As I prepare for summer entertaining in our garden, I cannot forget the first time we unveiled our yard after major landscaping: my 40th birthday luau thrown by my husband, complete with tented tables, hula dancers, fire throwers and that mysterious dish called poi.
What struck me most arriving home that day from the salon was how our garden was illuminated with torches and lanterns. It was such a dramatic statement. I’ve added various lighting accents outdoors each summer to try to capture that ambience I adored on my birthday. Here are some great torches and lanterns you can install, as well, to set your garden aglow.
Solar-powered tiki torches can be found in a variety of catalogs and on web sites, including the Solar Tahiti Torch at Lamps Plus ($24) which adds a tropical accent while repelling bugs. I think it’s cool to line up torches along an entry path to light the way to the garden.
For a more modern aesthetic in the urban garden, the Stainless Steel Oil Torches for the New York Botanical Garden Shop features a stunning metal design atop a stainless steel pole ($300). Since these German torches are pricey, you may want to invest in just a couple to make a statement. The flames burn up to 6 hours which is more than enough time to picnic and linger.
In addition to the torches, I love to hang battery powered paper lanterns along the rim of my covered porch, importing the exotic romance found in the Blue Bayou restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. I’ve always been smitten with the Asian lights slung over the tables and fire flies flickering. I’ve found a delightful selection of paper lanterns at Luna Bazaar in a variety of shapes and colors, which are fun to mix and match for around $8 apiece. Their lanterns use battery operated LED candles which resemble tea lights and have a flicker to mimic real candles.
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