Decked Out: Take Time to “Smell the Roses”

Deked Out: Time to "Smell the Roses"Just because the Fourth of July is past us, doesn’t mean we still don’t have several weeks to savor the season

When I think of July, I think of the early-evening light that casts a pretty glow on my second-story deck that’s just off our dining room.  Surrounded by tall trees, when we gather on our deck, we feel almost like we’re in a tree house.

Here, my 14-year-old, who loves to cook and grill, and my husband, who loves to enjoy whatever our son turns out, and I spend many an hour basking in summer’s sultry ambiance, especially around dinner.

I believe summer is family time, whether we are chatting about our day’s events, trying a new recipe with fresh herbs and vegetables, sipping on a glass of crisp, chilled wine or just observing the way our plants turn their petals for the last bits of  light before calling it a day.


I make our deck an outdoor living room of sorts, complete with the comforts of interior spaces. Amid a rattan-style dining table that I’m not totally crazy about and some jaunty yellow- and cream-striped cushions (these scream summer in a good way), we create summer memories that are sure to take us clear into frigid winter.


Here, some easy ways for taking your deck from dull to delightful.


• Pots of Pleasure       I purchased a small pot made of vines and branches and filled with lavender from Whole Foods earlier this year. It caught my eye, thanks to its unique and textured surface. I replanted the lavender in our yard and placed a bright pink plant in the container. Rustic meets delicate for outstanding eye candy.


• A Very Fine Vine    Consider planting something that climbs. Our wisteria blooms with bright pink beauties. But even when it’s not blooming, all that lovely climbing, verdant greenery at various heights creates an inviting umbrella under which we can dine in intimacy.


• Wick-ed Fun    Candles are must, need I say more? Okay, just one thing. Get expressive with your candles by making a trip to Michaels and picking up some hurricane-type glass or clear vases into which you can pour sand.    Go for extra large if you want to put them right on the deck floor.

• Drink Up   If you’ve got a clear glass pitcher, fill it with water, ice and slices of lemons and/or oranges. It’s the perfect refreshing drink and so pretty to look at.

 • “Invite” Family   Sooner or later you’ll discover from these posts that I’m all about heritage, memories and keeping our past alive. When I say “invite” family, sometimes that’s not always possible. What is possible? Planting, say, a hydrangea bush in honor of Grandma, who adored hydrangeas. Or place some old-fashioned flowers that remind you of days gone by in a vase on the table. Be sure to share information about loved ones with your kids, spouse or whoever cares to listen!

This is our way of slowing down and taking time to truly “smell the roses.”

Do you savor summer in your outdoor living space? Please share your favorite tips!


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