Time to Spruce Up the Patio
The sun's getting warm on the patio bricks (or flagstones or redwood) and soon you'll be entertaining outdoors. Now is the time to plan how the patio will look in mid-summer. Here are a few suggestions to make the most of your outdoor living space.
- Start with a good cleaning. Power washers are very effective at removing dirt and debris in a hurry. If you have a wood patio, it's probably due for repainting or stain. If you have concrete, you can protect it with a sealer or stain it with different colors in a pattern to resemble brick, tile or stone. (Ask about concrete stains at your local home-improvement store.)
- Plant containers with splashy annuals, herbs and vegetables. These can be large and weighty if the containers are placed on rolling platforms that let you arrange and rearrange your greenery--in and out of the shade, pushed to the patio borders for large gatherings or brought close for intimate groups.
- Look for functional, comfortable patio furnishings (wood, wrought iron, resin, etc.) to allow attractive seating that's easy to move around. Consider purchasing a large, plastic bin so you can conveniently store--and protect-chair cushions outdoors and near your furniture.
- Install lights around the perimeter of the patio and in adjacent flower beds. Use concealed, well-grounded electrical wiring, or buy solar-powered lights-- a care-free (though more expensive) choice that's easily installed.
- Order a roll-away awning to provide your patio with shade and protection from rain.