Outdoor Decorating Tips

5 Small Details to Add to Your Garden

You might be saying that your garden cannot possibly look any better than it does at this very moment. You carefully planned ahead, so all your plants are balanced, and there is always something blooming. So, you may already have an enchanted display. After all, nothing can compare with natural beauty. However, there are a few elements that can take that stunning visual display to the next level. You might not believe it now, but you will as soon as you add one of these elements.

1. Solar Garden Stakes – Do your flowers pretty much become invisible at night? They just fade into the darkness, totally unappreciated until day break. Solar garden stakes change everything. Place them amongst blooming flowers, so even at night you can see their beauty. Since solar garden stakes feature LEDs, you don’t have to worry about a hot light casing bothering delicate flowers. When placed along edges of flower beds they reduce the risk of guests trampling them in the darkness, too. 

2. Solar Fountains – You very well may already have a gorgeous water feature on your deck or patio. You might even have a large tiered one acting as a focal point in your front yard. This is great, but you can never have too many. A solar fountain placed in a garden or flowerbed breathes new life into the space, even if you didn’t think it needed it. Plus, it will attract pollinators to drink, which is always good news for blooming plants.

3. Statuary – Everything from garden gnomes to frogs to gargoyles falls in this category. There is nothing quite like walking along a sidewalk and noticing a charming piece or statuary in a totally unexpected place. Even if you are the only person to ever see it, it is sure to invoke a smile.

4. Toad Habitat – It does not matter if you buy or build a toad habitat, it will definitely be the topic of conversation with your guests. Toad habitats are super trendy right now. You can even create a small pond to complement the house, and there are a ton of tutorials online for creating one. Toads are the easiest method for keeping damaging insect populations under control.

5. Fairy Garden – Like toad habitats, fairy gardens are on everyone’s to-do list these days. You can set a planter, or whatever you want to use, on the soil, and create your fairy garden on it.

Animal Statuaries To Lend A Touch Of Cheer To Your Backyard

Make your garden or backyard your own personal oasis where you can get back in touch with nature by adding your favorite animal statuary.  These carefully crafted cast stone garden statues can also be used to personalize your outdoor sanctuary with a touch of wild and natural beauty. Animal statues add character to your outdoor space and will charm your guests. Place it nestled among the plants, besides a water feature or pond or tuck it away in a forgotten patio corner, these delightful animal statues are sure to lend a touch of cheer.

Champion
The Champion will make the perfect fit for someone in your life. It is a beautiful and majestic bust of a horse; place it outdoors for an elegant focal point, or perhaps on a shelf for added decoration. This also makes a great gift idea for any horse lover.

Queenie Cat
Small in size, but big on character, the Queenie Cat will add a fanciful touch to your garden. Her majestic personality shines so clearly through in this wonderful statuary, sure to be recognized by all cat lovers. The premium cast stone construction and authentic finish will ensure that this playful statue will enhance your décor for years to come.

Proud Pup 
This adorable, cast stone Proud Pup will add a fanciful touch to your garden. You will look at this adorable statue and think of your very own puppy, carrying a stick, and begging you to play with him. Enrich any outdoor setting with this one of a kind statue.

Seahorse 
The Seahorse will add an element of playfulness to your own garden or yard. Head tucked and tail curled, this magnificent, cast stone statue makes a wonderful accent for a pond or pool area. Your guests will delight in the seahorse’s grace beautifully captured in this garden statue.

Birds On A Log  
This friendly Birds On A Log will give your porch or patio a warm welcome. It’s incredible detailing will make everyone wish they had their own. Enjoy the character this wonderful garden statue will add to your setting.

Merrie Little Owl
The Merrie Little Owlis sure to bring a smile to each and every garden visitor’s face. The attention to detail and quality craftsmanship of this piece is exceptional. This beautiful statue is available in your choice of distinct finishes.

Rabbit On A Rock 
Delightfully appealing, the Rabbit On A Rockwill liven up any water pond, patio, or garden. This ultra strong quality garden statue represents the highest level of design, engineering, construction, and materials. Make a unique personal statement in your home or garden.

Tortuga Turtle 
This detailed Tortuga Turtle will make an exciting focal point when placed in a flower bed amongst your beautiful blooms, causing viewers to be quite surprised at the lifelike appearance of this little statue. Proudly designed and manufactured in the United States from premium cast stone concrete.

Sleeping Fawn 
Add a whimsical touch to your home or garden with this charming Sleeping Fawn. Full of intricate detail, it will look wonderful on a pedestal out amongst your garden blooms and greens, or on a patio setting. Constructed from premium fiber reinforced cast stone concrete, this quality garden statue represents the highest level of design, engineering, construction, and materials.

Old Crabby 
The adorable cast stone Old Crabby will add a fanciful touch to your garden. Looking as if he is daring someone to “make his day,” this grouchy old crab keeps an eye out from his favorite rock. The ideal size for any garden, this little creature is small enough to fit into smaller patio and terrace landscape themes, yet large enough to be noticed wherever you place it.

Dragonfly 
Place the Dragonfly within your home or yards to always have a friend watching over you. This beautiful statue sits upon a replica of a rock, just as you would see him in your back yard. This hand crafted statue is perfect addition for any garden or home.

Cat Chasing Ball 
This Cat Chasing Ball is sure to add an interesting and exciting feature to your garden setting. This statue is sure to get noticed and be enjoyed by all, it also makes a really nice and unique gift as well. It makes an adorable and fun display for your home or garden.

Snail
Notice the exceptional detail in this beautiful Snail! The shell of this refined statue has a subtle ribbed texture with curving lines that lead to the center of its spiral shell. Exceptional detail and quality craftsmanship is evident in this magnificent piece.

Autumn Chipmunk 
A wonderful way to welcome your guests, the Autumn Chipmunk is a charming addition to any home, garden, or patio. Gathering nuts for the winter, the statue carries his bounty in his little arms as he sits atop a small rock. Add a whimsical touch to your home or garden with this charming accent piece.

Penguin
From the detail in the facial features of the Penguin down to his feet, this statue is sure to be a favorite in your home or garden. This adorable, cast stone statue will add a fanciful touch to your garden. Imagine this one of a kind statue greeting every visitor who walks into your home!

Mousie 
With the wide selections available for the Mousie you can make him look just like you’ve very own pet! He is designed to appear like as a real mouse, and features stunning attention to detail. The perfect gift or addition to your home.

The Thinking Man’s Frog
The Thinking Man’s Frog is a beautiful statue that will be a welcome addition to your yard. An amphibian version of Rodin’s “The Thinker,” it will liven up any water pond, patio, or garden. The rich detail is evident in every element of this magnificent cast stone statue.

Enjoy Your Outdoor Space at Night with These Essentials

If you plan on doing a lot of outdoor entertaining this spring and summer you want to make sure that you and your guests are safe and comfortable. There are certain essentials you need and things to keep in mind to accomplish this.

Solar Lights
Proper lighting is crucial. First, it is definitely nice to be able to see who you are talking to and if the noise you hear by the trash cans is a raccoon or the neighbor’s dog. Second, it is important that guests be able to see steps to the porch and patio, as well as edges of flower beds and uneven sidewalks. Solar lighting will help                  .

Thanks to the sun’s rays, you no longer need to fuss with electrical wiring to illuminate your outdoor living space. Solar lights come in a variety of sizes and styles. There are even atmosphere bowls that change colors and are perfect for entertaining.

Heat
No one is going to be comfortable if they are cold. A heat source for your patio is essential. If you want warmth and ambiance, go with a fire table, fire bowl, tabletop fireplace, or chiminey. If you are strictly looking for warmth check out patio heaters. They come in an array of styles and some even have their own built in table for guests to set their drink on. If you do not have a lot of floor space or you are concerned about your rowdy friends knocking it over, get an infrared wall-mounted heater.

Mosquito Repellent
No one wants to deal with mosquitoes, but few people will want to spray down with awful smelling repellent either. Make sure you have citronella candles. You may also want to consider bio ethanol tiki torches strategically placed around the entertaining area and use citronella fuel. There are lanterns that also repel mosquitoes, but they are not as effective or stylish as the torches.

Garden Fountains
You may be wondering why you need a garden fountain at night. Well, you can appreciate the beauty and sound any time, and it will help create a relaxing ambiance. Also, if you choose one with LEDs, it will complement your collection of solar lights nicely. Lastly, they will help mask noise. So, if you have a noisy neighbor that you know is eavesdropping on your conversation you do not have to whisper so quietly that you can barely hear one another. The sound of cascading water will create a nice barrier between you and your neighbor.

 

Add a bird bath or a bird feeder to your yard and enjoy the sounds of fluttering wings, splashing waters and bird songs.  A bird bath is a piece of garden art you can use in creative ways.  You can cover the bottom of the bird bath with pebbles for a more natural look.  These will also also provide traction birds need for sure footing. You can decorate a  bird bath with fresh flowers , just cut the stems of the flowers to fit in the bird bath and remove them when they fade. Make sure that the water is clean for the birds and other animals to drink and bathe in.

Achla Designs Double Cattail Birdbath

The Achla Designs Double Cattail Bird Bath Has beautiful life-like cattails of iron that holds decorative copper dishes for the birds to enjoy bathing or feeding. A protective powder-coat finish ensures lasting great looks.

Raccoon Birdbath

The Al’s Garden Art Raccoon Birdbath is surely make your backyard or garden more peaceful and inviting to wildlife. You will definitely enjoy the wonder of this accent piece just as much as the neighborhood birds will enjoy bathing and playing in it.

Achla Designs Scallop Shell Birdbath

One of many birdbaths from a large selection of birding related products. Achla designs offers birdbaths, birdhouses and a wi support system. Birdbaths come in a choice of several materials, colors and price points.

Blenheim Two Tier Solar Birdbath

The Blenheim 2-Tier Solar Birdbath is a great solar powered water feature from Smart Solar. This is a nature-friendly tiered outdoor fountain that is so refreshing and inviting. Having this water fountain in your outdoors will create a focal point in any setting. The solar panel does not store energy for use at night or during overcast conditions. You may also add rocks to make your fountain unique.

Alpine Red Metal Birdbath 

Alpine Red Metal Birdbath was hand-crafted out of ceramic and finished in rich brick red glaze. This fountain is decorated with a bird perched on each side of the bowl. This fountain will bring you the benefits of water fountain while having a unique piece in your home or garden.

Alpine Ceramic Frog Bird Feeder

The Alpine Ceramic Frog Bird Feeder will bring harmony, good fortune and vibrance of natural world to any environment. A mesmerizing and enchanting experience, these striking pieces feature intricate carvings that are certain to catch a few second glances. This fountain will bring you the benefits of water fountain while having a unique piece in your home or garden.

Stone Cast Fairy Birdbath 

Encourage wild birds at your vicinity and have the calming as well as rejuvenating feel staring at all of them consuming at this Stone Cast Fairy Birdbath. It is made perfect for your garden to add much more stylish surroundings that will definitely draw in your visitors.

Alpine 14″ Ceramic Bird Bath

The Alpine 14″ Ceramic Bird Bath will let you enjoy the tranquil sounds of this sophisticated outdoor fountain. This will bring you the benefits of water fountain while having a unique piece in your home or garden. This fountain also acts as a natural humidifier through the constant release of small water particles in the air.

Alpine Ceramic Bird Bath

The Alpine Ceramic Bird Bath is made from ceramic, its glossy polish makes it ore eye-catching. It’s the best way to attract wildlife to your garden. The harmony and tranquility surrounding this wonderful creation is worth the money spent on it.

Achla Designs Polished Copper Birdbath

The Achla Designs Polished Copper Birdbath is  brilliant 16-Inch diameter by 4-Inch diameter hammered stainless steel birdbath with copper plating and will be an instant conversation piece amongst your guests.

 

5 Classic Outdoor Pieces that Are Back In Style

They say that if you wait long enough, everything comes back in style. This goes for furniture and décor, too. Of course, the five elements on this list never really went “out” of style; they are simply seeing a huge rebirth in popularity.

  • Benches – These pieces are so popular because they are simple but stylish, and interesting yet practical. Benches are ideal to place virtually anywhere. Nicer ones with swing canopies or those made of eucalyptus can be used as your primary seating on your patio or covered front porch. Those made of wrought iron are perfect to use to create a sitting area in the middle of a flower garden. Some people also like to put them by the backdoor or in the mudroom so everyone has something to sit on while putting on or taking off shoes. You do not even need to use benches for their intended purpose. Many simply use one as an accent piece in their landscaping.
  • Chimineas – Years ago you could visit every home in any neighborhood and you would find a large percentage with a chiminea fireplace. Of course, back then they were made of clay or terra cotta and often cracked with time from the heat. Once they cracked, many folks used them as planters or decoration in the garden. Modern chimineas made of cast aluminum, and are gorgeous and much more durable than early styles.
  • Lanterns – There is something about a lantern that is very inviting. Lanterns were replaced with more modern lighting solutions for a while but they are back and better than ever, because now they come in solar varieties. These practical lighting solutions are powered by the sun’s rays. This means they go anywhere. You do not need an electrical outlet or extension cord, and you don’t have to worry about seeing an increase in your bill.
  • Rain Barrel – It is a shame that people simply forget about rain barrels for a very long time. Sure, some folks have continued to use them all this time, but most haven’t. Interestingly, some of the younger generation thinks this is a new concept! As society becomes increasingly concerned with natural resources and water conservation they look for ways to do their part. A rain barrel is a positive change that is easy to use. Plus, today they are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Some even have wheels to drag around your yard to water your flowers.
  • Weathervane – Even folks who have no idea what a weathervane is meant to be used for are adding them to their landscaping. Modern weathervanes are available in an assortment of styles. Old ones often had a rooster on top. Although rooster weathervanes are still available, there are also some that showcase a dog, cat, witch, eagle, American flag, sailboat, golfer, horse, fish, angle, biplane, rifle, wine bottle, martini glass, and motorcycle, just to name a few.

 Fire Pits For Your Backyards

Fire Pits are an amazing way to enjoy outdoors and have a fun, safe and warm time with your family and friends regardless of the temperature outside.  These outdoor fireplaces can be moved to wherever you want it to be. You can even add a cooking rack and have an outdoor cookout that’s going to be huge hit with guests and family. What better way to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of hot cider than around a fire in the great outdoors?

Chilly nights won’t force you inside when you bring home Nuriel Outdoor Gas Fire Pit with Stained Glass Top. This square fire pit features a round triple-paned glass top with decorative fire glass beads at the center for a striking display. It made to last from durable aluminum, this fire pit is topped with tile in a stunning Art Deco style.

Perfect for pairing with your outdoor deep seating collection, the Aidan Outdoor Gas Fire Pit with Tile Top makes a great centerpiece for enjoying a night outside. The four-sided fire pit gives you ample room for gathering with friends and family, and flames will flicker above the top, allowing you to even roast hot dogs or cook marshmallows when gathered together to enjoy the heat. This fine fire pit has a contemporary style that you and your guests will love.

Let the Xander Outdoor Gas Fire Pit with Tile Top take the bite out of those chilly nights. Constructed from rustproof polished cast aluminum, this gas-powered fire pit features a durable powder-coat finish, with an exquisite pattern adorning the exterior. With flames lapping around the included lava rocks, this fire pit is just the thing to make some warming memories.

The Sierra Firepit Table with Ledgestone and Supercast Top in Mocha Finish will keep your garden or backyard attractive and inviting. This wonderful firepit will provide you an elegant centerpiece for any season. The table top is constructed with specialized Supercast material, designed to prevent easy chipping and cracking. Its realistic stone and rugged look is proven to be perfect for outdoor use

Nothing beats sitting around the fire with loved ones, and you can have years of that feeling with this Real Flame Morrison Fire Pit. This firepit comes with spark screen, log poker tool and vinyl protective storage cover that helps you push logs and sticks around without getting burned. Made of heat resistant powder coated steel frame and complemented with natural slate tile top, this piece is both attractive and durable.

Boys and their Toys, Grill ‘em

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but as it turns out there’s also the grill. Grilling outdoors is something, to them, that is easily associated with a good time: beer with the boys over hamburgers or grilling on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Now grilling has never been more a more beautiful experience with technology adding more features to the traditional grill. And the even better part is that he’s cooking.

HotSpot Space 800 Charcoal Grill 

Combining attractive form with expertly designed multiple function, the HotSpot Space 800  Grill is the ultimate charcoal grill that is built to last a lifetime. This contemporary unit combines a modern BBQ grill with a traditional fire pit. Constructed of pressed steel and the highest quality 304 grade stainless steel, this sturdy grill is fully adjustable for different cooking temperatures. The unique grill swings away for easy fire building and cleaning.  Comes complete with two chopping boards.

Grilltech Terrace Fire Pit 

We are pleased to offer the finest in British design and quality in the Grilltech Terrace Fire Pit.  Constructed of pressed steel and stainless steel, this sturdy and attractive fire pit is built to last.  The Terrace Fire Pit features a generous 31.52” diameter fire bowl. Comes complete with dome spark screen.  Add the Grilltech Terrace Fire Pit to your patio today!

 22″ Folding Fire Pit

Our folding fire pit features 22″ heat resistant painted steel fire bowl and folding legs for easy portability.  This fire pit comes complete with heat resistant mesh fire screen, a wood grate and cooking grate.  Also included is a carrying bag and screen lift tool.  Add the 22″ Folding Fire Pit to your barbecue collection today. 

Grilltech Space Fire Pit 800

The finest in British design and quality can be found in our Grilltech Space Fire Pit 800.  Constructed of pressed steel and stainless steel, this sturdy and attractive fire pit is built to last a lifetime.  This unique fire pit features a patented leaf shape adjustable height swing out grill. The adjustable ventilation system enables the user to craft the perfect size fire for any occasion.  A removable ash trap makes clean up a snap.  Add the Grilltech Space Fire Pit 800 to your backyard today!

HotSpot Terrace 600 Charcoal Grill

The HotSpot Terrace 600 Grill is the perfect size for any patio. This contemporary unit combines a modern BBQ grill with a traditional fire pit. Constructed of pressed steel and stainless steel, this sturdy grill is fully adjustable for different cooking temperatures. The unique grill swings away for easy fire building and cleaning.  Comes complete with chopping board

 Make Your Patio More Inviting with These 5 Things

When you invite everyone over in the warm months do they typically make an excuse to gather somewhere else? Does everyone pop by unexpectedly at your friend’s house, but never at your home? Maybe your outdoor living space is not as inviting as you think it is. Sure, you have nice furniture and an expensive grill, but how inviting is it? Here are five must-haves if you want to create a cozy outdoor space. 

