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Archives for August 30, 2017

DC community calendar, Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2017

Garden tour: “Fun With Trees” Certified arborist Alexandra Torres leads a walk through the U.S. Botanical Gardens outdoor garden and discusses tree selection for the home and arborist gardening tips. Take sunscreen and water, and wear protective clothing. The tour will be canceled in the event of rain, extreme heat or a Code Red weather alert. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tour meets by the entrance on the terrace. U.S. Botanical Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333. Free with online registration.

Woodrow Wilson Plaza summer concerts Blues singer Shirleta Settles performs. Thursday, noon-1 p.m. Concerts daily weekdays. Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-312-1300. Free.

Native Landscape Tour A horticulturist leads a tour of the National Museum of the American Indian Native Landscape gardens. Thursdays at 1 p.m. Through Sept. 28, weather permitting, except federal holidays. Meet near the flagpole outside the South Entrance. National Museum of the American Indian, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW. 202-633-1000. Free.

Kids’ chess club For children of all ages who want to learn to play, improve their chess moves or play in tournaments. Thursdays, 5 p.m. Through Dec. 28. Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-282-0021. Free.

Child safety seat inspections DC Safe Kids in partnership with Children’s Health Project of DC offers weekly car seat inspections. Fridays 10:30-3:30 p.m. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-476-3618. Free.

Garden tour: “Highlights from the Conservatory Collection” A one-hour guided tour through jungle, desert and tropical foliage. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon; Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m.; and Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 3 p.m. except Sept. 3 and 4. Through Sept. 29. U.S. Botanical Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333. Free.

NPS walk: “Secrets of the Washington Monument Grounds” A park ranger traces the Potomac River’s original shoreline with stories from more than two centuries of change. 10 a.m.-noon. Begins at the Paddle Boat Parking Lot (near the refreshment stand) on Maine Avenue. SW. 202-359.2662. Free.

Capital Harvest on the Plaza A farmers market features fresh fruits, vegetables and artisanal novelties. Recipes and tips for maintaining a healthy and socially responsible life are available at the information booth. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. most Fridays through Nov. 10. Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. 703-237-9777.

Union Market Drive-In movies “Days of Thunder” (1990), featuring Tom Cruise as a hot-shot stock car driver, is the finale of the summer movie series. Lot opens at 6 p.m. and closes promptly at 7:20 p.m. Film begins at 8 p.m. Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NE. 877-775-3462. Free for walk-ups; $10 parking fee for cars.

Labor Day Weekend Music Festival The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities presents three consecutive nights of local music with three different performers each night. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7 p.m. Historic Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Free.

Adult Zumba The Washington Ballet leads a dance workout class featuring radio pop and Latin rhythms. Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. $12; residents of 20020 or 20032, $6.

2017 Library of Congress National Book Festival A day of presentations, panels, poetry and family-friendly activities for book lovers. More than 100 celebrated authors on 10 different stages, including David McCullough, Dav Pilkey, Kate DiCamillo, Roxane Gay and Alice McDermott. 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW. 202-707-5000. Free.

Celebration of Textiles A day-long community festival explores textiles with demonstrations of weaving, embroidery, spinning, quilting and lacemaking. Other activities include live music and dance, storytellers and hands-on workshops. Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Textile Museum, George Washington University Museum, 701 21st St. NW. 202-994-5200. Free.

National Park Service ranger talk: “The National Guard in World War II” Learn about the contributions and sacrifices of the Guardsmen who, at the beginning of World War II, made up two-thirds of the U.S. Army. 11-11:30 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m. Meet at World War II Memorial contact station, 1964 Independence Ave. SW. 202-359-1533. Free.

“Professore Giuseppe, Master Concatenator!” An aural tour of the National Building Museum for all ages, with percussionist and museum creative-in-residence Steve Bloom. Compare the sounds and vibrations of the different spaces through synchronized group drumming and vocals while moving through the museum’s historic architecture with Professore Giuseppe (Bloom). 11 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 1 p.m. and 1:40 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448. Free.

Yoga at the library Classes for beginner adults and teens taught by Yoga Activist. No experience necessary; take a mat or borrow one from the library. Saturdays 11 a.m. Through Sept. 30. Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW. 202-243-1188. Free.

