Seven Ways to Pretty Up Your Outdoor Space by Karen Rose Smith





This is the time of year I appreciate most when winter fades into a growing season that brings color back to the gardens. Once a home decorator, I enjoy freshening up and decorating outside, too...to pretty up the patio and our outdoor space.  Here's how I go about it.

FLOWER POTS IN VARIOUS SIZES

From plastic pots that looks like ceramic to ceramic to clay, they all pretty up a patio when filled with greenery and flowers. I like colorful plastic that looks like ceramic (WalMart always has a selection) because I can find bright colors. They are also easier to handle because they are lighter. We have a store called "Ollie's" that gets in a truckload of pots every spring.
We have found some beautiful ceramic pots there for $10-15 in sizes from large to small. I prefer ceramic and plastic to clay because the clay pots don't hold water as well, especially as we move deep into summer. Make groupings as you would with wall decorations around your patio furniture.  You can also add hanging pots on ground hooks for a different and lush feel.




SOLAR LIGHTS

Solar lights and decorative items add enjoyment to your patio time. Not only do we enjoy the glow when we're sitting on the patio in the evenings, but even when I'm in the house and look out at the patio in the dark, those soft glowing lights are welcoming. This solar cat is a new addition to our patio this year and glows blue!




HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS


Each spring I look forward to hanging hummingbird feeders. It might take a little while for them to put you on their trail, but they'll find the feeders. Especially if you plant phlox, zinnias, coneflowers and hummingbird mint in your gardens. It's an amazing sight to be sitting on the patio and having the hummingbirds flit from flowers to feeders. They're beautiful, happy little essences of nature.

FLOWERS


Around the patio I try to plan gardens with blooming times in mind. I like to always have something blooming. In the spring, we go from daffodils and tulips to poppies and roses. Zinnias, marigolds and snapdragons see us through the summer.

FOUNTAINS



Fountains can give a peaceful feel to your patio. Again, I like to invest in the solar variety. We don't have our fountains on the patio itself, but close by in the garden where we can hear them. Fountains attract birds and hummingbirds.






ORNAMENTS

Come spring, I hang an ornament...just for the fun of it... in the garden or from an overhang. It usually involves a lot of sparkle with beads.


PATIO FURNITURE

Patio furniture can add pizzazz to your patio. But it doesn't have to be new or expensive. A can of spray paint can work wonders. Over 40 years ago, my dad gave my mom two patio chairs that are the most comfortable I've ever sat in.  Each year we refresh the color. For the past few years, this bright blue coordinates with the other blues on our patio. That chair gives me a sense of connection to the past.

Each year we refresh our patio with flowers as well as items we've collected over the years. My patio is a space for relaxation and peace and prettying it up is a joyous undertaking each spring. I hope you enjoy your outdoor space as much as we enjoy ours.




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JAKE'S BRIDE, Book 2 Search For Love series romance/marriage of convenience, secret baby  (JAKE'S BRIDE on Amazon)
ALWAYS DEVOTED, Book 3 Search For Love series romance/mystery  (ALWAYS DEVOTED on Amazon)
ALWAYS HER COWBOY, Book 4 Search For Love series contemporary ranch romance (ALWAYS HER COWBOY on Amazon)
HEARTFIRE, Book 5 Search For Love series, contemporary reunion/family romance (HEARTFIRE on Amazon)
CASSIDY'S COWBOY, Book 6 Search For Love series, women's fiction/romance novella (CASSIDY'S COWBOY on Amazon)
HER SISTER, Book 7 Search For Love series, women's fiction with romance and mystery! (HER SISTER on Amazon)




USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 


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©2015 Karen Rose Smith

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