Patio Umbrellas – Patio umbrellas should be right up at the very top of your shopping list. People need relief from the heat of the sun, and no one wants to have to strain their eyes to see while they are trying to relax. Plus, your fair-skinned friends definitely do not want to get burned. Ideally, the umbrella will be large enough to shade the sitting area. You may also want to consider one with a tilt feature to block the sun at different angles throughout the day.

Rug – Whether you have a concrete patio or a wood deck it probably gets pretty hot during the day. Not to mention, these are not very inviting surfaces to bare toes. Add a nice decorative outdoor rug so guests can kick off their flip-flops and tan those white marks on their feet.

Water Fountain – Water features are much more than decorative pieces of art. Sure, they create a beautiful visual display but the sound they make transforms your patio into a very tranquil place. Plus, that soothing sound also masks undesirable noises from the neighborhood that could be disruptive.

Fireplace – When the sun goes down are guests forced to go inside because it is cold? They wouldn’t if you had an outdoor fireplace. It doesn’t even have to be cold to enjoy a dancing flame. The fire creates an inviting and relaxing atmosphere. Right about now you are probably saying that your neighborhood does not allow fires, right? Well, you may not be able to create smoke, but you can certainly enjoy a fire fueled by gel or bio ethanol. Both are clean-burning and do not create smoke.

Bug Repellent – No one wants to deal with biting insects, but they don’t necessarily want to load up on bug repellent either. There are natural products you can spray around your property to make the environment less attractive to bugs. You can also use tiki torches and citronella candles.

     Double Duty Outdoor Furniture and Décor

    Many people do not realize that there are outdoor pieces that are as functional and practical as double duty furnishings used inside the home. These are things that you really get your money’s worth out of because they play different roles. If you like the idea of making the most of your outdoor furniture and décor, you will love the items on this list.

    Fire Tables – Who knew a gorgeous, modern fire element could be so practical? Just as their name implies, fire tables incorporate an eco-friendly fireplace with a table. This brings new meaning to “sitting around a fire.” Since these fires are smokeless you can gather around the table with friends and not end up with smoke in your eyes every time the wind blows. Plus, everyone has a place to set their drink. Obviously, when  it is not lit it is a fully functioning table.

    Patio Heaters – Not all patio heaters serve an alternative purpose. In fact, most don’t. However, there are some available that have a table around them. These are super popular for patios at bars, clubs, and other social environments.

    Bench – Do you have a bench in your entryway that hides all the hats and mittens? Perhaps there is one in your child’s room that holds toys. Well, an outdoor bench with storage capabilities is perfect for the patio, too. Pillows, blankets, citronella candles, plastic cups, and napkins can all be stored inside the bench. Just make sure you do not keep anything opened in there that bugs can get at.

    Overhead Rafters – Okay, obviously overhead rafters are not classified as furniture or décor, but they do serve a few purposes. First, they add a very cool gazebo effect to your deck or patio. Second, you can install waterproof fabric between the rafters to provide shade. Third, install heavy duty hooks in the rafters for a vertical garden or to hang paper lanterns for a party.

    Decorative Rugs – The selection of gorgeous outdoor rugs has grown significantly in recent years. Simply putting a small rug in front of the door is no longer acceptable. Large decorative rugs add the perfect finishing touch on your outdoor space. They hide dirty concrete or faded and peeling decking and they prevent toes and paws from being burnt on the hot surface. If you place a path of rugs you don’t even need to wear your flip-flops out there.

     

    7 Things Your Garden Wishes it Could Tell You

    Do you talk to your plants? Maybe you plead with your flowering dogwood to tell you why it’s dying, or you give a pep talk to those asparagus plants that don’t look like they are going to amount to anything this year. Well, if you do, you certainly are not alone! Plenty of people talk to their plants and trees. Unfortunately, they never get a response. However, if your plants could talk, there are a few things they would definitely want you to know. 

    1. You Give Us too Much Water – Your garden does not need as much water as you probably think. Too much water is almost worse than not enough because standing water leads to rot, mold, and fungal disease. So, put down the hose, and no one gets hurt!

    1. We Want an Outdoor Water Fountain with Pool – Plants don’t want to be drowned in water, but they sure love being next to an outdoor water fountain with pool. First, the wind will blow some of the water as mist to cool nearby plants on a hot day. The humidity is especially welcomed in dry climates. Second, an outdoor water fountain with pool will invite pollinators to drink, which is good news for the plants relying on cross-pollination.

    1. We Appreciate Mulch – A protective layer helps reduce water evaporation and stops top soil from washing away in rain. Plus, it reduces weeds that plants have to fight with for nutrients.

    1. We Would Appreciate if You Had the Soil Tested – Rather than trying more nitrogen, then more phosphorus, etc., just get the soil tested and eliminate the guessing game. When you know what the pH levels are, you know exactly what your garden needs to thrive. 

    1. We Weren’t Planted at the Right Time – Stop blaming the plant for not blooming at the right time or not producing a large harvest. You may have planted them at the wrong time. Create a planting calendar, so you don’t just plant whatever you feel like on your day off and get mad when they don’t do what you want.

    1. We Get Hungry Sometimes – You need to know when your plants need to be fed, but don’t overdo it. If you see that your plants are struggling, adding a bunch of random fertilizer could make things worse. Amend with plenty of organic matter to start, and feed appropriately, as needed.

    1. We Hate Pesticides – Chemicals are not the answer, especially if your mission is to kill every bug you see. Understand that there are beneficial bugs that plants rely on. Plus, all those chemicals destroy the perfect pH balance you worked so hard to achieve. Choose natural methods.

    Top 5 Bonsai Trees to Zen-Up Your Space

    Do you ever wonder why spas, massage parlors, and even east-inspired restaurants take pride in the experience? It’s because Zen is the name of the game. Zen is associated with tranquility, meditation, or something that connotes peace and calm. While you may not have the whole nine yards of a Zen space, you can still opt to accentuate your living space with Zen bonsai trees because there’s nothing like a petite beauty of nature.

    Your Top 5 Zen Bonsai Trees are:

    1.  Sago Palm Indoor Bonsai Tree

    2.  5 Year Green Mound Juniper in Rock Container

    3. 7 Year Chinese Ligustrum Outdoor Bonsai Tree

    4.  10 Year Chinese Elm Cascade Bonsai Tree

    5.  10 Year Japanese Maple Outdoor Bonsai Tree

    Hammocks Are Perfect For Naps

    Hammocks promote a more restful sleep by cradling your body and rocking you to sleep, helping you achieve a greater quality of sleep and allowing you to wake up feeling more refreshed. A hammock can be placed anywhere and easy to install. You don’t even need a tree to enjoy one, some hammocks comes with portable stand. Hammocks are available in many styles, materials and comes in different sizes. If you are looking for a traditional hammock, you may want to browse our Rope Hammocks collection. Rope hammocks are strong and sturdy, offering great comfort and style. Some hammocks are made of fabrics that come in a variety of colors and prints. Fabric Hammocks are easily portable and can be used outdoors or indoors. Made of weather resistant fabric, a Quilted Hammock is the ultimate combination of quality,comfort and luxury.

    Rope Hammocks

    The Algoma 13′ Single Polyester Rope Hammock is the classic backyard hammock for one! This longer length hammock allows for extra leg room, perfect for Dad to stretch out and enjoy a restful afternoon.  Polyester construction makes it extra durable to the elements. Enjoy the look, feel, and comfort of this soft polyester hammock.

    Fabric Hammocks

    Relaxation is not confined to four walls now! With Bliss Hammock EZ Stow Portable Hammock with Stand , you can experience the ultimate comfort even when outdoors. Read a good book or magazine, chat with your loved one, listen to your iPhone and many others in your garden or pool area. This Bliss Hammock EZ Stow Portable Hammock with Stand  is clearly a piece of furniture you should not miss!

    Who doesn’t want a nice and comfortable Saturday afternoon? Bliss Hammock Quilted Hammock with Polyester Pillow with “S” Stitch is perfect for those who want to relax and unwind. Enjoy outdoors with this durable and convenient hammock. With many available colors to choose from, Bliss Hammock Quilted Hammock with Polyester Pillow with “S” Stitch will surely match with its environment.

    Thoughtful Extras for Your Outdoor Living Space

    Some people simply put a few chairs on their patio, and they are ready for spring. You can enjoy your outdoor living space even if it is not decorated thoughtfully, but why would you want to? This space should be an extension of your home. This is your opportunity to have a little fun with colors, patterns, and décor pieces that will not complement the inside of your home. You do not need a huge budget either. You may be surprised at what you can find at a reasonable price. Below are thoughtful extras that will add the finishing touch to your patio and landscaping.

    Garden Planters

    Garden planters should be thought of as an investment. You can buy fairly cheap plastic ones in the store that are “cute,” but by mid-season they are already starting to fade, and may even be cracked from the dog knocking them over. It is not his fault they are so light!

    Rather than buy cheap garden planters that you need to replace at least once a season, purchase quality ones instead. Those made of cast stone are ideal. Plus, you will not have to feel bad about all that plastic ending up in landfills.

    Garden Statuary

    One can never have too much garden statuary. You can place pieces on your patio and porch, and in your garden and flower beds. You can even put one by the mailbox to make your mailperson smile every day. There are small unexpected details that catch the eye and make the space more interesting. Hot trends in garden statuary include Buddha heads, fairies, gargoyles, and globe stakes. The great thing about statuary is that it does not all have to match!

    Outdoor Canvas Art

    Most people do not even know outdoor canvas art exists, so when you add it to your outdoor living space; you create a nice “wow” factor. These pieces look just as nice as a painting you would hang inside your home except they are given a special coating that makes them weather and UV-resistant. They simply mount on the exterior wall of your home, garage, shed, or cabana.

    Rugs

     Outdoor rugs will invite guests to kick off their shoes and welcome sun on their toes. You may be quite surprised at how extensive the selection of outdoor rugs actually is. Some are nice enough to fit right in even the most well-appointed indoor space, only they are made for the outdoors, and easily spray off with a garden hose

     

    Having a fire pit in your backyard will extend the enjoyment of your outdoor space for you and your guest. A fire fit provides warmth, light, cooking source and an inviting ambiance.  Man has always been drawn to fire and adding a fire pit creates a natural gathering spot for socializing, relaxation and entertaining.  A fire pit can be a stunning and functional focal point with its campfire-like atmosphere, creating unforgettable memories of story-telling and laughter over grilled steak, roasted marshmallows and sausages and cold beer.

    Fire Pits | Functional, Versatile and Elegant

    Nothing beats sitting around the fire with loved ones, and you can have years of that feeling with this Real Flame Morrison Fire Pit. This fire pit comes with spark screen, log poker tool and vinyl protective storage cover that helps you push logs and sticks around without getting burned. Made of heat resistant powder coated steel frame and complemented with natural slate tile top, this piece is both attractive and durable.

    The Tripod Fire Pit uses our patented Crystal Fire Burner. With just the push of a button, a captivating and relaxing glowing fire will appear atop a bed of tempered, tumbled glass. And you can change the look of your crystal fire by adding an optional logset or colored glass.

    We are pleased to offer the finest in British design and quality in the HotSpot Urban 650 Fire Pit.  Constructed of pressed steel and stainless steel, this sturdy and attractive fire pit is built to last.  The Urban 650 Fire Pit features a 24.82” diameter fire bowl. Comes complete with dome spark screen. Enhance your patio with the HotSpot Urban 650 Fire Pit!

     Let your summer nights be more elegant and relaxing by sitting around this Granite “Chat Table”. Made with first class granite stone that can stand for years. This table is easy to maintain and clean. Recommended for any setting, this fire pit table will add elegance to your outdoor space!

    The Sierra Firepit Table with Ledgestone and Supercast Top in Mocha Finish will keep your garden or backyard attractive and inviting. This wonderful firepit will provide you an elegant centerpiece for any season. The table top is constructed with specialized Supercast material, designed to prevent easy chipping and cracking. Its realistic stone and rugged look is proven to be perfect for outdoor use.

     

    Outdoor Planter Guidebook

     

    Planter Set

     

    Table of Contents

     

    Introduction

     

    Pots and Planters…Are They the Same?

     

    a. Life Indoors v. Life Outdoors 
    b. Reasons to Buy Planters for All Plants and Purposes

     

    Types of Outdoor Planters

     

    a. Wood 
    b. Plastic 
    c. Resin (Woven or Plain) 
    d. Glazed Ceramic
    e. Terra Cotta 
    f. Fiberglass
    g. Metal
    h.Cast (Stone or Concrete)

     

    Pros and Cons of Common Planter Types

     

    a. Pros and Cons of Wood Planters
    b. Pros and Cons of Plastic Planters 
    c. Pros and Cons of Resin (Woven or Plain) 
    d. Pros and Cons of Fiberglass 
    e. Pros and Cons of Glazed Ceramic
    f. Pros and Cons of Terra Cotta
    g. Pros and Cons of Metal Planters
    h. Pros and Cons of Cast (Stone or Concrete) Planters

     

    Making Your Choice

     

    Plants and the Right Planters for Them

     

    a. Three Rules for Choosing Planters
    b. Adding It Up

     

    Other Key Considerations

     

    a. Durability 
    b. What Are You Growing?
    c. Esthetics 
    d.Maintenance

     

    Basic Planter Care and Troubleshooting

     

    a. Drainage Check
    b. Protection
    c. Cleaning

     

    Conclusion

     

    Sources

     

     

    Introduction

    Back to Top

    There are houseplants and there are garden plants, and they comprise a huge range of flowers, trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. There are some plants chosen just to bring color, scent, and perhaps hummingbirds or butterflies to the garden, but not to remain a permanent fixture throughout the seasons. There are also plants that are not quite suited to the location in which they are grown, and which may need a bit of protection (to both the roots and branches) during wintery weather.

     

    In other words, there are all kinds of plants, trees and shrubs we can choose to grow, no matter where we live. And yet all of these plants share one thing in common (apart from being plants!), and it is that they need the right containers.

    We call them planters, but you might hear them called pots, containers, and planters interchangeably. That’s fine, but for the purpose of this book, we are going to talk specifically about the planters that are used outdoors, and which typically remain outdoors all year long.

    You might think that there is not much to selecting the right planter, apart from the basic design and materials…yet, there are many decisions that go into choosing just the right planter for your needs. In this guide, we are going to walk you through the process of choosing an outdoor planter that will provide a good home to your preferred plants, perform well for years to come, and look great as it does!

     

    Pots and Planters…Are They the Same?

    Back to Top 

    As we just learned, above, pots and planters are terms used to describe the same items, yet most of us think of a flower pot as a smaller vessel made for use in both indoor and outdoor settings.

    Pots, typically, seem to be more portable. Planters, on the other hand, bring to mind visions of larger containers meant to be kept outdoors year-round, and which may be placed in a single location meant to become a permanent home or moved around to protect their contents.

    Unfortunately, not all planters are made to withstand life outdoors throughout the course of a few seasons or years.

    Life Indoors vs. Life Outdoors

    This is a key difference – being designed to perform indoors or outdoors in any conditions – and a defining factor where outdoor planters go. And with that distinction of being able to live indoors or outdoors comes a world of possibilities.

    After all, you can put a planter to use on a deck or patio, in the garden or along a walkway, and use it to grow herbs, seasonal flowers, and even hold winter-time decorations like branches of holly, bittersweet vine or even artificial trees and shrubs.

    If you wish to simply leave an outdoor planter empty and outdoors year-round, it will be designed in a way to allow just that. Additionally, that outdoor planter will do just fine if toted inside in order to protect the plants, shrub or even tree that it contains.

    You cannot, however, say the same for planters meant for indoor use only, or made of materials that just don’t stand up to winter conditions.

    Reasons to Buy Planters for All Plants and Purposes

    And this is where many shoppers become confused. After all, they wonder, wouldn’t any vessel (whether you call it a pot or a planter) be designed to stay outdoors all of the time?

    In a word: No. (And it might shock you to learn just how many people buy large and beautiful pots or planters only to find them broken, cracked and ruined within a year’s time!)

    Here’s why: In many areas, the end of the warm weather (usually towards the end of the autumn season) means cold temperatures and then frosty conditions. Frost kills off most plants, and when it turns into freezing conditions, it can actually damage planters not designed for indoor use. Even if you don’t have bouts of freezing weather, the planter NOT designed for outdoor use can degrade and deteriorate quickly.

    This is due to a few reasons:

    • Winter weather can go through freeze/thaw cycles which can cause even small amounts of water in the soil or even in the planter’s materials to freeze as well. As the temperatures rise and thaw, that moisture does, too. This causes expansion in the soil and the vessel, which can easily lead to cracking and breaking.
    • Even if a planter is not made of a porous material, it can degrade in the dampness and trapped moisture of winter weather. A metal planter built for indoor use, if allowed to remain covered in snow or left in a shaded area where moisture cannot be evaporated by a few hours of sunlight, may begin to rust and degrade in the course of a single season.
    • Most planters are not easily buried in the soil or relocated to a sunny, southwestern facing wall, in order to “winter over”. This leaves them prone to damage or harm.

    That is where the benefits of choosing planters meant for any sort of plant and any sort of setting (indoor/outdoor) come into the equation.

    • They will be designed to emulate the looks of stylish garden planters and pots for houseplants, yet they will be made of materials that are often lighter in weight and much more durable
    • You can find them made of materials that are impervious to ice, freeze/thaw events, standing moisture and damages due to exposure.
    • You can even find them in materials that will stand up to being buried or wrapped in insulating materials to allow the plant, tree or shrub to overwinter outdoors.
    • They allow you to invest in that planter just once without worrying about a costly replacement a year or more down the road.
    • They come in sizes to hold the demurest little houseplants or large trees.

    Clearly, it makes good financial sense to consider an outdoor planter, and because you’ll find them in every possible style – from glazed ceramics fired at temperatures high enough to make them more frost resistant to cast stone that can be shaped into almost any form or design – they make good garden design sense, too.

    Now that you know to look at outdoor planters for your indoor and outdoor gardening needs, let’s take some time to learn about your choices in planters and materials.

     

    Types of Outdoor Planters

    Back to Top

    As we go through the types of outdoor planters available, try to keep in mind that not all materials are a good choice. We’ll look at each of the most common options, but we’ll also consider the different pros and cons to using each of them.

