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Outdoor

FROGS IN THE GARDEN

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Dear Debbie,
I was recently at a good friend’s for dining al fresco. His garden is a tiny perfect oasis of odd plants and herbs he has salvaged from neglected gardens or that were donated by folks who understand his talent for resurrecting all growing things. He has a wicked sense of humour and steered me to ‘funny plants and gardens’ on Facebook. Thought you’d find some decorating tips that will make you smile.
Eileen

Dear Eileen,

PERGOLA PERFECT

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Dear Debbie,
We like to eat outside but the summer’s direct sun is too hot. What is a cost-efficient way to add shade to our backyard? We have tried sun umbrellas but they aren’t so good in the wind. Thank you.
Denise

Dear Denise,

LAMPLIGHT WARMS UP OUTDOORS

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Dear Debbie,
This summer we want to reinvent our large property that backs onto a lake to accommodate more outdoor entertaining. A traditional setting with a modern edge is what we like. Any ideas are appreciated. Thank you.
Mary Lynn

Dear Mary Lynn,

THE CRAFTY GARDEN

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Outdoor life is upon us, and what a thrill to be back in the garden again. Even though the weather in many parts of the country is crazy -- rain, maybe a little ice and snow, there’s no keeping the hardiest of souls from moving out the patio furniture and cleaning out the garden. And that garden can be located almost anywhere, from the largest plot of land to the smallest apartment balcony. Creating an outdoor oasis is one of my favourite projects. It’s ongoing, as I change my mind annually on what I want to plant and where stuff should be.

GARDEN STYLE WITH A ROYAL TOUCH

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For many of us, the highly anticipated royal wedding for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is an exciting, historic occasion that we look forward to reading about. We know it’s going to be quite the event. And you may be planning your own party with friends, maybe to watch the royal nuptials. Why not give your celebration that distinctly British feel, with tips from award-winning florist, designer and author Laura Dowling. She is renowned for creating a new romantic style of flower arranging featuring free-flowing lines of vines and flowers emanating from a classical bouquet.

OUTDOOR ART

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Backyard spaces are receiving heightened interest today. The trend to create outdoor rooms that are conducive to relaxed living continues to expand, bringing with it comfort and décor solutions that were once only utilized indoors. Innovative materials and mechanics that can withstand the weather outside give us more options. Outdoor table lamps, area carpets and canopy fabric are available to set up a more formal living experience for those who prefer this style.

LIVING AL FRESCO

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Dear Debbie;
We are selling our summer cottage this year as the weekend commute has become crazy. Our backyard has enough space for a small pool and an entertainment area. We’re wondering what’s new in grilling?
Tomas

Dear Tomas;

SUMMER SEATING

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Dear Debbie;
There’s so much garden furniture showing that is big and heavy. We have a patio and a small lawn where we love to sit and entertain. Is there another option other than plastic stackables?
Albert

Dear Albert;

EXTERIORS THAT SHINE

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Dear Debbie;
This is the year we paint our house. It’s a big job and we are calling in a professional, but want to do our research first. Our house is a ten-year-old new build, white siding, with shutters and garage set back. What’s the best paint to use? Does the paint sheen matter? Any tips on colour? Thank you.
Andrea

Dear Andrea;

REFRESH YOUR GARDEN

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Mid-summer always arrives too quickly. While gardens are brimming over with their lush blooms, and markets are filled with fresh fruits and veggies grown close to home, end of season summer sales begin to crop up like unwanted weeds. But rather than mourn the beginning of the end, why not take advantage of this time to revitalize your backyard oasis. Fantastic deals abound in outdoor furnishings, dishware and garden features. Lawn and roadside sales can be a gold mine too. And for do-it-yourselfers, this is the perfect time to work on a project.

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