Garden Photo of the Day

The Garden at Night

Landscape lighting transforms a space

garden paths and patio illuminated at night

Today we’re in Raleigh, North Carolina, visiting with John Matthews.

I am an avid gardener, and while my gardens show very well during the day, I really like the fact that the gardens are showcased the other half of the day—nighttime. Strategically placing landscaping lighting throughout the gardens makes the environment magical. The lighting, combined with the sounds from the 65-foot meandering creek bisecting the backyard, make entertaining at night a special occasion. In fact, the Raleigh Garden Club thought my suggestion of conducting a dusk/nighttime tour of my gardens complete with wine and appetizers was so intriguing that they made it the highlight of their 2024 garden tour schedule, which will bring members to the gardens in late May.

Serenity is not the only aspect of the gardens. The full-size bonfire pit surrounded with Edison bulbs illuminating the space, along with benches made from fallen trees, is the perfect outdoor entertainment setting in the dead of winter. Lastly, what nighttime garden paradise wouldn’t be complete without a lighted golf hole with 85-yard and 45-yard tee boxes, along with two sand traps. A bucket of beers and good friends make for a very unique golf outing!

arbor covered in vines above a garden patioLights along the edge of the arbor begin to show up as the daylight dims.

stone step garden pathway illuminated at nightLighting guides visitors along the path and makes the steps safe to walk at night.

garden paths and patio illuminated at nightThe seating area looks all the more alluring as it glows in the dim of evening.

small trees in the garden lit up at nightLights shining up into trees emphasize their beautiful form.

another view of garden at nightAs the night gets darker, the lights get more beautiful.

seating area in the garden surrounded by treesFire and lights make for a wonderful evening gathering.

golf green in the garden

Golf at night!

If you want to see more of John’s garden (during the day and night), check out his Instagram: @johnmatthewsraleigh


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View Comments


  1. janetsydoruk 09/15/2023

    What a wonderful restful place you have made. Thank you.

  2. Oxdriftgardener 09/15/2023

    This is fabulous! What a great idea, to have an evening addition to a garden tour.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/15/2023

    Wow! So pretty.

  4. btucker9675 09/15/2023


  5. User avater
    simplesue 09/16/2023

    What amazing lighting! I can see how your garden would be a real attraction for a garden tour in the evening!
    Oh and the sound of a near by creek would be just amazing-what a wonderful garden!

  6. jos29803 09/16/2023

    You are so very right about a garden at night. A few years ago, I invited, almost dared friends to be brave enough to celebrate New Years Eve from 10 to midnight. The fire pit was going, food was warming on the grill and Sangria was had by all. Now it's become an annual event. Kudos to you for showing off your night garden and inspiring others enjoy the beauty of a garden at night and yours is lovely.

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