     

    Wood

    You can find them in many shapes and sizes, and often these are what most of us think of first when thinking of outdoor planters. Typically, they will be square or boxy in shape and can be made of long-lasting materials like teak or cedar, which are insect and weather resistant.

    Wooden planters are easily some of the most attractive when your garden design has an earthy look to it, or you want to add more natural material to the setting.

    Plastic

    Affordably priced, plastic planters are a very common choice in window boxes and other, similar designs. Because there is not a great deal that can be done with plastic planters other than forming them into boxy forms, you won’t see a great deal of variety in this material. In fact, if you are eager to get the durability of a plastic with the good looks of other materials, such as stone or ceramic, you may want to consider resin (see below).

    Resin (Woven or Plain)

    Resin is a more modern upgrade of traditional plastic and is an authentic all-weather material. That is why you now see so many patio sets and outdoor furnishings made of resin. It is very commonly formed to emulate wicker, and you will also find a nice array of planters in this same format, with the looks of oversized wicker baskets and pots.

    This is a material that can be found in such a diversity of shapes, sizes and forms that you may be able to use it within almost any sort of garden design or style.

    Glazed Ceramic

    As one of the world’s most commonly used materials for pots and/or planters, it has a wonderfully earthy appearance, though it can also be molded and formed into the most contemporary styles, too. Heavy and often quite colorful, it is a great way to add a pop of color to a patio or garden area, as well as an interior space.

    With its ability to be colored in almost any way, and even take on a metallic or textured finish, it is a great choice for a contemporary or classic garden.

    You should be extremely cautious of fuel spills, clean them up as soon as you see them and always double check in case there are more spills. Spotting fuel spills is not easy as bio-ethanol is transparent and does not have any particular smell.
    Always keep bio-ethanol away from the reach of pets and kids. We would also advise you to follow some precautionary measures we have given below such as:

    Terra Cotta

    Historically speaking, it is ceramics and terra cotta that stand as the most commonly used materials for planters of all kinds. Terra cotta is a clay that comes in an unglazed form and offers a cheerful reddish brown hue wherever it appears. Though it has always been a very popular choice with gardeners, the advent of lighter weight and more durable materials has led to terra cotta-like options being produced in longer lasting materials like resin, plastic and fiberglass.

    With its earthy and classic look, it is a wonderful choice in almost any setting, but it will never withstand outdoor life in areas where deep freezes occur – unless entirely protected from snow and ice and thoroughly dried before going into winter storage. You should also always store them upside down to protect them over the long term.

    Fiberglass

    Easily the most variable material in the world of modern planter design and manufacturing. It can emulate stone and concrete, and yet it also works well in even the most unusual shapes, including conical vessels, window box styles, standard round planters, and more.

    It can also be found in many textures and colors, making it a material well-suited to almost any sort of garden style, design or purpose.

    Metal

    Modern garden design seems to be the most common way that metal planters are put to use. Made of copper, stainless steel, cast iron, galvanized metal and even bronze, they can be formed into very basic shapes or rather elaborate ones. They can be made to patina over time, or even arrive in that condition. They are popular with rustic garden designers, too, and pack a lot of visual power into a single vessel.

    Cast (Stone or Concrete)

    Though you may find that planters made of cast stone or concrete are heavier and more costly, their remarkably durability, wind resistance, frost resistance and general good looks make them a very popular option. They are typically made in decorative or even classical forms and look great in a European styled garden or even an earthier garden because of their low-key colors and ornamentation so often inspired by nature.

    As an example, you may find some window boxes made of these materials, and they may be accented with vines and scrolls, offering a very organic look.

    Pros and Cons of Common Planter Types

    Back to Top

    So, what are the pros or cons of the different planter types we have just learned about? 

     

    Pros and Cons of Wood Planters

    Wood may be weather resistant, but it is also porous, meaning it is never meant to last indefinitely. It can actually begin to degrade quickly if it is always damp or wet, exposed to insects, or left in less than ideal places, such as shady corners of the garden. When wet, it is often very heavy. Of course, on the pro side of things, it has a wonderfully rustic and natural look, and even a refined appearance. You can use wood for container or raised bed gardens, and this is actually a very common practice.

    If you are eager to have outdoor planters that have the good looks of wood, a wonderful option might be a set of planters designed to emulate wood but made of weather resistant materials. Window box inspired planters are also a good option.

    Pros and Cons of Plastic Planters

    Plastic is not porous, and so a lot of people think it is impervious to the weather because it will not absorb water. While some forms of plastic may withstand freezing temperatures and the rigors of freeze/thaw cycles, not many of the more affordable products actually last that long. Why? They are not designed for baking in the sun and then freezing in the winter weather. The plastic becomes rigid and will crack or break rather easily.

    Additionally, if you leave soil in a plastic planter, it is going to undergo the freeze/thaw issues, bloat with lots of water at any time of year and end up cracking the weakest point of the plastic.

    We suggest you consider resin or fiberglass planters, rather than plastic, if you want a super durable options with a lot of flexibility in texture, style and design.

    Pros and Cons of Resin (Woven or Plain)

    There are a great many pros with resin and very few cons. This is a non-porous material that does not absorb water, but it is also totally stain resistant. It weighs very little and retains its color even when exposed to summer’s sunlight and winter’s cold. It never corrodes or cracks, and you can find it in a wide array of shapes and styles. It works in almost any sort of garden design and looks good indoors or out. Lastly, it is a material where you may see your investment stretch for decades rather than just years!

    The only con is that it is not used to make all styles or forms, and this means you may not easily find the precise look you want.

    Pros and Cons of Fiberglass

    As one of the most popular materials, there are far more pros to fiberglass than you might expect. For one thing, it has a fantastic insulating quality that allows plants to remain much more stable in colder weather conditions. The material also helps to retain moisture in the soil. Lightweight and very easily moved (even with soil) it is not a material prone to breaking or cracking in even very low temperatures.

    Fiberglass is also able to be shaped into every conceivable form, and yet ask for almost no maintenance or upkeep. Instead, you can invest once and find yourself able to use and re-use the same fiberglass planters from year to year.

    If there is a con, it is that many people expect fiberglass (with its light weight, many colors, and plastic-like feel) to be as low-priced as plastic. It isn’t, but as we already mentioned, it is remarkably durable and so you won’t be spending repeatedly to replace them as you do with plastic.

    Pros and Cons of Glazed Ceramic

    We have already discovered that ceramics can be porous if they are not glazed and baked at high heats. This means they are not always a good choice for outdoor use. However, there are some definite pros in using them. For example, some argue that they are heavy and that this must be a negative. However, if you are using them with trees or shrubs, that counterweight at the base keeps your plants upright. They are protected against extremes of temperature because of their thickness, and yet their glazing allows them to hold moisture, which may otherwise readily evaporate in the summer’s heat.

    Sadly, many are made with a single drainage hole at the bottom, meaning they can become boggy, and there is that issue of cracking in the winter weather. Their weight can be a negative, too, if you try to move the pots or simply re-pot a plant or tree.

    Pros and Cons of Terra Cotta

    Though it is tough to argue against the beauty and perennial popularity of terra cotta planters, there are quite a few cons to the different pros. Let’s begin with the upside – it is a good looking material that offers a porous finish that prevents plants from being boggy or over saturated.

    However, it can be quite fragile, have only a single drainage hole, absorb water and dry out a plant, and it won’t withstand winter freezes. You will find yourself buying replacement planters a great deal more often with terra cotta than other materials, though, if you do prepare them (putting them along a protected, southern facing wall and insulating them against the deep freezes), they can offer a good solution.

    Pros and Cons of Metal Planters

    The downside of using long-lasting and rugged metal planters is that they allow a lot of heat transfer. This means your planters can become too hot in the summer and sustain a lot of frost or freezing damage in the winter. They can also be made with flawed materials or finishes and end up rusting and degrading quickly. The upside is that you can use internal liners with them to protect against the high thermal transference, but this will not prevent problems with heat or rust.

    Pros and Cons of Cast (Stone or Concrete) Planters

    As already noted, one of the only negatives about a cast stone or concrete planter is the fact that it can be quite heavy. This may mean that you must use it specifically or exclusively for seasonal planters and annuals that you do not intend to see again in the coming spring. You may overcome that limitation, however, by opting to place a planter of this kind against a southern facing wall, and then buttressing it with insulating materials before heavy cold arrives.

     

    Making Your Choice

    Back to Top

    Is there one type of planter or material that is the best? No, because there are too many factors that determine just why you might select a specific type of planter.

     

    Of course, it is not only about materials and the pros or cons each offers. While you may be driven towards one specific material for its affordability and another for its long-lasting qualities, you need to think about a few more issues. Let’s consider them, below.

     

    Plants and the Right Planters for Them

    Back to Top

    “I want a good planter for some bright red geraniums by my front door.”

    That sounds like an easy thing to find. After all, you will look at the exterior of your home and its style, the color of the flowers you want to plant, and the height you want the flowers to be as visitors pass by. That’s it, right? No, as we just learned you have an array of choices in terms of materials, and you can consider how each of them may or may not give you what you want.

    There are also a few additional factors you have to weigh as you make your final choices.

     

    Three Rules for Choosing Planters

    Below are three of the most vital factors in the success or failure of your planter selection process. You’ll see that we noted most of them in the various pros and cons or materials descriptions in the previous section. But here, we have to stop and give them a bit more weight in the actual decision making process as they are incredibly relevant to the way any planter looks, performs and lasts over time.

    Total Weight and Mobility

    It may seem logical to begin by thinking about what you will grow (something we look at further a bit later on in this chapter), and then you can weigh the importance of a planter’s weight and mobility. For now, though, it’s important to just figure out why total weight and mobility matter.

    Total weight is the weight of the planter, the soil, the drainage materials, the pot and the plants themselves. You should always take the time to do a bit of quick math and calculate total weight – even if you won’t relocate a planter – because you may be keeping planters in an area that shouldn’t hold heavy weights. Balconies, decks, terraces, rooftop gardens…these are places where total weight is very important.

    Remember too that any taller plant (such as a tree or shrub) may be at risk of tipping over if kept in an area with windy conditions. A heavier planter may be your ideal solution for keeping the tree or shrub safe from damage.

    The weight also determines the ease of mobility, or whether or not you will require help to pick up and move planters to another area. Whether you like to reorganize your container garden, or you need mobility because of winter conditions, the total weight is what helps you determine if you can move the planter, but so too does its material and design.

    A vulnerable plastic planter full of heavy drainage materials, soil and plants is likely to break if moved. A fiberglass or cast concrete planter, on the other hand, can with stand this, and if you worry you are unable to lift heavy weights, many planters can be set on casters or specialty platforms with casters specifically for mobility.

    So, take the time to look at a planter in terms of its total weight when full of soil, drainage, plants and even water. Then, consider if it is going to be a bit of a bear to move or if it is even impossible to move without damage.

    Drainage

    All potted plants have to have adequate drainage, and depending upon what you grow, that drainage may include one or more layers of gravel, sand and other materials. Naturally, this drainage material is only effective if the planter itself has enough drainage of its own. This simply means that there are multiple holes spread out evenly along the bottom of the planter.

    This will allow excess water to drain away and deliver adequate oxygen to the roots, keeping the plants healthy. Be sure that you check the specifications of any planter to ensure that it will allow your plants to be kept safe from smothering in too much water. After all, outdoor planters are kept, well, outdoors. A single heavy rain may bring down enough water to drown a plant if there is not enough drainage in its container.

    Many pots have a single hole in the bottom, and if you find a planter with such a limited amount of drainage, it may not be a good choice. If the opening is large and you are using drainage material, it could suffice, but if the planter sits directly on the ground or the hole becomes blocked, it can be a problem. It is best to choose planters with multiple drainage holes.

    Porosity

    We have looked at porosity a bit when talking about planters made of plastic, ceramic and terra cotta, among other materials. Essentially, porosity means the ability of a planter’s materials to let both moisture and air pass through. This is important since all plants need oxygen around their roots, and they also need water to be able to move away or evaporate in order to maintain a good soil temperature and prevent plants or roots from rotting or developing fungus or bacteria.

    However, a very porous material runs the risk of drying out very quickly and on an almost daily basis. While you could choose a potting mix and drainage that helped to slow this, if you are unlikely to do daily watering or you live in an area of intense sunlight and summer heat, porosity has to be a major factor for you to consider.

    Adding It Up

    Does your planter need to be moved?

    Will it allow adequate drainage?

    Does it require porosity or even the avoidance of porosity?

    These are major issues to use as you first set out to choose a planter. Then, consider these other key factors…

     

    Other Key Considerations

    Back to Top

    Durability

    By now, you’ve already heard about this in many different ways. We’ve spoken about materials that are fragile, and therefore not at all durable. We’ve considered materials that can or cannot hold up to extremes of heat or cold, snow or ice, wind and so on. We have also looked at materials that are able to retain their color, resist UV or sun damage, and remain flexible rather than turning brittle. We have also considered materials that can provide a less than ideal planter (such as a ceramic planter fired at very high temperatures) with cold resistance.

    Basically, durability is all about the expected life span of the planter, and it always has to do with the type of materials you choose AND where the planter is located.

    It also has to do with the type of plant you are growing. Why? Because you may need durability to mean a single season rather than many decades of service. For example, you may be growing a small or dwarf fruit tree that will transplant into a final, much larger container, a year or two after it is first planted. That would mean a less durable planter is needed. In fact, it could be that you keep the young tree in a nursery pot until it is ready for its final home.

    That means that durability is a bit relative and you will have to figure out what your version of durability means to make the right choice. It will have to do with those issues already mentioned – how long you expect a planter to last, where you are putting it, and what you’ll grow. And with yet another mention of “what you intend to grow,” let’s look at that as a factor for consideration when choosing a planter.

    What Are You Growing?

    You won’t use a planter for things like seed starting or transplants because it would be an inefficient use of space, soil and resources. However, you do have to give serious thought to what will reside in any planter you are seeking.

    Why? As we have already considered, if that plant is to remain in place for many years, you can choose a heavier, less mobile planter. This means you can choose a larger planter, too. But you don’t want to pick a difficult shape that can make re-potting a challenge.

    If you are going to grow temporary or seasonal plants such as annuals, vegetables, herbs and other similar items, your choices are entirely different. Perhaps a window box style of planter is a good idea or maybe even a broad and wide-mouthed urn with cascades of flowers tumbling around?

    And though the world of plants is seemingly endless, in the end, there are really only two main categories of use where outdoor planters are concerned, and we’ll look at the special demands or needs for each of them, below.

    Container Garden

    You will need to give a great deal of thought to almost all of the factors we have considered in this chapter as you choose a planter or two, or ten, for your container gardening. Here are some of the main issues you’ll want to focus in on:

    • Is it all about annuals or is it an assortment of plants? If you are going the annuals-only route, you can choose less mobile options. On the other hand, if you are investing in perennials, they may need materials that are insulating, lighter in weight and more mobile.
    • Are you going to be making permanent garden designs with the planters? For example, maybe you are using a more formal plan and require urns and classically designed vessels? Maybe you are doing a rustic, raised garden and need planters that coordinate with that space, and which can stay in place once you layout the garden?
    • Do you have a color scheme or garden design in mind? Will it be all about green herbs and colorful planters? Maybe you have a collection of annuals you want to arrange in different vessels or very organized containers? Give thought to heights, spacing, colors, and seasons to make the right choices. You can do a great deal with your planters and plant combinations!
    • Are you doing standard and vertical gardening? There are many options for vertical planters, urns and taller planters, and you should not overlook your ability to choose many heights, designs and even textures or colors as you can make planters a major part of the design.
    • Where are you doing the container garden? This is all about durability, porosity and drainage. If you are keeping planters in full sun, be mindful of the amount of watering you will find yourself doing. If they are in full shade, be aware of drainage and porosity which can stifle plants without a way for water evaporation to occur.

    Trees

    Growing trees in containers is a much easier matter to consider because it boils down to a few simple questions or concerns:

    • How tall is this tree or shrub going to be? If it is going to be tall the planter needs to be quite bottom-heavy to help give support
    • Does this tree or shrub require winter protection? If so, choose a planter that will adapt well to movement and/or the use of casters to allow you to easily push it into a southern facing corner where it is sheltered from intense cold and damage
    • How large a root ball will this tree typically develop? You want to “go big” with trees and shrubs to allow them to form a root ball of adequate size. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to transplant a large tree into an even larger planter.

    In general, it is best to invest in a premium quality planter for a tree or shrub. This ensures you won’t need to worry about risks of breakage, inadequate drainage or difficulty in mobility. For instance, you can easily find cast concrete, fiberglass or resin planters that are beautiful in design, available in huge sizes, and lighter in weight, but which can really help give a tree or shrub a happy forever home!

    Aesthetics

    Regardless of what you might see or hear, your opinion about the appearance of your garden planters really does matter. In fact, the looks of any design or decor matters. If you groan with dissatisfaction each time you look at your garden, patio or a single planter, it is not acceptable.

    So, take the time to consider your preferred aesthetic style. Is it modern and contemporary? Is it rustic and earthy? Do you prefer Classical designs inspired by Ancient Greece or Rome? Maybe an iconic European garden is your inspiration?

    No matter what, you’ll find many planters to meet such preferences. The point is to add that style or aesthetic into your decision making process.

    Maintenance

    Low maintenance planters are really ideal, and that means a few things:

    • Choosing a material that does not need annual “treatment” such as applying stain or repainting
    • Opting for materials that resist UV rays that can cause them to fade, weaken and break down
    • Looking for planters that can resist insects and other pests that cause damages
    • Choosing planters made of easy to clean (and keep clean) materials.

    And with that last point, we can now move to the final topic, which looks at basic planter care and upkeep.

     

    Basic Planter Care and Troubleshooting

    Back to Top

    It would be ideal if basic planter care was required just once a year, but it can be an ongoing matter. Basic steps include a drainage check, protection, and cleaning.

     

    Drainage Check

    Double checking that drainage is still moving smoothly. Do this after a heavy rain or after watering well. If a drainage hole is blocked, you may find that you can unblock it by carefully leaning to one side and using a dowel to clean out and unclog the holes. Unfortunately, if it is due to soil compaction, you will find yourself having to un-pot and then re-pot after removing the soil, drainage and beginning with a clean slate.

    Protection

    Using a good winter protection system, whether you are in a location where the winter means deep freezing or even just heavy rains and winds, is always wise as it offers planters seasonal protection.

    This means you may need to relocate the planter to a south-facing area and up against a wall. You can group planters together in such places and even dig a small trench for smaller planters to offer them even more protection from freezing and thawing cycles.

