Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ways to Pretty Up Your Outdoor Space

by Karen Rose Smith

This is the time of year I appreciate most when winter fades into a growing season that brings color back to the gardens. Once a home decorator, I enjoy freshening up and decorating outside, pretty up the patio and our outdoor space.  Here's how I go about it.


From plastic pots that looks like ceramic to actual ceramic to clay, they all pretty up a patio when filled with greenery and flowers. I like colorful plastic that looks like ceramic (WalMart always has a selection) because I can find bright colors. They are also easier to handle because they are lighter. We have a store called "Ollie's" that brings in a truckload of pots every spring.We have found some beautiful ceramic pots there for $10-15 in sizes from large to small. I prefer ceramic and plastic to clay because the clay pots don't hold water as well, especially as we move deeper into summer heat. Make groupings as you would with wall decorations around your patio furniture.  You can also add hanging pots on ground hooks for a different and lush feel.


Solar lights and decorative items add enjoyment to your patio time. Not only do we enjoy the glow when we're sitting on the patio in the evenings, but even when I'm in the house and look out at the patio in the dark, those soft glowing lights are welcoming. This solar cat is a new addition to our patio year and glows blue!


Each spring I look forward to hanging hummingbird feeders. It might take a little while for them to put you on their trail, but they'll find the feeders...especially if you plant phlox, zinnias, coneflowers and hummingbird mint in your gardens. It's an amazing sight to be sitting on the patio and having the hummingbirds flit from flowers to feeders. They're beautiful, happy little essences of nature.


Around the patio I try to plan gardens with blooming times in mind. I like to always have something blooming. In the spring, we go from daffodils and tulips to poppies and roses. Zinnias, phlox, marigolds and snapdragons see us through the summer.


Fountains can give a peaceful feel to your patio. We don't have our fountains on the patio itself, but close by in the garden where we can hear them. Fountains attract birds and hummingbirds.


Come spring, I hang an ornament...just for the fun of it... in the garden or from an overhang. It usually involves a lot of sparkle with beads.  My sister-in-law created the totem below with vintage glassware


Patio furniture can add pizzazz to your patio. But it doesn't have to be new or expensive. A can of spray paint can work wonders. Over 50 years ago, my dad gave my mom two patio chairs that are the most comfortable I've ever sat in.  Each year we refresh the color. For the past few years, this bright blue coordinates with the other blues on our patio. That chair gives me a sense of connection to the past.

We refresh our patio with flowers as well as items we've collected over the years.  It's a space for relaxation and peace and prettying up the space is a joyous undertaking each spring. I hope you enjoy your outdoor space as much as we enjoy ours.

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