Category Archives: Outdoor space & Garden

Show your American Pride With a Flag

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Summer in the United States brings Memorial day, the 4th of July and Labor Day. All of these Holidays celebrate American pride. Yet, many people don’t even have a flag in their yards! Yes, a simple flag and it’s not complicated you can get them at any local store or you can buy them online.

If you already have a flag or your looking for something different and unique. There are many fun ways to display your flag or your patriotism in another way. I found a few on Pinterest that I just had to share with you.

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This one is so easy to make, just some paint and a pallet. You can check out your local stores to see if they are selling or getting rid of any broken ones.

Here is another fun way to show off your American Pride.

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And the last one

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Image Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/287597126179759796/

Do you have a unique way to show your American pride? Share it with us!

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DIY Garden Pallet Planter Box

DIY garden Pallet Planter

Recently my sister did this amazing DIY Garden Pallet Planter project that I just had to share with you. She got the pallets for free, picked up the plastic container and created this amazing garden planter. It’s so easy to construct and most of the time you can get pallets for free from your local stores. You may even find some for sale on Craigslist.

Creating Your DIY Garden Pallet Planter

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As you can see from above all she did was nail the pallets together to form a box. You may want some help lining everything up, but she did it all on her own. All you have to do is make sure it will hold the container you have chosen.

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Then add your choice of siding to the pallets and paint it. Her result is the one below The purple really stands out and creates a great focal point in her yard. She also added some cute butterflies she found at the dollar store.

DIY Garden pallet Planter

My sister painted her garden planter purple to match her front door. What color would you make yours?

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Event Decorating With Tea Lights

I love using candles in my décor and with a lot of events and holidays coming up I will be doing some unique decorating with candles. Currently I am decorating my home for summer and I found a few amazing ideas that you can use as well to get yourself in the summer mood.

American Summer Holiday Decorating With Tea Lights

 

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I really love this look. The red and white ribbons add some style to the blue tea lights. I think I would rather enhance this look and do red, white and blue ribbons and candles. Mixing and matching them.

Go a little more rustic with these jar candles! They are so cute and easy to make, just get some canning jars and paint away. If your really good you could do flags instead of stars!

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Wedding Decorating With Tea Lights

 

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I am not planning a wedding soon, but I had to share these cute tea light holders with you. They are just so perfect for a wedding, you have a more classic look above and the princess theme below. I have a friend who the crowns would have been perfect for, too bad she got married last year!  Here is a great wedding décor tip, use LED tea lights in place of candles if your venue does not allow real candles. It’s a great way to get the same look, without the fire hazard. The best part is that you can also use deco poly mesh without worrying that it will catch fire.

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Summer Decorating With Tea Lights

 

Okay so I also found a few really cute ways to decorate for summer using tea lights these are a few of my favorite ones. They are just so cool and remind me of a relaxing getaway.

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wood tea lights

coffee and candles

Do you have any great ideas for tea light décor? Share them with me in the comments.

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Time to Start Your Garden

March is the perfect time to start planning your garden and if your looking for some great tips and ideas to start your garden you may want to check out the internet for some advice that will help you create the garden of your dreams! The only problem with that is there are so many places to choose from that I’m sure many of you don’t know where to start.

I use DigDropDone.com: This site has a ton of amazing bulbs for you to check out and learn about, making sure you know what you are putting in your yard before you do it. The site even tells you where you can plant the bulbs and you can choose bulbs based on when you want them to flower.

Now, bulbs are not only for a garden. I live in a trailer and I use flowers and other plants, including bulbs, in my interior decorating. Plants not only add that touch, but adding plants to your home help cleans the air and plants have great mental health benefits too!

If your not sure what bulbs to plant in your yard check out the Planting Guide available on The DigDropDone website

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Not excited about bulbs? Check out “Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done.” – an educational effort designed to excite women about the surprisingly simple beauty of flower bulbs. This is one thing I love about this site they have three women that you can learn from and be inspired by. I relate more to Juliana who is stylish and fun. Though I have a horticulture certificate so I’m not new to gardening! Still style is something I am very into, both for home and self. Flowers are always a great way to decorate your home and they also make great gifts!