    If your plants are perennials, trees or shrubs, you’ll want to protect them, and one of the best methods is to build a small shelter with metal garden stakes and chicken wire (effectively building a temporary fence around the planters and plants). Fill this with autumn leaves, mulch or marsh hay.

    You might also wrap trees and shrubs in the same manner, but instead of using chicken wire, use burlap and skip filling in the space. If you use metal containers, they need to be sheltered from snow and rain or they may rust. You can do this by wrapping them in plastic tarps and securing them before moving them to another sort of protection.

    If you have an unheated porch or three-season room, this is also a great spot to relocate potted plants and trees.

    Any planter that usually sits on the ground should be elevated from the ground on a few 2x4 boards or a formal platform during the winter months. Regardless of the material, sitting in contact with the soil and standing water can cause damage to the plants or even the planter.

    Cleaning

    It is a good idea to always empty and bring in planters prone to winter damage OR use this as a time to clean planters that will be emptied for the winter.

    It is a good idea to discard soil every other year and allow your planters to be emptied over the winter months. When you do remove the soil and drainage, it gives you a good opportunity to properly clean and disinfect them.

    And though you may dislike hearing it, you will need to clean almost all planters every few years. The exception is the planter with a perfectly healthy tree or shrub. To clean a planter of any kind, you simply empty it and follow these steps:

    • Use a soft bristled brush to scrub away any soil that clings to the inside or outside of the planter.
    • Hose it down and let it dry in the sun for an hour, or so.
    • Use scrub brush or dish cloth and warm soapy water to give it an initial cleaning. Then repeat this using white vinegar and allow to dry completely. If your planters are made of wood, fiberglass or resin, you can stop here and move on to the last step.
    • If your planters are made of concrete, clay or terra cotta, you need to take one more step. Make a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach, and carefully soak the surfaces of the planter with it. Rinse after 30 minutes and allow to dry completely for 24 hours.
    • Place new drainage and soil in the planters and restore the plants, shrubs or trees to their home.

    It is not really difficult to care for planters if you have chosen them correctly. Just follow the different methods outlined above and your planters will remain in top condition for years to come!

    Conclusion

    Back to Top

    So, what kind of garden do you have in mind for the coming year? Hopefully, this has all inspired you to begin using a few planters in the garden, patio, terrace, porch or just about anywhere else! 

     

    Planters work in the full sun or full shade and can be used to even create outdoor living spaces or little islands of privacy. You can create an entirely different space with a few well-chosen planters and even give yourself more room to garden than ever before.

    Have fun choosing and then using outdoor planters and remember that the more time you take in choosing them, and the better the quality you select, the more seasons of beauty they can provide.

    Good luck and happy gardening!

     

    How to Create a Room Outdoors

    You have probably read and heard multiple times that your deck or patio should essentially be an extension of your outdoor living space. You may be wondering where to even begin to create such a space, or perhaps you have tried, but it felt disconnected. The key is to create a room outside. Look at the space you are working with, and imagine that there are four walls and a ceiling. Regardless if you have a sweeping backyard or a cozy terrace these tips will help you create the look you are trying to achieve.

    Have a Plan

    Before you randomly start buying things, have an idea of the look you want to accomplish. This will help keep you on track. Are you trying to create a formal dining room feel for your dinner parties or a casual gathering spot to catch up with friends over a bottle of wine? Do you want the area clearly defined? An outdoor gazebo, party tent, or curtains may be needed.

    Flooring

    If you already have a patio or deck then all you really need to shop for are outdoor rugs. Nothing creates a room-like feel better than a rug that acts as a centerpiece. If you are creating this outdoor room where there is grass, then use pea gravel, interlocking brick, or a low-maintenance stone floor to define the area. Then, use a rug to pull the look together like you would on a patio. Quality outdoor rugs are treated to stand up against the sun’s UV rays. They are also easy-to-clean with a simple garden hose.

    Potted Plants

    You can most certainly have flower beds around the perimeter, but you should still have potted plants like you would inside your home. Small pots of lavender, mint, or other scented flowers and herbs can be scattered around to fill the “room” with fragrance.

    Comfort Items

    Soft throws and pillows are absolutely necessary. What’s a sofa without a pillow to hold onto and a blanket to get cozy under? You don’t have to keep these items out all the time or even buy outdoor products. Store them in a weatherproof bench or ottoman, so you have them handy when needed. A patio umbrella will also play a leading role in comfort. The umbrella should be large enough to shade the sitting area. If it tilts this is a bonus. For a very large area, you may need multiple ones. Protect them with covers, when they are not being used, so they last more than one season.

    5 Things to Splurge on for Your Outdoor Living Space

    Whether you have moved into your first house or if you simply want to give your outdoor living space a makeover this year, you probably have a lot of things you want to buy. Now, if you are like most, you likely also have a budget you would like to not exceed. So, how do you decide what things to spend the bulk of the money on? This list should help.

    1. Outdoor Furniture – The outdoor furniture you purchase will be the foundation of the space. Do not buy based on what you think is expected or “normal.” Choose pieces that make you happy and that you will get the most use out of. You do not need to have a traditional table and chairs just because everyone else you know does. Maybe you would be happiest with a wrought iron bench and a couple of rocking chairs.

    2. Fountains – To create a truly tranquil environment that you love to relax in you will need water fountains. You really cannot have too many either, so do not worry about going overboard. Put one on your patio as a focal point and then add a few small ones to your garden and flower beds. Not only will they instantly relax you; they will also help mask some of that undesirable noise coming from the neighborhood.

    3. Fireplace – Some people do not even add an outdoor fireplace to their shopping list because they assume they are just too expensive. Well, you might be quite surprised at how affordable these functional pieces of art are. If you want a wood-burning fire then a firepit or chiminea will be perfect. If you prefer an environmentally-friendly option, opt for a tabletop or freestanding bio ethanol or gel fuel one. You never have to be forced indoors just because it gets a little cool outside.

    4. Umbrella – Your outdoor living space absolutely needs shade. Even if you are a sun lover you need a little relief from those hot rays at some point. Plus, your fair-skinned guests will certainly appreciate shade, as well. There are a lot of umbrellas on the market. Do not make the mistake of choosing a cheap one just to save a few dollars. This should be one of your splurges. Make sure it is quality, and that it covers the sitting area. One that can be tilted is ideal.

    5. Plants – If you already have gorgeous gardens then maybe you do not need to spend money on plants. However, a little living art will change the look and feel of your patio. Buy that gorgeous planter you have your eye on. If you have a railing you can buy planters that sit over the railing, as well. You can even hang baskets of flowering plants from overhead branches or hooks.

     

    Hot Trends in Outdoor Decorating

    The closer that it gets to spring the more anxious you likely get to start buying things for your outdoor living space. You may even have a brand new credit card just waiting to be broken in for this purpose. Whether you have moved into your first house and you finally have a patio to enjoy or if your landscaping could simply use a few new details this year, you will want to check out this list of hot trends for outdoor decorating. 

    Garden Fountains

    Garden fountains have essentially become a necessity for outdoor decorating. More and more people are discovering the positive benefits of adding a water element to their landscaping. Thanks to such a high demand for these décor pieces there is now an extensive selection to choose from, many of which are quite affordable. Garden fountains can be placed anywhere, including your patio, front porch, garden, flowerbeds, and your favorite spot by the hammock you nap in. They come in every size, shape, theme, color, and material imaginable, so there is one to complement every outdoor living space. 

    Colors and Patterns

    Two of the biggest trends that you can expect to see this year are color-blocking and pattern-laying. Mixing bright, fun shades in with a neutral or cool palette is a must. Layering and mixing patterns will be just as popular. Forget what you have been taught about clashing patterns, and have a little fun breaking the rules.

    Fire Tables

    The more functional and comfortable your outdoor living space is the more you will enjoy it. Fire tables will be one of the most coveted outdoor items this year. You need a side table for guests to place their drinks on and you need a fire element for warmth and ambiance, so you might as well combine the two into one dynamic display that will take your breath away. Chimineas are worthy of a glance, too.

    Eco-friendly Materials

    Green is in! When you stock your summer kitchen with plates, serving platters, glasses, etc., opt for recycled glass and plastic, reclaimed wood, and bamboo. When people ask where you got something it will make you feel good to say it is made of recycled or sustainable materials.

    Outdoor Rugs

    Wait until you start shopping for outdoor rugs and you see the amazing styles that are available. You will feel like it’s Christmas! Outdoor rugs have come a long way in recent years, and like garden fountains, you can find some really spectacular ones at an affordable price.

     Decorating with Outdoor Fireplaces

    Now that the warm weather quickly approaches, and Old Man Winter has finally realized he has overstayed his welcome, it is now time to start decorating the deck or patio. This also means that you get to start shopping for new décor pieces that will make your space more welcoming, comfortable and stylish. Outdoor fireplaces should be right at the top of your list.


    Xander Outdoor Gas Fire Pit with Tile Top
    Dimensions: 43.5″ W x 43.5″ D x 23.5″ H

     

    Why Outdoor Fireplaces?

     

    Many people do not give much thought to outdoor fireplaces, but they should. You will be surprised at how much more you enjoy your time outside when you have one. Not to mention, you will actually get to use your deck or patio a lot more. Those chilly nights that force you inside will now be able to be enjoyed while you gather around a warm dancing flame. Not to mention, the fire helps to keep biting insects away, and increases safety by providing a little extra light in the darkness.

     

    Chantico Stone Ventless Fireplace

     

    Evaluate the Space

     

    Outdoor fireplaces come in just about any style and size you can imagine. The first thing you need to do is evaluate the deck, patio or pool area where one is needed. You may fall in love with a massive fire bowl, but if it is going to get in the way of foot traffic or generate too much heat for the space it will pose safety risks and can make guests uncomfortable. Choose a size that is appropriate.

     

    It is helpful to have an idea of where you want to place the fireplace as well. An open corner is always a great location for a small area. If your outdoor living space is extremely small, don’t assume that you have to go without. Tabletop fireplaces are ideal! Some are even large enough that they can easily be placed on the floor as well.

     

    Choosing a Style

     

    The selection of outdoor fireplaces is far greater than most people are aware of. It is important that you choose a style based on the décor and furniture you have. You may fall in love with a rustic style, but if you have contemporary pieces, it will become an eyesore.

     

    If you want one that you can cook on, choose a fire pit with a grate. For a classic look, go with a chiminea. If you have the space to accommodate a fire bowl, they offer a dynamic focal point. If you have a smaller space, or you are looking for an environmentally friendly option then tabletop fireplaces that burn gel or biofuel are ideal.

    The Blue Rooster Sun Stack Style Chiminea
    Cast Aluminum Approx. 54″H x 22″Diameter

     

     Outdoor Planter Guidebook

    Planter Set

     

    Table of Contents

     

    Introduction

     

    Pots and Planters…Are They the Same?

     

    a. Life Indoors v. Life Outdoors 
    b. Reasons to Buy Planters for All Plants and Purposes

     

    Types of Outdoor Planters

     

    a. Wood 
    b. Plastic 
    c. Resin (Woven or Plain) 
    d. Glazed Ceramic
    e. Terra Cotta 
    f. Fiberglass
    g. Metal
    h.Cast (Stone or Concrete)

     

    Pros and Cons of Common Planter Types

     

    a. Pros and Cons of Wood Planters
    b. Pros and Cons of Plastic Planters 
    c. Pros and Cons of Resin (Woven or Plain) 
    d. Pros and Cons of Fiberglass 
    e. Pros and Cons of Glazed Ceramic
    f. Pros and Cons of Terra Cotta
    g. Pros and Cons of Metal Planters
    h. Pros and Cons of Cast (Stone or Concrete) Planters

     

    Making Your Choice

     

    Plants and the Right Planters for Them

     

    a. Three Rules for Choosing Planters
    b. Adding It Up

     

    Other Key Considerations

     

    a. Durability 
    b. What Are You Growing?
    c. Esthetics 
    d.Maintenance

     

    Basic Planter Care and Troubleshooting

     

    a. Drainage Check
    b. Protection
    c. Cleaning

     

    Conclusion

     

    Sources

     

     

    Introduction

    Back to Top

    There are houseplants and there are garden plants, and they comprise a huge range of flowers, trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. There are some plants chosen just to bring color, scent, and perhaps hummingbirds or butterflies to the garden, but not to remain a permanent fixture throughout the seasons. There are also plants that are not quite suited to the location in which they are grown, and which may need a bit of protection (to both the roots and branches) during wintery weather.

     

    In other words, there are all kinds of plants, trees and shrubs we can choose to grow, no matter where we live. And yet all of these plants share one thing in common (apart from being plants!), and it is that they need the right containers.

    We call them planters, but you might hear them called pots, containers, and planters interchangeably. That’s fine, but for the purpose of this book, we are going to talk specifically about the planters that are used outdoors, and which typically remain outdoors all year long.

    You might think that there is not much to selecting the right planter, apart from the basic design and materials…yet, there are many decisions that go into choosing just the right planter for your needs. In this guide, we are going to walk you through the process of choosing an outdoor planter that will provide a good home to your preferred plants, perform well for years to come, and look great as it does!

     

    Pots and Planters…Are They the Same?

    Back to Top 

    As we just learned, above, pots and planters are terms used to describe the same items, yet most of us think of a flower pot as a smaller vessel made for use in both indoor and outdoor settings.

    Pots, typically, seem to be more portable. Planters, on the other hand, bring to mind visions of larger containers meant to be kept outdoors year-round, and which may be placed in a single location meant to become a permanent home or moved around to protect their contents.

    Unfortunately, not all planters are made to withstand life outdoors throughout the course of a few seasons or years.

    Life Indoors vs. Life Outdoors

    This is a key difference – being designed to perform indoors or outdoors in any conditions – and a defining factor where outdoor planters go. And with that distinction of being able to live indoors or outdoors comes a world of possibilities.

    After all, you can put a planter to use on a deck or patio, in the garden or along a walkway, and use it to grow herbs, seasonal flowers, and even hold winter-time decorations like branches of holly, bittersweet vine or even artificial trees and shrubs.

    If you wish to simply leave an outdoor planter empty and outdoors year-round, it will be designed in a way to allow just that. Additionally, that outdoor planter will do just fine if toted inside in order to protect the plants, shrub or even tree that it contains.

    You cannot, however, say the same for planters meant for indoor use only, or made of materials that just don’t stand up to winter conditions.

    Reasons to Buy Planters for All Plants and Purposes

    And this is where many shoppers become confused. After all, they wonder, wouldn’t any vessel (whether you call it a pot or a planter) be designed to stay outdoors all of the time?

    In a word: No. (And it might shock you to learn just how many people buy large and beautiful pots or planters only to find them broken, cracked and ruined within a year’s time!)

    Here’s why: In many areas, the end of the warm weather (usually towards the end of the autumn season) means cold temperatures and then frosty conditions. Frost kills off most plants, and when it turns into freezing conditions, it can actually damage planters not designed for indoor use. Even if you don’t have bouts of freezing weather, the planter NOT designed for outdoor use can degrade and deteriorate quickly.

    This is due to a few reasons:

    • Winter weather can go through freeze/thaw cycles which can cause even small amounts of water in the soil or even in the planter’s materials to freeze as well. As the temperatures rise and thaw, that moisture does, too. This causes expansion in the soil and the vessel, which can easily lead to cracking and breaking.
    • Even if a planter is not made of a porous material, it can degrade in the dampness and trapped moisture of winter weather. A metal planter built for indoor use, if allowed to remain covered in snow or left in a shaded area where moisture cannot be evaporated by a few hours of sunlight, may begin to rust and degrade in the course of a single season.
    • Most planters are not easily buried in the soil or relocated to a sunny, southwestern facing wall, in order to “winter over”. This leaves them prone to damage or harm.

    That is where the benefits of choosing planters meant for any sort of plant and any sort of setting (indoor/outdoor) come into the equation.

    • They will be designed to emulate the looks of stylish garden planters and pots for houseplants, yet they will be made of materials that are often lighter in weight and much more durable
    • You can find them made of materials that are impervious to ice, freeze/thaw events, standing moisture and damages due to exposure.
    • You can even find them in materials that will stand up to being buried or wrapped in insulating materials to allow the plant, tree or shrub to overwinter outdoors.
    • They allow you to invest in that planter just once without worrying about a costly replacement a year or more down the road.
    • They come in sizes to hold the demurest little houseplants or large trees.

    Clearly, it makes good financial sense to consider an outdoor planter, and because you’ll find them in every possible style – from glazed ceramics fired at temperatures high enough to make them more frost resistant to cast stone that can be shaped into almost any form or design – they make good garden design sense, too.

    Now that you know to look at outdoor planters for your indoor and outdoor gardening needs, let’s take some time to learn about your choices in planters and materials.

     

    Types of Outdoor Planters

    Back to Top

    As we go through the types of outdoor planters available, try to keep in mind that not all materials are a good choice. We’ll look at each of the most common options, but we’ll also consider the different pros and cons to using each of them.

     

    Wood

    You can find them in many shapes and sizes, and often these are what most of us think of first when thinking of outdoor planters. Typically, they will be square or boxy in shape and can be made of long-lasting materials like teak or cedar, which are insect and weather resistant.

    Wooden planters are easily some of the most attractive when your garden design has an earthy look to it, or you want to add more natural material to the setting.

    Plastic

    Affordably priced, plastic planters are a very common choice in window boxes and other, similar designs. Because there is not a great deal that can be done with plastic planters other than forming them into boxy forms, you won’t see a great deal of variety in this material. In fact, if you are eager to get the durability of a plastic with the good looks of other materials, such as stone or ceramic, you may want to consider resin (see below).

    Resin (Woven or Plain)

    Resin is a more modern upgrade of traditional plastic and is an authentic all-weather material. That is why you now see so many patio sets and outdoor furnishings made of resin. It is very commonly formed to emulate wicker, and you will also find a nice array of planters in this same format, with the looks of oversized wicker baskets and pots.

    This is a material that can be found in such a diversity of shapes, sizes and forms that you may be able to use it within almost any sort of garden design or style.

    Glazed Ceramic

    As one of the world’s most commonly used materials for pots and/or planters, it has a wonderfully earthy appearance, though it can also be molded and formed into the most contemporary styles, too. Heavy and often quite colorful, it is a great way to add a pop of color to a patio or garden area, as well as an interior space.

    With its ability to be colored in almost any way, and even take on a metallic or textured finish, it is a great choice for a contemporary or classic garden.

