In Part I of our three-part spring cleaning series, we talked about cleaning and sprucing up your outdoor space.  Here now are some ideas for planning a cozy and relaxing outdoor area.

Choosing the perfect plants for your space and pocketbook:

  • Do you have a fixed budget for your summer potting and landscaping needs? If so, consider investing in perennials. If you put plants in pots/containers, choose ones that can be transported and incorporated into your overall landscaping theme in the fall. Lavender, hydrangea and box hedges are just a few that offer aroma, privacy, and color to your outdoor space.
  • Lemon and lime trees are a great year round, manageable tree that can be brought indoors during winter. They give off sweet aromas and help improve the indoor air quality of the home as well. Here are some low maintenance, indoor air quality friendly plants that can be used on your patio/deck for the summer and then brought in for the winter: low maintenance good indoor air quality plants
  • Don’t have a green thumb? No problem! Look into hydroponic gardens. Hydroponic gardens, most often used for fruits and vegetables, can also be used for flowers. Having a hydroponic system is a great way to have a full garden (fruit/vegetable or flower) on a deck, balcony, or in your home. If you are not familiar with hydroponic gardens, here’s a quick video that will give you an idea how great they can be: hydroponic garden video
  • When choosing which flowers to plant, be mindful of where your flowers will be; in full sun, partial sun or shade, and how often the flowers need to be watered.
  • Hanging planters, floor level potted flowers and potted flowers in stands all look great when grouped together as they can provide symmetry to an area.

Create a cozy area for the hot days and cool evenings:

  • Privacy is a secure feeling. To help create the level of privacy you desire, consider hedges, shrubs, lattices, blinds, umbrellas, canopies and trees.
  • Create a space that you can retrieve to on the hottest summer days with plenty of shade. Avoid areas of your home that throw off heat, like the exhaust to your dryer vent.  Use umbrellas, pergolas, outdoor blinds, retractable awnings, or trees to help create a shaded area.
  • Protect your items from the outdoor elements. Sitting on damp, dirty, smelly cushions is no-one’s idea of a good time. Invest in a decorative storage box or, if space is an issue, purchase furniture covers that will protect your furniture as well as your cushions.
  • Add splashes of color and texture throughout your outdoor space with throw pillows and rugs.
  • String lights are not just for Christmas anymore. Wrap some string lights around your trees, in your potted plants, or on the deck to create a warm, inviting glow.
  • Wind chimes come in all types of designs and sizes. Including some in your outdoor area will add to the relaxing feel.

Grilling can be so much fun with just a few accessories:

  • When creating shade for your outdoor area don’t forget about the grill area. On hot summer days, grilling your favorite foods can get pretty uncomfortable for whomever has the grilling duties.
  • Have all the tools of the trade readily accessible by storing grill accessories, aprons, hot mitts, etc.. underneath the grill in a sealed container to keep everything clean and dry.
  • A counter height table near the grill is great space for the food and prep area.
  • If you grill after dark, consider some outdoor lighting near the grill area. Lighting is important for late night snacks off the grill.
  • Be sure to clean the grease trap and grill after each use to ensure food is delicious time after time.
  • Got it covered? Covering your grill when it is not in use will help protect it from the outdoor elements and pesky rodents.

Utilizing some of these tips will help create a cozy and relaxing outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy all spring and summer long. Would you like help implementing any of these ideas?  If so, give us a call at 732-204-7388.

Your time living at the Jersey Shore should never be tied down with CHORES… make yours… OURS!