Garden light.

by AnneWareham on October 9, 2012

Elizabeth's Walk at Veddw copyright Charles Hawes

I’m after beauty. It’s why I made the garden.

But it really needs light. Wet dulls it down, drags it down, and just now should be the very best time of year for the beauty light brings. In 2010 I wrote this about early autumn sunshine on the yellowing foliage:

“Sometimes I look out of the window and that ridiculous thing that you think people invent simply for effect actually happens: my jaw drops. Something is unexpectedly lit up, as if someone is pointing it out with a spotlight.

And it looks so radiant because soft yellow is the colour of the slightly fading leaves everywhere. Not dramatic reds, purples and vivid yellow, just the beginning of turning, a touch of variation from the relentless green of summer, and the sun suddenly points a finger at it and I gawp.” (extract from ‘The Bad Tempered Gardener’ )

That’s all it takes. Well, and the garden after 25 years growing… Just some sun. Please?

Reflecting pool at Veddw. Copyright Charles Hawes

Send to Kindle

Subscribe to the Veddw Blog

Enter your email address to get new articles from the Veddw House Garden blog by email:

Charles October 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Yes, light. Makes the magic. Does it illuminate the beauty of the garden or actually create it? Beauty can’t exist without light can it as without light there is just darkness.

AnneWareham October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Then there is the quality and nature of the light, not just light and dark. We have light even in the gloom of an October drizzle and in it, beauty struggles. Though I was just looking at the muted reds, yellows and greens alongside the drive. They have their own kind of glow and I have so few words to describe their subtleties.

Desert Dweller / David C. October 11, 2012 at 12:12 am

Your post helps me to not take my area’s abundant light for granted. You are right, without light all is robbed of it’s power.

AnneWareham October 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

The light at a desert edge must do quite different, and do quite amazing things. Sharper, cleaner and with a different drama, I imagine.

Maurizio January 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Light can be a dreadful nightmare for mediterranean gardens, devouring everything like a fairytale monster. Colours, shapes, shades, shadows, everything but the harshest/roughest. You look at the garden in summer’s midday, and you just go blind.

AnneWareham January 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Even in UK it is evening light and dawn that produce real magic…

Maurizio January 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I agree, Anne.
I was thinking of suggestions commonly found in books and/or articles about mediterranean gardens:
“if you live in a mediterranean climate, use strong brilliant colours (=harsh, ugly syntetic colours) which work well (=scream) in your bright light”
Possibly under a scorching sun and 40 degrees?!
Plant in pastel shades and enjoy them early in the morning, or by the evening, instead!. From 9 AM to 18 PM, go to the beach!

AnneWareham January 9, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Better idea!