Category Archives: Outdoor Spaces

It’s Time for Flowers!!

It has been a long grueling winter for many of us in the upper midwest. Record snows. Massive rain fall. And should I even bring up the incredibly cold temperatures!! I hope to never see another Artic Vortex!

But…..now we can take a deep breath and get outside. With that comes flowers for your house. Oh how I love planting all kinds of color in my patio pots and watching them grow.

 

Besides color I really love the whispy feathery plants. They add so much softness and kind of stick randomly through the other flowers.

I have tall narrow urns by my front door and every spring I love trying a different greenery that drapes down the side of the pot. 

 

 

I have even gotten to enjoy the pots I have in the shade that are filled with a variety of greenery and no flowers.

In Minnesota, they tell you that you are safe to plant flowers after Mother’s Day as far as frost but beat the rush and head out and purchase them today!

 

 

Flowers and Bushes that Assist in the Fight Against Mosquitoes

 

With summer comes one bad thing…..mosquitoes! Oh I hate that annoying buzzing at your ear and the horrible itching at night.

There are seven plants that you can add to your patio to keep your guests and you more comfortable without applying layers of chemicals to your skin.

Lavender 

 

Rabbits and insects won’t even destroy this plant in your garden. And is there anything prettier than multiply lavender plants in bloom. Place them in varied height pots for a stunning eye catching look on your patio.

 

 

 

Marigolds

 

Marigolds are hardy and can make great borders or you can even add them to your vegetable garden.

 

 

Citronella Grass   

Citronella has a distinct smell and there is a reason most patio candles are citronella. It is the most effective at repelling pests. This plant is low maintenance and does best in pots as it cannot withstand frost.

 

 

Catnip

DEET is the chemical most commonly found in insect repellent but catnip was found to be 10 times more effective than DEET in a study at Iowa State University. It did not state if your yard would be filled with the neighborhood cats getting tipsy. 🙂

 

Rosemary and Basil  

These herbs are great repellents and plant extra so you can use them in your summer recipes.

 

 

Scented Geraniums

The favored scent seems to be lemon which is similar to Citronella Grass. These fast growing, plants have beautiful blooms and have a strong fragrance that keeps pests away.

 

 

 

When it’s time for planting season don’t forget to mix in an abundance of this plants for a natural deterrent to a mosquito problem.

 

 

 

Outdoor Fireplace Tables are Hot! Hot! Hot!

 

Yes, that pun was intended.       Outdoor gas fireplace tables are all the rage and you see them everywhere.

It started out that you saw them on the patios of upscale restaurants. Then you saw them on the patios of most restaurants. Now you are seeing them on many residential patios.

They have become so popular that furniture stores are selling them adding competition for the fireplace stores. I think they have become so popular because they are an added extension to your outdoor living space.   For a lot of us our outdoor summer season is short and we want to be outside as much as possible. With the gas fireplace table, your outside season just got longer!

The wood burning fire pits are nice don’t get me wrong. They smell SO good! But they can be a pain. You need to have them on a  surface that won’t burn or scorch, you have to buy or cut the firewood and then you need to make sure the fire is completely out before you walk away and leave it.

A gas fireplace is a quick turn of a switch and you have instant beautiful flames and when you are ready for bed you turn the switch off.

They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and price ranges.

I have to admit I got one a couple months ago. I really wasn’t sure if I would use it that much, especially in the heat of the summer, but I can honestly say it is my favorite area on my patio. Even on sunny warm summer evenings I have it on low for ambiance. When the cool nights move in this fall I will crank it up and I may even bundle up and sit around it on a nice winter day.

 

 

If you are drawn to the fire tables at restaurants and are thinking you have a spot to enjoy one, I wouldn’t hesitate if I were you!

Sit back and enjoy. I am….I am sitting on that chair right in front of you typing this blog post!