Showing posts with label outdoor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outdoor. Show all posts

Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Care for Teak Furniture

Happy Monday!
We had a beautiful weather all weekend which allowed us to work outside and really get the backyard ready for the season.  

Teak is one of the most beautiful high quality woods available.  It's a very dense, straight-grained hardwood with a coarse texture.  It is resistant to rotting and is almost impervious to the effects of sun, rain, snow and frost.  It makes it perfect for outdoor use.  
We have outdoor dining chairs with teak arms, a teak coffee table and a teak bench in our backyard.  This weekend we spent a little time maintaining these pieces.  Most of the teak arms on our dining set are in perfect condition, but they had grayed and dried out a little bit causing splinters.  We store the furniture in our shed during the winter.  I don't know if an animal got into the shed and ate some of this arm or what, but it was in need of some maintenance.  Teak starts out a warm golden color, but turns to a gray patina usually within a year.  I am not as big a fan of the gray so I also wanted to address that.
Using an electric sander, I sanded the arms of all of the chairs.  Some needed more sanding than others, but in the end they all were smooth and not going to give our guests splinters anymore.  
After sanding all of the arms, I applied two coats of teak oil.  Honestly I think teak oil should be applied each year.  We have owned these chairs for 15 years and I think this is only the second or third time we have done this.  It makes a huge difference and helps prolong the life of the teak.

Next I turned my attention to the teak coffee table we bought a few years ago from Restoration Hardware.  You can see the difference between the side with the teak oil and the side without.  I also power washed and sanded this piece before applying the teak oil.  You can also use a teak cleaner before the oil to clean the piece thoroughly.  It's best to start with a clean piece to get the best results.
The most dramatic difference was this teak bench that my husband bought for me as an anniversary gift 14  years ago.  It was a mess covered in green and apparently attacked by bird droppings.  We were so busy that I forgot to snap a before photo.  After power washing it and lightly sanding it, it looks brand new.  
So if you're like me and you prefer to keep your teak's original golden color, rather than letting it turn a gray patina,  just lightly sand and then apply a teak cleaner and protectant.  Well worth the time and effort.  Have a great day!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tips and Tricks to Growing Roses

A few years ago I bought my mom a rose bush for Mother's Day.  I remember that I couldn't get to our regular nursery and bought it somewhere else and paid half of what I would normally have spent.  It wasn't even a nursery I bought it at - it might have been Walmart or Home Depot even.  I just remember I was there shopping and thought I better pick something up right now while I have a chance.
Fast forward three is that rose bush today!
What started out as a small rose bush in a little container has turned into hundreds of roses.
Aren't they beautiful?
 Here is another rose bush that is actually older than the one I gave my mom.
 It's not nearly as big, but still gorgeous.
 So I asked my mom for her tips and tricks to growing such big, beautiful roses.

1.  Choose the right roses for your space.  
Clearly we got lucky with the "cheap-o" roses I picked out.  

2.  Plant your roses where they will get at least 6-8 hours of sun each day.
My parents have the roses planted in their front yard where they get full sun most of the day.  The roses are planted in a bed that gets new mulch every year or so.

3.  Water regularly.
This is an important step.  My parents have a sprinkler system that hits these plants daily as well as my parents are vigilant at watering during hotter weather.  

Whatever they are doing, it must be working.  


