Winter Lights: Creating a Glowing Winter Garden

Snow, gravel, stones, winter, garden, cold, country, nature

I’m not sure about you, but I live in a place where snow in winter is not an uncommon thing. In fact, it is so common that backyard ice rinks are common and so are winter tires and antifreeze.  For a few months of the year, my little piece of earth can safely be called the Great White North without any tongue in cheek.

Although I love snow and winter, I find that it can be a bit disheartening at times when I think of all the gardening that I am missing out on.  I can’t get out and plant, I can’t enjoy big blooms full of color.  I am stuck in a world covered in white and like the creatures of Narnia, I wait for the Ice Queen to be vanquished from the world so Spring can greet me.

Now that I have waxed poetic about how I miss Spring, I should mention that there are some wonderful elements that you can add to a winter and all it takes is a little bit of water and a touch of light.

What I am talking about, actually, are lighted pathways made with ice candle holders.  These candleholders can be placed on patios, stairways leading up to a front door, or even lining a pathway through your garden. It can add an enchanted feel to a winter’s garden and is something that I love to do with candles and ice.  And I’m going to share with you, exactly how to make an ice candle holder.

What you will need:

  • Water
  • A large bucket
  • A medium sized bucket
  • large rocks
  • duct tape
  • candle


  1. Clean out the buckets so that you will be left with nice clear ice when you are finished.  You can actually use a variety of containers but the only thing you should keep in mind is that one should fit in the middle of the larger container so there is a space for your candle to rest.
  2. Once the large container is cleaned, fill it with cold water until it is about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.
  3. If you want to provide some decorations to the ice, you can place plants and flowers in the water or you can leave them free of any decoration for a clean, almost glass like finish.
  4. After the water and decorations are in the water, carefully insert the smaller container into the water and press down until it is flush with the top.  The key is to have a space between the bottom and sides of the larger container and the bottom and sides of the smaller container.
  5. Place the rocks into the bottom of the smaller container until the container no longer pops up in the water.
  6. Tape the edges of the smaller container to the top of the larger container so that it stays in the middle of the water.
  7. At this point, you should be able to freeze the water.  It is important that there is no water in the smaller container and only the larger container has water.  Freeze the container in the freezer or if your climate allows, place it outside overnight.
  8. Depending on the size of the container, it can take one night or several nights for the water to freeze completely.  Once it does, set the large container in a bucket of hot water (or garbage can of hot water if it is too large) for a few minutes.
  9. Carefully tip the ice candle holder from the large container.
  10. Pour hot water into the smaller container and allow it to sit for a few moments before you slide the smaller container from out of the ice candle holder.

At this point, you should have an ice sculpture/candle holder that has a space for a candle, size depends on the size of the container that you used.  Insert a candle into the space once inhabited by the smaller container, set outside along your pathway, and light in the evening for a beautiful winter garden.

Winter Interest Garden Tour

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