“Pieges (Personal Column)” Maurice Chevalier, Marie Dea and Erich Von Stroheim star in director Robert Siodmak’s 1939 French proto-film noir. A taxi dancer goes undercover to investigate the disappearances of several women who answered a personal ad. In French with subtitles. 1:30 p.m. National Gallery of Art East Building, 150 Fourth St. NW. 202-842-6905. Free.

NPS ranger walk: “Presidents and American Indians” A 1.5-mile walk looks at the historical interactions of U.S. presidents and Native Americans. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Begins at Washington Monument (base). 202-438-9603. Free.

Freshfarm Capitol Riverfront farmers market Locally sourced fruits and vegetables, meat, cheese, bread, beer and coffee, every Sunday in the fall. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Canal Park, southern block, 200 M St. SE. 202-362-8889.

Palisades farmers market Local produce year-round, with music by Sherier Mountain. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 48th Place and MacArthur Blvd. NW.

National Museum of Women in the Arts community day. The museum offers free admission to the special exhibitions “Revival” and “Fanny Sanin” and the museum’s collection. First Sundays, noon-5 p.m. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. 202-783-5000. Free.

Carifesta A day-long festival of Caribbean music, arts and culture highlights 28 nations with live reggae and soca music, food courts and a beer garden. Noon-8 p.m. Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-312-1300. Free.

Blue Monday at Westminster D.C. As part of the weekly blues series, guitarist Dave Chappell and his band perform with guest singer-keyboardist Johnny Neel. 6-9 p.m. Dinner from 5:30-8 p.m. Westminster Church, 400 I St. SW. 202-484-7700. $5.

National Symphony Orchestra A concert of patriotic songs and American Songbook standards. (In case of inclement weather, the concert will be in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater.) Gates open at 3 p.m., open rehearsal 3:30 p.m., concert 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol West Lawn (access at Third Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW or Third Street and Maryland Avenue SW) 202-416-8114. Free.

ImagiNATIONS Activity Center Kid-friendly activities related to Native American history and culture include an interactive skateboarding video game, a quiz show and a stilt house adorned with photos by indigenous youth from the Amazon. Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. -5 p.m. National Museum of the American Indian, third floor, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW. 202-633-1000. Free.

Little Builders Storytime Ages 2-6. An interactive read-aloud of “Riki’s Birdhouse,” by Monica Wellington, followed by a related activity. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448. Free with admission: $16 adult, $13 student, seniors and ages 3-17 with I.D., $5: Blue Star ages 3 and up with I.D. (limit 6 per family). Register for the event by phone or online.

Tuesday classical music concerts Organist Martin Schmeding performs. 12:10-1 p.m. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. 202-347-2635, Ext. 20. $10.

National Park Service ranger talk: “Little Rock Girl 1957” A discussion of the photograph that changed the fight for integration in profound and unexpected ways. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial plaza, Independence Avenue and West Basin Drive SW. 10-10:45 a.m. and 2-2:45 p.m. 202-740-3441. Free.

Tour: “The Art and History of the U.S. Botanic Garden” A walking tour explores how historical currents, architecture, sculpture, and landscape architecture came together to create the garden. Meet at the entrance to the Conservatory on the Terrace. Repeats Sept. 13 and 20; will be canceled on rainy days. 2-3 p.m. U.S. Botanical Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333. Free.

Book talk: “Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961” CIA historian and author Nicholas Reynolds discusses his book on Hemingway’s mid-20th-century spycraft. The talk will be followed by a book signing. Noon-2 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 866-272-6272. Free.

Lunder Conservation Center tour Learn how Smithsonian American Art Museum conservators use science, art history and skilled hands to preserve objects from the collections in the Lunder Conservation Center. Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, third floor, Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-1000. Free.

“Conversation Pieces” Senior curator Joanna Marsh uses a work from the American Art Museum to inspire an art discussion. First Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-1000. Free.

— Compiled by Terence McArdle

Email: (to the attention of Terence McArdle)
Community Calendar, District Local Living, The Washington Post, 1301 K St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071.
Announcements are accepted on a space-available basis from public and nonprofit organizations only and must be received at least 14 days before the Thursday publication date. Include event name, dates, times, exact address, prices and a publishable contact phone number.

