Location: Cornwall, UK
Garden Designer: Cathy Wallwork
Completed: July 2017
Located in the heart of South Cornwall, this country garden was pitch black at night prior to this project. Designed by Cathy Wallwork, it has a slightly wild feel. The long sweeping drive has a large lawn alongside it. Banks of tall trees form the boundaries to the property on three sides and the lawn is interspersed with large squares of wildflowers, a pond, a magnolia tree and a beech tree. There is a series of granite steps leading up to the front terrace and down to the den, and there are two flower beds with low level planting separating the terrace from the lawn.
The brief was twofold - firstly to provide some essential way finding light from the drive to the front door and to the den; and secondly, to highlight certain features in the garden so that it could be enjoyed after dark not only from the terrace in the summer, but also from the kitchen window in the winter.
It was important that the lighting enhanced the magical, ethereal atmosphere created by the relaxed planting rather than overpowered it, and that it drew the eye down through the garden to increase the sense of space.
Very warm white LED fittings were used to create a soft light. As the starting point was complete darkness, not too much light was needed, so with the exception of one tree uplight, only 1W and 2W fittings were used.
The changing heights and directions of the granite steps and gravel paths were punctuated by washes of light from low level spike spotlights and surface mounted step lights. Spike spotlights were also used in the flower beds and to light the trees, so that their position can be moved throughout the seasons to highlight different plants and aspects. All the fittings were copper which will weather to verdigris over time and blend in further with the garden.
The overall result is a warm and welcoming garden which can be enjoyed after dark all year round.