Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Does garden lighting always look awful in the day?

Sylvia raised an interesting point, that so much of the garden lighting that looks beautiful at night can look pretty dire in the daytime. A very good point - which is why most lighting designers go to such lengths to show the effect of light whilst hiding the source.

But if you are trying to create a light sculpture, is it possible to design something that looks good during the day too?

I wonder if inspiration can be taken from Fiona Heron and her glass sculptures...


Golden Dew - Wolfgang and Heron

A range of individually-made flower sculptures. Hand blown glass heads on steel stems for the garden. £75 for groups of 5


Could these be adapted to become solar lights at night without loosing their essential translucent beauty?

I first came across the work of Wolfgang and Heron at Westonbirt Festival of the Garden 2004. I'll have a root through my photos because the images on their site really don't do the beauty of the garden justice. Blocks of deschampsia and then stipa gigantea are overlaid with a grid of silver birch - with these glass sculptures glinting in the light. It was a garden of restrained simplicity that focussed on the movement of grass, shadows and the play of light.


Further gardens from the Westonbirt Festival of the Garden can be seen on the website. The Festival is sadly no longer running although it has been replaced by a new festival Future Gardens which opens this year in St Albans.

Another designer who I think has suceeded in producing light sculptures that work both day and night is Julie Nelson

Elipse Sculpture by Julie Nelson

Her interest in ceramics, as a material for lighting, is not based on its translucency but on its opacity, the way the light bounces around and fills recesses, accentuating the form. All nelson lights serve a dual function; emitting a warm ambient light in the evening, whilst retaining their aesthetic appeal during the day.

Sponge Sculpture by Julie Nelson

I'm sure there are plenty more hit and misses out there in the world of garden lighting and would love to hear your nominations and thoughts...

3 comments:

Sylvia (England) said...

Alice, I had a shock when I saw my name! I love the Iris and glass, just beautiful. I do remember that a lot of the Chelsea Flower Show gardens light up at night, the lights and fitting must be well hidden in these or the judges would mark them down. I wouldn't put it pass the designers to put the lights out at night (for the cameras) and take them in in the morning! Does any one know?

Best wishes Sylvia

shoots said...

Hi Love your blog! Am pinching Golden Dew for my blog Yardz. Thx.Frank

Edinburgh city gardener said...

Alice, Thanks for the comment. Your blog is something to aspire to ! Have you found your blog helps your business ?