Tag Archives: backyard

Making The Most Of Your Garden This Spring

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Making The Most Of Your Garden This Spring

There is nothing better than lovely, spring weather after a long and cold winter. Those with green thumbs or just eager to get outside will, surely, be spending lots of time in their own yards once the sun is out. Here’s how to make the most of your garden once spring is fully upon us:

Protection from the Weather:

Roofing comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Your roof helps with drainage and keeps you safe from the weather. It must be maintained (see this roof replacement guide) for adequate protection. Yet, while patios and decking are popular these days, they don’t come with a roof. So, sitting outside depends on the weather. Fortunately, you can get a variety of extendable canopies to keep the rain off while you relax outdoors. You will no longer require a clear sky and sunny day to get the most from your backyard sitting area.

Cozy Heating Solutions:

There’s a noticeable increase in temperature during early spring; however, it is still cold. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the outdoors in comfort. Near the end of spring, it’s warm enough to sit outside in shorts and a shirt as summer approaches. But at the start of the season, you may need a heater. Outdoor heating is easy to install and will make your outdoor space more usable. From simple fire pits to gas and electric patio heaters, there are excellent outdoor heaters in almost every home improvement store.

Cover Your Furniture:

Spring weather can be unpredictable. One minute there’s a glowing sun and a gentle breeze, the next, there’s a thunderstorm. Fluctuating temperatures and rain can cause permanent damage to your lawn furniture. So, when you’re not using your outdoor rattan or wicker loungers, you should protect them. A tarp or a heavy duty plastic sheet will keep your valuables safe, but be aware that a strong wind will blow them away so make sure you adequately tie them down.

Grow Spring Vegetables:

Spring is an excellent time for seasonal growth. If you are a foodie type, there is nothing better than growing your own food. This is because you can grow what you know you will eat, reduce waste, and understand what is in your food when grown organically. Other benefits include:

  • Making it a new family activity.
  • Reduced food bills.
  • An abundance of healthy fruit and vegetables.
  • The freshest foods of the season.
  • Greatly reduced household carbon footprint.

Growing vegetables is season dependent and you should learn as much as you can about growing seasonal food before you begin your gardening.

Set Some Ambiance:

Watching the sunset from your garden is one of life’s greatest moments. And when it’s dark, it’s time to create some magical ambiance outside. Lights designed for your garden can be installed via your main electricity and timers can be set to match the sunset. You can easily do this with smart lighting via apps. For a more sustainable option, you can install solar auto lights that store energy in the day and self illuminate when it’s darker.

Get Ready for the Easter Holiday:

You can decorate your home and garden for Easter as you would for autumn and Christmas. Being close to nature, your garden is the perfect setting for an Easter egg hunt and outdoor dining. Easter egg hunts are such a fun activity if you have little ones. You can also dye eggs, paint pictures, and watch for bunnies in the yard for holiday fun with the kiddos.

Your garden comes alive in the spring and the tips above can help you enjoy it even more after hibernating all winter!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Creating The Perfect Backyard Dining Area

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Creating The Perfect Backyard Dining Area

The optimists among us are already thinking about the end of winter and the start of the warmer months of the year. While there’s nothing wrong with curling up with some hot cocoa and looking at the snow or frost from inside your home, there’s something about enjoying your backyard that makes summer special.

If you want to transform your backyard into the perfect place for party hosting or outdoor dining, then now is the time to start planning. Here are some great ways to create a perfect place to eat together in the great outdoors.

Section Your Backyard:

If you have a large backyard, then you have plenty of options for creating a place to eat and hang out. Chances are, you won’t need the whole area for your dining needs but you at least need a place to sit and eat, and if you plan to grill your food, somewhere to cook it.

It’s also beneficial to plan an area for outdoor activities. If you’re inviting family and children, then the kids will want to run around and play. Leave a section of your lawn free for games, and consider adding a paddling pool for particularly hot days. This way, everyone can enjoy themselves while beating the heat.

Shelter and Foundation:

If you want to sit and eat, then you’ll need to think about your chosen dining area. A picnic is more flexible, as you can simply lay out a blanket on a flat part of your lawn and settle down. Most events, however, require more solid seating.

