One of the projects in the activities we've designed for our members centres on a night time garden. We're keen to get children outside enjoying their garden all year round and at all times of day. Community gardeners in particular can enjoy the benefits of a garden designed to come into its own after dark with careful planting of white or pale, highly scented flowers, fire pits and ambient lighting but so can anyone.
This Saturday sees the eighth annual Earth Hour organised by the WWF. At 8.30pm we are encouraged to switch off all but essential lights and appliances for an hour in a show of solidarity to get us thinking about our impact on the planet. Our Flower Patch members know a thing or two about doing their bit for the planet by planting wildlife friendly gardens, using recycled materials, growing local, seasonal flowers with no 'miles', avoiding chemicals and conserving resources. Earth Hour gives us a chance to think about how we might spend time after dark in a low impact way.
We are all-weather types but March is perhaps not the ideal time to practise the art of relaxation outdoors in your garden after dark but you could start planning your night time garden for later in the season.
In the meantime stock up on beeswax candles*, invite your friends round for a candlelit supper and boardgames or quiz night. Light the fire and read stories. Hold an acoustic jamming session. Take the children on a nightime walk in the fields or in the town and see if you can spot any landmarks where Earth Hour is being observed. Go stargazing. There's plenty to do after dark.
* We love candles but don't forget never to leave them unattended and to keep them away from small children and pets. Put them on a dry, stable heat resistant surface away from flammable liquids and combustible materials. Window ledges are best avoided as candles can blow over or set light to curtains.