Garden of Da Lights


If you’re like me, spring cleaning extends to the great outdoors and through the garden gates. My yard, when tidied up from winter’s wrath and shameful neglect, holds endless potential for summer meals and glider chit-chat.

First, the fence is getting mended from radical storm damage and painted a fresh coat of low-VOC white; the veggie garden is being cleared of nondescript duds that resemble artichokes and will soon be replanted with good intent; the surfeit of sports paraphernalia is being rounded up and tossed in a bin while scattered shoes and flip-flops on the lawn get picked up and returned to their barefoot owners. “Do these belong in the garden, ladies?” I tell you what, spring cleaning is exhausting.

Still, it’s worth the effort. I’m hoping to create an ambiance that attracts more than the  horde of local mosquitoes. One simple way to achieve a backyard paradise is by hanging pretty, happy lanterns throughout the garden. I love the effect of the romantic glow during an Al Frisco dinner in my Bay Area retreat.

Here are a few designs that are so enchanting, you might let them hang around all year:

Above: love the grotto feel of these new Bamboo Fish Trap lanterns of natural woven rattan and LED lights to hang or sit on an outdoor table, $99 to $129 at Pottery Barn.

Misprint Metal Lanterns, $69, VivaTerra and modern Blossom Shoji Solar Lanerns, $39.99 at Green and More.

viva-misprint-lanterns modern-outdoor-lanterns

Kitris Blown Glass Garden Lanterns, $75, from Olive Barn, bring the sophistication of modern indoor lighting out to the yard for an artful statement.



For a simple statement along tree branches hang clean white Shoji Solar powered Japanese-style lanterns, with LED lights encased for delicate illumination from Gaiam, $79 for a set of three. Or for more festive oblong lighting (viva la fiesta!) string these citrus guys from Earth Tech Products.

white-gaiam colored-soji

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.