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Summer Dreaming In a Pool

It’s that time of year, we start to think about summer here in the upper Midwest, we really love our pools and after checking out some Columbus Ohio swimming pool ads on my way down to Nashville last weekend. It got me thinking about how I wish it was summer. I miss warm weather and really enjoy spending time outside in a garden or by the pool. I also started thinking about how great pools are to have in your own back yard! Not only are they a great workout and entertainment feature, but they really can make or break a backyard design.

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What I love most about pools is that you can do so much with the design of the pool. You can have something simple yet elegant or you can do something playful and fun. Maybe you entertain a lot in the summer and you want that wow factor a pool combined with a great entertainment space can give your backyard. Kids also love pools so maybe you want something that is kid friendly and has a nice shallow area for the little ones.

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What type of pool scape would you like. The more natural look so you have a backyard oasis? Maybe you would like the more classical style with a waterfall. Maybe you would like both! The possibilities with pools are endless and you really can create any style you want.

So my wonderful readers, what is your pool style? I would love to hear from you!

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Six Plants to Incorporate in Your Home Garden

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The following is a guest post

Gardening is a fun, healthy way activity. It can serve as your daily exercise, food supply and hobby. As you’re getting ready to start your garden, here are six plants you should consider planting.

1 Strawberries

Who doesn’t love the sweet, summery taste of ripe strawberries? A low, spreading plant, this sturdy perennial favorite grows easily in sunny spots. It produces pretty white flowers that soon turn into scrumptious bright red strawberries.

2 Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a staple of home gardens. Supported by stakes or cages, they grow tall and proud with green leaves that contrast nicely with the orange-red fruit. A delicious addition to salads or sandwiches when fresh, tomatoes can also be canned or frozen if you have a bumper crop.

3 Peppers

Whether you prefer the rounder bell peppers or skinny hot peppers like jalapenos or habaneros, peppers are a tasty and colorful addition to any garden. Depending on the variety you chose, peppers will shift from green to vivid yellows, oranges and reds as they ripen. Peppers can be eaten raw, cooked into dishes or frozen.

4 Leaf Lettuce

Do you want the freshest possible lettuce for your salads? Consider adding this fast growing plant to your home garden. Available in an astonishing array of leaf colors, shapes and sizes, lettuce can add a visual pop of healthy color and crisp texture to both your garden beds and your salad bowls.

5 Bee Balm

Bee balm probably isn’t the first plant that comes to a gardener’s mind, but it is a very useful one. It’s rounded flower heads are covered with vividly hued tubular flowers that draw pollinators like bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds. For humans, the plant’s leaves and flowers can be made into tea. Available with flowers in shades of white, pink and red, bee balm is also known as horsemint, wild bergamot and Oswego tea. Use it carefully because it can become invasive in favorable growing conditions.

6 Borage

An easy to grow herb with vibrant, star-shaped blue blooms, borage is often planted in vegetable gardens as a flower. It attracts bees and deters tomato hornworms, so it’s a fantastic companion plant for tomatoes and strawberries. Borage’s leaves and flowers are edible, with a flavor that is similar to cucumber.

 

If you’re looking to add practical beauty to your home garden, consider incorporating these six plants. You can take online horticulture courses to help get you started. Differences in climate, soil composition and the amount of sun received make every garden unique, so you may have to experiment with different varieties to find what works best for you.

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It’s Time To Start Your Spring Garden

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Have you already started thinking spring? Yes, it is officially here but if you live in the north areas of the United states you may be thinking winter will be here forever, the good new is it won’t and you can start planning out your spring garden now. You want to take this time to plan out not just your garden, but your garden storage areas as well.

First you want to sit down and write a list of what you would like in your garden. If you want both a vegetable and flower garden make two list. Make sure to check and see what will grow in your area, you don’t want to plant tropical plants if you live in Montana. You need to make sure your plants will survive in the climate you are in. Exceptions to this is a potted garden.

If you already have a garden layout that you like then you can keep that and skip this next step, if you do not draft out a garden plan that meets your needs. You will want to make sure you measure your outdoor space and take into account trees and other non-moveable objects.  If you want to take the time or money to move them of course add that into your plan.

