Now that your deck or patio is clean (see “Tips on Sprucing Up Your Outdoor Living Areas,” August 6, 2013) you’ll want to “accessorize” it for a fresh look. Try these ideas:
Add or change seat cushions. If you haven’t added seat cushions to your chairs or loungers, try our Adirondack Cushion Set, which fits our Adirondack Chair plus Ottoman and is available in Forest Green, Navy Blue or White. Also available are cushions for our teak chairs, steamer and lounger in blue, white and green (some styles also in red).
Try basing your decorating on a theme; for example, your and a loved one’s birth month. August’s gemstone is peridot, a pale green-colored stone; it’s flower is the gladiolus or poppy (http://www.birthdaygems.org/birth-month-flowers/). Between the two items, you have an instant color scheme: pale green and bright red (although poppies are available in other colors). Use the scheme to mix and match inexpensive cushions, place mats, curtains or drapes, rugs, and table cloths or runners. You could even use the colors to create a mural or hanging for a conveniently located wall or fence. Make it a family project!
Are you tired of the appearance of your garden, back yard or deck? Does your outdoor furniture look dated and/or tired? Have you been considering a makeover on your outdoor space but can’t afford to spend a lot of money on the project? I have some suggestions and tips to make your outdoor facelift affordable and easy.
First, plan what you want to do and how much it will cost. Decide what your budget will be and stick to it! Second, a little elbow grease will go a long way in sprucing up your outdoor party space. You may be vigilant about keeping the furniture clean and the deck or patio swept, but you might consider giving the area a thorough “deep cleaning” with a pressure washer. Google “renting a pressure washer” to find a rental outlet (for example, Home Depot) near your home.
Third, if your budget is large enough, consider adding a new piece of garden furniture to enhance your outdoor décor. The item doesn’t have to be big and expensive. For example, our Western Red Cedar Wishing Well (large or small) makes a unique, whimsical addition to an outdoor landscape … provided you have the space!
Wow! It’s been awhile since I posted a blog! I’ve been busy implementing marketing ideas that the company’s members approved at the annual meeting in May. Some of these ideas take time to design and implement, so please bear with me.
One of the measures already implemented is the repricing of all the items available at GardenFurniturePatio.com. In fact, approximately 75 percent of my items are now priced lower than before … up to $80 lower in some cases! So, if you had your eye on something before, check it out again. You could be pleasantly surprised! Remember, shipping to sites in North America is always free!
Another marketing measure that was approved is adding more items, mainly teak table sets. Look for them in my Teak category. Also coming soon: coupons and/or discounts. And I hope to be accepting credit cards soon, in addition to PayPal, which I already accept.
Do you feel you’re stuck in a rut with your annual July 4th barbecue/cookout menu? Burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips, ribs, maybe some French fries and watermelon. It can become predictable and boring after a while, don’t you think?
Well, if it isn’t too late for you to do a bit of shopping for your holiday eats, I’m passing along a link to a collection of Fourth of July recipes that can also be found on The Washington Post‘s Lifestyle/Home-Garden Page on its Web site. Most of the recipes are variations on traditional items, such as cole slaw and burgers. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/recipes-for-a-scrumptious-fourth-of-july/2011/06/30/AGPsrbtH_gallery.html#photo=1
If you’re looking for something new and different this July 4th, try one or two of these. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. And to enjoy your spread, why not buy one of my table sets, such as the Teak Oval Extension Table Set…with umbrella, of course! Your purchase might be late for July 4th; but there’s always Labor Day!
Summer is officially here! It’s time to get grilling! I’m sure some of you have been enjoying outdoor barbecues since the weather turned warm where you live. Whether your grill is well seasoned already or you’re just getting started with a Fourth of July grill-over for family, neighbors and/or friends, why not try something new … something besides dogs, burgers and ribs.
I’m including a link for a site that provides healthy (yes, healthy!) recipes to freshen your barbecue menu. Give them a try, and let me know which ones you like best. I’ll pass on the feedback for others to enjoy! http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/healthy-summer-barbecue/grilling-recipes. If you entertain large groups regularly, purchase one of my table sets, like the Oval Picnic Table Set on gardenfurniturepatio.com. I also have a Round Picnic Table Set and two Market Table Sets that will accommodate several people.
Check my blog regularly for other great summer food recipes and menus. Great grilling!
