[DESIGN SHOW 3] – Edible, modern landscape design with focal point and lighting design tips

Get the WOW factor garden cheat sheet now!
Enter your best email address below

Episode 3 – Creating an edible, modern garden

Creating a garden that is full of edibles AND looks good, can be quite a daunting challenge. In this episode, landscape designer, Rachel Mathews, will show you how she transformed a garden in Malaysia into a contemporary, food-producing garden.

This episode also looks at how to correctly place focal points like garden statues and water features correctly around the garden. Placing focal points in the correct position in your garden makes a tremendous difference to how you view it. Rachel will show you how the best locations to put any garden feature.

There are also tips on how to place landscape lighting around your garden to enhance the design and make it look spectacular at night. There’s a trick to successfully lighting a garden well and Rachel will show you exactly what you need to do.


Competition time!

What was it that made the garden featured on today’s show modern and not traditional?

Rachel will randomly pick a winner from the correct answers and she will email you if you are a winner! Good luck.

What else would you like to see featured in future Garden Design Show episodes?

Is there something you are struggling with in your garden that you’d like some advice on? Let Rachel know what topics you’d like her to cover for you in future episodes in the comment boxes below.

Need Help with Your Garden?

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

[DESIGN SHOW 1] Californian garden design plan and how to place feature lighting

In this Garden Design Show Episode…

Rachel will show you how she has designed a wide garden, near LA. She’ll discuss how to get the most from your landscaping materials, to enhance the space in your garden.

How you divide the space in your garden, no matter what shape it is, holds the key to successful design. The garden featured in this episode is a wide garden shape. If your garden is long, just imagine turning the plan around and you’ll get an idea of how dividing the space will work in your garden.

How to Correctly Place Feature Lighting in Your Garden

Rachel will also show you the best way to use feature lighting in your garden. Good feature lighting will really give your garden the wow factor. They do tend to be dearer than traditional garden lighting, but you don’t need many to really liven up your garden at night. Correct placement is critical in order to get the most from your lighting as Rachel demonstrates in the video.

Here are the feature lights she highlighted in the show:

The Havana Pendant lights can be seen here:
The less expensive Pod Lense light 
The Mia Serata floor light
Good quality, standard garden lighting

Your Chance to Win the Garden Design Workshop

Just answer this question in the comments section below: What is it that Rachel didn’t discuss much in the video, that you would expect her to talk about in a garden? Why didn’t she discuss this particular thing?

What Would You Like to See Covered in Future Shows?

Leave a comment and let Rachel know what topics you’d like her to delve into in future episodes! If you’d like your garden to be featured for the quick sketch design challenge, enter your details on the Successful Garden Design Facebook Page. Subscribe via the Successful Garden Design YouTube channel (iTunes coming soon).

Want to Learn More Top Tips on Transforming Your Garden?

Take a look at the online garden design courses that we run here at Successful Garden Design.

And attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

Garden lighting tips – luscious landscape lighting

garden-lightingLandscape lighting is a real art form. I will need to immediately tell you that is it not my main area of expertise. When I have a big scheme to do, I always call in a lighting designer. A good lighting designer will work absolute magic.

However, having said that, I have picked up one or two useful tips along the way that might help you if you’re planning your own lighting scheme.

Tip 1 If you don’t light it you don’t see it!

Yes, I know that is incredibly obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy is to not consider this aspect of garden lighting. In the daytime we’re so used to seeing everything, because of the daylight, but when it comes to lighting at night, we forget about how we see things (usually in conjunction with the surrounding items).

The most obvious thing to do is to light up key features in the garden like a statue or pergola or something. Unfortunately, if you do this, you end up with something glowing at the end of your garden like a UFO has landed!


So, it’s really important that you light the visual journey to the object that you wish to light. So if you have a statue at the end of the garden, you strategically light a visual pathway to get to it. It doesn’t have to be actual path, it can be a series of lights that are dotted through the borders that end up at the statue, so your eyes have something to follow and it ties in with the surrounding areas. It’s not just there in the garden on its own, lit up like a Christmas tree!

