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Deck out your deck

camrose deck outdoor plants

 

It’s that time of year again! When we all rejoice the great outdoors and spend all of our time taking in the warm weather and sunshine.

We cook our meals, dine, play and visit out in our yards and on our decks and patios. There are several ways to make your outdoor space feel more cozy and enchanted. Why not spruce it up a bit?!

  • Space Planning. Just like inside your home, divide your outdoor space into separate areas for the different activities you do outside. Plan separate areas for barbequing, visiting in a group, relaxing solo with a good book, sitting around a fire or for dining. If space doesn’t allow a specific area for all the activities you do, try to plan for some areas to act as both.
  • Define your space. Use an outdoor area rug to define seating areas. Not only do they enhance comfort and add color/pattern but they actually make it easier to slide chairs around.
  • Lighting. During the heat of the day it is wise to have umbrellas around to escape the heat into the shade. Umbrellas are great for dining areas or to provide a cool place for an afternoon siesta. For the evenings add some light by wrapping small lights into the trees or along the fence or house. Solar lights help to illuminate paths and flower beds and candles and lanterns add mood lighting.
  • Add some color! Summer is all about color so go crazy! Outdoor area rugs, chair cushions, pillows, table ware, planters… so many opportunities to spice things up!
  • Come on baby, light my fire! Some yards are large and allow space for a fire pit to build big, crackly fires to sit around out on the grass where other yards are smaller and may require a Plan B. Portable fire pits can be used out on the grass or on the patio/deck. If you are worried about sparks and smoke wreaking havoc on your cushions etc try using briquettes! They produce a comforting heat and glow without the smell and sparks.
  • Plant smart. In Alberta we have two seasons, winter and mosquito season! Plant to ward off the little demons and make your space a pest free zone. Sneak a few mosquito repelling plants into your flower beds or create a few planters that you can easily move around to suit your needs. The top five plants to send mosquitos packing are: lemon balm (aka: horsemint), basil, citronella grass, lavender and marigolds.

After a long, rough winter we owe it to ourselves to have an outdoor oasis to take in every waking moment of glorious sunshine!

Tegan Derksen