Decide if your garden is a project you can do on your own at this point. You may be better off hiring someone or you may want to get some of your friends involved. If your just moving into a new home I do suggest you get some help. Check out your local garden center for assistance and ideas for your home. You also want to check out lot plans to see if there is anything you want to be aware of under your lawn.

The last thing you want to do is go visit a nursery or garden store to see if the plants you chose are there and are really going to work. Sometimes you may want to start by visiting your local garden center to see what is available, most of the time they will only sell items that will work in your climate, but you can also see if you even like the look of the flowers and other plants together.

Remember until it’s in the ground you can always change your mind.

What tips do you have to start your spring garden?

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Pool Details: Five Ways to Know If a Pool Is Right for Your Home

Pool Details, Five Ways to Know If a Pool Is Right for Your Home

The following is a guest post

So you finally decided you wanted a swimming pool. It is a big decision, but how do you know which one is right? Making a mistake by choosing the wrong one could be a costly error you will live with for many years. Here are five tips you can use to find the right pool before making that literal plunge.

Pool Usage

If you want a pool for yourself and a handful of others, going with a smaller pool would be a better idea. Likewise, if you envision lots of guests coming over to use your pool, you would want to go for a larger one. It all depends on what your usage predictions are. Just be sure to think about all possibilities, including family, friends and frequency of holidays. No one wants to jump into a small pool when 15 other people are already in it.

Rectangular or Curved

The choice between a plain rectangular pool and a curvy eye-catching pool comes down to cost and space. First, realize that a rectangular pool is the most cost-efficient design, so you will maximize your value going that route. Of course, it will not look as nice as a pool with rounded edges and an interesting shape, but beware, curved pools take more space and cost much more to create.

Fiberglass, Vinyl or Concrete

Vinyl liner pools are cheaper and have a larger range of options, but they are not as durable as other pool types. Expect to pay a considerable amount to replace the liner every five to ten years. Fiberglass pools are the quickest to install, usually taking just a few weeks, but customization options are thin on the ground. Concrete pools are the most expensive, but offer infinite customization options since you will work with a contractor to realize every facet of the design. Working with an experienced crew of pool specialists, like those with Edge Leisure and a number of others, can help you make the right call.

Patio Size

A larger pool will eat into your available space, which could compromise room on the patio for things like grills, outdoor fireplaces and furniture. If you feel like running a great barbeque is more important than having access to a pool, you may want to sacrifice pool size for more room to work your outdoor culinary magic.

Above Ground or Below

Above ground pools are the cheapest option and are simple enough to install for just about anyone. Since the pools jut out of the ground, they are not as durable and do not add much value to a home. An in-ground pool is more of a commitment and more costly, but will last longer.

The Right Pool for You

Even with these tips, making that final decision will be tough. A pool is a long-term investment that requires lots of upkeep and careful attention. It can provide hours of enjoyment for you and your family, just do your research to avoid falling into the deep end.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. This article uses information from the pool designers at Edge Leisure.

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Exotic Custom Pool Designs

The following is a guest post

There are a lot of ways to design a pool that is not just a rectangular space in your back yard. Choosing the design that works best for the pool owner depends on several factors.

What does the location indicate? The first thing to evaluate is the type of pool that best fits the space. If the pool looks out over a lake, the owner may really want to heighten that view with an infinity pool. The pool with a water level wall on the side of the view makes a stunning visual effect where the water in the pool and the lake blend seamlessly. This type of pool will also be a great choice when the house is on a hillside, overlooking a great view. First look at what will work well in that space.

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Image from www.hickoryhollowlandscapers.com

What will the pool be used for? If the homeowner has children who have a lot of friends, and they will be using the pool a lot, then possibly rock formations along the side of the pool might not be the best choice. While using rock walls to enhance the pool is great visually, with children, it just looks like a place to stub and cut toes. With kids, maybe a more functional design would work better, where pool toys and games like a basketball hoop at one end of the pool can be set up.

What will the owner use the pool for? Consider the case where the pool will be a peaceful retreat for the owner without children after a long day at work, and there’s a small space available. Look at the possibility of adding an 8 to 10 foot wall at one end of the pool, with fountains cascading into the water. Using accent lighting to gently shine on the wall – soft blue lights that glow up from the base – provides a calming and soothing effect can create that calm space for the owner. The wall can also serve as a privacy element, blocking the pool from nearby houses. Imagine sitting out by that pool after a hard day at work, allowing the gentle sound of the waterfall to let stress fall away and replace it with a peaceful state.

