Create Your Own Backyard Oasis
Summer entertaining season is in full swing – backyard BBQs, neighborhood gatherings, family cookouts, and the Fourth of July. If you need motivation to get your backyard party started, the pros at Westlake Ace Hardware share some simple tips that require minimal effort and yield big impact so you’ll have more time to kick back and enjoy.
Light It Up
Using lights to decorate gives the backyard space a new look, highlights landscaping and enhances security. Different types of outdoor lighting provide different benefits:
- Strings of decorative lights provide charm and ambience just right for a festive summer evening. String them along a fence or through tree branches, wrap them around a tree trunk or deck railing, or criss-cross them above the patio to create a ceiling effect. Decorative light strands come in all shapes and sizes.
- Solar lighting can be both decorative and functional. Solar-powered lights require no wiring, so they are quick and easy to install along walkways, in flowerbeds, and around a patio. The lights must be positioned to soak up the sun during the day so they can illuminate as intended at night.
- Find additional tips for installing landscape lighting in this helpful video from the Westlake Ace Hardware experts.
Invite Fly By Guests
Planting a backyard butterfly garden is a way to enliven a corner of the yard with color and movement. Butterflies visit in late summer and early fall, so now is the time to get started. Select a sun-soaked spot and a mix of plants in varying heights. Three key elements are needed to create an inviting natural habitat:
- Nectar plants – These plants provide sweet food for butterflies. They are attracted to colorful and fragrant varieties such as butterfly bush, purple coneflower, marigolds and zinnias.
- Host plants – These plants provide an inviting area for butterflies to lay eggs and for caterpillars to grow. Choices include clover, milkweed and sedum. Caterpillars will eat their host plants, but it’s a temporary setback. The plants will recover and caterpillars will turn into butterflies. Never use insecticide on butterfly garden plants.
- Water source – Butterflies drink water as well as nectar, so provide a birdbath, fountain or pond for them to gather around.
Spark a Blaze of Glory
Fireworks are expected at the Fourth of July, but fire can be a welcome guest at backyard gatherings all year long. Say no more than “s’mores.”
- Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits provide a focal point for a deck or patio and a place to gather around. A variety of styles and shapes are available so choose one that fits your space and gather sticks from the yard to get the fire going.
- Torches and candles can serve a dual purpose of providing flickering light for ambience and delivering citronella for mosquito control. When placing torches and candles around the patio, choose spots where they won’t get knocked over and avoid tree branches or overhanging eaves.
Another option is to use an assortment of flameless candles to cast a glow without the risk of open flame. With Westlake Ace Hardware inspiration and helpful know-how, you’ll find it easy to spruce up the backyard and enjoy the rest of the summer in style.