“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it,” said Edith Wharton, and if you are planning an intimate al fresco dinner or small party, your garden could very well be the ideal mirror for light. Candles add warmth, artistry, and elegance to any dinner table, illuminating guests with a golden glow that brings out their best features. However, there are many more places in your garden that can grace candles beautifully, so if you want to create a special ambience, let your creativity run forth and find inspiration in these unique ways of using candlelight outdoors.
Hanging Lanterns for Romance
If dinner is for two tonight, bring out a little table and top it with a light green tablecloth and a floral table arrangement. Hang candle-filled iron lanterns on the branch of your favorite tree, and decorate the lanterns with a few wild flowers from your garden. Hang at least three lanterns at various heights to lend grace and proportion to your dinner setting. For a fully lit effect, use standing iron lanterns in various shapes, placing them on your garden steps or using them to light the way along your garden path.
Creating Your own Table Décor
Surprise your loved ones by inspiring your candle-based table décor on their favorite spot. For instance,if you have a child who is mad about the beach, surprise them at lunch time by topping your garden table with candles floating in individual glass candle holders. Fill these glasses with seashells, sand, and other items that will remind them of the sea. Loosely throw seashells and similar items on the table, and bring out your bluest glasses, cutlery, and table linen. If a loved one is made about nature, or flowers, place an array of different sized candle holders around a jar or pot of flowers to highlight their natural beauty.
Harnessing the Power of Aroma
Studies have shown that specific essential oils (including lavender, ylang ylang, and rose) can instil a state of relaxation and calm, through the power of their aroma. For your next garden party, why not use candles made with therapeutic grade essential oils? Avoid artificial fragrances and paraffin candles, which can contain toxic components. Candles made with natural ingredients like soy combine well with essential oils and do not pose a health hazard when burned.
If you wish to forego artificial lighting altogether in your garden, use metal stand with a wide top base, on which you can place candles of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Place the stand close to the dinner table as well as in key spots in the garden whose features you wish to emphasize. If you don’t have stands for this purpose, look at any features your garden has that can perform the same function. The arms of a garden bench, a side table, or even the ledge of an outdoor fireplace or fountain will work very well for this purpose.
Candles have the unique power to set a romantic, warm mood that is ideal for romantic and family/friendly meals alike. There are many ways that you can set off their beauty, placing them into lanterns, empty cages, or jars. Don’t forget the power of scent, opting for natural candles made with therapeutic grade essential oils which are as pleasant to smell as they are relaxing.