‘Tis the season to be outside! Summer has officially begun, and by now you’ve probably broken out the furniture and cleaned off the patio pavers. Over the years, landscape design has come to include patios that are a true extension of the home. Cooking outside on the grill has evolved into full outdoor kitchen installations; homeowners are now outfitting their patios with all of the modern day conveniences of indoor kitchens. Grills with side burners, concrete and stone counter tops, and sinks and refrigerators, have allowed hosts to spend more time with their guests and have stopped the exhausting “BBQ food relay”.
They are said to be magical. Ever since Frances Hodgson Burnett first penned A Secret Garden in 1909, young and old alike have been fascinated with secret gardens. These smaller gardens enchant us by allowing us to create a small fantasy world right in our own backyard.
Gone are the days of Dad standing lonely in the backyard as he grills chicken, burgers and dogs on a gas or charcoal grill while the party-goers swim, play volleyball or yard darts (remember those?). Today’s barbecues are full-day events that revolve around the cook and his craft, with the food prep and grilling a highlight to the day’s entertainment.
While he was off by two days with his prediction, John Adams definitely had the right idea about how to celebrate Independence Day.
John Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
If you have a pool, chances are you'll either be hosting a children's pool party birthday celebration or an adult only cocktail party, this summer season. Maybe even both. You can either send out formal invitations or invite your guests by word-of-mouth, either way, you'll need to plan and set up your outdoor living area and pool deck before your guests arrive.
So you’ve decided to create an outdoor living space! After deciding the size of your new patio, you’ll need to select the type of material to use. The good news is, you’re not limited to the poured concrete patios of yesteryear that stain and crack after just a few short years.
The weed-free, green lawn that dominates landscape design in suburban America today didn’t exist until the late 18th century. Our forefathers were the original organic gardeners with front “yards” that were much smaller and they were functional in nature.
It is estimated that American’s spend more than $1 billion in Father’s Day each year. Standard gifts are sporting goods, socks, neckties, and the ever popular “World’s Best Dad” mug. While all of these are heartfelt gifts, this Father’s Day, why not take it outside and turn it up a notch?
When it comes to your patio or landscape design, make sure to include lighting in your plans. Just as with interior design, different types of lighting fixtures are used for specific functions when lighting a residential outdoor space.
Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. We all look forward to the backyard barbeques and summer get-togethers, but the truth is, getting the patio ready for all of that fun can be somewhat of a chore. Here are a few tips to help you get through your patio cleaning checklist.
Retaining walls are solid structures designed to prevent soil erosion and hold land back when there is a drastic change in elevation. They help to stabilize the land and can prevent mudslides and home foundation shifts.
It’s outdoor party season, and chances are, you’ll either host or be invited to at least one big party this summer. Depending on where you live, that could mean very different menu items. While most folks invite friends and family over “for a barbeque”, the term is used rather loosely.
When you plan your summer gatherings, you start by taking stock of your patio and other outdoor living spaces, looking for ways to ‘wow” your guests, right? Even if your patio, walkways and gardens are in great shape, you can always enhance your outdoor space to make your yard the “place to be”.
Our current-day Memorial Day began after the Civil War as Decoration Day. Because the Civil War claimed so many lives, Americans began commemorating the veterans who died in the war by decorating their grave stones with wreaths or flowers.
One of the most famous American architects of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright, is best known for his Organic Architecture style. Thought to be his most famous design, Fallingwater was designed in 1935 for the Kaufman family and resides in Bear Run, PA.
Honoring Mothers dates back to ancient times, but here in the U.S., 2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of Mother’s Day. In May of 1914, then President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
At its roots, May 1, May Day, is an ancient Celtic and Germanic holiday. The townsfolk (who had survived the long harsh winter) celebrated spring’s arrival and the promise of warmer weather on the first of May.
It cannot be argued, there’s just something spectacular about backyards that have a fire feature. Family and friends have been gathering around camp fires and fire pits for years, and homeowners are taking their outdoor spaces up a notch by incorporating custom outdoor fireplaces into their landscape designs.
So, you’ve gotten all the weeds cleaned out of the garden, and fed and reseeded the yard. While you were in the middle of this early-spring maintenance, you may have noticed that your landscape overall needs some TLC. Do you feel you could use borders or walkways between your garden and yard?