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HomeHomes
Published: Friday, 10/12/2007

Autumn Inspiration: Imaginative Spruce-Ups for Your Yard

(ARA) - As the final days of summer flicker away, the promise of cool, crisp fall air awaits. With autumn on the horizon, emerge from the AC and enjoy the outdoors with these inspirational spruce-ups for your yard.

Parisian Panache

Create an outdoor dining setting that mimics the romantic, whimsical scene of Van Gogh's painting Caf Terrace at Night. Transform your patio into a Parisian-style caf by infusing the area with warm colors, sweet aromas and soft lighting. When choosing hues, think cr me brulee and raspberry tarts. A rich golden-beige rug will soften the look of hard concrete and splashes of jewel-toned accents add just the right amount of color.

Create a cozy ambience by enclosing seating areas with a decorative wall or trellis. Also, consider hanging a gradient-lighting chandelier in place of stark overhead lighting to cast a gentle glow. Complete the setting by dispersing potted plants and flower bouquets throughout the patio to give the air a sweet, natural scent and achieve a jardin-de-Paris look.

Secret Garden

From elaborate ponds to simple container fountains, water works its magic on any garden by providing delightful sound and an atmosphere of tranquility. With a picturesque cascade from an unseen water source, a disappearing fountain presents a unique way to incorporate water into the landscape. These water features are easy to create, require little maintenance and add pizzazz to any yard.

Begin by choosing a showpiece object such as a planter or decorative pot to transform into a fountain. Next, select the perfect nook in a garden or flowerbed to nestle the flowing oasis.

To make the hidden reservoir of the fountain, you will need just a few materials: a Beckett 35-gallon preformed liner, a fountain pump, a metal grate and decorative rocks - all available at home improvement retailers. It is now as simple as digging a hole, placing the liner in the hole and assembling the pump. Finish by positioning the metal grate over the top of the liner and covering with decorative stone.

Practical, Pretty Pathways

Pathways not only make a yard more navigable, they also add purpose, style and order to the landscape. When incorporating pathways into your yard, develop a strategy that will indicate to visitors how to move about the area.

Encourage leisurely strolling by placing narrow pathways around flower gardens, allowing visitors to take note of the surrounding scenery. Place wider paths near entryways and seating areas to make these spaces more inviting. When designing pathways, think beyond functionality. While traditional flagstones and brick are the most common elements used, material such as Spanish-style terra cotta, modern slate and Italian glass tiles allow pathways to double as artistic focal points.

On the Border

Because a fence is the canvas for the entire yard, adding color to a neutral fence really makes the landscape pop. Using a premium-grade exterior paint, you can transform the look of your yard in just a day. Furthermore, exterior paint acts as a protective barrier that restores the life of outdoor wood and shields against nature's elements. Courtesy of ARA Content

From the patio to the fence and everywhere between, enjoy autumn weather outdoors -- and in style.



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