    You should be extremely cautious of fuel spills, clean them up as soon as you see them and always double check in case there are more spills. Spotting fuel spills is not easy as bio-ethanol is transparent and does not have any particular smell.
    Always keep bio-ethanol away from the reach of pets and kids. We would also advise you to follow some precautionary measures we have given below such as:

    Terra Cotta

    Historically speaking, it is ceramics and terra cotta that stand as the most commonly used materials for planters of all kinds. Terra cotta is a clay that comes in an unglazed form and offers a cheerful reddish brown hue wherever it appears. Though it has always been a very popular choice with gardeners, the advent of lighter weight and more durable materials has led to terra cotta-like options being produced in longer lasting materials like resin, plastic and fiberglass.

    With its earthy and classic look, it is a wonderful choice in almost any setting, but it will never withstand outdoor life in areas where deep freezes occur – unless entirely protected from snow and ice and thoroughly dried before going into winter storage. You should also always store them upside down to protect them over the long term.

    Fiberglass

    Easily the most variable material in the world of modern planter design and manufacturing. It can emulate stone and concrete, and yet it also works well in even the most unusual shapes, including conical vessels, window box styles, standard round planters, and more.

    It can also be found in many textures and colors, making it a material well-suited to almost any sort of garden style, design or purpose.

    Metal

    Modern garden design seems to be the most common way that metal planters are put to use. Made of copper, stainless steel, cast iron, galvanized metal and even bronze, they can be formed into very basic shapes or rather elaborate ones. They can be made to patina over time, or even arrive in that condition. They are popular with rustic garden designers, too, and pack a lot of visual power into a single vessel.

    Cast (Stone or Concrete)

    Though you may find that planters made of cast stone or concrete are heavier and more costly, their remarkably durability, wind resistance, frost resistance and general good looks make them a very popular option. They are typically made in decorative or even classical forms and look great in a European styled garden or even an earthier garden because of their low-key colors and ornamentation so often inspired by nature.

    As an example, you may find some window boxes made of these materials, and they may be accented with vines and scrolls, offering a very organic look.

     

    Pros and Cons of Common Planter Types

    Back to Top

    So, what are the pros or cons of the different planter types we have just learned about? 

     

    Pros and Cons of Wood Planters

    Wood may be weather resistant, but it is also porous, meaning it is never meant to last indefinitely. It can actually begin to degrade quickly if it is always damp or wet, exposed to insects, or left in less than ideal places, such as shady corners of the garden. When wet, it is often very heavy. Of course, on the pro side of things, it has a wonderfully rustic and natural look, and even a refined appearance. You can use wood for container or raised bed gardens, and this is actually a very common practice.

    If you are eager to have outdoor planters that have the good looks of wood, a wonderful option might be a set of planters designed to emulate wood but made of weather resistant materials. Window box inspired planters are also a good option.

    Pros and Cons of Plastic Planters

    Plastic is not porous, and so a lot of people think it is impervious to the weather because it will not absorb water. While some forms of plastic may withstand freezing temperatures and the rigors of freeze/thaw cycles, not many of the more affordable products actually last that long. Why? They are not designed for baking in the sun and then freezing in the winter weather. The plastic becomes rigid and will crack or break rather easily.

    Additionally, if you leave soil in a plastic planter, it is going to undergo the freeze/thaw issues, bloat with lots of water at any time of year and end up cracking the weakest point of the plastic.

    We suggest you consider resin or fiberglass planters, rather than plastic, if you want a super durable options with a lot of flexibility in texture, style and design.

    Pros and Cons of Resin (Woven or Plain)

    There are a great many pros with resin and very few cons. This is a non-porous material that does not absorb water, but it is also totally stain resistant. It weighs very little and retains its color even when exposed to summer’s sunlight and winter’s cold. It never corrodes or cracks, and you can find it in a wide array of shapes and styles. It works in almost any sort of garden design and looks good indoors or out. Lastly, it is a material where you may see your investment stretch for decades rather than just years!

    The only con is that it is not used to make all styles or forms, and this means you may not easily find the precise look you want.

    Pros and Cons of Fiberglass

    As one of the most popular materials, there are far more pros to fiberglass than you might expect. For one thing, it has a fantastic insulating quality that allows plants to remain much more stable in colder weather conditions. The material also helps to retain moisture in the soil. Lightweight and very easily moved (even with soil) it is not a material prone to breaking or cracking in even very low temperatures.

    Fiberglass is also able to be shaped into every conceivable form, and yet ask for almost no maintenance or upkeep. Instead, you can invest once and find yourself able to use and re-use the same fiberglass planters from year to year.

    If there is a con, it is that many people expect fiberglass (with its light weight, many colors, and plastic-like feel) to be as low-priced as plastic. It isn’t, but as we already mentioned, it is remarkably durable and so you won’t be spending repeatedly to replace them as you do with plastic.

    Pros and Cons of Glazed Ceramic

    We have already discovered that ceramics can be porous if they are not glazed and baked at high heats. This means they are not always a good choice for outdoor use. However, there are some definite pros in using them. For example, some argue that they are heavy and that this must be a negative. However, if you are using them with trees or shrubs, that counterweight at the base keeps your plants upright. They are protected against extremes of temperature because of their thickness, and yet their glazing allows them to hold moisture, which may otherwise readily evaporate in the summer’s heat.

    Sadly, many are made with a single drainage hole at the bottom, meaning they can become boggy, and there is that issue of cracking in the winter weather. Their weight can be a negative, too, if you try to move the pots or simply re-pot a plant or tree.

    Pros and Cons of Terra Cotta

    Though it is tough to argue against the beauty and perennial popularity of terra cotta planters, there are quite a few cons to the different pros. Let’s begin with the upside – it is a good looking material that offers a porous finish that prevents plants from being boggy or over saturated.

    However, it can be quite fragile, have only a single drainage hole, absorb water and dry out a plant, and it won’t withstand winter freezes. You will find yourself buying replacement planters a great deal more often with terra cotta than other materials, though, if you do prepare them (putting them along a protected, southern facing wall and insulating them against the deep freezes), they can offer a good solution.

    Pros and Cons of Metal Planters

    The downside of using long-lasting and rugged metal planters is that they allow a lot of heat transfer. This means your planters can become too hot in the summer and sustain a lot of frost or freezing damage in the winter. They can also be made with flawed materials or finishes and end up rusting and degrading quickly. The upside is that you can use internal liners with them to protect against the high thermal transference, but this will not prevent problems with heat or rust.

    Pros and Cons of Cast (Stone or Concrete) Planters

    As already noted, one of the only negatives about a cast stone or concrete planter is the fact that it can be quite heavy. This may mean that you must use it specifically or exclusively for seasonal planters and annuals that you do not intend to see again in the coming spring. You may overcome that limitation, however, by opting to place a planter of this kind against a southern facing wall, and then buttressing it with insulating materials before heavy cold arrives.

     

    Making Your Choice

    Back to Top

    Is there one type of planter or material that is the best? No, because there are too many factors that determine just why you might select a specific type of planter.

     

    Of course, it is not only about materials and the pros or cons each offers. While you may be driven towards one specific material for its affordability and another for its long-lasting qualities, you need to think about a few more issues. Let’s consider them, below.

     

    Plants and the Right Planters for Them

    Back to Top

    “I want a good planter for some bright red geraniums by my front door.”

    That sounds like an easy thing to find. After all, you will look at the exterior of your home and its style, the color of the flowers you want to plant, and the height you want the flowers to be as visitors pass by. That’s it, right? No, as we just learned you have an array of choices in terms of materials, and you can consider how each of them may or may not give you what you want.

    There are also a few additional factors you have to weigh as you make your final choices.

     

    Three Rules for Choosing Planters

    Below are three of the most vital factors in the success or failure of your planter selection process. You’ll see that we noted most of them in the various pros and cons or materials descriptions in the previous section. But here, we have to stop and give them a bit more weight in the actual decision making process as they are incredibly relevant to the way any planter looks, performs and lasts over time.

    Total Weight and Mobility

    It may seem logical to begin by thinking about what you will grow (something we look at further a bit later on in this chapter), and then you can weigh the importance of a planter’s weight and mobility. For now, though, it’s important to just figure out why total weight and mobility matter.

    Total weight is the weight of the planter, the soil, the drainage materials, the pot and the plants themselves. You should always take the time to do a bit of quick math and calculate total weight – even if you won’t relocate a planter – because you may be keeping planters in an area that shouldn’t hold heavy weights. Balconies, decks, terraces, rooftop gardens…these are places where total weight is very important.

    Remember too that any taller plant (such as a tree or shrub) may be at risk of tipping over if kept in an area with windy conditions. A heavier planter may be your ideal solution for keeping the tree or shrub safe from damage.

    The weight also determines the ease of mobility, or whether or not you will require help to pick up and move planters to another area. Whether you like to reorganize your container garden, or you need mobility because of winter conditions, the total weight is what helps you determine if you can move the planter, but so too does its material and design.

    A vulnerable plastic planter full of heavy drainage materials, soil and plants is likely to break if moved. A fiberglass or cast concrete planter, on the other hand, can with stand this, and if you worry you are unable to lift heavy weights, many planters can be set on casters or specialty platforms with casters specifically for mobility.

    So, take the time to look at a planter in terms of its total weight when full of soil, drainage, plants and even water. Then, consider if it is going to be a bit of a bear to move or if it is even impossible to move without damage.

    Drainage

    All potted plants have to have adequate drainage, and depending upon what you grow, that drainage may include one or more layers of gravel, sand and other materials. Naturally, this drainage material is only effective if the planter itself has enough drainage of its own. This simply means that there are multiple holes spread out evenly along the bottom of the planter.

    This will allow excess water to drain away and deliver adequate oxygen to the roots, keeping the plants healthy. Be sure that you check the specifications of any planter to ensure that it will allow your plants to be kept safe from smothering in too much water. After all, outdoor planters are kept, well, outdoors. A single heavy rain may bring down enough water to drown a plant if there is not enough drainage in its container.

    Many pots have a single hole in the bottom, and if you find a planter with such a limited amount of drainage, it may not be a good choice. If the opening is large and you are using drainage material, it could suffice, but if the planter sits directly on the ground or the hole becomes blocked, it can be a problem. It is best to choose planters with multiple drainage holes.

    Porosity

    We have looked at porosity a bit when talking about planters made of plastic, ceramic and terra cotta, among other materials. Essentially, porosity means the ability of a planter’s materials to let both moisture and air pass through. This is important since all plants need oxygen around their roots, and they also need water to be able to move away or evaporate in order to maintain a good soil temperature and prevent plants or roots from rotting or developing fungus or bacteria.

    However, a very porous material runs the risk of drying out very quickly and on an almost daily basis. While you could choose a potting mix and drainage that helped to slow this, if you are unlikely to do daily watering or you live in an area of intense sunlight and summer heat, porosity has to be a major factor for you to consider.

    Adding It Up

    Does your planter need to be moved?

    Will it allow adequate drainage?

    Does it require porosity or even the avoidance of porosity?

    These are major issues to use as you first set out to choose a planter. Then, consider these other key factors…

     

    Other Key Considerations

    Back to Top

    Durability

    By now, you’ve already heard about this in many different ways. We’ve spoken about materials that are fragile, and therefore not at all durable. We’ve considered materials that can or cannot hold up to extremes of heat or cold, snow or ice, wind and so on. We have also looked at materials that are able to retain their color, resist UV or sun damage, and remain flexible rather than turning brittle. We have also considered materials that can provide a less than ideal planter (such as a ceramic planter fired at very high temperatures) with cold resistance.

    Basically, durability is all about the expected life span of the planter, and it always has to do with the type of materials you choose AND where the planter is located.

    It also has to do with the type of plant you are growing. Why? Because you may need durability to mean a single season rather than many decades of service. For example, you may be growing a small or dwarf fruit tree that will transplant into a final, much larger container, a year or two after it is first planted. That would mean a less durable planter is needed. In fact, it could be that you keep the young tree in a nursery pot until it is ready for its final home.

    That means that durability is a bit relative and you will have to figure out what your version of durability means to make the right choice. It will have to do with those issues already mentioned – how long you expect a planter to last, where you are putting it, and what you’ll grow. And with yet another mention of “what you intend to grow,” let’s look at that as a factor for consideration when choosing a planter.

    What Are You Growing?

    You won’t use a planter for things like seed starting or transplants because it would be an inefficient use of space, soil and resources. However, you do have to give serious thought to what will reside in any planter you are seeking.

    Why? As we have already considered, if that plant is to remain in place for many years, you can choose a heavier, less mobile planter. This means you can choose a larger planter, too. But you don’t want to pick a difficult shape that can make re-potting a challenge.

    If you are going to grow temporary or seasonal plants such as annuals, vegetables, herbs and other similar items, your choices are entirely different. Perhaps a window box style of planter is a good idea or maybe even a broad and wide-mouthed urn with cascades of flowers tumbling around?

    And though the world of plants is seemingly endless, in the end, there are really only two main categories of use where outdoor planters are concerned, and we’ll look at the special demands or needs for each of them, below.

    Container Garden

    You will need to give a great deal of thought to almost all of the factors we have considered in this chapter as you choose a planter or two, or ten, for your container gardening. Here are some of the main issues you’ll want to focus in on:

    • Is it all about annuals or is it an assortment of plants? If you are going the annuals-only route, you can choose less mobile options. On the other hand, if you are investing in perennials, they may need materials that are insulating, lighter in weight and more mobile.
    • Are you going to be making permanent garden designs with the planters? For example, maybe you are using a more formal plan and require urns and classically designed vessels? Maybe you are doing a rustic, raised garden and need planters that coordinate with that space, and which can stay in place once you layout the garden?
    • Do you have a color scheme or garden design in mind? Will it be all about green herbs and colorful planters? Maybe you have a collection of annuals you want to arrange in different vessels or very organized containers? Give thought to heights, spacing, colors, and seasons to make the right choices. You can do a great deal with your planters and plant combinations!
    • Are you doing standard and vertical gardening? There are many options for vertical planters, urns and taller planters, and you should not overlook your ability to choose many heights, designs and even textures or colors as you can make planters a major part of the design.
    • Where are you doing the container garden? This is all about durability, porosity and drainage. If you are keeping planters in full sun, be mindful of the amount of watering you will find yourself doing. If they are in full shade, be aware of drainage and porosity which can stifle plants without a way for water evaporation to occur.

    Trees

    Growing trees in containers is a much easier matter to consider because it boils down to a few simple questions or concerns:

    • How tall is this tree or shrub going to be? If it is going to be tall the planter needs to be quite bottom-heavy to help give support
    • Does this tree or shrub require winter protection? If so, choose a planter that will adapt well to movement and/or the use of casters to allow you to easily push it into a southern facing corner where it is sheltered from intense cold and damage
    • How large a root ball will this tree typically develop? You want to “go big” with trees and shrubs to allow them to form a root ball of adequate size. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to transplant a large tree into an even larger planter.

    In general, it is best to invest in a premium quality planter for a tree or shrub. This ensures you won’t need to worry about risks of breakage, inadequate drainage or difficulty in mobility. For instance, you can easily find cast concrete, fiberglass or resin planters that are beautiful in design, available in huge sizes, and lighter in weight, but which can really help give a tree or shrub a happy forever home!

    Aesthetics

    Regardless of what you might see or hear, your opinion about the appearance of your garden planters really does matter. In fact, the looks of any design or decor matters. If you groan with dissatisfaction each time you look at your garden, patio or a single planter, it is not acceptable.

    So, take the time to consider your preferred aesthetic style. Is it modern and contemporary? Is it rustic and earthy? Do you prefer Classical designs inspired by Ancient Greece or Rome? Maybe an iconic European garden is your inspiration?

    No matter what, you’ll find many planters to meet such preferences. The point is to add that style or aesthetic into your decision making process.

    Maintenance

    Low maintenance planters are really ideal, and that means a few things:

    • Choosing a material that does not need annual “treatment” such as applying stain or repainting
    • Opting for materials that resist UV rays that can cause them to fade, weaken and break down
    • Looking for planters that can resist insects and other pests that cause damages
    • Choosing planters made of easy to clean (and keep clean) materials.

    And with that last point, we can now move to the final topic, which looks at basic planter care and upkeep.

     

    Basic Planter Care and Troubleshooting

    Back to Top

    It would be ideal if basic planter care was required just once a year, but it can be an ongoing matter. Basic steps include a drainage check, protection, and cleaning.

     

    Drainage Check

    Double checking that drainage is still moving smoothly. Do this after a heavy rain or after watering well. If a drainage hole is blocked, you may find that you can unblock it by carefully leaning to one side and using a dowel to clean out and unclog the holes. Unfortunately, if it is due to soil compaction, you will find yourself having to un-pot and then re-pot after removing the soil, drainage and beginning with a clean slate.

    Protection

    Using a good winter protection system, whether you are in a location where the winter means deep freezing or even just heavy rains and winds, is always wise as it offers planters seasonal protection.

    This means you may need to relocate the planter to a south-facing area and up against a wall. You can group planters together in such places and even dig a small trench for smaller planters to offer them even more protection from freezing and thawing cycles.

    If your plants are perennials, trees or shrubs, you’ll want to protect them, and one of the best methods is to build a small shelter with metal garden stakes and chicken wire (effectively building a temporary fence around the planters and plants). Fill this with autumn leaves, mulch or marsh hay.

    You might also wrap trees and shrubs in the same manner, but instead of using chicken wire, use burlap and skip filling in the space. If you use metal containers, they need to be sheltered from snow and rain or they may rust. You can do this by wrapping them in plastic tarps and securing them before moving them to another sort of protection.

    If you have an unheated porch or three-season room, this is also a great spot to relocate potted plants and trees.

    Any planter that usually sits on the ground should be elevated from the ground on a few 2x4 boards or a formal platform during the winter months. Regardless of the material, sitting in contact with the soil and standing water can cause damage to the plants or even the planter.

    Cleaning

    It is a good idea to always empty and bring in planters prone to winter damage OR use this as a time to clean planters that will be emptied for the winter.

    It is a good idea to discard soil every other year and allow your planters to be emptied over the winter months. When you do remove the soil and drainage, it gives you a good opportunity to properly clean and disinfect them.