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This summer proved perfect for many plants





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Gardening Advice And Tips On Food Preservation | WVXU

While some local gardeners are disappointed in their late-summer harvest, others are gathering more fruit and vegetables than their families can eat. No one likes to see that food go to waste, so if you’ve already supplied neighbors and friends with all the tomatoes they can use and you can’t bring yourself to make one more loaf of zucchini bread, consider preserving your produce for use all through this winter.

Joining us to discuss food preservation methods and to answer your gardening questions are Campbell County Extension Office Horticulture Agent Sarah Stolz; Turner Farm Chef and Culinary Manager Stephanie Michalak; Boone County Horticulture Agent for Family and Consumer Science, Diane Mason; and Boone County Cooperative Extension Horticulture extension agent, David Koester.

For information and registration on Turner Farm gardening programs, click here. For upcoming Boone County Extension program information, click here. For information on classes and events in Campbell County, click here. For the Campbell County Extension Horticultural Newsletter, click here.

OSU Extension, Hamilton County is now accepting applications for its 2017 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Class. Training will be conducted each Thursday for 10 weeks beginning September 14.  Classes will be from 9am to 4pm. For more information or an application, please call Julie Crook at 513-946-8998 or email her at

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Tim’s Tips: Looking forward to fall? Get your yard ready

With September right on our doorstep, there are things that you should be doing in the early fall. Here are a few of the things you should pencil in on your to-do list.

If you need to repair an existing lawn or if you are going to start a new lawn from scratch, you should have the grass seed in place by the end of September.

Depending on the type of grass seed that you use, it can take up to three weeks for the grass seed to sprout, and then the seed will need another month to get out sufficient roots for it to turn into a permanent lawn.

It is true that some years you can get the seed down later. If you want to do all the work and hope that Mother Nature doesn’t freeze up the soil early, then you can wait. On the other hand, it probably is best to get the seed down by the end of September.

If you have Japanese bamboo growing in your yard, I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to control. I once owned a piece of property that had some of this invasive bamboo. I soon learned that trying to pull it up was futile. Trying to kill it with weed killer was futile most of the time.

I did learn that when this weed was forming its white flower clusters, it would soon be dying back for the winter. When the Japanese bamboo forms its flowers, it is preparing to pull all the food that has been made in the leaves down to the plant’s massive underground root system.

If you prepare and spray the leaves with a weed killer with glyphosate, the weed killer will be taken down to the roots along with all the food in the leaves. This will severely damage the root system of the bamboo.

The weed killer will kill other desirable vegetation, so you need to be very careful in how you apply it. I have seen the white flower clusters forming on the Japanese bamboo, so now is the time to spray the weed killer.

If you have space in your garden, now is the time to plant garlic. Many of the garden stores are selling untreated garlic that you can plant now.

The garlic is divided into the individual cloves, and each clove is planted in the ground. The clove will root and put out growth. The growth will overwinter, and come the spring, the clove will put on a growth spurt that will allow each clove to turn into full-size garlic.

You still have time to make use of some of the empty space in your vegetable garden. There are so many different types of greens that can be planted now that will give you a fall harvest of fresh vegetables. I had one customer who did a fall planting of greens, and with a mild fall, she was still harvesting fresh greens at Thanksgiving!

Well, Labor Day is coming up on Monday. Please have a safe weekend.

I’ll talk to you again next week.  


Tim Lamprey is the owner of Harbor Garden Center on Route 1 in Salisbury. Do you have questions for Tim? Send them to, and he will answer them in upcoming columns.

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Learn gardening hacks from national writer at Scottdale fundraiser – Tribune

Updated 4 hours ago

As a joint fundraiser for West Overton Village and Museum and the Mt. Pleasant Public Library, nationally known gardening author Shawna Coronado of Chicago will speak at the museum on Sept. 14.

Coronado, author of six books on gardening, will present “Secret Blow-Your-Mind Organic Gardening Hacks,” revealing ways to up-cycle everyday items in the garden to save money and benefit the environment.

Her hacks are natural or organic and easy for home gardeners to incorporate, according to a release from the library.

Coronado will use photos and tales from her own creative home garden to demonstrate tips she uses to make her plantings flourish.

A gardening expert whose speaking engagements have included TEDx and Google talks, Coronado also is scheduled to speak on Sept. 15 at Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion.

The blogger for Better Homes and Gardens and Jung Seed was named among “Top 8 Gardeners to follow on Twitter.” She has shared her expertise on television and radio features including on PBS, WGN News and NPR.

