2009-06-05 / Columnists

The Diary Of A Green Thumb

Be ready for those summer parties! Create 'Beachy' Vignettes in Your Yard & Garden
Commentary by Danielle, Danielle's Rockaway Florist

There is no more appropriate décor than to have a "beachy" theme in your yard or garden this summer. With all of the surprise visits you get when living on the beach, why not decorate your yard with a nautical theme, so you are ready for a party any time.

Start with beach finds to keep the cost of decorating down, and add a special touch to the little details in a landscape.

Rather than using natural stones to cover the soil and complete your design, use the shells you have collected at the beach to cover large areas between the plants in your garden, or to give a finishing touch to planters that may be lined up your steps or around the pool.

Small collections of driftwood can be artistically arranged at the entryway of the yard, or scattered throughout a landscape of tall thin grasses. If you happen to find any flat pieces of wood washed up on the shore, you can turn them into an address plaque, paint a seascape or a welcome sign with the family name.

Take a quick visit to a nearby marina or boating store. You may find tons of fun things that can be used in creative home décor.

Heavy sailors rope can be used to turn your flower pots into hanging baskets. Wrap the post of your mailbox, or rope off an area of your yard. Add a few solar lanterns- and the mood is set!

Create a bar area for you and your guests to enjoy cocktails by the pool. Tiki umbrellas, nautical flags, old surfboards… it all adds to the fun. You may come across old paddles or buoys that make a good "weather tolerant" addition to the theme. Add a few bamboo torches, inexpensive palm trees, and we're almost there. Float a beach ball in the pool and hang leis from the towel rack for your guests to wear. Small trinkets like shell shaped bottle openers, beachy theme coasters, and little paper umbrellas are really cute accessories. You can use big seashells at the bar as ashtrays, and wrap a few of your favorite wine bottles in fishing net. Here at the florist, we carry carved wood signs and yard stakes that welcome you to the party. They each have a nautical theme with sayings such as "beach bums gather here," or "summer is a life saver." …They all help to set the mood and welcome you to paradise.

Incorporate fresh outdoor plants into your décor for some extra color and excitement. Big hibiscus trees and bushes bloom all summer long with bold, colorful Hawaiian flowers.

Think outside the box for creative ways of turning functional decorations into interesting ones! With a little bit of work, you can make a heavy flower planter into an umbrella stand. Set the planter on its base, and cement a small pipe into the center of the pot. You will need the pipe to slide the umbrella pole into in order to keep the umbrella upright.

Fill the rest of the pot with soil and impatiens for an easy care, interesting alternative to an iron umbrella base.

If you're planning a party, you may want to add some finer details to complete the theme. Dress up the guest tables with small glass jars filled with a handful of beach glass, and a cluster of fresh cut grasses from your yard. You may want to stop by to see our most popular wreaths that have an assortment of seashells and preserved flowers that would make a perfect complement to the theme. They are great to give as a gift, use as décor inside the house, or display on the patio door leading into the yard. You can even lay it on a table with a glass bowl and candle in the center, and use it as a centerpiece!

Get creative with your ideas, and spice up your summer get togethers with "beachy" decorations for an unforgettable celebration. Just expect more surprise visits this summer!

Feel free to visit us at www.Daniel lesRockawayFlorist.com, or write to us with your gardening questions or tips for our readers at 436 beach 129 street, Belle Harbor.

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