Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Shedding some light outdoors

 IN many gardens around the country shrubs such as mahonia, hamamelis, sarcococca, hellebores and spring flowering bulbs such as the crocus have been fooled into flower early, filling the garden with a scent we can all enjoy in this recent fresh spring-like weather. Trees, hedges and other shrubs are also in bud, and for the gardener these are signs of exciting times ahead.

In the evenings why not relax indoors and order your summer flowering bulbs. Tuberous begonias, gladioli and lilies will provide lots of colour and even scent when planted up in pots and placed around the patio area.

Continue with fruit tree pruning, removing any canker growths present. Gooseberries, strawberries, red, black and white currants will benefit later if fed now with an application of sulphate of potash at a rate of one ounce per sq yard sprinkled around the base of the plants. This will reward you, hopefully, with an abundance of plump fruits, provided the birds don't get to them before you do.

Outside garden lighting has both a practical and a decorative effect, with a wide range of types and styles to choose from. If you have never given outside lighting a thought, think again.

Safety is one of the most important considerations. For instance, you and your visitors need to be able to find your way to the front or back door on a dark night. Lighting is especially important if there are steps or obstacles, such as low walls or overhanging shrubs.

Pleasure is another matter to be taken into consideration. With outside lighting, you can also illuminate features around the garden such as trees, ornaments, ponds and rockeries. Try low voltage light set, which are ideal for lighting up paths and steps.