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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action

Take a seat in your director’s chair and put some perspective on what season is about to unfold. Most of us are like Mexican jumping beans, ready to move into outdoor action and living. Spring is literally around the bend but is your exterior space ready when the weather finally breaks? Are you geared up for lights, camera and action?

Okay, let’s pull back the reigns to set the scene and take a peek at a developing landscape craze. In a recent ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) 2011 Residential Trends Survey, some interesting material was revealed. “The most popular outdoor living features this year include lighting, with 96.2 percent indicating the feature as somewhat or very popular for 2011.” The rest of the survey is well worth your gander but this lighting thing illuminates suggestions made about this very subject in my December 2nd, 2010 blog. Take a second read on this one.

Before you jump back into that director’s seat, let’s be clear about well-done landscape lighting. It isn’t just bunging in a bunch of random fixtures. This may resolve illumination or safety issues but to create a mood, it requires proper planning. You want the fixtures to enhance not obscure or overpower your outdoor living space. Sometimes less is more and getting the correct layout, the right light fixtures and tweaking the system is 90% of the battle. What’s the other 10%? Enjoying it!

Time to wrap up today’s set with an inspirational thought. An Edward Abbey quote illuminates this lighting trend best. “You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light.” Enhance, not overpower your outdoor living space!

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)