It is upon us – the holiday season with the multitude of events and celebrations, where we gather with friends and family over good food and drink and wind down to the New Year. Whether you put your culinary skills to the test for your party or have it catered, chances are there will be a significant increase in leftovers and trash from now until the ball drops on December 31st. Use that opportunity to launch your composting efforts and resolve yourself to a more eco-friendly holiday season and lifestyle.
Before Jack Frost comes a-nipping, and weather conditions get too cold or wet, take some time to build your compost pile so you can feel good about all the excess waste your holiday season produces.
It’s probably still burned into your retinas. The image of Clark Griswold’s house from 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; row upon row of glittering lights – blazing like a small sun that takes the power grid down in the neighboring three counties. A more recent commemoration of this holiday décor style was 2006’s “Deck the Halls”, where the ultimate goal was to see the holiday décor, from SPACE.
While this type of decorating can have a long-lasting effect on anyone who sees it, (like wearing glasses earlier than genetically necessary), we are firm believers that “less is more” when it comes to decorating your outdoor living spaces for the holidays and we have a few suggestions on how to create a truly memorable experience for your guests and passers-by.
Let your guests know that you’re a Thanksgiving pro and use a stunning centerpiece to set the stage. While extravagant floral arrangements will always impress, these eco-friendly nature inspired “harvest” centerpieces set a down-home and family, friendly feel.
As the fall season winds down and we edge closer to the leafless, drab landscape of winter, many homeowners look for sustainable and simple ways to add a little color to their yard and garden. Evergreen shrubs, trees and plants offer year-round color that is easy to maintain and, if planted in the correct region, 100% sustainable. We’ve got 4 options for the Mid-Atlantic region that will enhance any landscape and offer a welcome of green even as the rest of your yard lays dormant.
You’ve heard the phrase “You only have one chance to make a first impression, right?” Well, this applies to your home, as well. When someone arrives at your domicile for the first (or tenth) time, the first thing they see is your front yard landscape. This first impression is largely made up of the condition of your driveway to the walkway and steps leading to your front door, as well as the plants in your garden and any garden wall or borders you have containing them.
The level of care put into these details can create a very good, or very bad, impression for your guests, or anyone who drives by your home for that matter, so invest some time and effort into making your front landscape something that says “welcome” with the following tips:
With the ghouls and goblins having gathered their treats and hopefully a few tricks, we feel it necessary to remind you that Halloween stands at the peak of the downhill slide that launches us through the holiday season clear to New Year’s Day. How many times have you looked back on the end of year craziness that is the holidays to realize that you have barely had time to catch your breath since Halloween?
During the next few months, your down-time will be filled with family, friends and visitors looking to share the season and celebrate. In many areas of the Northeast, the weather is still warm enough for an outdoor party on your patio well into November, with or without the warming accent of a fire pit or and outdoor fireplace (although they would definitely extend your party hours into the evening much more comfortably.)
Who doesn’t love a beautifully landscaped backyard? Color and design come together to celebrate the seasons, while offering water management with tree plantings and strategically-placed walls or walkways? There really is something to be said about a landscape that wows at any time of year. The downfall? It often takes significant time and money to keep the lush beauty of your yard and garden in shape year-round.
Depending on your schedule and budget, this can be a detractor to invest in your yard to create that idyllic space. However, there are low-maintenance landscape options that will allow you to have your cake and eat it, too.
Most often, when people think of the “garden season” spring-time gets the accolades. These days, more and more gardeners are spending time in the yard well into the fall, and not only to rake leaves. Savvy gardeners know… fall planting isn’t just for bulbs anymore.
As the weather turns colder and frost begins to layer on your yard, car and driveway each morning, we all know where there is frost, ice and snow are soon to follow. The bane of many a homeowner, winter’s little gift of ice and snow blocks up driveway access and hinders vehicle mobility. But technology provides an answer to this backache-waiting-to-happen with some really interesting options that fit just about any budget.
Depending on the weather on Halloween night, some people like to greet trick-or-treaters from their porch or patio, where they can sit in comfort and watch the kids make their way up and down the street as they enjoy the evening.
