OUTDOOR OUTLOOK: The power of summer

Donald Sherbeyn

Its summer time. Time to get outside. Long days, warm nights there is no better time to make memories with your family and friends than summer.

When we were young we would run through the yard catching fire flies as the adults sat in lawn chairs laughing at us and telling each other stories. By the end of the night we would have jars filled with them and when we went to bed we would sit them on our dressers and go to sleep watching as they filled our rooms with sparkles of light. The smell of the night air, the sound of the adults laughing and my sisters, cousins and friends yelling as we would chase those lighting bugs around the house have stayed with me through the years. I could not tell you what I got on my eighth, ninth or tenth birthday but I can remember those times I spent with family. The barbeques,  the swimming in a horse trough because we did not have a pool, camping in the backyard until we got scared and ran back inside after dad snuck up on us.

Each year that passes we lose an opportunity to create a memory with the ones we love so this June get outside and take the time to spend with loved ones, take the time to meet some new people. Take some time to unplug and allow yourself to slow down to a speed of yesterday. June is for enjoying cook outs with friends and taking advantage of the wonderful summer sun and long days.

Since this is a ‘garden’ spot in the paper and now that I have ran on remembering some amazing memories from my childhood I guess I should give some advice on things we can do to extend the time we have outside and increase your family’s memories of being together.

While patios, fire pits, outdoor rooms, outdoor kitchens and bars are great ways to spend time outside they can sometimes also be outside of the budget but that does not mean we cannot improvise and create something nice without spending much money.

A fire pit can be created using extra segmental wall stone. ‘Where can I get that’ you ask. Well … Just go to any hardscape supplier or installer with a store front. Chances are they have an over stock or discontinued pile somewhere they would be very happy to downsize and in some cases you could save as much as 50 to 75 percent if you’re not super picky about color or stone choice.

Adding shade to an existing patio could be as easy as constructing an open frame pergola, adding some wire hooks, stretching wire and hanging some linen. Tie back the linen to each post and bring together at the top like you would a curtain and just like that you have shade in a hot spot.

Want an outside bar? again if you’re not super picky and willing to take this in when you’re done using it you could talk to your local handyman, kitchen guy or cabinet sales and see if they have an old cabinet base sitting around. Build a 2×4 frame to sit on the top of the base, wrap it in cement board and then cover the cement board in tile. If you’re handy you could have an outside bar in a few hours.

Of course there is always the option of contacting the pros and getting a more permanent outdoor space set up also. Just remember if you’re going to  go this route don’t forget to dream. In my Business our slogan is “Your Dreams, Our Creations.” What we mean by this is dream, allow yourself to imagine the perfect space for you. The perfect backyard getaway. Your dreams can be realized so long as your designer (that’s usually me) knows what it is that you dream of. Once your dreams have been put onto paper a plan can then be put together to start bringing them to reality.

Whatever you do this June be sure to make some memories.