By late-October it’s usually dark before I get home from work in the evening. I don’t know about you, but I find this depressing. Once the holidays are near, I have the entryway and windows lit up with lights. But what about that dreadful month of November?

Our light sculpture started with two rusted steel bands from an old whiskey barrel planter.



I have a pair of solar path lights near the house and they work great. Improvements in solar technology mean these new lights are considerably brighter than the ones in years past. They have a brushed metal housing and real glass enclosure for the light. That said, they’re path lights; great when you’re walking up the walk, but coming in the driveway they don’t shout, “welcome home!”

Last fall we came up with a combination art project/all-season, outdoor lighting solution. We made an orb with two rusted steel bands from an old whiskey barrel planter. They’re held together at the top with a rusted iron hose guide, which fits into a metal pipe that anchors the whole thing to a cedar post. Around the center of the pipe I wove a loose ball of wild grape vines. Then I stuffed the ball with a 24-foot string of small LED lights (these are the warm white ones — I don’t like the cool blue lights).

We ran an extension cord from the front porch through the garden and up the pole, and put it all on a timer so it comes on at dusk to welcome me home. You could perk things up at your house by decorating a trellis or obelisk with the same lights, or if you don’t have a power source nearby, try the solar-powered string lights.

Kathy LaLiberte
Director of Gardening, Gardener’s Supply