Gardens are wonderful spaces to spend time in but, especially as our lives are getting ever-busier in the modern era, it can be difficult to enjoy them in the day. However, there are thankfully lots of ways in which you can use them in the evening.
Looking after your plants at night can have many benefits. It can help you to stay cool and out of the sun in summer, and watering at dusk prevents the water from evaporating before it can be soaked up. It’s also great for if you have hectic days, as you can take care of things during weekday evenings and avoid having to do all of your gardening at the weekend.
You can go one step further if you work all day and miss seeing your garden at its best by designing it to be even more enjoyable after dark. You can plant many flowers that become more fragrant at night-time – so they can be pollinated by night-flying insects – such as jasmine, wisteria and honeysuckle. Try pale-coloured flowers that show up better in the dark like white roses or forget-me-nots and plant a denser background for good contrast, such as a thick hedge. This way, your garden will be more visible and will smell fantastic in the evenings.
We all need time to wind down and combining this with fresh air can make it even more effective for our health and wellbeing. Buy some comfortable garden furniture – there are several types to choose from, including natural wicker rattan which is strong, synthetic resin rattan which is weatherproof, wooden which lends a natural look, and metal which is low maintenance. Match up your furniture to the style of setting you want to create and what will benefit you the most. Make sure to add soft furnishings like cushions and blankets, as well as colour to make it more inviting. Lighter-coloured pots, furniture and decorations may seem to almost glow at night, while a lighter-coloured shade sail can keep out some of the wind while doubling up as protection from the sun in the day. This will all make you want to spend more time after dusk relaxing in your garden.
Evenings catching up with friends feel more important than ever nowadays, and it’s always fun to have people over for a few drinks. Set up an outdoor sound system to lift the atmosphere, and ensure that you have a solution for bad weather like an outdoor canopy that can shield everyone from the rain. Finding the right lighting is essential too, and there’s something available for every taste and size of garden. You could add some simple stake lights along a path or around the decking, hang lanterns or fairy lights to highlight structures like pergolas, ponds and canopies, or try something more powerful like solar lights. And, don’t forget to keep your guests warm with a fire pit or outdoor heater!
Dinner parties and family meals in the garden are fun ways to spend time with your loved ones after sunset. Plant herbs in pots or planters near your dining area – perhaps on the patio or against the back wall of your house – so you can pick fresh herbs to add to dishes and drinks. They also smell amazing as you eat by them! Many herbs are easy to grow and you can buy seeds, young plants or plugs from garden centres and online suppliers with great variety – everything from basil for pasta to mint for cocktails.
Busy days can mean no time to keep fit, so make the most of your evenings by creating somewhere you can exercise after sunset in your outdoor space. Ensure that you place some good lighting around the area and design it to be easily accessible and safe. For example, build a clear, robust path to any outdoor gym equipment or areas dedicated to sports like tennis or padel, and preferably use light-coloured stones so it’s easier to make out. Then you can enjoy exercise alone or with family at your own home in the comfort of the cooler evening air.
Many people think that the best time to get out in the garden with loved ones or take part in hobbies is during the day, but this blog shows that it’s not necessarily the case! Gardens are fantastic places to be after sunset, and we hope that you’ve now got some ideas of how to be more productive and have more fun in yours.
Until next time.