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Show Off Your Garden at Night with These Outdoor Lighting Techniques

If you work hard to keep your Auckland garden in a gorgeous condition, it’s understandable that you’d want to show off your efforts, day and night. It can feel like your garden disappears when the sun sets, but it doesn’t have to. Well-designed outdoor lighting can show off colour and texture while creating an intriguing environment that only nightfall can bring.

Here are some outdoor and garden lighting techniques that the professionals at Auckland-based Aqualight Irrigation use to bring evening gardens to life.

Up Lighting

In this technique, you place lights on the ground and angle them up towards the plants in question. This popular garden lighting techniques is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show off your garden at night and can be as subtle or bold as you want it to be. Keep in mind that a light source from below isn’t something you’d find in nature, so it can create an artificial – albeit dramatic – feel to your garden.

Cross Lighting

Using two or more lights whose glows intersect can illuminate your garden gently, show off plants without flooding the garden and create intriguing shadows. Make sure the lights cross before they reach the plant you want illuminated for a more natural and aesthetically-pleasing look.

Silhouetting

If you’re the type of Auckland person who loves a dramatic garden, silhouetting is for you – simply placing a light next to a plant and towards a wall of the house can create a beautiful profile. This is particularly attractive for distinctive plants with unusual leaves or twisting branches. Make sure to hide the light source behind the plant or in the ground for the full effect.

Down Lighting

Down lighting is more natural, mimicking the sun by lighting plants from above. You can use large floodlights or scatter various smaller lights around the garden ceiling. You can leave the light source as is or create muffled, gentler light by covering it with a shade cloth. Downlighting is both helpful for creating natural-looking light and illuminating garden pathways or steps for a safe outdoor area.

Moon Lighting

There’s nothing like a full moon in the Auckland skyline. If you want to mimic this effect in your garden, hang a single, soft-glowing light source from above. When placed high enough that it is not a focal point in itself, this lighting technique acts like a bright moon filtering down through the leaves and plants below.

Pathway Lighting

And if you want to keep the garden dark but illuminate outdoor areas and pathways so you can see where you are going, there are plenty of pathway lighting options for this too. You can use string lights or LED pavers, under-step lighting or outdoor lamps.

Want some help getting your Auckland garden lighting just so? Give the irrigation and garden lighting experts at Aqualight Irrigation a call today – 0800 757 577.

Winter Garden Challenges and How a Good Irrigation System Can Help

Winter Garden Challenges and How a Good Irrigation System Can Help

While Auckland winters are temperate, the occasional frost, short sunlight hours and abundance of rain can really shift the outdoor environment and affect your garden. Here are some common winter garden challenges that New Zealanders face and how proper irrigation techniques from Aqualight can help your garden survive winter so it can thrive in spring.

Winter Frosts

The further south you go in NZ, the more frosts you can expect, but even Aucklanders can expect a few good frosts each year. The damage is done when the plant temperature drops below zero and creates ice crystals as welel as by a sudden change of temperature – a swift frost, followed by a quick thaw.

One of the best things to do to protect vulnerable plants is to keep them in the shade so that they don’t thaw out too quickly once the frost subsides. Irrigation systems are also very helpful in combating frosts because wet, humid soil stays warmer and conducts heat, protecting plants from getting too cold. Sprinkler irrigation systems such as micro sprayers and fixed sprinkler systems are popular and proven frost-fighting solutions.

Wet Winters

If it’s been a particularly wet Auckland winter, you may find that your lawns or gardens become saturated with water pooling and flooding your plants. This can stunt plant growth, kill plant roots and discolour foliage.

In times of abundant rain, give your irrigation system a rest until the wet weather has passed. Avoid walking in your wet, muddy garden and, if you’re worried, lay mulch down to protect the plants. Rain sensors are worth their weight in gold when it comes to winter gardening, ensuring that your irrigation systems are switched off during times of heavy rain.

Slow Growth

With little sunshine, slow plant growth over winter is a fact of life. Instead of swimming against the tide, take advantage of this season by preparing for the seasons of growth to come. Winter is a great time of year to prepare your soil for spring, plant trees and plan and install efficient irrigation systems for dryer months.

This slow growth season is also prime time to take a look at your existing irrigation systems. Winter’s cold, wet weather can lead to leaks and other issues with your irrigation system, making this season the best time for your annual irrigation maintenance check and upgrade.

Don’t close your curtains and ignore your gardens this winter: continue to care for your yard with a little help from the irrigation experts at Auckland’s Aqualight Irrigation.

Watering Green Walls

Living green walls and vertical gardens will optimise your garden space in an eye-catching way. They are becoming increasingly popular in both commercial spaces and home gardens. Vertical gardening can take a number of different forms from hanging baskets to wall mounted systems. But keeping a vertical garden looking its best month after month takes special care, especially when it comes to irrigation.

Consider these watering tips:

If you just direct a spray of water from the top to the bottom of a green wall you risk the top plants getting too little water while the ones at the bottom drown. At the very least, the plants at the top and bottom are likely to grow at different rates.

For plants growing in vertically mounted boxes or frames, it’s worth removing the box from the wall to water it. With the box flat on the ground, water it slowly but lightly – enough to completely moisten the soil and roots.

Hanging baskets can be left in place while you water them as long as drainage is not a problem. Simply place other pots and planters directly below your baskets so they can benefit from the excess water or collect it in a bucket to feed to other plants. Moulded plastic baskets hold moisture better than woven baskets.

Some wall mounted planting systems may be able to incorporate their own irrigation systems. Ask the team at Aqualight for any garden irrigation advice but otherwise use the finger test to ensure that the plants’ roots are not drying out. Water or adjust the irrigation schedule as needed and don’t be tempted to mist wall gardens in between watering sessions. Shallow watering encourages shallow root growth and it’s better to encourage the roots to grow downwards.

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