    And though you may dislike hearing it, you will need to clean almost all planters every few years. The exception is the planter with a perfectly healthy tree or shrub. To clean a planter of any kind, you simply empty it and follow these steps:

    • Use a soft bristled brush to scrub away any soil that clings to the inside or outside of the planter.
    • Hose it down and let it dry in the sun for an hour, or so.
    • Use scrub brush or dish cloth and warm soapy water to give it an initial cleaning. Then repeat this using white vinegar and allow to dry completely. If your planters are made of wood, fiberglass or resin, you can stop here and move on to the last step.
    • If your planters are made of concrete, clay or terra cotta, you need to take one more step. Make a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach, and carefully soak the surfaces of the planter with it. Rinse after 30 minutes and allow to dry completely for 24 hours.
    • Place new drainage and soil in the planters and restore the plants, shrubs or trees to their home.

    It is not really difficult to care for planters if you have chosen them correctly. Just follow the different methods outlined above and your planters will remain in top condition for years to come!

     

    Conclusion

    Back to Top

    So, what kind of garden do you have in mind for the coming year? Hopefully, this has all inspired you to begin using a few planters in the garden, patio, terrace, porch or just about anywhere else! 

     

    Planters work in the full sun or full shade and can be used to even create outdoor living spaces or little islands of privacy. You can create an entirely different space with a few well-chosen planters and even give yourself more room to garden than ever before.

    Have fun choosing and then using outdoor planters and remember that the more time you take in choosing them, and the better the quality you select, the more seasons of beauty they can provide.

    Good luck and happy gardening!

     Outdoor Spaces: A Pocket Paradise

    An outdoor space can become whatever you make of it. It is  a room without walls that can be used as an intimate gathering place, or a lovely spot to enjoy your morning cup of coffee or an after dinner drinks with the significant other. Any outdoor space can be turned into a pocket paradise where you can escape from your daily routine. Be creative and still keep cost low with these products. It will allow you to place a personal stamp on your outdoor space to reflect your style.

     

    Add a fire source with a Tabletop Fireplace

     

    Include a variety of seating options

     

    Just like they do indoors, an outdoor rug helps to unify a space.

      

    Add accents to walls with Outdoor Canvas Art

     Things to Look for When Shopping for Outdoor Covers

    Outdoor covers are some of the most beneficial items you will ever purchase in your life. They are the one and only thing that can help protect your investment. Just because many items are designed for outdoor use does not mean that they will not be ruined by harsh elements. Not to mention, a cover will keep its contents dry and clean. It is a lot easier to remove a cover from a patio table and chairs than it is to scrub away bird droppings or wipe away all the water from the morning rain.

    What Needs a Cover?

    You may be surprised to discover that covers are made for nearly everything you likely own that is used or kept outdoors, and they are all equally important. For the patio, Soothing Company has covers for chairs, chaise lounges, tables, fire pits, chimineas, barbeques, water fountains, patio heaters, and water fountains. We also have an extensive selection of ATV, car, truck, golf cart, motorcycle, RV, and snowmobile covers, as well. 

    Features to Look For

     Before you just throw your money away on any cover you find, you should know that it is important to consider the fit, material, and a few other features. A poorly made cover is no better than no cover at all. This is why we only offer products we know provide the highest level of protection.

    Material – The material absolutely needs to be capable of protecting from rain and snow. Keeping the item dry should be the top priority.

    Fit – A cover that is too small will not provide protection to the entire item. One that is too large may allow critters inside or water to splash from underneath. It may even take flight with a gust of wind. Choose a cover with hem cords, toggles, zippers, or other similar features that help ensure a proper fit.

    Air Vents – Although not necessarily a requirement, you will find that many of our covers have air vents. These help reduce wind lofting and condensation.

    UV Protection – The sun can penetrate most fabrics and fade or damage whatever is underneath. If you store the item in your garage or the shed then this may not be high on your priorities list. However, if it remains exposed to the elements when not in use, you might want to make sure that the cover you buy provides UV protection.

     Waterfall Outdoor Fountains | Bring The Beauty Of A Natural Waterfall To Your Outdoors

    A waterfall outdoor fountain is an amazing addition to any outdoor settings. As the name implies, waterfall fountains are water features that are created to look like a real waterfall. Uneven rocks build a wall that welcomes water to flow down, and some offer a trickle in one gentle stream while others cascade carelessly in multiple locations to splash to the pool below. A waterfall outdoor fountain can enhance the look and feel of your garden with the peaceful sight and sounds of water in motion, making you feel like you’ve been whisked away to someplace magical.

     

    Stone Finish Waterfall Fountain 

    Small Rockfall Pond Ornament 

    24″ Rock Waterfall Fountain with LED Lights 

    Curving Log Fountain 

    35″ Floating Sphere Waterfall Fountain

     

     Five Simple Products to Energize Your Outdoor Space

    A patio or a deck overlooking a garden is a perfect place to hang out with friends and family on a pretty day. It is also great for entertaining, grilling out and dining out, or just for relaxing after a long day.  But if your outdoor space is not inviting, nobody is unlikely to take full advantage of it. With the help of a few products and a bit of imagination, one can completely transform a patio from a boring slab of concrete into an inviting outdoor room. Here are five simple and not so expensive products  to energize your outdoor space.

     

    1.  Outdoor Rugs

    2. Patio Umbrellas

    3.  Garden Stake Decorations

    4.  Outdoor Canvas Art

    5.  Atmosphere Light

     

     A Guide to Buying Outdoor Canvas Art

    Considering outdoor canvas art is not a purchase you make very often you may be full of a lot of questions, especially if you have been newly introduced to these pieces. If this is the first you are learning of them you will be interested to know that they are every bit as beautiful as what you would mount inside your home, but they are given a special coating to withstand the elements.

     

    Determine a Mounting Location

    It helps to have an idea of where you are going to mount the canvas before you even start shopping. You will want it to complement the exterior of your home, but you might want to make a mental note of your purple curtains in the nearby window or the rose bush that is full of pink blossoms all spring directly underneath where you are placing it.

     

    Consider Your Furnishings

    Your current furniture and décor will play huge roles in choosing a piece of outdoor canvas art. Obviously, if you have a tropical, French bistro, or Japanese garden theme, you will want to continue on with this theme when you choose your art. For example, our Magnifique Canvas Wall Art will look exceptional paired up with a black iron two-person bistro set on a small patio, while our Palms Duo Canvas Wall Art will look perfect next to the tiki bar.

     

    If you do not have a theme, evaluate the color palette of your furniture or patterns in your cushions or rugs. If your furniture is a solid color and you do not have any patterns or a theme then you can essentially choose any canvas you want.

     

    Do You Have Space for More Than One?

    If you have an “L” shape created by the exterior wall of your home, plus the garage, shed, or pool house, you could buy two outdoor canvases, just as you would likely decorate both walls inside your home. In this case you will want to make sure both canvases complement one another, but they do not necessarily have to be in the exact same category. Our Rivers and Trees category and Wilderness Outdoor category can easily be paired together, just like our Wildlife Outdoor Canvas Art will complement pieces from many other categories.

     

    What About Upkeep?

    If you are worried about how the canvases will look when they get dirty, don’t be. These outdoor pieces are made to withstand weather, and they can easily be cleaned to keep them looking new from one season to the next. Speaking of seasons, you may even want to rotate canvases according to season, if you have simple décor that allows you to be this creative.

     

    DIY: Creating Your Outdoor Landscape

     Creating outdoor landscapes don’t have to entail garden landscaping. It can mean taking what you have and transforming it with distinct pieces that can give it a totally different look. Fashion a resort-like backyard with beautiful hammocks and patio umbrellas that make you yearn for sunny days. Make focal points of eye candy, with outdoor fireplaces and  canvas art. Create warm and inviting outdoor space with  patio heaters and solar lights. Budget is not a limitation. The only true limitation is one’s imagination.

     

    Tips for Buying a Patio Umbrella

    A patio umbrella is an essential component of any outdoor living space. Not only do they provide an eye-catching display they make the area significantly more comfortable. Even on a mild day, the sun’s rays can feel incredibly hot when you sit in them for a while. Not to mention, excessive exposure is damaging to your skin and eyes. Many people even get headaches. Then, when things heat up in the summer, it is really impossible to enjoy your patio, and you certainly cannot go barefoot without burning your toes. Just imagine how your poor dog must feel trying to sit near you!

     

    Patio umbrellas create a cooler and more comfortable space while reducing your exposure to harmful UV rays. Deciding to buy one is easy; choosing a style is a little more challenging. Most are quite surprised to discover how extensive the selection is here at Soothing Company. One thing is for sure, there is an umbrella here to accommodate every need and complement any space.

     

    Determine a Size

     The size of the umbrella will dictate the amount of shade that it awards. You will need to evaluate your patio and decide how much of it you want shaded. You might only want the sun blocked when you are sitting around a table, or you might want a sofa, chaise lounge, and chair all shaded. As a general rule:

     

    • 6-foot umbrella shades 30-inch bistro table
    • 7-foot umbrella shades 36-inch table
    • 8-foot umbrella shades 48-inch square or round table and chairs
    • 11-foot umbrella shades 72-inch rectangular or oval table with six chairs

     

    Tilt or Not?

     If you are putting the umbrella directly over a table, you may not need a tilt feature. You have to consider though that the sun is rarely going to be directly overhead. A tilt feature will allow you to easily adjust it as the Earth moves throughout the day. A good example is our California Umbrella 9-foot Aluminum Market Umbrella. Its push tilt makes it effortless to create shade where you need it.

     

    Other Considerations

     You will need to decide if you prefer a pulley open or crank system. Both are extremely easy to use. You will also have to choose a color, which very well may be your hardest decision. We have them in every color of the rainbow, and then some. You may want one that matches your furniture, or you might want to choose a contrasting color for a bold display.

    Regardless which umbrella you buy the most important purchase you make will be the cover. These décor pieces are designed to last a long time, but only when they are protected by a quality, proper fitting cover.

     

     Hammock Ideas for Autumn

    Enjoying the season, yet? Throw in a hammock in your garden or any place outside your home that you feel most relaxed. Hammocks accentuate an outdoor space provided you have it in you to go beyond the usual. The experience is an absolute treat – fresh air (not so much heat) and a promise of comfort and relaxation. Go out and scan your lawn for the perfect spot. You’ll need a keen eye to perfectly position your hammock in the best location possible. Consider where you want your eyes focused on or where you can be still, undisturbed, and transported to a place only you can create.

    Here are top 5 hammocks you can choose from:

    Experience outdoors, befriend the nature and relax with the utmost comfort with Bliss Hammock Island Rope Chair.

    Bliss Hammock Metro Chair

    Bliss Hammock Metro Chairis perfect for those who want to relax and unwind. Enjoy outdoors with this durable and convenient hammock. With many available colors to choose from, Bliss Hammock Metro Chair will surely match with its environment.

    Algoma Hanging Cotton Rope Chair

    This hanging cotton rope chair spells “Rest and Relaxation”.  Made of 100% natural cotton rope. Wood spreader bar measures 44″ creating a comfortable hammock chair that spreads 30″ to 40″ wide. Hangs from trees, patios, porches, or fits Algoma’s c-frame chair stand model 4750BR  (sold separately)

    Pawley’s Island Gardens Collection Cushioned Single Swing Hammock

    The Single Cushioned Swing creates a heavenly rest for your body and soul. Made to hold up to 350 lbs, it hangs on porches, balcony and even inside your home. This swing has the advantage of fitting in many areas and of creating a colorful addtion to any outdoor setting. The ceiling must be a minimum of 6.5ft high and a maximum of 7.5ft high or you will need a hanging kit or tree straps. Simply comfortable, useful and an easy upgrade for your house.

    Bliss Hammock Quilted Hammock with Polyester Pillow with “S” Stitc

    Who doesn’t want a nice and comfortable Saturday afternoon? Bliss Hammock Quilted Hammock with Polyester Pillow with “S” Stitch is perfect for those who want to relax and unwind. Enjoy outdoors with this durable and convenient hammock. With many available colors to choose from, Bliss Hammock Quilted Hammock with Polyester Pillow with “S” Stitch will surely match with its environment.

     

    Outdoor Canvas Art l Creating Stunning Effects In Your Outdoor Space

    Outdoor canvas art is one way of creating stunning effects in your outdoor space. Each canvas is digitally reproduced and printed on artist canvass using the ‘Giclee’ printing technology to produce beautiful outdoor art. These  are treated on front and back with UV lacquer to prevent the vivid colors from fading. The canvas is waterproof and can easily be cleaned with any non-abrasive wiping material.

    Outdoor canvas art is a simple and beautiful way to add colour and character to your patios, courtyards, plain walls and fences. Create your own oasis with these contemporary box frame canvas art prints.

    Decorate Your Home’s Exterior with Outdoor Wall Art

    It is confusing why most people spend a great deal of time decorating the interior of their home, yet the exterior gets neglected. This is valuable space! Even those who have throw pillows, decorative rugs, and a fire bowl typically overlook the exterior walls of their home. Chances are good that your deck or patio touches a wall of some sort. Why not put this space to use with outdoor wall art?

    Canvas Art

    If you have not been introduced to outdoor canvas art yet you are in for quite a surprise. This type of wall art has recently become incredibly popular, but it is not anything new. These intriguing pieces have been around for quite some time. Like art displayed in your home, these pieces look like a traditional canvas. The painting or photograph is added to a canvas and given a protective coating, which allows it to stand up against rain, pollution, bird droppings, and other elements. They can easily be washed too. These are pieces that look nice enough to be mounted in your indoor living space. These canvases are available in a ton of different themes, including wildlife, wilderness, trees, rivers and streams, landscape, seasons, flowers, architecture, beaches, and more.

    Water Wall

    Nothing makes your home become more mysterious and interesting than an outdoor water wall. Some of them are made in so many finishes you can easily find one to match the color of your home perfectly. This allows the piece to look as though it is part of the wall. There are also some wall fountains that sit on the ground against the wall. These are ideal if you are a renter and can’t mount to the exterior of your home, or if you simply are not comfortable doing so. Wall fountains are available in an array of sizes, colors, and themes. The weathered look is extremely popular right now.

    Garden Statuary

    You might not think of garden statuary as wall art, but maybe you should. There are many pieces available at Soothing Company that can rest right up against a wall. For example, the 28-inch Sitting Buddha Garden Statuary Large placed against the wall of an Asian-themed patio or in an outdoor meditation space would be the perfect finishing touch.

    Solar Lights

    Solar lights are not necessarily considered art, but some are certainly nice enough to decorate a wall. Not to mention, these lights can be used to highlight other pieces of outdoor wall art. Solar lights give your home curb appeal at night while also increasing security. Guests visiting for a late night pool party will appreciate the extra lighting while navigating in unfamiliar territory. Plus, thieves are typically deterred by lighting, making your home less at risk for a break-in.

    Garden Outdoor Fountains to Spice Up Your Backyard

    Whether you want to add a subtle charm or create a stunning focal point, you are sure to find a garden outdoor fountain to do just that. Place it against an empty wall or boring fence, amongst the lush greenery and blooming flowers, these outdoor water features add beauty and character to any space they occupy. Outdoor water features are available in every size, material, color and theme imaginable. Tiered water fountains with pools are majestic and grand. If you love animals, we have fantastic pieces that incorporate animals, like horses, lions, swans, even a turtle and a frog. If you want to transform an empty corner into a relaxing nook, go for Asian Outdoor Fountains and add a touch of Zen and the East.

    Grande Riviera Garden Fountain

    Tall, elegant, and sophisticated, the Grande Riviera Garden Fountain evokes the warm, sun-drenched ambiance of the Mediterranean. Lively and defined water flow streams and splashes into the unique fiberglass bottom pool. Handcrafted of durable cast stone, this fountain is to last a lifetime. It will bring beauty as well as the soothing sound of water to your yard or garden. Unique Perpetual Pool is completely fiberglass for impressive size with ease of installation. 

    White Lotus Flower Fountain 

    Beautiful yet calming, this dramatic White Lotus Flower Fountain is an artistic water feature where art meets function. This relaxing fountain is sure to become a focal point in any setting, creating a soothing and interesting artistic addition to your home. Perfect on your patio or out in your garden as your favorite blooms and foliage. 

    Old World Center Rain Fountain, Tall with Bowl 

     

    The Old World Center Rain Fountain, Tall with Bowl combines the beauty with the soothing sounds of water in motion to create a mesmerizing effect. Water flows calmly from top into the solid stone-like bowl below. The classic beauty of this fountain will lend graceful charm to any outdoor area.

    51″ Tree Trunk Fountain with 6 Pots

    This elegant 51″ Tree Trunk Fountain with 6 Pots has a timeless, classic appeal, the perfect centerpiece for any garden decor. Water spills from the 6 tipped pots into a pool of water contained in the remnants of a long fallen tree. Includes a pump and three LED underwater lights.

    31″ Rock Buddha Fountain

    Create a serene environment in your own back yard or garden with the 31″ Rock Buddha Fountain. This sitting Buddha features a wall of water illuminated by an underwater LED light. It is made of fiberglass resin although it looks as if it is carved from stone. Rich in detail, this striking piece features intricate carvings around the Buddha.

    24″ Bamboo Fountain

    The 24″ Bamboo Fountain is a stunning and wonderful water feature for your setting, add this whimsical piece to your collection today. It features three water spouts with a water wheel at the foot of the fountain. You and your guests will delight in the soothing sounds of water in motion and you’ll quickly find that this little beauty makes your backyard a popular place to be. 

    Delfini Fountain with Quatrain Basin

    This fountain will add a modern yet elegant touch to your garden or patio setting. It will also give your outdoor space a sculptural focal point that also provides the relaxing sounds of flowing water. Constructed in a durable cast stone by skilled artisans that will last for many years.

    Sculpture Fountain with Light 

    Featuring the appearance of a woman cradling a fractured glass candle, this piece of art gives the illusion of a hammered bronze finish sculpture with illuminated water flowing inside her cylinder. The warm glow is provided by an included underwater LED light and the flow of water by an included pump. 

    Zen Plinth Fountain

    The Zen Plinth Fountain is an adorably fun and endearing fountain. Featuring a Zen Frog in meditating pose, this calming fountain is sure to add a peaceful feel to your garden setting. Add this fountain to your home or garden today and enjoy the soothing sounds of water flowing from this beautiful fountain. 

    26″ Lion Head Wall Fountain

    Classic and clean in design, the 26″ Lion Head Wall Fountain fuses seamlessly with any decor. Water flows out of the centered lion head and into the basin below for a soothing water sound that anyone can enjoy. Made out of a poly resin material, this fountain is very lightweight and durable.