Following a diagnosis of severe spinal osteoarthritis, Coronado became a wellness lifestyle advocate, practicing healthier habits including daily walking and consuming a mostly anti-inflammatory diet.

A limited number of her books, “100 Gardening Hacks” and “Grow a Living Wall,” will be sold at the Sept. 14 event. Only 100 tickets will be sold.

Event sponsors include West Overton Garden Society, Arona Road Greenhouse in New Stanton; Penn State Extension Master Gardener Kim Bringe of Greensburg; Mary Beth Kline of Jeannette, and Martha Oliver of the Primrose Path in Scottdale.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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Gardening Advice And Tips On Food Preservation

While some local gardeners are disappointed in their late-summer harvest, others are gathering more fruit and vegetables than their families can eat. No one likes to see that food go to waste, so if you’ve already supplied neighbors and friends with all the tomatoes they can use and you can’t bring yourself to make one more loaf of zucchini bread, consider preserving your produce for use all through this winter.

Joining us to discuss food preservation methods and to answer your gardening questions are Campbell County Extension Office Horticulture Agent Sarah Stolz; Turner Farm Chef and Culinary Manager Stephanie Michalak; Boone County Horticulture Agent for Family and Consumer Science, Diane Mason; and Boone County Cooperative Extension Horticulture extension agent, David Koester.

For information and registration on Turner Farm gardening programs, click here. For upcoming Boone County Extension program information, click here. For information on classes and events in Campbell County, click here. For the Campbell County Extension Horticultural Newsletter, click here.

OSU Extension, Hamilton County is now accepting applications for its 2017 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Class. Training will be conducted each Thursday for 10 weeks beginning September 14.  Classes will be from 9am to 4pm. For more information or an application, please call Julie Crook at 513-946-8998 or email her at

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De Gournay Creates a Wallpaper Worthy of Pauline de Rothschild’s Praise

While Pauline de Rothschild shared Chateau Mouton with her husband, Philippe, the couple maintained separate apartments in Paris; his in the 16th arrondissement and hers on the Left Bank. The style maven’s home on rue Méchain showcased her personal affinity for refined interiors. Inside, Louis XVI furniture sat atop parquet wood floors, and the bedroom walls teemed with 18th-century chinoiserie wallpaper that complemented a tented taffeta bed.

The jade garden design that wrapped the walls became iconic when fashion photographer Horst P. Horst captured the baroness, peeking behind a hidden door, in her whimsical oasis for Vogue in 1969. Nearly fifty years later, London wallpaper purveyor de Gournay will release a re-creation of the famous print with its latest chinoiserie design.

The motif is rooted in traditional, historic chinoiserie.

“We’ve been working a lot with papers that have more of a contemporary feel, with designs based on Rousseau paintings and ’60s pop art, but this time around we wanted to really recreate the past,” said de Gournay’s design director Jemma Cave. ‘We wanted to create something that had more of a classic chinoiserie look, reminding people that we can craft these wonderfully rich panels with historic roots.”

The resulting paper, Salon Vert, mimics the original panel’s energy, with fluttering pheasants, sparrows, and parakeets against a turquoise silk background. A magpie sits amid the foliage filled with chrysanthemums and butterflies, while intertwined branches wind up to the ceiling.

A hand-painted panel.

Like all of de Gournay’s wallpapers, the design was realized following 18th-century techniques, and the pattern was sketched and embedded onto silk panels with watercolor paint. “We wanted to make a paper that looks like it’s 100 years old with bleached-out pigments from decades of sun exposure, which makes the background look crisp and uneven.”

Pauline de Rothschild’s bedroom panels were removed from her flat in 1988, following her death, and were last seen for sale at a Parisian antique shop in the ‘90s. But de Gournay is determined that their legacy lives on. “The iconic Horst photo that depicts the beautiful panels crops up time and time again,” explains Cave. “It’s a look that will continue to surface.”

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Get Growing: How to paint your town with colorful flowers

Special to Reading Eagle: Gloria Day | A front cottage garden style expands to several adjoining homes in Buffalo, N.Y.

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Antiques can add personality, focal point to a garden

Adding antique garden ornaments to the landscape blends horticulture with history. One-of-a-kind pieces will personalize your property, and over time may grow into something richly rewarding financially as well as artistically.