Does the space allow for curves? If there’s enough room in the back yard, a pool with several curves along the sides can provide a nice visual effect for the owner. Walking out into the back yard to a view of gentle curves around the pool can make the pool itself a calming and relaxing view. Is there room for a hot tub? If so, the curve pattern can be replicated in the design of the hot tub, which provides a blending of concentric circles. It also doesn’t have to be just curves – allow for ovals to allow that same effect. In designing this type of pool, first look at what type of curved pool will be eye catching for the owner.

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Image from ecmgroup.net

Make the most of a small space. One homeowner had a very small back yard, which had a long relatively narrow strip of grass behind the house. In a very creative move, a pool was designed which had a square component off the patio, and at the back end, a lap pool extended behind the house along the narrow space. Now the kids could have a place to play, and Dad could get in some lap swimming, all while using a relatively restricted area. When looking at the layout of the back yard creatively, some interesting ideas come up to fit the space.

With ingenuity and creativity, a pool that both pleases the eye and the needs of the homeowner can be designed, providing a lot of smiles when walking out into the back yard.

Carol Atkins enjoys writing freelance articles for poolcenter.com. She has 3 kids with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely black Labradors. When she’s not overseeing pool maintenance and adjusting chemicals, she spends hours at her family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs play and have fun. She is also a dedicated runner, and diligently training for her first half marathon.

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Hosting the Ultimate Outdoor Patio Party

Patios are the perfect place to host a great party, especially as the summer comes to an end and we begin the transition to fall. Warmer temperatures and longer days are ideal for backyard gatherings with family or friends. Hosting the ultimate patio party requires careful planning, a little creativity and some organization. A successful party should be fun, festive and provide a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere for you and your guests. One of the best aspects of an outdoor party is the abundance of available space where guests can easily move around and mingle. With some simple decorations, some food and drinks, you can create a warm atmosphere for your next outdoor patio party.

 

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photo credit: Wickerfurniture via photopin photopin

 

Any patio makes a great place for a party, but requires a little advance preparation to make it perfect. A beautifully landscaped yard with freshly mowed grass and carefully tended shrubbery and flowers add a touch of nature and beauty to your patio area. Prepare for the unexpected, such as mosquitoes, by placing citronella candles in various places around the yard. But ultimately, you’ll want to provide your guests with some cc and perhaps some umbrellas to help protect your guests from the sun, or unexpected rain showers.

Because casual patio parties encourage guests to congregate and relax, it’s important to provide adequate seating for those who don’t want to stand all afternoon in the summer heat. Small pods of comfortable chairs allow for intimate groupings and conversations, while cast aluminum patio tables and chairs give guests the opportunity to sit, visit and have a place to set their drinks and food. Tubular metal furniture is built for stability, comes with cushioned chairs, and is available in several different colors that complement any décor or theme.

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photo credit: cc via photopin cc

Padded chairs provide an additional measure of comfort and work well with these sturdy tables, but if you live in an area that gets a decent amount of summer rainfall, consider purchasing seats with outdoor pillows. These will better handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way, and won’t deteriorate as quickly as traditional pillows or padding would in the elements.

Frosted tempered glass tables with umbrellas can be set up anywhere on the patio to provide you and your guests with some much-needed shade, if there is no cover provided in your yard. Plastic molded chairs that are lightweight are easily moved around from one area of the patio to the next and can be stacked together when not in use. Folding patio tables are another great option for entertaining your guests, as they provide a place for serving food and drinks. Portable waist-high bars have a variety of functions as well, including serving as a wet bar or a dessert bar.

You should also include some sort of method of defining your party space. One way to do this is to use large urns for seasonal flowers or ivy. These should e placed out of the main flow of traffic along the perimeter of your patio to keep the flow going. A fire pit or fire bowls can also add a nice touch that will make your patio stand out above the rest.

