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Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

Last post Wed, May 14 2008 7:25 AM by babs. 10 replies.
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  • Mon, May 12 2008 11:46 AM

    • Brandy
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    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    It is indeed time to think of the great outdoors. What can you do in your yard to create an enjoyable space be it an entertainment area or a sitting area in the garden with things you have on hand or at least very cheaply?


    Need some ideas?

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  • Mon, May 12 2008 1:46 PM In reply to

    • Pat
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    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

     Some good ideas there! Marlene mentioned tacking up beach mats for blinds alongside the patio - well, we don't have beaches here, so no mats. (I don't think I've ever seen a beach mat!) But I bought three sections of plastic lattice and we nailed them up on the south side of the patio to keep the sunshine to a minimum and to provide a little privacy. Another thing that works is to plant tall bushes that would shade and enclose an area. 


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  • Mon, May 12 2008 2:28 PM In reply to

    • rolo
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    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    We have two nice porches but absolutely no privacy.  We rent so any permanent solution is a no-no.  We bought some lattice panels and tied them to the porch posts with some sturdy cord/rope. The posts go from the porch to the porch roof--instant privacy.  We added some dollar store chimes and whirlygigs and our garden in pots, along with our chairs, tv tray table, some candles, etc.  Looks great and now we don't mind sitting outside.  


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  • Mon, May 12 2008 3:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    Due to condo restrictions, I have to be a little careful on what goes out on my deck... using tall flowers in containers to block view from alley (just waiting for them to bloom now).  

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  • Mon, May 12 2008 3:17 PM In reply to

    • kabin
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 29 2007
    • Indiana
    • Posts 1,618

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    We have a lot of landscape work to do this year. So we don't sit out in the yard much at all. half dirt half grass. But we do have a nice wrap around porch on the front of the house and my favorite side is to the west where we face trees. It's more private than the front of the house. I can't wait to start getting some bushes put in.

  • Mon, May 12 2008 7:58 PM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    Out of necessity we screened in one of our porches. I had a feral cat we were trying to tame and she was living on the porch. However we discovered she had some smelly late night visitors (skunks) who would waddle up, poke around and leave. At first I thought I wasn't going to like it but it turned out nice and looks like it was always that way. My neighbors have gazebos set up in the back yard but I don't see them using it too often. Around here mosquitos and wasps take the fun out of sitting outside.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Mon, May 12 2008 11:21 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    because all the rain we get here, everything rusts or mildews and rots.  We don't have porches but a cement patio and a brick one. Both covered in kids stuff!  have plans to build a greenhouse and peroga? wood structure over the rest of the brick.  I have some patio furniture etc. The fences are covered with lovely plants/vines.  

    Have to fight the battle of the weeds and especially the dandelions and buttercups. they swallow everything in such a fast time.   need to do a dump run too. borrow moms weed whacker and maybe the yard will look inviting by summer!

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  • Tue, May 13 2008 12:22 AM In reply to

    • dolly77
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Dec 27 2007
    • Way Down South
    • Posts 295

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    We've lived in our house for 12 years now and I am finally excited about using the front porch!  I always thought it was too small to be a sit-down porch because I was envisioning rocking chairs.  I picked out some nice black wrought-iron "bistro" chairs at Lowe's a few weeks ago and I got two of them for Mother's Day.  I also got two beautiful hanging baskets of petunias and lantana that promise to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.  DH is ripping out all of the overgrown shrubbery from when the house was built in l980 and is replacing it with nandina, lantana, and mexican heather.  I'd like to get a set of windchimes.  It's very pleasant to sit on the porch and look at the lake.

  • Tue, May 13 2008 8:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    Last year I built myself a backyard hide-a-way; it's an 8x10 box style rose arbor with a cement pad. This year I've planted the climbing roses around it, added a screen on the inside that's hung on pcv and was given a couple sets of wind chimes to go out there for mother's day. In the near future I'm going to hire the neighbor (retired eletricaian) to run an eletrical line out to it. I'll get the pipe he'll need and I'll dig the trench from the house to the hide-a-way for him (it runs through the dog's yard) he'll have to run and connect the wires.

    I'm loooking into getting some awnings to keep the sun out till the roses grow up the sides to give me some natural shade and maybe some bamboo window shades so I can control the amount of light inside it (the shades run around $4-$10 ea but not sure how many of what size I'll need).

    I might turn the pvc into a misting system I've already got the pvc in place I'll just need a feed pipe from the bottom (which I can make from the scrap pcv) an elbow with 3 pipe openings and a threaded inlet for the hose. I just have to find out if I'll need sprayer pieces for it (so I'll get an actual mist) where I can get them and how many I'll need

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  • Wed, May 14 2008 7:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Home Challenge: Creating Outdoor Spaces

    Thanks for posting this Brandy. Have been thinking about this too. We have some bricks and I have a couple of trashpicked chairs and a bench. I would like to have a table and chairs but have not been able to find anything affordable. We priced a picnic table and it was nearly $100! The set was not put together. We are not willing to spend that much right now. Unless we can come up with a more cost effective alternative, there will not be an outside table! I may be able to get my hands on some pallets, if so, we could make a table, then I would only need to get some chairs. Would love to have one of the nice metal tables, but unless I can luck up and find one in our local thrift shop, it is out of the question.

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