Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio



The Great Outdoors: Spiff up your yard for summer entertaining


A little work will transform your yard into a summer entertainment sanctuary.


Memorial Day is less than 24 hours away, and it kicks off the unofficial grilling season and start of outdoor entertaining.

After a long, messy winter, your backyard may not be ready to host guests. Don’t fret. There’s still time whip it into shape before company arrives. Shake off the winter dust by doing some spring cleaning, backyard style. Transition your yard into a summer sanctuary with these nine tips:

1. Set the stage. The first things guests will notice is the lawn. Whether it’s a mysterious brown spot, dead patches, or weeds, be sure to address any noticeable issues before your guest walk the green carpet.

2. Tune up the grill. If your grill has been idle, it may be time for a checkup. Nothing sours a cookout faster than a grill that doesn’t work, smokes too much, or cooks unevenly. Clean your grill and give it a test run before the season really heats up. If you use gas, make sure the tank is full. If you’re a charcoal griller, pick up an extra bag.

3. Turn on the lights. Keep the party going all night by using garden torches to add light and create ambiance. Try using solar or battery-operated lights to illuminate dark walkways and avoid tripping hazards.

4. Repair crumbling surfaces. If the concrete around your home looks anything like the potholes left behind by Old Man Winter, it’s in need of repair. Take a good look at your hardscaping, surveying any walkways, fences, gates, or decks that may need mending.

5. Polish the furniture. Patio furniture takes a beating when left out in rain or snow. The metal may begin to rust, wood may begin to rot, and colors and stains fade. Give your furniture a good wiping down before you invite guests to take a seat.

6. Revamp your deck. Sanding and a fresh coat of stain can make the oldest of decks like almost new. Use your freshly polished furniture to create a lounge-like atmosphere. Keep an eye out for splintered materials and hazards.

7. Tidy the pool. Your guests don’t want to swim in or look at a pool that isn’t clean. Free it of debris and make sure the water is clean and sparkling.

8. Bring your garden back to life. Clean up the flower beds and yard by removing weeds, dead leaves, and other debris around the backyard. Don’t forget to shape the shrubs.

9. Ban unwanted guests. Don’t let flies and mosquitoes crash the party by swarming guests and food. Spray the yard with a fogger beforehand and offer guests repellent.

Contact RoNeisha Mullen at: or 419-724-6133.

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