Since most of the little ghouls are bound to come to the front door looking for their goodies, use your walkway to lead them around to your sitting area, where they can barter for their treats. It’s here that you have to make a decision about your décor. Do you lean more towards the “trick” side of Halloween, where you look to add a little horror-based fun for your trick-or-treaters or do you like the fun, friendly side of the holiday?
Your yard and garden are your pride and joy, the setting for everything from parties to relaxing days outdoors. You’ve designed your landscape to fit your unique style and color pallet to accent your home and create the outdoor living space you’re proud to share with your friends and neighbors. Anyone who has even a slightly-green thumb knows the time and dedication it takes to create and maintain a beautiful yard, but there may be a simpler way to keep your garden vibrant that saves you time and money. Interested?
There is so much to love about the fall, from flavors to colors to the cooler temperatures that allow you to enjoy the backyard and your patio without excessive heat. It’s also a fun time for kids to create some seasonal crafts they can show off outside the home, so gather up some munchkins and create some fall décor to place around your yard and patio this season.
With most of the east coach experiencing some residual effects of Hurricane Joaquin, it’s only apropos to talk flood water. As the more volatile weather of fall sets in, many areas in the eastern United States start seeing more occurrences of flooding and high water. Avoid the cost and mess of having to pump water out of your basement or crawl space by adapting your landscape to redirect the excess moisture with the following solutions.
There’s nothing like the autumn season. Colors shift from green to a vibrant and warm array of oranges, burgundies, yellows and browns, the air cools off and most of the resident insect population moves on or goes down for their winter’s nap. Along with these changes come culinary delights like pumpkin and spice flavored foods, harvests of apples lend to the menu and hints of caramel and cinnamon enhance many a recipe.
Celebrate this fabulous change of season with a party on your patio – with a focus on the fall harvest and all its bounty. Gather in the backyard, or around the fire pit, to enjoy the tastes, scents and colors that fall offers.
Fall may just be starting but, depending on your region, there could be plenty of time left to plan for outdoor activities including pumpkin painting and carving, bonfires with s’mores and hayrides with warm (or cold) apple cider. An outdoor kitchen is the ideal setting for your party, offering the accoutrements of your indoor kitchen with your backyard patio and the beautiful backdrop of fall as your setting.
As fall inches closer, and the days shorten, our focus on our yard or garden may wane, but now is not the time to ignore your yard. The end of summer and early autumn bring the need of yard prep, to ready your outdoor spaces for the coming harsh weather of winter. Take some time in the next few weeks to attend these little projects to ensure your yard and landscape are ready to weather the winter before making a fresh start next spring.
While summer still has a few days left on the books for 2015, with pumpkin everything being sold at every coffee shop and retail outlet, Halloween costumes jumping out at you in just about every store and the kiddies back in school, fall is here. As mums bloom at local farm stands and apple cider is pressed, people are readying their yards for this colorful season, looking for unique ways to add color and life to a backdrop that is starting to lose foliage. We’ve got 5 fun and easy-to-manage ways to add color and spice to your yard this fall.
No matter how large or small you backyard is, there are always ways you can partition and redesign your space to fit your outdoor living lifestyle. Depending on the complexity of the project you have in mind and the space you have to cover, you can phase the project to fit your budget and timeline as needed.
By using pavers to build a walkway or patio or by installing a garden, seating or retaining wall to break up your space, you are investing in your property and adding to the value of your home.
Hold on to your helmets, it’s time for football! Wait a minute, is it football season or is it tailgating season? What’s a game day without congregating in a parking lot with like-minded football fans and reveling in the excitement of game day with great food, beer, friends and, be honest, a little smack talk?
But what if you’re watching the game from home? Gather your tailgating pals and head out to the backyard, where your fire pit and a few well-placed outdoor chairs will provide the central focus for your festivities. It’s almost fall, people, and the temperatures will continue to drop. You will need a fire pit to kick off the game right and stay warm while you’re at it.
When you envision your home in your mind’s eye, the patio is the center of your outdoor living space. It combines the soul of the kitchen, dining and living room with the notion of escape, privacy and relaxation plus entertainment, wrapped in the glorious outdoors and punctuated with the sound of nature or the laughter of friends and family. This space deserves the attention the rest of your home gets, but sometimes budgets can be an issue.