Get the Right Light for Outdoor Entertaining

OutdoorLivingLightingSummer is in full swing, but there’s still time to plan a relaxing staycation or backyard soiree while the evenings are warm and clear. To make the most of your family and friends time, look around your outdoor space to see if the existing lighting works properly and enhances the ambiance.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), a few updates to your outside lighting can make your alfresco time more enjoyable. And the best part? It doesn’t have to be time consuming or costly to transform your existing patio, deck or pool area into a lovely retreat.

Greener Cities Crop Up, Starting in California

SpreadRootsIt’s not easy being green these days — especially when you share space with more than 3 million people. And yet, one Southern California company is making it its business to do just that.

BP Gardens, a subsidiary of GreenGro Technologies (OTC: GNRH), an Anaheim-based eco-friendly technology company, is taking local farming in a crowded urban environment to a whole new level by designing vertical gardens. Its hope, says CEO James Haas, is to provide communities, restaurants, and grocers with locally grown, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables.

Lighting Your Landscape Like the Pros

LandscapeLightUpCThe deck is swept and ready for summer barbecues, the lawn is freshly mowed, and the outdoor furniture is dusted off. In short, the stage is set for cookouts, family gatherings and entertaining late-night porch hangouts. But don’t get left in the dark.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), proper outdoor lighting is just as important for a beautiful landscape as a lush lawn, bright flowerbeds, green plants and manicured shrubs.

Jeff Dross, corporate director of lighting education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, recently explained that homeowners are opening up to new ideas with landscape lighting.

How to Beautify the Backyard for Outdoor Entertaining

If the blanket of pollen coating every car in the lot hasn’t clued you in yet, the torrential rain storms may do the trick. After a sluggish start, spring is in full swing, and summer is on its way.

That means you’re running out of weekends to designate to spring cleaning. It also means it’s time to beautify the backyard—yes, now. Family and friends love spending sunny afternoons outside, particularly if there’s a pool involved.

Use the following advice to prepare for outdoor entertaining, and get the most out of your lawn, garden or patio.

How to Prep Your Lawn and Garden for Autumn

As autumn colors set in this season, make sure your all-important home and garden upkeep checklist is ready.

Although the lawn is often overlooked during the fall, it’s actually the perfect time to make sure everything is organized before the harsher winter elements take hold. Paul James, host of HGTV’s “Gardening by the Yard,” advises homeowners to start early – approximately six weeks before the first good freeze.

Here is a list of some of the tasks and items you should add to your fall checklist this year:

Pain Reliever Moonlights as Shield Against Gnats

It’s almost like the line in the old popular children’s song “Skip to My Lou:” “Fly’s in the buttermilk, shoo, fly, shoo.” Only nowadays, it’s an ointment that’s making gnats go away.

During the warmer months, gnats can be a real pain in the neck. Yet, many people are starting to notice that the same product you use to massage away those neck pains can also keep pesky gnats away.

Users of Absorbine Jr., a popular topical pain reliever, are taking note of its uncanny ability to ward off gnats. Although not its primary function, many see Absorbine Jr. as having a dual purpose.

TLC Tips for Lawn and Garden Maintenance

Whether you’re considering the resale value of your home or are simply resigned to doing maintenance projects to keep your house in good condition, your lawn and garden could certainly benefit from some TLC of the home improvement variety.

The exterior of your house commands most first impressions, and even mild winters inflict seasonal damage. If you don’t know where to start, a home improvement project checklist may help. Consider the following lawn and garden maintenance tips from home and garden experts at HGTV and MarthaStewart.com:

Turn Your Backyard Into an Outdoor Resort

This summer many people will spend vacation time at home instead of traveling. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), with a few updates to your outside lighting, you can enjoy a mini vacation at home. Believe it or not, it’s easier and less expensive than you might think to transform your existing patio, deck or pool area into a lovely retreat. Rather than buying a costly designer patio set or lounge chairs that will lose their luster by next season, invest in a new lighting scheme that will enhance your existing outdoor furniture and amenities.