may not be able to have a big family get together this Easter (once again, cheers Covid!) but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Easter in our own way. We decided to brighten up our Easter Sunday dinner by making our own Easter centrepiece. It is so quick and easy and looks great too. And we had all the things we needed just lying about the house and garden so it cost us absolutely nothing! Here’s how to make your own Easter centrepiece…
1. Take your branches and stand them in your pot (we tied ours together to help keep them in place the way we wanted them to sit in the pot.)
2. Add your pebbles/gravel to hold them in place as well as weighing down your pot so your centrepiece doesn’t topple over and land in your Easter dinner!
3. Add your eggs. You could add bunnies or chicks too!
And it is as easy as that! And doesn’t it look beautiful? You could easily adapt this idea for other special times of the year such as Valentine’s, Halloween or Christmas!
Happy Easter from all at Vialii
As Spring is showing us more and more signs of being upon us, our minds naturally turn to getting outdoors again. Whilst there is still a risk of frost so there are a lot of things it’s still too early for, there are still plenty of tasks to keep us busy in the garden in early Spring…
Lawns can take a bit of a pounding over winter with little sun, lots of rain and soil getting compacted. Now is the time to aerate your lawn by adding spikes from a fork or for the best results, use an aerator tool which will remove tines from your lawn. For a free quote from Vialii to have your lawn aerated and a Spring fertiliser added please get in touch.
If you haven’t already done it, now is the time to inventory your seed collection, decide what you are growing this year, plan your layout and order whatever seeds and sets you need for this year.
You’ll soon be planting your seeds, so make sure you are ready by getting all your pots and seed trays clean and disease free. Buy new seed compost if you require it and get yourself ready to go, go, go!
Just like with your pots, it’s important to keep your garden tools in tip top condition. Give them all a good clean, oil and sharpen ready for the season ahead.
As the temperature starts to rise and the weather improves, it will soon be time to start tackling all your outdoor painting again. Do you remember how crazy it was last year?? Hopefully there won’t be the same rush this year, but work out what you are going to need and get all your materials and tools at the ready so you can take advantage of the good weather when it comes!
Now is the perfect time to give your patio and decking a good power wash to remove algae, stains etc and make it slip free and beautiful for outdoor socialising in the coming months.
With milder temperatures we are seeing lots of growth already. A gentle first cut to the grass will help neaten your lawn and get it ready for the cutting regime to come. Make sure you raise those blades though and don’t give it a scalp (unlike some of those Lockdown haircuts!)
If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to get your garden ready for the season ahead. Cut down old herbaceous, give decorative grasses a hair cut, prune shrubs, remove any weeds coming through and generally get the garden looking ready for the new growth.
Now is the perfect time to mulch your borders and veg patches. Organic matter helps feed your plants and give them the best possible start to the year.
If you are struggling for time or need some expertise for help with any of these jobs in your garden, please get in touch and our Maintenance Team will be happy to help.