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July 4th is a special day for the United States and many families will gather to enjoy good food, good laughs, and perhaps even a few fireworks. What better way to enjoy your Independence Day than by having your friends and family over for a pool party? The pool is a great place for people to gather, eat, talk, and have a fun evening. Additionally, the pool is also great for cooling off since the summer months are extremely hot. Here are a few ideas for a great pool party:
Start the party out right by having great decorations throughout your outdoor area. The pool might be the center of attention, but torches, streamers, and balloons can also accentuate it. No party is complete without a few decorations, so go all out and celebrate the birth of our nation by having a spectacular party.
Another great idea for a masterful pool party is to have good food. Patriotic dishes are always a hit around the 4th of July. Perhaps you could try your hand at a red, white, and blue ice cream cake? Ribs, burgers, and hotdogs are also staples of any good pool party.
Have you considered what type of entertainment you might have at your party? Sure the pool will be used, but what about some specific water sports-perhaps water volleyball or basketball? Maybe a good game of chicken is what the family needs? When the whole crew is together, be sure to utilize your pool in the best way possible.
Finally, be sure to take a few moments and reflect on this special time. Remember the men and women that have given their lives for our country and for our freedom and celebrate their efforts.
To maximize interest and make best use of your arbor or pergola you should consider training climbing plants with fragrant blooms to climb the structure. Not only do fragrant climbing plants provide additional protection from the sun, they also provide sweet to heady fragrances that can be enjoyed from late spring to mid-August, depending on the variety. In no particular order, here are six favorite plants for pergola and arbor cover.
When deciding which climbing plant (or plants) to use to cover your arbor or pergola you will want to consider how rapidly you want it to cover your structure, which color blooms you prefer to compliment your outdoor area, and if you prefer a sweet or heady fragrance. You will also want to think about the hardiness of the plant and the amount of sun available.
Now all that’s left is deciding on your favorite plants for your new pergola and arbor cover. Have fun!
Create additional interest in your outdoor living space by sprucing up your Atlanta backyard pool area with potted plants. Potted plant arrangements are an ideal solution because they can be easily changed based on your tastes and can be moved as needed.
Here are some great tips for creating potted plant arrangements around your pool:
Complement the Pool’s Design Features
Consider your space and the shape of the pool. Basic rectangular pools lend themselves to simple topiary style arrangements placed in planters at the corners and at midpoints along the perimeter. Curved or kidney shaped pools are well accented by planters placed on the curves.
Depending on the look you are attempting to achieve you can opt for simple pots or urns filled with a single flowering shrub or opt for a more elaborate approach by mixing a taller topiary surrounded by greenery and flowering plants.
If you live a very arid climate, consider using cacti varieties that thrive in your climate. You will also want to consider the amount of sunlight around the pool. This will help you determine which plant varieties will be successful in the area and require the least amount of maintenance, providing you more time to enjoy your outdoor living area.
Potted plant arrangements are a beautiful addition to any pool area, but you will need to think about how their placement will affect safety and maintenance. Large and sturdy planters will be difficult to move and may be difficult to work around when pool maintenance is required. You may want to consider placing potted plant arrangements on casters for easier mobility during maintenance or if additional room is needed for entertaining around the pool’s edge.
Another concern when it comes to maintenance is when the plants begin to lose leaves or blooms. If you select plants that lose their leaves or blooms, be prepared for that debris to fall into the pool, creating a need for additional cleaning of the pool and filter system. Consider low maintenance options like evergreens and cacti that do not create a lot of mess.
Whether you desire a Grecian inspired getaway or a tropical oasis, you can create the look you want by following these great tips for creating potted plant arrangements around your pool. Good luck!
Arbors and pergolas are beautiful on their own, but the addition of climbing plants and vines adds to that beauty, adds additional shade, and provides an opportunity to customize your backyard area. Training climbing plants and vines is simple once you know the different types of climbers and understand what will work with your design of arbor or pergola.
There are three main types of climbers: scramblers, clinging climbers, and twining climbers.
Now that you know how to train plants to climb your arbor or pergola, you can create a beautiful focal point in your backyard.
Kick back and relax with outdoor furniture that fits your particular taste and comfort levels. There is a wide variety of outdoor furniture choices available for you. Be sure to consider:
All of these questions are very important to ask when looking at outdoor furniture options. Below are some ideas to get you started on your hunt:
To the Beach – To remind you of waves splashing and beautiful sunsets, consider a beach-themed outdoor furniture design. You can use wicker, sea shells and natural woods combined with fabrics that are light green, tan or sea foam blue.
Big parties – For those who love to entertain, consider having outdoor furniture to accommodate a lot of guests without over-crowding your entertainment area. Choose bar stools, lounges, and even large bed-lounges as well as cushioned chairs and tables for dining or socializing.
Dark wood – For the feel of a remote lodge, opt for dark wood or rustic outdoor furniture that surrounds a fire feature. This provides a cozy setting for intimate gatherings.
Cushions – Consider durable fabrics that can be easily rinsed or cleaned but still have comfort and an attractive design. Large cushions are always a hit for guests, and you can use numerous small cushions in a variety of ways to decorate around your outdoor patio or pool.
Bar Area – You can have an island tiki bar or a very solid yet friendly bar that allows people to stand or sit on stools depending on their preference. The bar could be built-in or a stand-alone unit if you like.
Different Materials – There are several materials to choose from, the most popular being teak, redwood, cedar, iron, and wicker. Create a foundation that is consistent and then add variances of colors where appropriate.
Wheels – Adding wheels to your furniture can help you to organize and re-design on a whim. Plus the wheels make it easy to move furniture to safety in the event of a storm.
Are you ready to make backyard entertaining something to remember? Consider some innovative landscape design trends that will wow your guests!