“Love seat” … The term evokes memories of the living room suite, a three- or four- piece set of living-room furniture that included a matching or coordinated sofa, love seat and one or two arm chairs. These furniture sets are rarely sold today; but you can still purchase love seats, primarily for small living spaces or bedrooms.
This piece dates to the late 1600s, but the term love seat became common in the 1700s as a seating arrangement for courting couples. The earliest seats were designed as seating for women and their big-hooped dresses. Late in the 1800s the Victorians espoused the virtues of courtship and fidelity. The love seat enforced the Victorian ideal of “controlled courtship” in that it allowed togetherness but not intimacy.
Love seats are also known by several other names: tete-a-tete (head-to-head); vis-a-vis (face-to-face); confidante; or Siamoise (probably referring to the Siamese twins Chang and Eng of the early to mid-1800s). My wife owned a love seat made of white pine, but it was called a deacon’s bench. Or maybe that’s a different type of furniture, though very similar. My Adirondack Love Seat is perfect for an unobtrusive corner of your garden!
Floods are inundating many areas of the United States and other countries at the moment, but many regions still suffer droughts. If you live in a drought-stricken area, take heart: Grass is resilient. It will withstand drought and other adverse conditions if fed regularly and mowed properly before and after the typical periods of drought.
Grass goes dormant (turns light brown) during dry spells. Dormancy enables grass to survive drought for about two months. However, if you’ll be using your lawn for parties or your pets or children will be playing on it, water it deeply once or twice a week.
Consider purchasing one of my Garden Hutches for storage of your lawn and garden equipment.
You wait to mow until the grass is so high you attach balloons to your pets so you can locate them when you let them out! But mowing to a correct height is necessary to maintain a healthy, vigorous lawn that can survive weeds, drought and heat. Most grass varieties respond well to one of the highest mower settings, which provide a 3- to 4-inch cut. Some varieties should be mowed at a lower setting: Zoysia and centipedegrass do well at a middle setting; bermudagrasses thrive at a setting for a 1½- to 2-inch cut.
You really don’t need to bag grass cuttings; they return nutrients to the soil, which is healthy for your lawn. Try altering the direction in which you mow every now and then to change the look of your lawn. And, last but by no means least, don’t neglect to tune up your mower, including blade sharpening, once every year.
A Western Red Cedar Garden Hutch provides excellent storage for your garden and lawn supplies and implements. GardenFurniturePatio.com sells three sizes of hutch, one of which should meet your needs. (Next: “Weed Control and Water Conservation”)
As summer progresses, your lawn becomes less green and, in heavily trafficked areas, thinner. A quick fix for bare spots is to apply a “patching” product containing seed, fertilizer and mulch. Larger bare areas require spreading grass seed. Prepare the area to be repaired by spreading a thin layer of lawn soil. Follow with the grass seed, and top this with starter fertilizer. This process should help your lawn repair quicker and thicker.
The secret to a healthy, green expanse of lawn is nutrition; i.e., fertilization. When your lawn is healthy, it is better able to displace weeds and tolerate drought and wear and tear. A simple schedule for feeding your lawn is two to four times a year. If the weather is nice for outdoor activities (spring, early summer and fall), then feed the lawn.
A Western Red Cedar Garden Hutch provides excellent storage for your garden and lawn supplies and implements. GardenFurniturePatio.com sells three sizes of hutch, one of which should meet your needs. (Next: Don’t Neglect Mowing.)
17-year cicadas have returned! Their agenda: romance, sex, deafening noise and sudden death. After 17 years of subterranean snoozing, these colorful creatures return with one main goal: to lay eggs in woody plants.
Cicadas are emerging now. They will sing, mate and lay eggs in woody plants. “Soft” plants, such as perennials, annuals, tropicals and garden vegetables, should survive unscathed. Your woody plants … shrubs, ornamental trees and fruit trees … will suffer; many may die. The females favor oaks, maples, redbuds and cherry trees, although other species face the onslaught. Trees at the edges of woodlands seem to attract them more than in other areas. Experts say insecticides have little effect on cicadas; and you wouldn’t want a lot of poison being sprayed into the air anyway, would you?
If you want to protect small trees, try netting them. See www.bugoftheweek.com for a guide to netting. You’ll need to do this before they emerge in numbers; like, right about now! Have a fish pond? Keep it and its overarching garden bridge clean of bug carcasses, which can deplete oxygen levels in the water as they decompose.