* A path built by an Eagle Scout at our community garden is not getting used. Turns out the entrance to the path has been blocked by a pile of wood chips, some cinder blocks, and assorted other necessities of the garden that didn’t really have a designated storage spot. We realize we need to make a new entrance for it, maybe something fun like a bean teepee, butterfly wings, or even a shark’s mouth through which kids can walk. This gets me thinking about entrances, and how they can transform a setting in a public space, like our garden, or at home. Well-defined entrances serve as distinct, inviting architectural features and are a great design element to add around your landscape to indicate separate outdoor “rooms,” such as a garden area, a pool area, a dining area, and a play area. You may even find you use your outdoor space more often when it is featured in these unique ways.
* Here is the sweet entrance to my friend Farmer Sue’s herb garden. Sue’s 6-acre homestead is named The Art Barn at Morning Glory Farm, and she runs a small business where she combines art and animals at parties, farm outings, in-school visits, and more. (You can hold a chicken, and learn how to draw one, too!) You almost feel like you’re on a movie set at Farmer Sue’s. How close is your yard to feeling that way? (Get some movie-set-related home decor ideas here.) A little cleaning up and organization, and an accent piece or two can get you there. (Piglets help, too.)
* As for that outdoor dining area, don’t let the lack of a deck or an old patio stop you from a four-star experience. It could be as simple as this picnic table under a tree. In fact, what could be better than that on a summer evening? Here are more outdoor dining ideas from Sunset magazine. See a more elaborate dinner party setting here.
* And, as for the pool area, let’s dream a little. Want to feel like a celebrity while you’re lounging poolside? Here’s Lance Armstrong’s pool and cabana, in Austin. Although I like Ryan Seacrest’s, too. And Diane Keaton’s is colorful. (See more celebrity pools here.) If you’d rather swim with fish than with celebrities, check out this eco pool/pond.
Want to fix up your garden entrance, install a pool worth a celebrity entrance, or create a space for dining al fresco? Let fence installers, landscape designers, pool installers, and other service pros you find on Kudzu help you go all out.