“Really outstanding good old pieces such as a swan bench, unusual large decorative urn or piece of sculpture will continue to go up in value, but really more important to my client is the same artistic pleasure that placing a certain piece in their garden gives to them,” said Aileen Minor, owner of Aileen Minor Garden Antiques Decorative Arts in Centreville, Maryland.

Some of her garden antiques have been installed in the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and in private collections around the United States, Germany, England and France.

The definition of “antique” is somewhat elastic but generally applies to objects more than 100 years old.

“What makes a piece worth collecting? I would say rarity, design detail, all original parts and age,” Minor said.

Garden antiques are most commonly made of wicker, metal or stone, and range from pergolas and gazebos to cemetery headstones and fountains, from ironwork, fencing and gates to outdoor furniture and windows.

Family heirlooms qualify.

Each person has his or her own idea about what constitutes a collectible, said Troy Rhone, owner of Troy Rhone Garden Design in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Typically, I look for pieces that are over 120 years old and have a unique history,” Rhone said. “I’m not as concerned about the price because I’m usually looking for a specific item for my gardens.”

Rhone studies each piece to determine if there are markings to determine who made it, signs of wear and tear, and areas that might deteriorate quickly.

“Not many pieces can stand the test of time when exposed to weather, so using pieces that have proved their sustainability is something most people are drawn toward,” Rhone said.

Many people shape their garden antique collections around a theme. Some may want to match a Victorian-era setting, highlighting the looks of their home and neighborhood. Others simply want practical antiques spotted tastefully around their landscape.

“Collectors do collect pieces based on forms such as antique hitching posts or interesting sculpture,” Minor said. “But more often they are looking to find unusual pieces such as a fountain for a focal point in a garden, or are looking for an attractive antique or vintage bench or settee for seating in their garden.”

Estate sales, auctions and antique dealers are good places to look, Rhone said. “They can be a great resource when searching for a specific item. Most of the time it’s pretty easy to have shipping arranged.”

Living at a time when so much is mass-produced, it’s nice to have something that no one else has, Rhone said.

“That is easily accomplished with an antique that was handmade,” he said. “No one else is likely to have that exact piece so it allows a space to have individuality, which is what makes one garden stand out from the rest.”

Secure them, though. High-end antique pieces are prime targets for thievery.

Contact Dean Fosdick at

Online: For a brief history of American garden ornaments, see

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9 Clever Tricks to Make Your Outdoor Space Look Expensive

The best outdoor spaces—whether they’re 100 square feet or 10,000—are carefully curated, thoughtfully designed, and, most importantly, inviting. A winner could be an oasis, a party zone, a sales lure, or just a slice of (semi) natural beauty.

Too bad, then, that so many homeowners view their high-potential outdoor spaces as an afterthought. They put off improving them because they assume they’ll need to spend a waterfall of cash on extravagant features. Au contraire! A luxe-looking outdoor oasis doesn’t require infinity pools and marble statues. In fact, you can create a relaxing, resort feel in the great outdoors in no time—and on a budget.

We consulted with landscape designers from coast to coast to grab some of their best tips for making your outdoor space look luxe for less. So mix up a batch of dirty mojitos and take a look at these tips—we’ll meet you outside.

1. Use the 5 ‘key components’

A haphazard outdoor area will scream “cheap.” Or messy. So before you dive into creating your space, make sure you have a plan.

“Know what you want to achieve—how you want to feel in you space, what functions you want to carry on and what image you want to project,” says artist and designer Pablo Solomon. “Study what you like about luxurious landscapes that you have seen, and then try to incorporate those elements into your space.”

According to Solomon, good landscaping is based on five key components:

  • Balance
  • Proportion
  • Color
  • Textures
  • Shape

He advises clients to imagine they’re creating postcards as they frame views to and from their home.

“We usually think of landscaping as having some basic zones—the central focus (usually your house), the spaces surrounding your focus, the perimeter of your property and the lines of sight/paths connecting those elements,” he says.

Consider these zones as you map out your dream space (seriously, put good old-fashioned pen to paper on this one) and incorporate Solomon’s five elements into your plan.

2. Focus on the entry

Traditional entry design

Burke Brothers Landscape Design/Build

To get the most luxe bang for your buck, spend your dollars where they’ll make the most impact: the front entryway.