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photo credit: patio furniture via photopin cc

 

Food and drinks are essential to any good party, so you’ll want to Winston Furniture – www.winstonfurniture.com. Offer a variety of simple appetizers such as chips and dips, small sandwiches, or veggie and fruit trays before the main course. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks or chicken are easy to prepare and simple enough for your guests to dress them as they please. In the summer months, it’s especially important to have a variety of drinks available in a convenient location for your guests. If you decide to serve alcohol, make sure you’ve gathered enough non-alcoholic beverages for those guests who choose not to drink, or those with young children.

Having a successful outdoor patio party this summer is as simple as paying attention to some key details that will make next party the talk of the town. Above all, make sure to keep your guests as your first priority. If you keep your family and friends happy, you’ll ultimately be happy – even if you’re running around like mad – because you’ll know you hosted the best summer party on the block. So take some time to plan your next summer patio party and reconnect with your family and friends in a low-stress environment.

Rachael Jones is a blogger for cc, where women aren’t afraid to use power tools in a dress.

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What is the Best Time of Year to Start Planting?

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If you’re working on your garden over the next year, what is the best time of the year to start planting? Depending on what kind of effects you’re trying to create, and on the size and location of your garden, different times of the year can have different benefits. For most gardens, planting and trimming during early spring, and after a frost, will set up your garden for the summer.

You can also plant evergreens and perennials during the summer, while bedding spring flowering plants like daffodils in the autumn. Different times of the year can similarly be used for planting vegetables. Paying attention to the condition of plant pots and containers, as well as to unseasoned weather, can ensure that you’re not damaging the growth chances of your plants.

It’s possible to plant most of your garden in the springtime, which can also be the time for checking and trimming annuals and herbaceous perennials; the latter can be thinned out prior to flowering. A mild spring is also good for planting evergreens if you want to see their full effect in terms of color during the spring and autumn; a similar approach can also be taken for planting flowering shrubs during March and April.
During the summer, you might want to focus on planting and potting new annuals, as well as wallflowers and flowers like petunias; hanging baskets and plant pots can also be used for this approach, while you can keep on top of flowering shrubs and perennials by trimming them regularly throughout the warmest months of the year. Lilies planted in the summer can flower in the autumn if the weather remains cool.

Towards the end of the year, be more careful about frost and planting, and if looking to grow plants, focus on early autumn – when planted in time, perennials can flower in the spring, while bulbs can be used with containers as long as they’re properly bedded and protected from frost. Summer flowering plants in the autumn can also be an option for annuals that can stand up to the cold, and can include ammi majus and consolida, or larkspur. Daffodils can similarly be planted for spring flowering.

raised-garden-beds-2With vegetables, focus on spring planting for crops like cauliflower and cabbage, as well as asparagus, tomatoes, and most green vegetables. Runner beans can be planted in the summer, as can pumpkins, while lettuce can be put down in the summer for a winter harvest. For most vegetables, you can sow them through the spring and summer, and even in winter in hardy varieties that will withstand frost.

It’s also important to use the right containers and fertilizer throughout the year; larger plant pots and containers can provide depth for plants, while organic fertilizer and mulch can offer nutrients and moisture throughout dryer months. If you’re experiencing a particularly cold spring, consider investing in a greenhouse to protect your crops and garden, while also looking for tough perennials that can be planted in deep areas to flower when the weather does become warmer.
Author Bio
Sophie Wiggins is a gardening blogger from the UK, and a strong believer in producing organic fruit and vegetables. She also recommends finding high quality plant pots to keep your garden crops in their best condition throughout the year.

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3 Ideas You Can Use for Decorating This Summer

The following is a guest post:

If you’re like me, now that the weather is warming up and the days are getting longer, you’ve got an itch to make some changes around your home. Even if you aren’t currently interested in undertaking a major renovation project, you can still make significant changes to the look of your home with some simple but fun undertakings.

To help you get inspired about your summer decorating, here are three ideas you can use as jumping off points for whatever you ultimately decide to do:

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Image courtesy of Photography by BJWOK / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Light It Up

One of the best things about summer is that it stays light well into the evening. What’s even better is thanks to the consistently warm weather, even after the sun goes down you can still enjoy sitting outside with your friends and family. Turning your backyard into an area where you can host fun summer evenings can be as simple as illuminating it. The cool thing about outdoor lighting is it’s lots of fun to choose in addition to being practical.