     

     

    Make Your Patio Comfortable with These Essentials

    The more comfortable your outdoor living space is the more likely you are to get the most out of it. Sure, you will still sit out there if there are only a table and a few chairs, but you will actually make an excuse to be outside if you are able to kick back and enjoy the space as much as the living room inside your home. You will also find your friends and family may pop over a little more often. Below are a few essentials worth investing in.

    Gel Tabletop Fireplaces

    You may be thinking that if you are going to shop for gel tabletop fireplaces it will be for the inside of your home, but there is no reason why you can’t enjoy one outside. It will be a nice décor piece for your patio, and it will provide a warm heat source for when the sun goes down. Gel tabletop fireplaces also create ambiance and provide a bit of light for increased safety. When you go indoors you can always take it in with you to continue to enjoy.

    Patio Heater

    If you have a very large patio or you live somewhere with a cooler climate a patio heater is essential. This will warm your space, so you can be outdoors even in the spring and fall when nights are still chilly. Some patio heaters even have a built in table for guests to place their drinks on.

    Comfortable Seating

    There is no rule that says you need to have a traditional table and chairs. You do not even need a regular sofa or loveseat. Why not buy seating that no one will want to get out of? Hammock chairs are ideal for the patio. You may want to also consider bean bag chairs. As long as they have a waterproof liner and machine-washable cover you can enjoy these fun and super cozy chairs outside.

    Outdoor Refrigerator

    Why walk inside every time someone needs a water, soda, or beer? A small outdoor fridge on the patio is exactly what you need. Keep it stocked all the time, so when folks pop by you are always prepared to entertain. If you get a large enough one you can keep bowls of fresh fruit or other snacks inside. Since everyone typically finishes their drink at a separate time, having easy access to refreshments will save you from walking back and forth a lot. Plus, a small fridge typically does not draw much power, so you can plug it into an inverter hooked up to a solar panel, and not even use electricity. This makes it convenient for power outages, too.

     

    Patio Heaters | Create A Warm And Inviting Outdoor Space

    Patio heaters enable us to enjoy various outdoor activities even in the coldest night or rainy day. These amazing products  help alleviate the chill of the air and create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Patio heaters come in different shapes and sizes and in a variety of colors to match with your patio furniture or water feature on the deck. Each patio heater is contemporarily styled for today’s discriminating consumers.

    Among the many convenient options you will find include:

    Table Patio Heaters

    Perfect for outdoor entertaining, our Stainless Steel Table Top Patio Heater provides warmth while adding ambiance to any outdoor table top setting. This handsome unit raises the outdoor temperature 10-25 degrees. The safety features of this CSA approved unit include an auto shut off tilt valve and an oxygen depletion sensor. 10,000 BTU output. CSA approved.

    Propane Patio Heaters

    Let the Square Mocha Illuminated Patio Heater warm your next patio party and you’ll soon wonder how you ever went without. It provides an amazing 46,000 BTUs of heat over an 18-foot diameter. It is safe to use and simple to set up, with the included wheels you can easily follow the party outdoors and keep your guests warm throughout the evening.

    Wall Mounted Patio Heaters

    The new Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Infrared Patio Heater introduces a new revolution in outdoor heating.  With a heating efficiency of 90%, this infrared patio heater runs on regular household electric current and is substantially less expensive to operate than propane patio heaters. This unit can be used indoors our outdoors for a neat and space saving set up, with a movable mounting bracket.

    Car Covers | Because Rust Isn’t The New Red

    Whether you have a “soccer mom” van, a coupe or a classic car, your car needs to be protected. Without a good, quality car cover your vehicle faces many “dangers” from day to day. There are countless threats that your vehicle is exposed to on a daily basis. Exposure to the sun, rain, snow, dust and bird droppings can cause your car to rust. Mind you, rust isn’t the new red. Kids can sometimes cause unintentional damage to your car when the friendly game of catch commence right beside your vehicle. A car cover will prevent damage to your car’s paint, keep the interior temperature cool and prevents dirt and dust from accumulating in your car. Invest in one now and save yourself some headache down the road. 

    OverDrive PolyPRO 1 Car Cover 

    OverDrive PolyPRO 1 Car Cover is made of a unique material that repels water and yet breathes to retard the growth of mold and mildew. Made of durable material, this waterproof car cover features a soft inner layer that doesn’t scratch your car’s paint. Ideal for all sedans measuring 175 inches or less, the car cover provides unfaltering protection from UV rays thereby extending paint life. The cover comfortably withstands the vicissitudes of weather conditions. Other remarkable features of the waterproof car cover include an antenna reinforcement patch, an elastic hem, tie-down grommets and a rope. Also, the UV protection car cover is easy to use, maintain and store.

     OverDrive PolyPRO 1 SUV/Pickup Cover

    This OverDrive PolyPRO 1 SUV/Pickup Cover is ideal for all SUV’s and pickups measuring 187-inches long, provides protection from UV rays, thereby retaining the color of the paint. It is made of a unique fabric material that is water repellant and yet breathes to retard the growth of mold and mildew.

    OverDrive PolyPRO 3 Car Cover

    OverDrive PolyPRO 3 Car Coveris made of soft, durable, and breathable PolyPro 3 material that will protect a car form dirt, rain, pollution, and sun damage without scratching the paint job or holding moisture in. It has special triple layer fabric resists and repels and repels water, snow, and more while breathing to allow water vapor to escape away from your car. The elasticized bottom hem of the cover makes for a speedy custom fitting. Cover also features non-scratch tie-down grommets, rope, and a reinforced antenna patch. Comes with attached storage bag.

    OverDrive PolyPRO 3 SUV/Pickup Cover

    OverDrive PolyPRO 3 SUV/Pickup Cover has a triple-layered, gentle fabric that covers and protects your car and retains the vibrancy of the paint by blocking UV rays. This pickup truck cover includes a convenient storage bag, and fits SUVs and pickups up to 230″ long.

    Deluxe Four Layer Car Cover – Grey

    Deluxe Four Layer Car Cover – Greywill provides maximum water repellency and resistance with the added protection of breathability. This cover protects your car from dirt, scratches, pollution and bad weather. It features an elasticized bottom hem to allow a quick fit and the soft, four layer fabric will not scratch or damage your vehicles paint.

     

    Patio Umbrellas l Temporary Ceiling That Encloses And Defines Your Outdoor Space

    Patio umbrellas provides temporary ceiling that encloses and defines your outdoor space.  This everyday item can make a big difference when it comes to outdoor comfort.

    In choosing a patio umbrella, always remember the size of the umbrella will determine how much shade your space will receive. Ideally, patio umbrellas should be table width plus extra 2 feet per side if possible. Overcrowding a patio with a too-large umbrella won’t look or feel good. The height of the umbrella pole is also important. It has to be high enough to be out of way, but not too high to lose its function. The umbrella fabric needs to be adequately weather resistant to both strong sun and rain. There is nothing worse than getting an umbrella that leaks water or falls apart quickly.

    Completely transform your patio from a boring slab of concrete into an inviting outdoor room with patio umbrellas.  With the designer patio umbrellas from The Soothing Company, you can spice up your outdoor room for a great price.

     Top Five Solar Lights

    Solar lights are becoming increasingly popular. It can be used in many different ways such as accent lighting, path lighting and spotlighting. Solar lights are economical and easy to install, they just need to be placed in areas where there is sufficient sunlight during the day so that they are kept charged at daytime. Solar lights don’t require connection to the utility company and are easily movable since they do not have any wiring. The LED bulbs rarely burn out making its upkeep almost non-existent except when you need to replace the rechargeable battery. Solar lights are environmentally friendly because it uses the sun’s energy instead of conventional electricity. Solar lights add beauty and highlights to your garden or yard as well as provide unmatched convenience, reliability and efficiency.

    1.  Solar Lamp Post Triple

    Solar Lamp Post Triple

    Enjoy a romantic evening with your loved one under the glow of our 7′ high solar powered traditional styled lamp posts. They come with 3 lights which use a special patented cone reflector to make the light brighter. This all aluminium construction tall lamp post will illuminate your garden with our energy efficient, super-bright LED’s. The gas-light design of our solar lamp is classic and adds an elegant appeal to your front or back yard.

    Using efficient solar-powered technology, the solar lamp lights receive their energy from built-in batteries charged daily by the sun, which in turn light the 6 super-bright LED bulbs. Each solar lamp post has real beveled glass panes that add to the late 19th Century appeal. No maintenance is required with the powder-coated cast-aluminum solar lamp posts that are weather resistant & won’t rust. Worry-free, the solar lamp post turns on automatically at dusk and off at dawn. The solar lamp post can be bolted down (bolts included) and is available in either black, white or rust red.

    2.  Solar Lamp Post Wall

    Solar Lamp Post Wall 

    This beautiful wall fitting solar light comes ready to install to add a great feature to your home. It has our super-bright LED’s which use a special patented cone reflector to make the light brighter. The gas-light design of our solar lamp light is classic and adds an elegant appeal to your front or back yard.  Using efficient solar-powered technology, the solar lamp lights receive their energy from built-in batteries charged daily by the sun, which in turn light the 6 super-bright LED bulbs. Each solar lamp post has real beveled glass panes that add to the late 19th Century appeal. No maintenance is required with the powder-coated cast-aluminum solar lamp posts that are weather resistant & won’t rust. Worry-free, the solar lamp post turns on automatically at dusk and off at dawn. The solar lamp post can be bolted down (bolts included) and is available in either black, white or rust red.

    3.  Fluted Solar Accent Light

    Fluted Solar Accent Light

    Enjoy the outdoors without worrying about replacing batteries or changing the propane tank with Gama Sonic’s Fluted Solar Accent Light.  This classic model stays bright up to 10 hours per night. It Charges by day and automatically turns on at night. Illuminates garden, driveways, patios, and walkways. No wiring needed. Comes with hardware and instructions for ground installation. Very attractive price!  3 sets in one package. 

    4.  Globe Solar Light

    Globe Solar Light

    This Globe Solar Light combines innovative style with function, efficiency, and the easiest installation possible. Since it’s solar charged you don’t have to disturb your garden to install electrical wiring. Up to 10 hours per night and will light up your garden, driveways, patios and walkways making for a much safer and attractive outdoor environment. Comes with hardware and instructions for proper installation.

    5.  Crown Solar Shed Light

    Crown Solar Shed Light

    Light up your shed, greenhouse, storage units garage and more with this easy to install solar charged light. No electrical wires to install, just secure it to the roof or side wall and let the sun do the rest. Our Crown Solar Shed Light is completely solar proof and can be easily installed on all types of material; metal, wood or plastic. It is charged by a powerful Mono Crystal solar panel and the LED light never need to be replaced.

     Top Five Ways To Add Life To Your Outdoor Living Space

    A well kept garden is a joy to behold.  A garden delights the senses and refreshes one’s energy. It adds beauty, color and life to your home.  A garden also provides another venue for you to do family activities like having a picnic on a weekend, entertaining friends or just quietly reading a book while sitting on a hammock under the tree or on a bench beside the water  fountain. Carefully chosen outdoor garden accessories will add to the enjoyment of your outdoor living space.

    1. Garden Outdoor Fountains

    Bubbling Rock Outdoor Garden Fountain
    Dimensions: 25″H x 18″W x 18″D
    Weight: 128 lbs

    Garden outdoor fountains are beautiful pieces of art that are ideal to place anywhere you need to breathe new life into a space.

    2. Solar Lights

    Globe Solar Light

    The easiest way to elevate the safety of your yard, add ambiance, outline your property or provide a way to easily find your driveway or walkway in the dark is with solar lights.

    3. Garden Statuary

    Angelica Angel
    Size: H 18 ½” x W 12″ x BW 5 ½ 

    There is no easier way to add a substantial amount of charm and personality to your yard or garden than by simply adding a garden statuary.

    4. Outdoor Canvass Art

    Lavendar Sunrise Outdoor Canvas Art
    Dimension: 30″ x 40″ x 1.5″

    If you are looking for that one perfect element to complete the look of your patio or deck, outdoor canvas art  just might be the missing component that you need to tie the space together.

    5. Fire Pits or Outdoor Fireplaces


    Real Flame Lafayette Fire Pit
    Dimension: 33.6”L x 17.9”H x 33.6”W
    Weight: 50.13 lbs.

    An outdoor fireplace is a great way to add warmth and style to your patio. Outdoor fireplaces comes in gas, gel, and wood.

     A Helpful Guide for Buying Solar Lights

    Solar lights are some of the most important décor pieces you can buy for your home. Now, you are probably thinking an outdoor light is hardly considered décor, right? Well, when you browse the selection we have here at the Soothing Company, you will realize that there are certainly plenty available that are more than capable of giving the exterior of your home or your property an instant facelift.

     

    Why Buy Solar Lights?

     

    Obviously, the main reason to shop for solar lights is so you can see where you are going, right? You may be surprised, but there are other reasons why these lights are essential to add to your property.

     

    Naturally, the main reason is to reduce accidents. You may know there are three steps leading to your porch or that there is an uneven sidewalk, but guests don’t. They will appreciate the light more than they might even realize.

     

    Since solar lights are powered by the sun’s rays they can be placed anywhere that receives sunshine. When you are not tied to an electrical outlet or extension cord, you are granted a great level of flexibility. Now you can put lights in those dark and awkward areas at the back of your property or up by the road. This also means that if there is a power outage, your property will not be pitch black. A little light will take the edge off the creepiness that often comes along with a power outage.

     

    Also, a well-lit property is very unattractive to thieves. It is pretty hard to sneak into a window or pick a lock on a door without being seen by neighbors on a well-lit property. This also means there is less risk of someone waiting in the bushes when you get home. An illuminated property is safer; plain and simple.

     

    Shopping Guide

     

    We have a wide variety of solar lights here at Soothing Company, so there is something for everyone. The best thing to do is walk your property at night and determine where light is most needed. Against the house and by the doors is obvious, but there are probably other locations that could benefit from them, as well. You may want to line your driveway, walkways, flowerbeds, and deck perimeter with them. You might also want to have some placed sporadically throughout your property.

     

    We do have those classic lantern styles you can mount right to your home and garage, and there are also some that mount seamlessly to a fence, such as our Solar Warning Light Angle Install.

    The solar lamp posts we have can be placed anywhere. They are ideal for large properties. They are rust-resistant, durable, and some can even be bolted down.

    Essentials for Camping

    It does not matter if you go camping once a year for a week or you like to have mini camping trips year-round with the kids; the right supplies ensure an experience that is safer and much more enjoyable. Whether you are planning your first outing, or you are just looking to pick up new must-have essentials for the season, this list will help.

    Tent – Okay, you know you need a tent, but choosing from hundreds of varieties is pretty overwhelming. Obviously, size matters. Everyone should be able to sleep comfortably. There are dome, a-frame, and walled varieties available. It should be waterproof and easy to pitch. Inner side pockets are nice to have, as are lantern hooks.
    Sleeping Gear – A sleeping bag is a must. A sleeping pad will give you a little cushioning and prevent the cold ground from stealing your body heat. You can also go with an inflatable camping bed.
    Portable Barbeque Grills – There are lots of portable barbeque grills to choose from. Get one that you are comfortable using and that suits your needs. You will also need cooking supplies, plates, cups, etc.

     

    First Aid – Some assume a first aid kit is only needed for a long trip. Nope! Murphy’s Law should pretty much tell you that you will need a first aid kit when you are least prepared. It should include adhesive bandages, medical tape, gauze pads, disinfecting ointment, pain medicine, treatment for blisters and burns, gloves, allergy pills, and a pen and paper.
    Lighting – A safe campsite is a well-lit one. Not only do you want to be able to see your surroundings, especially if you camp in an area with bears, wolves, or coyotes, you also want to see what is in your walking path. Tripping over a rock and breaking your nose on the picnic table will put a quick stop to your fun. Headlamps are great because they are hands-free. Solar and crank lanterns eliminate the need for batteries. There are even crank flashlights and lanterns that have a USB charging port.
    Other – Now that you have the basics, start adding to your collection of supplies. There are an abundance of other things that will enhance your experience, even if you are just camping in the backyard with the kids. Other supplies include bungee cords, walkie-talkies, cleanup kit, cooler, fire starter, navigation tools, sun protective clothing, portable hammocks, knives or multi use tools, water treatment, whistle, clothes line and pins, folding table and chairs, laundry bag, hand warmers, portable propane heater, crank radio, and work gloves.

    Unique Centerpieces for a Large Garden

    If you have a small raised flower bed or even a bed that runs alongside your house, all it takes is something small to create a unique focal point. A gargoyle, gnome, or some other type of statuary is all you really need. If you are working with a very large flower garden, creating a focal point is not quite as easy. The eye has a lot of natural beauty to absorb, which can be a little exhausting, if they do not eventually come to rest on one knockout piece. The right centerpiece will draw the eyes deeper into the garden without taking away from any of its beauty. The things on this list are sure to enhance the display of your lovely garden.

    Urn Outdoor Fountains

    Most people hear the word “urn” and immediately cringe. In this case, urn refers to the narrow-necked shape and has nothing to do with a funerary urn. Urns were widely used in décor design in the 16th and 17th centuries. Urn outdoor fountains are simplistic, but attract a lot of attention. Some are large enough to have a small pool at ground level, which will be appreciated by the wildlife that will use it as a drinking source.

     

    Bench

    There is just something enchanting about a bench nestled amongst wildflowers. You can literally hear it beckoning to you to sit for a bit. You can actually buy urn outdoor fountains that have a bench around the perimeter.

     

    Animal Statues

    Whether you love bears, wolves, lions, or some other regal animal, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a statue of it. Just imagine a black panther statue on a bench or log in the middle of your garden.

    Pond

    If you have the patience and time to dedicate to building and maintaining a pond, this would be a perfect addition to your garden. Just be prepared for the long-term commitment, especially if you want a koi pond.

    Garden Gazing Ball

    When garden gazing balls first became popular there really was not a large selection to choose from. They were basic, but beautiful. However, if you had one there was a good chance that nearly all your neighbors had the same one to match. Today, there is a huge selection of them in a variety of colors. Plus, you can find pedestals and holders in everything from a flamingo to an angel. If your garden is extra-large, you will want a few of these.

       5 Must Haves for a Small Patio

      If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, and have a patio you may feel as though the area is too small to do anything with. This is not true. Just because you cannot fit large pieces of furniture does not mean you cannot create an outdoor living space you will want to spend a lot of time in. Below are some must-haves that will turn that small patio into a functional and loved extension of your home.