“Lay a pathway using brick, cobblestone, or even concrete—and if you choose the latter, take it a step further by painting it in contrasting colors,” says Brian Rhoden of Daniels Lawn Service in Orlando.. “Two contrasting colors, such as black and gold, give an air of luxury without breaking the bank.”

Then line your fancy new pathway with inexpensive greenery and voila! Solid first impression.

3. Create ‘spaces with purpose’

Tropical patio design

Promised Path Landscaping Inc

According to San Francisco-based design pro Gina Gutierrez, “sections” are key to creating spaces with purpose.

“If you have a larger outdoor space, I always recommend divvying up the yard so your space doesn’t feel too much like one large square,” she says. “Within your space, section off an area for perhaps a kitchen or grill, a place to dine with family and friends, a bar area where you can curate drinks over conversation, a comfy and intimate seating area, or a peaceful space for gardening.”

Create flow and continuity among these sections with similar colors, textures, patterns, and lighting concepts.

“Otherwise, the space will become too noisy or busy,” she says. “Stick to a color scheme or style theme, and you can’t go wrong.”

And when in doubt, think minimal.

“Often the key to an expensive look is not excess,” Rhoden says. “The key is in accentuating details.”

Stumped for ideas? Solomon recommends a well-placed sculpture or interesting planter to give your space a luxe look for less.

4. Place a priority on seating

Mediterranean patio design

Casa Smith Designs, LLC

“Seating arrangements are key to a purposeful patio,” Gutierrez says. “You want to create a space for friends and family to gather, no matter how tiny or large the space is.”

For smaller patio spaces, Gutierrez likes seating options that come in a set—”then create the style and ambiance by bringing in accent tables and decor with different colors and texture.”

Miami Beach-based landscape designer Fernando Wong, who recently designed the gardens for the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Surfside, FL, recommends grouping white chaise lounges by a pool or water element to “instantly elevate” your outdoor setting.

5. Repurpose vintage materials

Modern deck design

Growsgreen Landscape Design

That worn-in look can actually give off a very expensive vibe. Give your outdoor space an air of vintage luxe by using old bricks or reclaimed wood when building patios, decks, doors, and furniture. Or try upcycling some of your old furniture into something brand-new for the outdoors.

“Beams and doors used in old barns that are being torn down can be salvaged for cheap or free,” says Andy Knutsen, president and owner of Knutsen Landscaping in Lancaster, PA. “Old kitchen furniture can be fixed up or repurposed to create a fresh new piece, and stones from a garden or driftwood from a river or beach work great to add character to a backyard space.”

6. Anchor seating with an inexpensive outdoor rug

Traditional deck design

Rikki Snyder

As recently as a few years ago, mass-market outdoor rugs were scratchy and cheap. But these days, you can find luxurious, comfortable options that can withstand the elements (and icky mold) while pleasing the eye. Just be sure to vacuum your rug on a regular basis and roll it up to store inside at summer’s end.

7. Go bold with colors

Mediterranean patio design

Keystone Cabinetry Inc. Since 1984

You’d be surprised what a fresh coat of paint or stain can do in the great outdoors. Move beyond boring grays and browns and channel a luxurious feel with pops of contrasting color—”smoky charcoals, sharp black, and even a pop of a saturated red or blue,” according to Ostap Bosak, manager at Marquis Gardens, a water feature and pond supply retailer in Toronto.

Think sleek, dark planters, black or charcoal garage doors and trim, and boldly hued rugs, lanterns, and fireplaces.

8. Add a water feature

Perhaps a Japanese Zen garden bamboo fountain?


Contrary to popular belief, “a water feature doesn’t have to be some large investment that only a professional can install,” Bosak says.

A simple water feature can start at several hundred dollars and can take less than hour to install yourself. Bosak recommends something low-maintenance and easy to set up, such as a bubbling urn or patio fountain kit.

9. Hang string lights

Contemporary patio design

Chelsea Construction Corporation

Experts agree on this one: String lights are one of the most affordable forms of lighting for an outdoor space and are well worth the outlay.

“They have a nice clean look, are easy to install, and are built to withstand the elements while living outdoors,” Knutsen says.

What’s more, they introduce an overhead element that designers covet to bring scale to the space. To make your lights as energy efficient (and bright) as possible, use LED bulbs.

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