String lights that can hang among the trees are very popular. Small solar lamps on stakes are another possibility you can consider. With solar lights, all you have to do is place them wherever you want, and then they’ll automatically come on when it gets dark and shut off when it gets light again.

Combine Stencils, Paint and Your Floors

The right carpet can make the inside of your home warm and inviting. But if you’ve been thinking about getting rid of your current carpet for some time now, the warmer weather may be all you need to take this plunge.

Once you pull up your carpet, chances are you’re going to see concrete or plywood. While there’s nothing wrong with leaving either surface as it is, they may be a little too plain for your taste. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to spice them up.

All you need to do is paint your floors with a solid color like blue or grey. Then when you’re done, you can give your floor personality by using stencils and additional paint colors. Not only will this option look great, but getting rid of old carpet can also help repel rats that may want to get inside.

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Create an Outdoor Bar Area

If you decide to move your decorating back outside, another fun idea is to create a bar area. Although many homeowners assume that they need to have an entire structure built, you can throw together a much simpler setup and it’ll still look great.

What’s cool about this approach is in addition to letting you decorate with any theme you want, you’ll also be able to test out if an outdoor bar is a good fit for your yard. If it is, you can always upgrade to a more permanent structure whenever you want.

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Rejuvenate Your Outdoor Space

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Sometimes it’s just better to keep what you have, not only is it great for the environment but it’s also amazing for your wallet. You can’t always keep what you have but when it comes to your outdoor space, you just might be able to make those items last just a little bit longer and create a bit of new style in the process.

One way to do this is by checking out a refinishing service, like the services offered by Patioguys.com, these services allow you to keep your existing furniture for years to come. Most companies will do almost any brand and product, many offer both residential and commercial applications and in the end you really can save yourself some money as high quality outdoor furniture can be expensive.

You can also look at refinishing more then just your furniture, you can fix up your old grill instead of getting a new one. Reuse old pots and containers to make garden features such as water features, bird baths or just general sculpture work. You can even get your kids, if you have them, in on the action by making bird feeders and ferrie homes to put in your yard.

How do you recycle to rejuvenate your yard?

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What to include in the perfect Scottish garden

Scotland has an abundance of native plants and herbs and is recognised for its historical and horticultural significance. Scotland’s unique planting conditions mean that in addition to native plants, a variety of internationally renowned plants, including rare and collectable ones, flower perfectly throughout the year.

Scottish gardens are popularly known for having colourful beds of flowers that flourish year-round. These desirable conditions mean that deciding what to include in your Scottish garden can be easy – because there is so much choice, but it can also be very difficult – because there is so much choice! Here’s a few of our favourite plants and flowers, ideal for including in the perfect Scottish garden.

The Scotch Thistle, we couldn’t start with anything else really! This deceivingly delicate flower has come to be an iconic emblem which represents Scotland. Once regarded as a weed, this plant is now a popular addition to gardens all around the UK. The plant sprouts an elegant, purple flower during the summer months and requires full sun and acidic soil.

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Photo credit

In spring, you could look to include bluebells and colourful rhododendrons in your Scottish garden. Bluebells have a deliciously sweet fragrance and will brighten up any garden with their violet-blue flowers. Rhododendrons come in a variety of colours and can be planted in most areas of a garden.

During the summer months your planting options are endless. In particular, Scotland is an ideal location for yellow foliaged plants and shrubs because you rarely see leaf burn in the north. This means that shrubs like the Japanese maple are received very well in Scotland. Japanese maple is often admired for its gentle and calming foliage and looks attractive planted next to ponds and water features as the colours reflect beautifully off the water.

Your Scottish garden doesn’t have to fall short during the winter months either. White snowdrops and luscious winter berries will grow fluently throughout the colder months with minimal assistance. This honey-scented plant has stunning white bobbing flowers and looks perfectly at home amongst the snow and sleet. The snowdrop is so well adapted to Scotland’s harsh conditions that you just can’t fail. Winter berry bushes are the perfect feature in a Scottish winter garden as you can enjoy bursts of bright colour along with the option to harvest and eat the berries themselves – the perfect combination!