This means that you need to create flat and solid ground to comfortably eat. Stone tiles or a patio area is perfect for this, as the tiles won’t be damaged in the same way as your lawn. Some people also like wooden decking. This will also look attractive and make partitioning your backyard easier.

If you’re grilling outside, then make sure that the flat space is fire proof. Wooden decking is fine to sit on, but it can be a bit risky if you drop some hot charcoal onto it. Stick with stone or brick paving.

As well as a solid foundation, you should consider adding some shelter to your dining area. This gives sun shy guests a place to hide in the shade. A parasol can keep away the sun, but some more solid shelter will be better in difficult weather. Slidetrack blinds are even better, as they protect you from the sides as well. Even if the weather turns bad, you don’t have to cancel early.

Outdoor Furniture and Decor:

Eating outside is far more comfortable if you have a nice table set to eat from. A picnic blanket is a lot of fun, but it isn’t practical for everyone. It also makes it harder to serve your food. Outdoor furniture can also be attractive and stylish but you will want to find pieces that can withstand the climate outside. Don’t forget twinkle lights and solar light accents throughout the yard for some lovely ambiance as the sun sets.

Even though there’s snow on the ground, it’s never too early to think about summertime fun in your own backyard!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Create A More Social Home

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How To Create A More Social Home

Your home is primarily a space for you and your family to relax and unwind. But it can also be more than that. It can be a space that your friends and extended family enjoy, too. Is there anything better than inviting your loved ones around for a few hours of fun? Not in our book. Of course, while you might want this to be the case, it’s not as if it will always just happen. You normally have to work to make your home social ready.

Fortunately, this isn’t overly difficult! In this post, we’ll run through some useful tips that will make your house the place to be for all of your guests:

Guest Rooms:

One of the issues surrounding inviting people over is that sometimes they come from a long way away. And once they’re over, they’ll be thinking about how they’re going to get home. You can get around this issue by creating a guest room in your house. This will allow your friends and family to spend the night whenever they want. Everyone relaxes and enjoys themselves much more if they’re not worrying about how they’re going to get back.

Conversation Spaces:

If you’re going to invite friends and family around, then you’ll want to create a space where conversation can flow. After all, that’s why you’ll be together! The issue is that many people’s homes aren’t all that conducive to conversation. For example, if your living room furniture is all pointing towards a television, then you’ll have inadvertently created a space that doesn’t lend itself to communication, rather entertainment. Instead, look at arranging your furniture so that they face each other. You’ll find that the conversation flows much more naturally.

Social Kitchens:

There will be times when you and your guests are in your living room. But if you’ve invited more than a couple of people over, then you’ll want to look elsewhere. In this day and age, the kitchen is the most popular social space in the house, and especially so if it’s an open plan kitchen. If you want to change your kitchen so that it’s more social ready, then take a look at the top rated remodelers near you. Open plan kitchens are perfect for those small casual gatherings, where people can stand and mingle.

In the Yard:

You’ll likely use your open plan kitchen for gatherings during the winter months. But in the summertime, it’s best to look at your yard. If you have some outdoor furniture, a BBQ, and a speaker, then you’ll have everything you need to spend many hours under the shining sun. You can go the extra mile by adding a fire pit (perfect for those slightly chilly evenings) and putting some outdoor children’s games, so that the whole family can get together to have a good time at your property!

Turn your home into a social hub with the tips above so that you are always in good company!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Preparing Your Backyard For Parties

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Preparing Your Backyard For Parties

After being tucked away from the cold this winter, it’s only natural to be daydreaming about warm weather, outdoor activities, and parties hosted from your own backyard. Not only are outdoor get togethers a lot of fun but they are much safer from a COVID perspective too. If you have hosting an outdoor gathering on the mind, think about the following as you make your preparations:

Set The Space:

If you don’t already have a patio in the backyard for lawn furniture, this could be a great project to undertake. Stone or terracotta tiles set in a pleasing arrangement can provide the perfect space to set up an outdoor dining arrangement for your cookouts. If you’re not keen on doing this yourself, there are sure to be lots of local professionals who can make this happen. Getting the driveway interlocking services will greatly elevate the curb appeal. It’s a win/win situation!