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

How to Clean Your Patio Umbrella

With the warmer weather coming, it is time to take out some of the outdoor furniture.  We have owned our outdoor patio umbrella for almost ten years.  It wasn't looking so good anymore.  It was covered with green mold and mildew from years of being outside.
First thing I did was remove the fabric from the umbrella. can remove the fabric.  The posts of the umbrella slip into pockets of fabric underneath the umbrella.  I simply unscrewed the top of the umbrella and then slipped off the fabric.
Then I filled an old garbage can with a solution of one cup of bleach to each gallon of water.
Then we submerged the umbrella fabric in the solution.  After it soaked for fifteen minutes, my husband took a scrub brush and scrubbed off the dirtiest parts.
Then, while it was wet, we put the umbrella back together.  It's important that you put it back together while it's wet...otherwise it will shrink when it dries and it will no longer fit on the spokes of the umbrella.  Once it was back together, we hosed off the umbrella to get any traces of bleach off.
While we had the bleach and water solution available, we also scrubbed all of the outdoor furniture to remove all of the green on it as well.
The furniture and the umbrella look like new.  My kids actually thought we bought a new umbrella.   So if you have an umbrella that's looking dingy and dirty, try cleaning it using this method.  You will be amazed at how you can make it look brand new again.

Also, my Craigslist chair makeover was featured over at Furniture Flippin.  
Hope you will stop by to check it out.  
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Country Home Weekend

As I mentioned yesterday, this weekend we drove out to Orient Point which is at the end of Long Island.  We were invited to the home of a friend along with another family, who have two kids similar ages to my kids, and two other friends.  The host and hostess of this weekend have graciously allowed me to share with you some photos of their spectacular home.  
When we arrived lunch was served outdoors under this gorgeous gazebo.  The flowers in their yard and lush and simply stunning.  It felt like something out of a movie.

Lunch and dinner were an absolutely gourmet spread, all prepared by our host and hostess.  
Seriously... some of the best cooking I have ever tasted. 
We had so many laughs and got to spend a weekend just relaxing...something we rarely do.
Their backyard is gorgeous with so many different conversation areas available.
I took this photo first thing in the morning on Sunday after it had rained the night before 
(hence the cushions drying).  I also took this photo from on top of their home...

 where they have a deck that has 360 degree views of the Long Island Sound on one side 

and a farm on the other.
I fell in love with this fountain in the yard. 
They have a mahogany deck on one side of their home.
I've never seen a more beautiful deck.  If you don't know, mahogany is virtually indestructible.  
Each board is absolutely splinters at all.

It's truly a special deck.
Here is the guest room we stayed in.  Although they had ten guests (including us), this home was large enough that each of us had our own bedroom and bathroom.  
It was so warm and inviting.  The perfect guest bedroom with everything a house-guest needs.
Sunday morning was equally amazing with the breakfast spread they had prepared.
I can't thank our friends enough for being such wonderful and gracious hosts.



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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When Bad Things Happen to Good Plants

If you've been reading my blog, you know that my hydrangeas plants in my backyard are one of my favorite things.  They are my absolute favorite plants and this year I have spent a great deal of time and energy really working on them.  I go out early each morning before getting the kids ready for camp and water them and take care of them.  They really have flourished this year.
I have had so many gorgeous flowers on these bushes.
I have thoroughly enjoyed cutting the flowers each week and arranging them in vases.
This past weekend, the lawn cutting service we use did their mid-season clean up.  It's where they come in and trim back all of the hedges and trees that have started to look overgrown during the season.  Let me start by saying...usually I am home and I am out there pointing out what they can cut and what they can't cut.  At first glance when I got home from my daughter's tournament, the backyard looked beautiful all neat and manicured.  Then I went outside to get a better look.
This is what they did to my gorgeous hydrangeas!!!   
This is what they did to my gorgeous roses!!!

I literally cried.  Then I wrote an email to the lawn service...then I cried some more.

I know there are so many other terrible things in the world and that this is probably low on the scale of things to be upset about, but I doubt there will be anymore hydrangeas on these bushes this season.  I'm less sure about the roses.  One thing I am sure of is that I'm so disappointed and downright annoyed.

I did get an apology email from the owner, saying that he now has explained to his "guys" what to cut and not to cut, but that usually I am home to point these things out. Really?  Is he blaming me?

Who cuts flowering bushes??? Midseason???

This was Edward Scissor Hand gone bad!

Okay...I'm done with my ranting and raving.

What do you think the chances of getting flowers back this season are??



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