Unless you've won the lottery recently, or you are one of those lucky people who get to work at home, most of your time during the day is probably spent at work. Even on weekends, most of us have so many errands and events to get to that we do not spend a lot of time lolling around. But nighttime is much less scheduled. As a result, many of our favorite, most classic leisure time activities -- the ones we actually do -- end up being done at night. Think watching television and cooking and eating. Reading, playing board games, sewing projects and catching up with friends. Most of that is relegated to evenings.
So if most of the time you have to spend in your patio is going to be at night, it only makes sense to design the patio so its a great place to be at night. This means you'll do things a bit differently than if you were designing it for the day, though almost all of these ideas work perfectly well for daytime use.
The most basic part of the night patio is light. White Christmas string lights are a great solution, and there are also lots of unusual string lights, or bistro lights if you want something different. Don't forget candles, either, though you'll need tall candle holders to protect them from even a bit of breeze. You do not need so much light that you can read out on the patio, but you do want to be able to see well enough to recognize people, and to make sure your visitors can see where to walk safely. If your patio is at the end of a walkway, that means investing in some good solar path lights.
If you have the money, its nice to build a pergola, or even set up a simple outdoor canopy. But if you can't afford that, just gather a bunch of chairs together. Get some chairs that serve as side tables, too, and possibly a little table.
Extend the season for your patio by adding a fire pit or even an outdoor heater. These also add more light and create an immediate focal point -- everyone who steps out into your backyard will know immediately where the party is. The best outdoor fires are surrounded by thick walls that radiate heat, but even a metal trash can works if that is all you've got. Don't forget the marshmallows!
There are night-blooming plants that can be surprisingly effective for a nighttime garden. Many vines like moonflower bloom only at night, and the smell of honeysuckle in the evening is divine. Also consider plants that may not look amazing, but smell amazing. Sticking some herbs in between flagstones can be effective -- as people walk on them, the smell is delicious.
If you can see the stars from your patio, capitalize on that. Bring out the telescope. This will mean having at least a two foot square flat surface to set up the telescope on. Also, if you are not quite so scientific, putting the grill in an optimal place (where quests won't get ash blown on them) is certainly another form of entertainment. Or, if you are a musician, make sure you have enough outlets to support you and your friends' amps.
About the author: Katie Hoffman likes to garden, but she lives in an apartment, so she makes the most of her patio by using small patio furniture. She is especially fond of wrought iron patio furniture and is looking for another perfect set for her mom.
Article Source: Patio Ideas for Nighttime Use
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