Outdoor Activities:

Enjoying the great outdoors with your friends is a good way to get active so take advantage of it! Badminton, volleyball, cornhole, croquet, and bocce ball are all sure to be a hit. Hosting tournaments for some friendly competition will definitely get you moving! If you and your guests have green thumbs, you could have a literal garden party and plant flowers or veggies together. Don’t forget the lemonade and finger food to snack on.

Add A Fire Pit:

Your new patio will also be a nice space to set up a fire pit for an evening get together. Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs while the sun sets is always fun and will provide a touch of warmth during those chilly summer nights. A fire pit can also serve you well in the wintertime too to sip hot chocolate and munch gingerbread cookies around.

Keep Pests At Bay:

There is nothing worse than getting bit up by mosquitos during an outdoor gathering so a supply of citronella candles will go a long way. You also might want to consider calling in local experts if you have a lot of burrow holes on your lawn. You don’t want anyone tripping and spraining an ankle during your volleyball tournament!

Spring and summer activities are not as far off as we might think! Put your daydreaming of fun in the sun to good use by preparing your backyard soon.

How To Create The Perfect Family Friendly Backyard

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How To Create The Perfect Family Friendly Backyard

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or simply want to revitalize your usual surroundings, revamping your garden to better suit your family’s needs can upgrade your property to no end. You should never allow your backyard to go to waste, as it offers the perfect opportunity for you and your little ones to get outside and immerse yourselves in nature! Thankfully, it couldn’t be easier to create the perfect family friendly garden, as there are just a few key steps that you can follow to turn your backyard dreams into a reality in no time. So, if you’re interested in finding out more, then read on to uncover some of the best tips and tricks that you can utilize today:

Always Prioritize Safety:

Your first priority when it comes to revamping your backyard should always be safety, as you need to be able to maintain ultimate peace of mind that your little ones are out of harm’s way whenever they head outside to play. Start by sourcing quality fence installation to secure the perimeter of your backyard so your children can’t leave the grounds without you knowing, nor do you want people from outside gaining access. Make sure there are no potentially harmful plants in your garden space, such as poison ivy or stinging nettles that could injure your children while they play.

Make Space For Play:

When crafting the ideal family garden, it’s important that you can make space for your children to play. Having nothing but empty green space will not motivate your kids to want to visit your backyard, so you need to encourage them somehow! Set up a play area with some fun equipment like a swing set, a slide, and a range of other exciting options that will keep them occupied for hours. Making play accessible will ensure that your children spend their waking hours laughing and joking outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, so get online and start searching for some suitable equipment.

Establish An Outdoor Dining Area:

Eating ‘al fresco’ or outdoors can offer a totally different experience to chowing down inside, especially when the sun is shining! You and your family can expect to benefit from a lot of different features when dining outdoors too, so it’s a win-win situation. Identify a spot that’s large enough to house a weatherproof table and chair set, away from low hanging trees and other things that may disrupt you while eating. Making the decision to set up a barbecue grill of some kind will take your family garden to a whole new level, as it will provide you with the opportunity to cook up a storm in the great outdoors.

There’s no time like the present to upgrade your backyard, which will provide you with lasting memories of joyous family time on a beautiful summer day!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keeping Safe At Home During A Heatwave

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Keeping Safe At Home During A Heatwave

When a heatwave strikes, everything becomes more dangerous. Spending too much time outdoors can lead to an array of serious issues, and many activities become off limits as a result of high temperatures or water limitations. It can be hard to figure out how to stay safe during a heatwave, especially if you haven’t had much experience with extreme weather in the past. Thankfully, there are a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of to protect yourself despite the unrelenting sunshine. Read on to uncover some of the most effective steps that you can follow to keep cool and calm this summer:

Protect Your Property:

Your home should act as a safe sanctuary during a heatwave and there are many different ways that you can create a cool, refreshing environment in which you and your family can stay refreshed and healthy. The color of your home’s exterior can contribute massively towards its overall temperature as dark colors are more likely to absorb the heat whereas light colors like white can reflect it.

It’s a good idea to invest in a set of shutters that you can install outside of your windows because once closed this will act as a barrier between your home and the intense sun outside. You will be able to keep your windows open to benefit from a breeze without filling the room with sunshine, so it’s the perfect solution for a hot day. Installing an air conditioning unit may be something that you want to consider, but it’s important to note that the unit itself will emit a lot of heat which can intensify under the harsh summer sun. Stick with a simple fan if you want a cooler breeze, which is also far more environmentally conscious.