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Photo credit

Other plants that thrive in the Scottish gardening conditions include heather, Scottish flame flower and gorse. When designing a garden you should also consider your garden’s soil type and choose plants appropriate to this. You should also get a good understanding of what parts of the garden receive sunlight and shade as this will determine the type of plants you’ll be able to plant.

Nevertheless, Scotland’s unique gardening conditions mean that a Scottish garden can be whatever you want it to be, just don’t forget to enjoy the designing process!

Author Bio: This article has been written by Joel at Gardens Galore, a garden landscaping company based in Perth, Scotland.

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Chic and Cheap Garden Ideas

 

The following is a guest post

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(Photo courtesy of: http://roomenvy.wordpress.com)

Summer is most definitely here and the vast majority of us are looking forward to spending long days and nights in our gardens, socialising, playing and relaxing.

However, if your garden is in need of a little love and attention, you will find the following ideas perfect for helping to turn your patch of earth into an extra room of your home.

Garden Hammocks

Garden hammocks are this season’s hottest outdoor accessory. They look cute and will add a touch of luxury to your backyard. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the world going by and can be improved even further with the addition of some brightly coloured cushions and a warm snuggly blanket.

Garden hammocks can be freestanding or simply tied between two trees or wooden posts. There are several online tuition sites demonstrating how to make garden hammocks, or they can be purchased relatively cheaply online or from most garden or DIY stores. Check out the Home and Garden section of the Promo-Codes website for more inspiration.

Regenerate your garden furniture

With the phrase ‘Make do and mend’ fast becoming the mantra of 2012, an increasing number of people are choosing to upcycle old items of furniture rather than splashing out on new.

PVC and plastic furniture can be deep cleaned and given a face lift by using a good commercial cleaner and then painted with a layer of primer followed by a second layer of exterior paint. Wooden furniture can be sanded down and treated in a similar way, paying special attention to any wobbly legs or loose seats.

Choose paints in soft, pale colours that blend with your indoor colour scheme, and then cover the seats with plump cushions and warm woollen or fleecy blankets, which will be perfect for keeping warm during the cooler evening as well as looking chic and inviting.

Garden Bunting

If you want to add a touch of vintage glamour to your al-fresco dining area, the addition of some garden bunting is a good choice. It can be made easily and cheaply using offcuts of contrasting fabric. A mixture of spots, stripes and floral prints in contrasting colours looks fantastic.

Simply cut triangles measuring 20cm across by 25cm long using pinking shears. Press a long length of 2.5cm wide white cotton tape in half lengthways then slip the tops of the triangles into the folded tape. Stitch the triangles into place once you are happy with their positioning.

Garden Lighting

If you get your garden lighting right, your garden will become a glorious, glowing living-room to be enjoyed long after the sun goes down. Different parts of the garden require different lighting systems – keep in mind lighting that will make specific activities easier. For example, brighter lighting is preferential along walkways and entrances, but seating areas will require more subtle ambient lighting.

Paint a pot

Purchase one or two terracotta pots or wooden planters and set to work transforming them with paints. This is something your children will enjoy being involved in, and they will love painting flowers, butterflies or simply adding handprints onto the pots.

Once finished, protect with a layer of weather-proof clear varnish and fill with cheerful daisies or marigolds. Simple, cost effective and fun.

This article was written by Kathrn Thompson, a freelance writer specialising in beautiful home décor on a budget

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Unique Outdoor Spaces

Interior design is not just about the interior of your home, but the exterior spaces as well. Designing outdoor spaces is not a huge part of an interior designers job. Here I have a few that I really love, they are unique and should inspire you to get outside and improve the outdoor area of your home. (Images taken from HGTV.com)

outdoor fountan

Outdoor kitchen

 

Patio

grass bed

outdoor kitchen

outdoor living

Which of these outdoor spaces would you want in your home?

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5 Tips for Designing Your Outdoor Living Spaces

The following is a guest post

If you love outdoor entertaining, designing your outdoor living spaces to reflect this is important. There are a number of ways that you can design your outdoor areas and choosing the best design for your specific family needs is important. Here are a few tips to help you to design the perfect outdoor living spaces for your home:

1. Think realistically – There are a number of ways that you can add to your outdoor living area and literally thousands of designs from which you can choose. Your design depends on your space and budget as well as your family. If you have small children you will want to ensure that you design a safe area for them.

