LIGHT UP YOUR WINTER GARDEN TO DRAMATIC EFFECT
Ever since the magnificent glass architecture of the Great Exhibition of 1851, later moved to south London as the ‘Crystal Palace’, we Brits have been contriving to make summer linger longer in our outdoor space with the construction of Winter Gardens. Mostly these were built at seaside resorts – Blackpool is probably the most famous, but also at Morecombe and Margate, and even Sheffield. The simple aim was to extend the summer season and keep people coming to visit for longer.
TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC
Essentially these ‘Grand Design’ winter gardens were elaborate glass-built conservatories of substantial size with underfloor heating to keep the planting fresh for as long as possible. But the real appeal of these glorified hothouses was after dark when they were lit up – England had gas lamps from the early 1800’s but when electricity came in 1881 these great glass constructions sparkled like jewels lighting up the landscape for miles around.
The desire to enlighten the dark is one of the most primeval of all human emotions and, given that the shortest day in the UK (in London) is a mere 7 hours and 49 minutes of daylight, no surprises that people flock to light like moths to a flame.
ILLUMINATE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE WITH ELLUMIÈRE™ FROM BIRKDALE
Back in the day electricity didn’t always play well with the great outdoors and British climate, hence the great glass conservatories. Happily, that’s a thing of the past and every home owner can turn their outside space into a winter wonderland in 3 easy steps with Birkdale Ellumière 12 volt garden lighting. As with all Birkdale products it’s simple to self-install and no electrician is required.
Whilst the entire range offers a standard ‘plug and play’ system for transformers and connectors, with a cable run of up to 50 metres, there is a wide and versatile range of lighting. Bollard lights in black or stainless steel are perfect to define pathways or a drive, or to back-light planting. Alternatively, if you have larger trees, shrubs or a water feature you want to pick out, there are two sizes of spotlight.
The range is completed with a decking light kit that houses LED units in a stainless-steel with a heavy-duty glass lens. The low power uptake means they stay cool and won’t hurt children or animals.
TOWN OR COUNTRY, ADD LIGHT AND SHADE TO YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE YEAR-ROUND
Of course, Ellumière garden lighting kits brighten up the nights throughout the seasons and are equally dramatic in the middle of summer. But with the planting dying back and general garden ‘winterising’ being the order of the day, autumn is the ideal time to think about planning and installing.
Light and shade is an important aspect of any garden – equally as much in a smaller urban space as a larger suburban or rural plot, if not more so. Every year when the clocks go back the sun starts to set at around 4.30pm. By the time we get to the solstice it vanishes below the horizon 40 minutes earlier.
But that shouldn’t mean you can’t use your garden. Few things are more romantic than dressing up warm and sitting around a roaring blaze in the firepit, glass of wine in hand, looking out over your very own winter garden illuminations. Invite the Jones’s from Number 74 and show how you’re making summer linger longer in your outdoor space – they’ll be mightily impressed.
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