Adapt Your Garden:

It’s absolutely vital that you make an effort to adapt your garden to better suit the heatwave and its risks, as there are certain features that can pose a serious danger in the event of severe sunshine. For example, leaving piles of old branches, leaves, and grass cuttings out to dry may have been an acceptable activity during the winter, but this can easily lead to a fire if you make such a mistake during a heatwave. You don’t need to read a property damage restoration FAQ page to know that a fire in your garden could spread to your house in less than a couple of seconds, so you must be vigilant and adapt your outside space to suit the extreme weather that’s headed your way.

Heatwaves can come with a few benefits, as it’s a great time to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables that thrive on the intense sunlight. Extra spicy chilies, sweet melons, and juicy tomatoes will be great in your garden, so you may as well make the most of the opportunity to get some home grown vitamins to power you through the heatwave!

Stay cool this summer by adapting your property to the extreme heat!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Garden Tours

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Garden Tours

Hi! My dad is, hands down, the best gardener in the world and has a million green thumbs. Whenever I’m over at my parents, I always enjoy our “Garden Tours”. My dad and I will walk through the backyard together and check on the progress of his flowers and veggies. There is something new to see every time and it never gets old! Take a look at some pics from our backyard stroll and keep in mind that it was all done by a man who recently broke his dominant arm. Like I said, my dad is the best gardener in the world. ❤

My dad’s garden is home to many creatures both real and fake. There are bunnies, butterflies, bees, and bats as well as all of the decorative birds, lizards, frogs, and gnomes! My niece loves to play outside and my dad is always on the hunt for new lawn decorations to surprise her with as she is partial to the fake flamingo he has. It is also so much fun to look for bunnies and butterflies with her. 🙂

A few weeks ago, we had a family visit to the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. The botanical gardens were splendid, but I don’t think they have anything on my dad’s backyard and I live for our Garden Tours. What a guy!

What are you growing in your garden? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Turn-Offs To Watch Out For When Buying A House

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5 Turn-Offs To Watch Out For When Buying A House

Buying a home is a milestone everyone hopes to achieve in their lives. Identifying and purchasing the house can be very difficult and having a visual of your perfect house will give you a good starting point during your search. If you choose to use an agent, you will probably have an easier time presenting your expectations to the agent and only waiting for a call for a house viewing. Searching the house by yourself can be pretty cumbersome. The research, house visits, and lengthy processes can take a toll on you; it can lead you to settle for much less than you deserve.

It is essential to be adept at critical warning signs that might help you assess the house’s condition so there are no surprises when you move in:

A Rugged Backyard and Garage:

If you are fortunate enough to get a house with a vast backyard and a garage, you need to check out their condition. See if you can put any additional structures for your use within the compound. If you prefer having additional storage or relaxing places, you should analyze and consult the experts on sheds near me to help you decide how you can set up your backyard. A beautiful shed will enhance the quality and appearance of your backyard.

The garage should also be in good condition to ensure your safety and security. Investigate the locks and doors to make sure everything is in working order.

Cramped Attic:

Most attics are usually rustic and quite cramped. Check out the walls and floors to figure out how you can utilize them in your home. There is so much potential in having a spacious attic and it could become the ultimate hang out in your new home!

Poor Quality on The Walls and Floors:

The walls and floors of a house will give you a heads up on the house’s condition; it is easy to distinguish a well-maintained house from a poorly maintained house from the walls. Peeled-off wall color or mold is usually not a good sign.

However much the owner may want to mask the actual condition through painting and varnishing, the cracks will always give away the actual house status. If you are unsure of how to identify faults in a house, bring along an expert who will point out any issues.

Leaking Roof:

The roof is usually among the forgotten elements in a house visit. You will most likely concentrate on the interior rather than the exterior but the roofing condition can come back to bite you if you are not keen on them. Analyze if the roof will need any repair or replacement lest you encounter leaking roofs after you have moved in.