2. Choose your location – You will need to decide on where you want to begin designing your outdoor living area. Choose an area that has the space that you need. Experts recommend using the area directly connected to your indoor living room as an outdoor living area. This makes it an extension of your living room and gives you a wonderful view from indoors as well.

3. Choose your size – You will need to know what size of space you are working with. You do not have to use the entire outdoor area. An outdoor living space or living room is however large you want it to be. Think about the dimensions of your living space. Just as you have a ceiling and walls indoors, you will want to think about these things outdoors as well. Your walls could be lower vertical elements like hedges or raised flower beds. A ceiling could be an arbor or pergola or even a lawn umbrella if you wish.

4. Make it comfortable – Choosing furniture should be based on comfort as well as style and budget. You do not have to place plastic outdoor furniture in your outdoor living area. There are a number of beautiful choices for outdoor furniture today. Choose furnishings that reflect your personal style and provide a comfortable place for you to relax with family and friends.

5. Add lighting – Be sure that you add adequate lighting but not too much lighting. You want your outdoor living area to be natural and adding too much light will take away the natural beauty. Choose lighting that is approved for outdoor use. Path lights will protect against bumping into things at night and you can add lamps and other lighting as needed.

This article was written by Trueshopping, an online department store with a wide selection of affordable luxury products for your home.

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Maximize your Curb Appeal With a Stylish Mailbox

One thing that so many homeowners forget to worry about is curb appeal. Remember the show dedicated to just that? Making your home’s exterior look as amazing as the interior. They were not wrong when they said that curb appeal will make or break your home. It really is the first thing anyone sees when they come to your home and may be the only thing that some people see.

One way to make that curb appeal sparkle is to get an amazing fancy mailbox. Sometimes it’s just that one thing that makes someone think “That person has an amazing sense of style.” or sometimes they may think that you have “A huge lack of style” and that is why picking the right mailbox is important.

7245With the plethora of fancy designer mailboxes available now, there is no reason to stick with the normal bland mailbox. Take a look at this one I have picked as a favorite. It’s classic, but still very modern and stylish. It’s makes a point and the best part of all is that it will also hold your newspaper! Yes, I still get a newspaper, I love the coupons and the yard sale section!

Now you may think. “I don’t need a mailbox like that!” I just want something simple and without a post! Well there are a lot of wall mount mailboxes you can pick from if that is what you need. In fact some are really very nice and would look great on any home.

What’s your preference? A street side box like the one I have shown or a house mounted box?

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Inviting Friends to Share your Garden

Inviting Friends to Share your garden You have spent countless hours tending to your plants. You’ve shed tears, sweat and blood getting it just right. Do you want to keep it to yourself? No way. You need to show off and put your hard work on display.

Throw a party

The easiest way to show off your garden is to get people to come over. Casually mention that you have a little project out back and I guarantee you will hook someone into taking a walk. If you really want to lock it in then throw a garden party. Start up the grill and serve some drinks. Make sure that people have a place to throw their trash so you don’t wind up with plastic utensils and paper plates strewn among your beds.

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Get some furniture

People need a place to sit and some classy patio furniture will encourage people to spend more time outside and new your source of pride. I like to have a space in my garden that is just for entertaining guests. A few chairs, some small tables for drinks and a fire pit make for a nice arrangement. Remember that patio beds are not regulated to patio use. Put it directly in your garden and enjoy the night.

Light it up

Add some path lighting at the least for some late night strolls. Solar powered path lights are a good idea because they don’t require much extra work and you don’t have to worry about whether you turned them off after the party. If you plan on having a lot of nighttime parties then I suggest actually using lights to show off your garden. What’s the point of having people over to see our work if they can’t see a single leaf. All in all these are just some simple suggestions to highlight and help you show off your garden. After everyone leaves and the cleanup is done you can wipe the spilled soda off your patio table, take a seat and bask in the knowledge that your guests are jealous of your “little project”. Then it’s back to work in the garden.

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