Thursday, 28 June 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
One of the best things about warm-weather months is the ample opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors; but there's no need to travel to get your fix of fresh air. The best place to relax, play and enjoy the season could be right outside your window.
"Your yard is an extension of your home, so make it a place where you want to spend time," says John Furner, Outdoor Living specialist at Sam's Club. "Sprucing up your yard — for entertaining, cooking or simple tranquility — is every bit as important as those kitchen upgrades."
Here are some great ideas for an outdoor space makeover:
Give the phrase "locally-grown produce" new meaning with a backyard garden of your own. Whether you plant a full array of vegetables or you only have time to care for a few herb pots, a garden gives those simple summer salads a tasty, healthy and easily-accessible boost.
If you are new to growing plants, flowers, or even fruits, do not fret. Gardening departments at retailers like Sam's Club can guide you with set-up, tools, soil and starter plants at a great value. Go online to research gardening tips and nourish your green thumb.
While barbecuing makes any meal a celebration, there's no need to wait until a special holiday to cook outdoors. Make fresh-grilled vegetables and meats a regular part of your summer menus and recipes. If this is your first time buying a grill or you seek a specialized grill, consider your taste preference (smoky versus crisp and clean), the quantities of food you regularly plan to grill and optimal backyard location.
If you prefer a smoky taste, then consider opting for a charcoal grill, and choose a gas or propane grill if you want to maintain the original flavors of the food. If you plan to use your grill for large parties and entertaining — and have a large patio or open-air space — you should look at larger covered grills which tend to be the most versatile products.
Invest in comfortable patio furniture that is water-resistant and rust-proof. Whether you choose teak, aluminum, wicker or wrought iron, browsing options online can help you find a durable set of furniture and décor that is the right style for your yard. Visit www.SamsClub.com for ideas.
For cooler evenings, consider installing a fire pit in your backyard to make entertaining al fresco a year-round option. A fire pit doesn't need to take up a lot of space, and there are numerous styles available to match any decorating taste.
Whether it's a few simple upgrades or a complete backyard makeover, you can make your outdoor space the place to be this season.