Unserviced Mechanical and Electrical Systems:

A house typically runs on various mechanical and electrical systems. The plumbing system of the house needs a thorough inspection by a plumber. A flawed plumbing system discovered after moving in will ruin the new home excitement really quickly! You should also check on the electrical wiring and connections before you make your decision.

Finding a perfect house is a near-impossible job. There are some acceptable faults but having these five elements is a definite turn-off for the house and you shouldn’t settle.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Pansy Party 2.0

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Pansy Party 2.0

Hi! A few weeks ago, I planted a pansy patch in the front yard of my parent’s house with my dad and it was a hoot. I felt so proud of our handy work after we completed our project and smile every time I see the pretty blooms. We are still waiting to begin planting vegetables but, in the meantime, my dad has begun decking out our garden space with his vast collection of solar lights and statues. This past week, he upgraded our pansy patch to a fairy garden and I love the results! Check out the 2.0 version:

Not only is the landscaping of my parent’s yard beautiful with its flowers, dogwood tree, and raised planters but it is also filled with outdoor decor that offers adorable surprises throughout. There are an abundance of strand solar lights wrapping around trees and bushes and in ground ones that display a nightly “light show” in the yard. Not to mention his insect hotels, bird baths and houses, pinwheels, wind chimes, and bird, hummingbird, and butterfly feeders that provide perfect bird watching opportunities and the music of nature.

I was so tickled when I saw the 2.0 upgrade of our pansy patch because almost all of the decorations he chose for it were gifted by me! The fairy garden motif also was special to me because my dad and I had recently enjoyed looking at the employee fairy garden contest together at one of his physical therapy appointments. Seeing the little colorful mushrooms poking out among the flowers, solar lights, and garden gnome Godzilla brought me back to the Christmases and Father’s Days that I gifted these decorations to him and it was so nice to see him still using them a few years later.

I can’t wait to garden more with my dad and am looking forward to seeing how he upgrades our next project! ❤

What is your favorite flower? What is your favorite kind of outdoor decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

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Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

Trees can be an amazing addition to any outside space. In fact, this is such a wonderful little extra that it’s not unheard of for homeowners to ultimately make their decision to buy based on something like a lovely oak tree in a corner. Unfortunately, as amazing as they are, trees are also pretty extreme forces of nature. While this needn’t be a problem if your yard is large enough that they’re well out of reach, it could soon spell issues if your trees are up close and personal with your property.

Of course, you’re going to want to do everything that you can to avoid resorting to removal. Still, it’s vital to look out for these signs that your tree might be taking its toll on your house in the wrong ways:

Blocked gutters:

Autumn leaves can get everywhere, including into your gutters. This is the case no matter how much you sweep them up and, left unchecked, those autumnal remnants could well cause blockage issues that lead to everything from leaking pipes to damp interiors. To avoid this, it’s fundamental to rake leaves at least once a day in the fall, and also to install a drain cover that keeps the worst at bay. Make sure, too, that you invest in professional gutter cleaning or tackle this task yourself at least twice a year. That way, you can keep enjoying that tree, without once feeling its impact in your waterworks.

Overhanging branches:

Unlike flowers, trees grow wherever they want to, meaning that overhanging branches can soon become a problem. This can cause safety issues even in your own yard, but, most often, branches have a habit of growing over the garden fence. This can cause rifts with your neighbors like little else, especially seeing as they’re not legally allowed to chop those branches down. Make sure it doesn’t happen by getting any errant branches pruned at least every two to three years. This will instantly refresh your outside space, and might just ensure that you stay on the best terms with everyone else on your street.

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Structural damage:

Unfortunately, trees can also cause structural damage if surprisingly large tree root systems make their way under your property. If this happens, your structural foundations are at real risk, and immediate action is necessary if you notice warning signs such as cracks in your stonework, bulging walls, or uneven floors.

Luckily, tree surgeons can cut longer roots without damaging your tree itself, meaning that there’s no reason this needs to spell the end. Depending on where roots are, professionals may even be able to install root barriers that stop a repeat performance. However, this is dependent on fast action, because a tree that’s too deeply embedded underneath your house might need to go, after all.

Whether you spend much time in nature or not, trees can be an amazing addition to your yard. Or, at least, they can be if you stay vigilant of these key issues at all times!

Featured Image By: Pexels