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Take it Outside Economically for Summer Living

When the weather is nice, it's time to take the inside to the great outdoors

Outdoor living, when the weather is great, is invigorating and refreshing. The trend of spending time and money on yards and entertainment spots continues to spiral upward. Each spring season, more ideas surface to aid in outdoor enjoyment at home.

In fact, many folks continue to vacation at home rather than hitting the airways and roads. Many will choose to spend a little extra money this year to upgrade the landscape, but there are some simple, less expensive ways to add punch to the patio.

Add a few plants in container or create new flowerbeds. Colorful annuals and perennials are not expensive and will expand quickly. Cannas are also fast-growing and beautiful even when not in flower.

Deck lights and defined pathways will create an entire new look and add drama for dusk and after-dark activities. Solar lighting is easy to install along walkways and around decks. Battery-operated flat deck lighting is also attractive and practical. String mini-lights in trees and along the fence. Most economical installations involve an outside electrical connection. If you have a water feature, add appropriate colored lights.

For the hottest parts of summer, misting systems are lifesavers. These have become an inexpensive way to expand back yard living. (Look for end-of-summer sales for next season).

Outdoor art is another way to spiff up the garden or a blank wall. Iron is hot, but there are plenty of composite art pieces available. Look for colorful rugs that are weather resistant.

Pavers can add up, but it's also easy to make your own with concrete forms available from home improvement stores. Be sure to wear proper gear when dealing with cement. It's labor intensive, but is a great family weekend project, especially when you add embellishments to the face of the pavers.

Be cautious with candles - citronella will flame if tipped over. Some stores now offer long-lasting faux candles that are beautiful without the risk of fire.

These are just a few economical suggestions for adding beauty and extending the life of your back yard.



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