Lighting lends atmosphere to backyard gatherings – Orange County Register

Summer evenings — perfect for al fresco dining and entertaining — will soon be here. And whether it’s for a family get-together for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, a graduation blowout bash or any other celebration, the backyard can be a wonderful place to entertain guests. It’s a setting that allows for bringing people together on a more personal level without the need to keep everything super-tidy.

One outdoor decor element that’s practical, and can be whimsical, is the lighting.
“Great surroundings really aren’t about the money. The outdoor area is about style,” said Teryl Ciarlo of Teryl Designs. “My dream garden is formal, surrounded by trees twinkling with the light of romantic hanging lanterns. A long farmhouse table sits atop clean gray gravel, inviting guests to gather and enjoy an outdoor fireplace. We’re surrounded by rows of manicured grass, climbing roses, clean boxwood hedge and a bench for a vantage point.”
The self-professed “gardenista” and landscape designer loves the idea of dancing lights that draw guests to the garden while extending the indoor living space. She credits her grandmother with introducing her to the power of romantic floral arrangements and settings.
Ciarlo likes to mix and match lanterns hanging in trees, patio string lights, candles and even small votives. Together, they add charm and whimsy.
“Dancing lights provide the magic to uplift your mood,” she said.
City lights often dim prospects of a starry night, but hosts can take matters into their own hands by offering guests the moon and the stars — even if they are not produced by Mother Nature.
But electric lights aren’t the…

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