Pool-side bars are always a hit. Why not take it up a notch by installing a swim-up bar? You can keep the party hopping inside the pool and create some terrific conversation as well. If you have an existing pool, consult with a professional on how best to install a swim-up bar. Be sure to consider the plumbing requirements, storage, electrical needs and trash disposal.
Gathering around a fire is a primal instinct. You can add a fire pit to your landscape or have a hearth with a fireplace as part of your outdoor living design. Fire is a great conversation starter and it helps to keep insects away.
Nothing says summer like a good barbecue. A custom outdoor kitchen barbecuing possible year round, in any weather. Outdoor kitchens can be designed around every budget range. Whether you create an extended patio with stone floors, custom cabinetry and granite countertops, or simply repurpose a pergola into a dining and food-prep area with a grill, furniture and a refrigerator- outdoor kitchens create the perfect gathering place for food lovers and make dining el fresco possible throughout the year.
If you’ve ever been to a drive in movie, you know first-hand the unique pleasure of watching a movie outdoors. With portable screens and projectors more affordable that ever, it’s easy to create a cinematic experience in your own backyard. Entertain your guests with summer classics like Jaws and The Beach while they float in the pool, or gather the kids around a campfire to make s’mores while watching the latest Disney movie. Backyard cinemas create a unique party experience that guests of all ages will love!
Nothing creates a mood quite like moving water. Whether you have a pool or choose stand-alone water features, these landscape options bring tranquility and relaxation to your backyard. Fountains, ponds and other types of water features are relatively easy to maintain and install to give your landscape a boost. Stones and rocks of various shapes and sizes can be incorporated into your landscape design to create texture and contrast and make for a perfect focal point and conversation piece.
If you are looking for a way to add beauty as well as function, you might consider adding an arbor to your backyard landscape. Arbors are a fun and creative way to accessorize your Atlanta outdoor living environment.
Two 4×4 posts (10 feet long)
Two 2×6 (6 feet long)
Two 2×6 (7 feet long)
Twenty-six 2×2 rails (45 inches long)
Eight galvanized lag screws
Tools: Jigsaw, Posthole Digger, Hammer, Drill, Ladder, Framing Square, Level
1. Start by using a posthole digger to dig 2 holes that are 2 feet deep. Place the posts into the holes and pour approximately 6 inches of gravel in the hole. Check the posts for proper straightness and then fill the hole with concrete.
2. Now, take your two 2×6 pieces of wood and cut them into 4 even sections. Using the drill, and the square, place these crossbeams on the front and back of the posts. Attach with the lag screws.
3. Using a jigsaw, shape the ends of your 7-foot 2×6. The design could be inspired by your home or an existing structure in your yard.
4. Using the galvanized nails, attach the 7-foot beams to your posts. Be sure that the 7-foot beams are perpendicular to the 3-foot crossbeams. Use a minimum of 2 nails per end.
5. Cut your 2×2 rails to proper length allowing each end to have approximately ½ an inch of overhang. Drive one nail through each end. Place another rail beside the existing rail to determine the proper spacing. Proceed until all rails are used.
6. Your arbor structure is now structurally complete. You can either stain or paint the arbor to match your home.
This arbor will serve as a great entrance to your backyard living space or as a unique place to hide away and read a good book.
Spring is the perfect time to get your home in tip top shape and clean as a whistle, but if you live in an area with hard water you may have unsightly hard water buildup on your windows. But there is no need to worry, there are solutions for removing hard water build up that are easy on you and your pocket book.
Hard water occurs when the water in the geographic area contains a high level of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. It is not a health risk, but does cause unsightly streaks and build up when not treated. Unfortunately, while you can install a water softener system in your home, there’s not much you can do about controlling the hard water buildup on the outside of your windows.
This is how to remove hard water build up from windows:
There are products on the market that are specifically manufactured to battle hard water buildup. A popular brand is CLR and can be used on a variety of surfaces. The liquid comes in a spray bottle version for convenience and in larger bottles with concentrated liquid that can be mixed based on the amount needed. You simply spray on the CLR or apply it with a sponge. Allow the CLR to sit on the windows for a few minutes, rinse clean, and dry with cloth or paper towels. Depending on the level of hard water buildup, you may need to repeat the process.
Easy on the pocketbook and using items probably already in your pantry, you can battle hard water build up. In a spray bottle mix equal parts water and vinegar. You can use regular white vinegar or cider vinegar. Since your area has hard water you will want to use water that has been through a water softener system or bottled distilled water for best results. Simply spray on, let it sit, and wipe clean. You may need to repeat the process depending on the level of buildup. For the best and streak-free results, use crumpled up newspapers or a squeegee for the final cleaning.
To avoid hard water buildup in the future, make sure to clean windows at the first sight of hard water buildup if possible. It is easier to remove when it has not had an opportunity to set and harden.
In an effort to maximize space home owners are venturing outdoors and creating additional living areas in their backyards. A pergola is a simple way to define additional living space and create a point of interest.
Traditionally, pergolas were square or rectangular garden features constructed of wood beams and used to guard grapevines from the sweltering sun. Today, they are still the same shape and construction, but provide an extra living area that can be used for outdoor entertaining.
Building a basic pergola is simple and there are several kits and plans available. However, based on your level of experience, you can modify and customize a pergola to fit your personal style and needs. To get started, follow these easy steps on how to build a pergola for your backyard.
Now that you know the basics on how to build a pergola for your backyard you can create an additional living space you will enjoy for years to come.
When it is time for you to design an outdoor kitchen, there are several considerations. To make the most out of your outdoor kitchen be sure to review these five things:
Your outdoor kitchen can be an exciting project. Make sure to plan properly so you get the most out of your outdoor cooking and dining experiences for years to come. Explore all of your design options first to determine what will work best for you.