      1. Canopies and Tarps – If your patio is not large enough to add an umbrella, consider using a tarp or canopy to shade the area. You are more likely to spend time out there if you do not have the hot sun beating on you. You can attach one corner to your home and then get creative with the other corners. A t-post, tree branch, fence, or a light pole is all things you can make work.

       

      2. Portable Grills – Do you crave grilled food? You do not have to wait for someone to invite you over for a cookout. Portable grills are perfect for small spaces and you can cook a lot more on them than you might think. When it is not being used, tuck it under a bench or in the corner so it is out-of-the-way. Just think of how nice it will be to come home from work and fire up the grill.
      3. Outdoor Rug – An outdoor rug is something you really cannot fully appreciate until you actually have one. A nice large decorative rug will cover most of the patio and it will be so much more pleasant to walk on with bare feet than concrete. It will instantly make your patio look and feel like a comfortable space you would enjoy in a large home.
       
      4. Small Fireplace – You can sit out there on a cool evening and read or watch the stars if you have a fireplace to keep you warm. Buy either a tabletop or small freestanding gel or bio ethanol one. If you are worried about someone taking it, just bring it inside with you when you are not using it. Both fuel sources are clean-burning and can be enjoyed inside, as well.
      5. Bird Feeder – Inviting a little living art to the space will really change how you look at that small patio. You do not need a tree either. Hang one from a shepherd’s hook or buy one with its own stand. Do make sure you put a shallow dish of water out for your feathered friends, too.

         Unexpected Garden Decorations

        In a flower garden, you typically expect to see flowers, plants, and perhaps a birdbath or water fountain. There is no rule that says only these elements are appropriate to sit amidst your plants and flowers. Below are a few items that are unexpected, but definitely charming.

         

        1. Bathtub – Doing a bathroom remodel? Don’t be so quick to have the old tub hauled away. Adding it to the garden will definitely turn some heads, and it is sure to be a conversation starter.

         

        1. Bicycle – Next time you see an old bike or even a bike tire at a garage sale for next to nothing, buy it. Bikes add an interesting look to flower gardens. You can always spray paint them, if you want to add a bold color to the garden.

         

        1. Outdoor Furniture – When you are strolling past a garden and all of a sudden you spot a piece of outdoor furniture hiding there like a secret, you can’t help but be drawn to it. You also can’t help but view the person who put it there as a little more mysterious and interesting. So, what type of outdoor furniture is best for your garden? A bench, of course! You might even assume you will never sit in it, but you may be surprised at how often you sneak away to be enveloped by nature.

         

        1. Doors – An old door is a perfect tool to add height to a garden. It also gives creeping plants something to climb. You can even use the door to make a vertical herb garden, if you are short on space.

         

        1. Planters – You might be wondering why you would need to add planters to a place where there is already soil. Well, planters are easier to control, so you can swap out certain plants, so something is always in bloom. Plus, it is an easy way to break up a garden that’s all one height.

         

        1. Scarecrow – Depending on your age and where you grew up, you may remember a time when everyone had a scarecrow in their yard. They never really did a good job at scaring away the crows, but they certainly looked intriguing. A scarecrow is sure to add a little personality to your garden.

        Home Improvement: Choosing your Outdoor Fireplace 

        The right Outdoor Fireplace is one that fit your needs and matches your lifestyle. As they come in a variety, choosing the right one may seem like a daunting task. Here are a few things you should consider. First, consider the types (Fire Pits, Chimeneas, Fire Tables and Tabletop Fireplaces) and the permanency or movability of the fireplace. The latter is as important as the design characteristics. Consider the yard/patio size as well as your entertaining needs. You should also familiarize yourself with  how much heating each type provides. Lastly, but not any less important, is for you to check your local regulations.

        Let your summer nights be more elegant and relaxing by sitting around this Granite “Chat Firepit“. Made with first class granite stone that can stand for years. This table is easy to maintain and clean. Recommended for any setting, this fire pit table will add elegance to your outdoor space!

        An excellent foot warmer on a chilly day. The Etruscan Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace is simple, classic and elegant design that blends with any outdoor décor. Its mouth screen provides easy access for adding wood and roasting marshmallows. The Etruscan includes a hand tool for handling the mouth screen.

        Relax and enjoy your backyard patio with the Real Flame Mezzo Square Propane Fire Table. A square table product featuring clean, modern lines and beautiful finishes. The patio fire table includes an electronic ignition and arrives complete with lava rocks for the most authentic look and feel possible. The Mezzo Collection carries an ETL Certification and features an electronic ignition.

        Enjoy the beauty of real fire without the necessity of having a chimney. The Stone Ventless Fireplace from Chantico brings the element of fire into modern interior spaces. The stable stone base prevents this portable piece from falling over what is an important safety factor when choosing an ethanol run biofireplace. The design matches rustic style interiors, but can be also used outdoors in your garden.

        1. Signs – Although you can buy signs, these are really things you should make. If you have a favorite poem, break it up into fragments on multiple signs to read as you walk through the path. If you have funny quotes you love, use them for the signs. The great thing about signs is they are not permanent. You can swap them by season, and store the old ones in the garage.

         

         Are You Familiar with the Different Types of Hammocks?

        Does the idea of lying in a hammock tied between two palm trees on a pristine white sand beach get you excited? Add in the sound of emerald waves kissing the shoreline paired with a gentle breeze, and you have paradise. Well, although you can’t necessarily turn your yard into a deserted island, you can easily create your own tranquil oasis, and you do not even need trees to make it happen.

        The key element here is the hammock. If you have one, you can imagine the rest. Although, a water fountain placed somewhere close will give you the soothing sound you are looking for.

         

        Types of Hammocks

        Many still close their eyes and imagine a white rope hammock like Gilligan used after being shipwrecked. Classic styles are still very popular today. However, if you prefer rope, you are no longer limited to white varieties. Rope styles come in an array of colors. You can also choose between cotton, polyester, or a blend. You do not need two trees either. Many can be fastened to a stand. These sturdy stands have a wide base that keeps you from tipping, yet still allow you to gently rock to sleep.

         

        Not everyone loves the look or feel of rope. If this sounds like you then fabric hammocks may be very appealing to you. Water-resistant, breathable fabrics in a variety of colors and patterns look great and are easy on your skin.

         

        If you really want to be pampered, focus your attention onquilted hammock varieties. Although not typically all that easy to find, the Soothing Company carries an impressive selection of them. You will feel your body literally melt into them. Some are even reversible, which is perfect for anyone who likes to switch things up, when it comes to their décor. Like rope and fabric varieties, these can be attached to hammock stands.

        Chairs and Extras

        Not all hammocks are designed to lie down on. There are rope, fabric, and quilted chair varieties available. These are fun, comfortable, and durable seating solutions for your patio, covered porch, sunroom, media room, and dorm room.

        Even if you have two trees, you should consider a hammock stand. It is nice to be able to move from the sun to the shade to the bonfire pit or anywhere else you want to go. If you have one tree, you can also purchase a single pole that will act as a second tree. Of course, the most important accessory you will buy is a pillow. Hammock pillows come in different sizes and colors and are weather-resistant. Many tie right to the spreader bar, so you do not have to worry about the wind blowing them away.

        Rock Your Stress Away in a Hammock

        No other piece of furniture can reduce stress and promote relaxation the way hammocks can. They are without a doubt an absolute must to every outdoor space. If you do not have a yard, you can always hang one in your apartment balcony or patio, or in a spare room. You do not have to be tired and dying for a nap to enjoy a hammock. Quite often, making time to lie on one 20 to 30 minutes a day simply to decompress and relax the mind can be very beneficial to the person trying to manage stress. You might want to set an alarm though because even if you are not tired, there is a good chance you will drift away to dreamland shortly after you lay down.

        Experience outdoors, befriend the nature and relax with the utmost comfort with the Pawley’s Island Original Collection Large DuraCord Rope Hammock. DuraCord hammocks also exhibit superior resistance to stains and can be cleaned if needed with bleach without fading the color. So hang your hammock, enjoy it, and forget about it.

        Relaxation is not confined to four walls now! With Bliss Hammock EZ Stow Portable Hammock with Stand , you can experience the ultimate comfort even when outdoors. Read a good book or magazine, chat with your loved one, listen to your iPhone and many others in your garden or pool area. This Bliss Hammock EZ Stow Portable Hammock with Stand  is clearly a piece of furniture you should not miss!

        Bliss Hammock Island Rope Chair is perfect for those who want to relax and unwind. Enjoy outdoors with this durable and convenient hammock. With many available colors to choose from, Bliss Hammock Island Rope Chair will surely match with its environment.

         Top 5 Selling Bonsai Trees

        A bonsai tree is basically a whole tree but in miniature version. Bonsai trees comes in all sizes and shapes, from one upright tree to a small forest of mostly horizontal shape trees. Each bonsai tree is very unique and beautiful, giving your room a different look and feel. If you like the idea of a customized plant that is tailored to your style, then a bonsai is a perfect choice.

         

        1.    Small Gardenia Bonsai Tree

        Small Gardenia Bonsai Tree

        This fragrant indoor bonsai features a soft scent that has been popular for centuries.  Gardenias are full, white flowers that bloom March through June.  The Small Gardenia Bonsai Tree is not only beautiful to look at, it will add a beautiful scent to your home!

        5 Year Pomegranate Indoor Bonsai Tree

        2.    5 Year Pomegranate Indoor Bonsai Tree

        This bonsai tree is a rare bonsai variety to find and one of the most interesting to grow!  This beautiful Pomegranate tree blooms with orange leaves spring through summer, and then produces pomegranate in October.  This dwarf pomegranate bonsai will thrive indoors.  You will love the fruits of your labor with the 5 Year Pomegranate Indoor Bonsai Tree!

        5 Year Green Mound Juniper in Rock Container Outdoor Bonsai Tree

        5 Year Green Mound Juniper in Rock Container Outdoor Bonsai Tree

        3.    5 Year Green Mound Juniper in Rock Container Outdoor Bonsai Tree

        This 5 Year Green Mound Juniper in Rock Container Bonsai is a favorite of many due to it’s adaptability and ease of maintenance.  This bonsai tree is easy to trim and does not need perfect conditions in order to grow.  This is great if you do not have constant sunshine.

        Hawaiian Umbrella Indoor Bonsai Tree with Pool

        4.   Hawaiian Umbrella Indoor Bonsai Tree with Pool

        Interested in bonsai but not sure where to start? Begin here. This attractive, fuss-free tree sports shiny compact leaves. The Dwarf Hawaiian Umbrella Tree with Pool is one of the easiest bonsais to maintain and does extremely well in low light environments, making it perfect for the office or home.

        Dwarf Jade Indoor Bonsai Tree

        5.    Dwarf Jade Indoor Bonsai Tree

        This Dwarf Jade Indoor Bonsai Tree  is ideal if you are looking for a low maintenance and easy to grow bonsai tree.  It can adapt to different conditions and can survive without water for periods at a time.  The Dwarf Jade Indoor Bonsai Tree will look great without a lot of effort from you!  Add the Dwarf Jade Indoor Bonsai Tree to your home today!

         

        5 Things that Will Make Your Outdoor Space More Interesting

        Have you grown bored with your outdoor space? Maybe you spent a fortune on the gorgeous furniture you just had to have, but the space just does not feel welcoming. For whatever reason, many people buy furniture for their deck of patio, but then their decorating effort stops there. If this sounds like you then maybe you just are not aware of how generous the selection is of outdoor décor, or maybe you just don’t know what is trending. The following five things will make your space more interesting and inviting.

        1. Decorative Rugs – There is a very good chance that you do not even know how large the variety of rugs for patio spaces is. You might even be thinking that you have a rug in front of your door, so you don’t need another one. Rugs for patio and deck spaces have really come a long way in recent years. There are some nice enough to be used inside your home, only they are designed to stand up against harsh environmental elements. Plus, they are easily cleaned with the spray of a hose.

        Kanto Portable Indoor Outdoor Gel Fuel Fireplace
        Dimensions: 27.25″ W x 9.5″ D x 20.5″ H

        2. Ventless Fireplace – Even on a warm, muggy night, there is nothing better than relaxing in the glow of a dancing flame. A tabletop or freestanding fireplace is a must-have accessory for your patio. They are available in bio ethanol and gel varieties. Both fuel sources burn clean, produce no smoke, and are completely maintenance-free. 

        3. Lighting – Just like inside your home, lighting plays a huge role in creating ambiance and increasing safety. Solar lanterns should be along walkways and beside stairs. String lights offer a fun look around shrubs, decking, and fencing, and colorful paper lanterns can be hung from overhead trees and rafters. The paper lanterns are just as lovely to look at during the day as they are at night while lit. Although perfect for parties, they are ideal to use all season long. 

        4. Water Fountain – There is a good chance you already have a water element on your patio. Every outdoor space should have at least one. So, if you don’t have one yet, now is the time to start shopping. It will create the focal point your outdoor space is crying for.

        5. Bird Accessories – Any space will instantly go from boring to brilliant when there is a steady supply of living art flying around. Birdfeeders, birdbaths, and birdhouses are highly recommended.

         

         Home Improvement: Choosing your Outdoor Fireplace

        The right Outdoor Fireplace is one that fit your needs and matches your lifestyle. As they come in a variety, choosing the right one may seem like a daunting task. Here are a few things you should consider. First, consider the types (Fire Pits, Chimeneas, Fire Tables and Tabletop Fireplaces) and the permanency or movability of the fireplace. The latter is as important as the design characteristics. Consider the yard/patio size as well as your entertaining needs. You should also familiarize yourself with  how much heating each type provides. Lastly, but not any less important, is for you to check your local regulations.

        Let your summer nights be more elegant and relaxing by sitting around this Granite “Chat Firepit“. Made with first class granite stone that can stand for years. This table is easy to maintain and clean. Recommended for any setting, this fire pit table will add elegance to your outdoor space!

        An excellent foot warmer on a chilly day. The Etruscan Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace is simple, classic and elegant design that blends with any outdoor décor. Its mouth screen provides easy access for adding wood and roasting marshmallows. The Etruscan includes a hand tool for handling the mouth screen.

        Relax and enjoy your backyard patio with the Real Flame Mezzo Square Propane Fire Table. A square table product featuring clean, modern lines and beautiful finishes. The patio fire table includes an electronic ignition and arrives complete with lava rocks for the most authentic look and feel possible. The Mezzo Collection carries an ETL Certification and features an electronic ignition.

        Enjoy the beauty of real fire without the necessity of having a chimney. The Stone Ventless Fireplace from Chantico brings the element of fire into modern interior spaces. The stable stone base prevents this portable piece from falling over what is an important safety factor when choosing an ethanol run biofireplace. The design matches rustic style interiors, but can be also used outdoors in your garden.

         

        Furniture for Hanging, Swinging, and Rocking

        If you are finally ready to replace that old boring furniture with pieces that are fun, stylish, and youthful, you may want to skip options that sit on the floor. Hanging furniture not only creates an exciting visual display; it is also pretty cool to sit in. Not to mention, the empty space between the bottom of the furniture and the floor allows positive energy to flow freely through a room, according to feng shui practitioners. Below are a few popular options sure to breathe new life into your home.

        Hammock Chairs – You really cannot go wrong with hammock chairs. Although you can suspend them from overhead rafters and beams, most people simply purchase a stand that the chair hangs from. These are available in rope and fabric varieties, and are one of the most affordable options in the hanging furniture market. They are ideal for any room, especially the living room, sun room, and media room. Of course, the best place for one is the nursery. Skip the rocking chair and opt for a hammock chair instead.
        Bed – Move over platform beds; there is a new contemporary bed option in town! Floating beds look spectacular, but if you tend to roll around in your sleep, be warned that you have a pretty big drop, should you roll off the bed in the middle of the night. It will definitely hurt.
        Rattan Chairs – Rattan chairs have a really cool 70s vibe about them, especially if you add a furry seat. They also look really great paired with rope chair hammocks. The wood and rope work together to create a nice rustic feel.

           

          Bubble Chair – If your home looks like it belongs in a contemporary magazine, the space age design of the Aarnio Bubble Chair will fit right in. Be prepared to dig deep in your pockets though, because these artistic pieces start at around $6K.

             

            Bunk Beds – What kids wouldn’t be over the moon with excitement over hanging bunk beds? Plus, their friends will all be jealous. A safety railing is highly recommended for the top bunk.

               

              Swing – Yes, swings! If you have a heavy duty rafter, you might as well make the most of it with a few wooden swings. Guests will be fighting over the best seat in the house. Of course, if you have kids, this is where they will want to spend all their free time.

                 

                5 Things You Need for a Comfortable Outdoor Living Space

                It seems as though summer is shorter every year, doesn’t it? If you love to gather with family and friends on the patio, then you probably cherish every minute that you can spend out there. Maybe you do not even do any entertaining, but you do catch up with a good book outside every day after work. Whatever the case is these five essentials will make your outdoor living space as comfortable as it can possibly be.

                 

                Patio Heater

                You should not be chased indoors just because the temperatures drop when the sun goes down. Patio heaters will keep you nice and toasty when the air is cool. This also means that you can start enjoying your patio earlier in the spring, and continue to enjoy it well into autumn. Patio heaters come in a variety of styles. Some are freestanding while others sit on a table. There are also some that mount from overhead.

                   

                  Mosquito Repellant

                  It is inevitable that at some point your time spent outside will be ruined by mosquitoes. Chances are pretty good that the last thing you want to do is spray on mosquito repellant every time you go outside. So, make sure you have plenty of citronella candles and tiki torches nearby. Mosquito dunks can also be helpful. These environmentally-friendly things are just tossed where there is freestanding water, and they kill the larvae. Plant citronella plants and make sure you do not allow the water in your birdbath to become stagnant.

                     

                    Patio Umbrella

                    An essential to creating a comfortable space is having a patio umbrella to provide you with shade. Not only will the sun make you significantly hotter; the rays can be very hard on your eyes and skin.

                       

                      Rug

                      You will not really appreciate having a nice outdoor rug until the first time you kick your shoes off and realize your toes are not burning from the hot deck. Plus, if you have a dog, he will certainly appreciate having something soft and cool to sit on.

                         

                        Water Fountain

                        You may be wondering how a water fountain is going to make your space more comfortable. Well, its visual display paired with the soothing sound of cascading water will make your space more inviting, relaxing, and tranquil. Not to mention, as your ears are focused on the water they will not pay as much attention to noise in the neighborhood.

                        Finishing Touches for Your Garden