Category Archives: Outdoor Entertaining

Planning a party or other event outside? Aside from the weather, there’s plenty of things to consider. Love Your Yard’s tips and tricks will help you make sure your guests are comfortable, the yard looks great and the shindig goes off without a hitch.

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Backyard Entertaining for Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend is right around the corner… the perfect end-of-summer, beginning-of-fall weather for campfires!  Perhaps you have been traveling all summer long and are ready for an extended weekend at home without any travel plans!  Here are a few tips and ideas for getting the most use out of your backyard this weekend:

1.  Incorporate a Fire Pit in your Backyard

Relatively inexpensive and easy to move around, a fire pit or fire ring can bring an extra element of excitement to your backyard, bringing friends and family together without all of the technology and toys you may be used to throughout the day.
Shop Fire Pits

2.  Use your Backyard for Family Camping

Family camping can be one of the best ways for families to bond while having fun in the backyard. Pitch a tent, light a fire in a fire pit or campfire ring, and enjoy some treats under the stars before bed.
More Camping Ideas
Expert Camping Tips
Backyard Camping FAQs

3.  Have Dinner (and Dessert!) in your Backyard

Instead of the typical family dinner indoors, take your meal time outside!  Try a new recipe on the grill, and get the kids involved with dessert by making S’mores!
Grilling Out FAQs
Expert Tips on How to Make S’mores

Still need some more inspiration?

Check out these two blog posts from blogger GOODeness Gracious who recently used an Avant Garden Decor Fire Pit for some family fun!

GOODeness Gracious: Ring of Fire
GOODeness Gracious: The Great Marshmallow Debate

What are your plans for this Labor Day weekend?
Will you be spending time outdoors around a campfire, perhaps?

Expert Tips on How to Make S’mores

how to make smoresThe original recipe on how to make s’mores appeared in the American Girl Scout Handbook in 1927. This recipe utilized Graham crackers – first invented by Sylvester Graham way back in 1829, before anyone knew how to make s’mores – plus chocolate and marshmallows.

If you ask anyone today how to make s’mores you might get the original recipe that tells you how to make s’mores, or you might be told how to make s’mores a completely different way.

Here are some tips on how to make s’mores the traditional way:

•    Use Graham crackers which are more like cookies than crackers.

•    Get the crackers and chocolate ready before you toast the marshmallows.
You can ‘roast’ them over a stove burner or use long metal forks for roasting
over an outdoor fire pit or grill.

•    Marshmallows are ready when slightly brown outside and runny inside.how to make smores

•    Sandwich chocolate with a toasted marshmallow between a halved cracker and squeeze together gently.

Other fabulous s’mores recipes:

The Mexican S’more: use flour tortillas with crunchy peanut butter, chocolate chips and marshmallow.

The Chilled S’more: spread peanut butter and instant chocolate pudding on Graham crackers and add whipped topping instead of marshmallows.

The Elvis S’more: spread peanut butter on the Graham cracker, add chocolate and banana… marshmallow is optional!

Tell us… what is your favorite recipe for making a s’more?!

Vertical Planting Design

When many people hear the word “gardening,” they probably summon a vision of a landscaped yard, a large lot filled with blooms, foliage or even vegetables, or maybe an English cottage surrounded by flowers. Most folks think about things growing “out,”  not “up.”

Vertical Planting Design

If you have a deck, patio, porch or even just a balcony, it may be time to think about vertical planting. You can design a secluded place to relax, or block out an unwanted object with some screening between you and the rest of the world. Add height to your gardening efforts using vertical planting design to help you achieve that goal.

An ideal way to grow “up” is a modular vertical planting system that utilizes a framery system accommodating stacking planter boxes for flowers and foliage. These versatile modular Continue reading

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Fire Pit Safety

Fire pits have become a popular addition to today’s patios and backyards. They add drama and charm to outdoor living while providing an additional functional area for family and friends to gather. They offer a fun way to enjoy leisure time and entertaining, but always remember to exercise caution and practice safety so a good time won’t turn tragic.

Every time you light a fire, remember that basic safety precautions can prevent a tragedy. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your fire pit safely and with peace-of-mind.

The first decision to make is where you want the pit to be situated.  Do not pick an area that is near or too close to structures, trees or overhangs.

Always place the fire pit in an open area on a solid surface to prevent it from tipping Continue reading

Popularity of Fire Pits

What’s the hottest topic these days in outdoor living, decorating and entertaining? The answer is one as old as humankind… fire. The ability to control fire marked a dramatic change in the habits of early humans. These days, fire pits are a popular addition to backyards and patios as a cosy gathering spot during outdoor time with friends and family or to add drama and charm to twilight and evening hours.

The addition of a backyard fire pit can be a great enhancement to your outdoor decor. Home owners across the country have added a fire pit as a garden feature, as a centerpiece for evening entertaining, or for cooking. It’s a great way to extend your enjoyment of your backyard or patio when temperatures fall in the evenings or during cooler seasons when you normally stay indoors.

You can dig your own fire pit as our ancestors did, of course. But if you want to add Continue reading

Patio Design

If you’re lucky enough to have one, then you know a patio is a wonderful place to entertain family and friends, or to just relax and enjoy the outdoors. To get the most from your patio space, there are many elements that you could use. But perhaps the best way to instantly introduce color and eye appeal…and a personal touch…to your patio is with flowers and plants.

Container Planting
The most obvious way to enhance your patio is with potted plantings that bring color and style to your space, not only through the flowers and plants, but through the containers themselves. These days, open design planters that use the natural complement of coco liners are a stylish way to enjoy…and display.. your plants and flowers to glorious effect. The many designs, shapes, sizes and styles available can add Continue reading