Tip 2 Don’t buy cheap lights

Seriously, don’t. Admittedly, cheaper lights are a lot better looking than they used to be, less Dalek like, but even so they tend to be quite an eyesore during daylight hours. Good lighting tends to be smaller and discreet and is also made of more durable materials. You can control and adjust how the beam of light lands and you can also add different filters to create different effects. Unfortunately that’s way beyond my skill set but I just wanted to make you aware that you can do a lot more with proper garden lighting.

Lighting designers I’ve worked with always recommend Hunza lighting, but there are a lot of similar brands that are good. Shop around online, there are tons to choose from. I’ll put some links at the bottom of this article to point you in the right direction.

Tip 3 Put in a higher power cable when you think you’ll ever need

Basically, put in a cable that is capable of running more electrical units than you think you’re going to need. If you ever decide to put in a water feature or garden shed or decide you want more lights then it’s very handy to have a cable that is powerful enough to run extra things off should you need it.

There are many different ways to do lighting from up lighting to down lighting and probably 1 million others I don’t know about. So, I’m going to try and sweet talk one of the lighting designers that I know into writing an article for us to explain the subtleties and the art of lighting in more detail than I’m able to. Or if you are a lighting designer and would like to write an article here on Successful garden design, then please get in touch!

Where to buy online?

People always ask me where to get good quality lights online, so I’ve spent a good few hours trawling through the interwebs to give you some suggestions. Please note: on some products I do receive a small commission, which helps me towards the running costs of this website. I’ve chosen lights I like the look of, but still, please do your own due diligence, and check the quality and reputation of the companies, before you purchase anything, as I have no direct experience with any of them!


Modern – Absolutely beautiful, contemporary garden lighting from Lumens. They are not budget lighting, but there is a good mix of affordable in with higher end of the market designer lights. I particularly love the hanging Havana pendant and Mia Serata outdoor mood light that have a slight ‘UFO has landed’ look about them (in my fantasy world, I’d buy half a dozen!).

Free US postage on orders over $50 and they will ship worldwide, for a fee. *WARNING* – this site is ‘lighting porn’ for anyone that loves designer stuff!


Modern – Lovely contemporary garden lighting and slightly more affordable than the ones above (USA only).

All styles of garden lighting, from Louie Lighting, good prices (also ships to Canada).

A fun and bright selection of solar and novelty lights from Mr Lights. Free shipping in the US, additional fees for other countries.


Great selection of modern and traditional garden lights, at good prices, from Lighting Direct. I’m particularly taken with their planter lights, very funky. Free UK delivery on all orders over £65.

A range of quality garden wall lighting in both modern and traditional styles from Lighting Supermarket.

A nice selection of solar lights over at Greenfingers.

Lighting Questions and Comments?

Do you have any questions you’d like me to ask a lighting designer? Or have you come across gorgeous garden lighting products? If so let me know in the comments below…

And if you purchase any of those gorgeous designer lights from my first recommendation above, do please email me some photos so I can live vicariously through your purchasing! 😉

Need Help with Your Garden?

Need help to design your garden? Check out my Online Garden Design Courses here: http://www.successfulgardendesign.com/courses/

If you would like the Successful Garden Design cheat sheet and video on how to add the WOW factor to your garden  please add your email address below (don’t worry we don’t spam and will NOT pass on your address to anyone else!).

Download the ‘WOW Factor’ cheat sheet & video

Enter your best email address in the box below

Every business has got to have one these days, so here it is - Disclaimer: Please note, the information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to provide accurate, up-to-date, reliable, and complete information. No warranties of any kind are expressed or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaging in rendering professional advice. By reading this website, the reader agrees that under no circumstances is the author responsible for any losses, direct or indirect, that are incurred as a result of use of the information contained within this website or related downloads, accompanying videos, or other supplementary materials. This includes but is not limited to errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. The material contained on this website is not meant to be a substitute for formal training nor a replacement for professional training or services. Please note some of the links on the site go to affiliate websites where a small commission is earned if you purchase. Please do your due diligence on all linked to products before buying.   Find Rachel on Google+
Google+ Google