Have Fun and Feel Good Feeding Your Feathered and Furry Backyard Friends this Winter

  Clad in soft downy plumage, the chickadee Fears no cold in its nest in the hollow of tree: And it comes to the garden to pick up the seed The dear little children cast out for its feed. - From “The Little Chickadee Warbler of the Winter Woods” by Isaac McLellan (1806-1899) Where temperatures are cold and the ground is covered in snow, feeding birds and squirrels is a very popular winter hobby. That’s probably because it takes so little time and effort to offer healthy, much-appreciated food to your backyard friends while simultaneously providing endless entertainment and educational... read more

Creating Cozy, Outdoor Conversation Nooks

  Finding the right feng shui for your deck can sometimes be a tricky business, because ultimately, you want your outdoor living space to offer at least a few different cozy seating areas for conversation. Achieving a comfortable balance between all your various deck features is key. After considering where to cook, dine, perhaps where to roast marshmallows or where to put your hot tub, you may be left wondering where you can simply snuggle into a couple of comfy chairs or a pair of soft chaises to relax with your family, a neighbor, a good book or a glass of wine. Here’s where the phrase... read more

Building a Deck or Updating a Patio Takes the Family Room Outdoors

When you’re planning on building a deck or thinking about a deck renovation or patio project, consider how you’ll use your outdoor living space. Outdoor kitchens are popular, but you might also consider creating an outdoor family room with a cozy seating area and warming fireplace. Outdoor family time is a great way for family members to reconnect with each other while also enjoying the outdoors. When you’re planning your outdoor family room, keep in mind that you’ll want to incorporate many of the elements your family enjoys in their indoor environment. Your inside family room probably... read more

Tips for accessorizing a deck on a budget

Building a deck from scratch or remodeling an existing deck with new railing? There are plenty of ways to make your wood deck or composite wood deck stand out—and it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.Here's a short list of cool and unique ways to make your deck area pop without breaking the bank:add unique features to railing with decorative post caps or postcoversincorporate metal or glass baluster infills to your deck railbuilt in bench seatingincorporate deck stone transitionsinstall low-voltage or solar deck lightingplace colorful plants on your deck and stairsincorporate colorful... read more

Top outdoor living and garden features for 2011

Top outdoor living trends for 2011 A survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects finds that light and fire are now the most sought-after enhancements for an outdoor living area. Fencing, arbors, and pergolas are the most popular structures, with decks (synthetic decking, lumber decking among others) ranking near the middle. Homeowners want function, efficiency and fire pits in their outdoor space, according to the 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Residential Trends Survey. The survey asked residential landscape architecture professionals to rate the expected... read more

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