Creating an Outdoor Oasis on the Cheap!
by Kathleen Wilson
Description: How to create an inviting outdoor space.
We all should have a haven in the outdoors; it is
soothing to the soul! It can be done with little
little space, and just a bit of creativity! Check
these five great ideas for creating your own private
1. Carve out a space, an outdoor room if you will!
can be a large patio or deck, a corner of the lawn,
even a small porch or balcony. If you look hard
you can almost always locate a place to make your
2. Treat your room as just that, a room! Create
seating area, and floor. No, I don't mean a visit to
the home improvement center, just place objects to
suggest these boundaries, it offers the emotional
comfort and security of a real room. Suggestions?
planters to create walls, paint on your porch floor
faux rug, outline your area with found stones or
form construction sites (always ask first!), pick up
yard furniture from yard sales, create benches from
piece of lumber laid over concrete blocks, hang
to offer partial privacy to your space.use your
imagination, and think as you would decorating an
3. Add container plants. As mentioned before, they
add structure to your outdoor room, but also add
color, texture, scent, and charm. Buy inexpensive
cotta pots at your local discount store, and paint
to add your distinctive touch. Using ordinary craft
paint or leftover house paint, you can sponge,
or stencil any design you like! Try choosing colors
that will compliment your flowers! Or to pull
a "room" full of unlike planters and furniture,
one beautiful color and paint all your items with
My favorites are a vibrant periwinkle blue, or a
lime green, but hunter green, terra cotta, and earth
tones all look very natural in a planted setting.
look for unusual containers at garage sales to add
whimsy to your room.old cast iron pots (spray with a
sealer to prevent rust) wooden boxes, even old boots
can be converted to a new plant home!
4. Plants themselves can be quite costly, so here
few ideas to fill those containers! Division or
cuttings can propagate many plants quite easily.
perennials actually prefer to be divided every few
years! Ask your gardening friends if they have any
divisions they might like to share with you, most
gardeners love to pass on their passion! You might
have some in your own yard ready for dividing.
site to learn more about plant propagation on the
is http://www.gardenweb.com. Or you can check out great
from your local library for free! Seeds are also
economical. Many dwarf varieties of your old
are available for pots, and some good choices might
include zinnias, alyssum, marigolds, dwarf cosmos,
basil (I love the purple varieties, very
nasturtiums and dwarf sunflowers.
When you buy
flowers, always buy them in the smallest possible
They are much cheaper, and they grow so fast that a
month after you buy them you wouldn't know the
difference between those bought in tiny pony packs,
those you paid extra for in big gallon containers!
(Except the extra money in your bank account!)
5. Finally, use your space! Have your dessert there,
read a book there, drink lemonade, play Monopoly! Or
better yet, sneak out when the kids or hubby are
occupied and spend a few minutes just remembering
a great gift the great outdoors is to us all!
Kathleen Wilson is the author of "Quick Decorating
Ideas Under $20: The Budget Decorator's Bible" and
editor of the free ezine, The Budget Decorator. Find
more free ideas and info on her book and workshop at
http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com. Click here
to sign up for Kathy's online home decorating course.
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