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Pool & Patio: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Patio Design Ideas
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy!
Need a Hot Tub for 2? Check Out These Luxurious...
Not everyone wants to entertain a crowd in their hot tub. Consider a more intimate hot tub built for two -- featured in this slideshow that highlights the best of the bunch.
Small Garden Simplicity
Recipe for an instant small garden and patio: take two colorful folding metal chairs, a small outdoor rug, and a rolling cart / side table. If your deck or patio space is limited, don't try to force an oversized chair or table into the setting, even if you just love that deep-cushion wicker chair. It's only going to make your small space appear - and actually become - smaller. Page 17.
Decking Connection
If you have an above-ground pool, a deck adds privacy and upgrades your investment. The one in this photo connects a house to separate decks, a hot tub and pool. Of course, this type of above-ground pool takes some planning, but the final result is a well-designed backyard. Page 9.
The Best Free Plans for Your Deck
The hardest part of building a deck may be planning and designing it. The free plans we've researched will hopefully serve as a springboard, helping you to define what you want and where to go from there. Good luck, and let us know how your deck project is coming along.
Rustic Beauty
Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Then there's the type of deck you desire, along with shape, size and even the pattern of the wood. Need deck ideas? Enjoy this photo gallery of deck design. Page 8.
Gazebo Patio
Garden and patio gazebos are ways to create an instant covered patio. Just construct a ready-to-assemble gazebo on your designated patio site. Before the gazebo goes up, make sure the ground is level and has an appropriate patio flooring material. In this case, it's simple pea gravel, but the surface area needs to be at an even level. Once the gazebo is assembled, your patio area is ready to be furnished and decorated with containers, hanging plants, lighting, wind chimes and other accessories. Page 22.
Wheelchair Accessible Patio Garden
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 18.
How to Use a Pool Test Kit
How do you use an at-home pool test kit? If you want to check your pool's water quality, you will need a kit that tests basics like pH levels and alkalinity. Follow these easy instructions to use your pool test kit like a pro.
Elizabeth Taylor's Puerto Vallarta Patio
This second-floor courtyard patio is at Casa Kimberly near downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico . Long ago,
Our 10 Favorite Patio Umbrellas
Outdoor umbrellas are made with weatherproof fabric to withstand several seasons or years. Many are made from fabric that offers UV protection. Unlike the 1950s, there is no longer a one-size-fits-all type of umbrella. Types and styles vary according to shape, where it will be located, and maneuverability, among other factors.
In-Ground or Above-Ground?
An expansive and beautiful pool deck is the first thing you notice about this above-ground pool. The deck is large enough to accommodate lounge chairs, built-in benches, plants in containers, and whatever else one normally would place on a deck. Enjoy this gallery of above-ground pool designs. Page 14.
Midcentury Modern Minimalism
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 19.
Poolside Plants That Look Like Paradise and...
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great.
Deck Building: 9 Designs for to Fit Every Yard
Ready to build a deck? We'll help you find the right type and design for your outdoor space along with the best place upon which to build it.
Sun Bath Garden Hideaway
Large flagstones set in pebbles or pea gravel make up the floor of this backyard patio retreat. The tub is large enough for two, but no more, making it the perfect hideaway for a couple. Privacy can be obtained by way of close plantings or containers. A nearby water feature creates a different type of privacy by blocking any neighborhood noise with the soothing sound of running water. Patio citrus trees enhance the sensory experience of this patio hideaway. Page 24.
Decked-Out Doughboy
Doughboy was one of the first manufacturers of above-grounds on the market back in the 20th century.
Front-Yard Flagstone Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 25.
The View From the Terrace
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 20.
Doughboy Buried Pool
Since the 1950s, Doughboy has manufactured affordable above-ground swimming pools. To satisfy the needs of consumers who want the permanent look of an in-ground with a lower price tag, Doughboy recently introduced a line of above-ground pools that can actually be sunken - or buried - in the ground. Page 18.
Low Wall for Privacy
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 21.
Gravel Framing and Edging
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 26.
Above-Ground Swimming Pool Designs, Shapes and...
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move.
Above the Deck
This above-ground swimming pool has a wooden deck surrounding it. What's different than others pictured
Long, Cool Pool
Another above-ground swimming pool that features childproof fencing and a gate that makes it hard for
El Patio: Mexican Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 28.
Beanbag Patio Area
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 27.
Mediterranean Courtyard
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 30.
Doughboy Round
When above-ground swimming pools became popular in the 1950s, the most common shape available was the classic round. It still remains popular, but this Doughboy has been updated with decking, fencing, stairs and a safety gate. Page 19.
9 DIY Kids' Playhouses We Love
Playhouses and treehouses are an integral part of a child's outdoor play area. If you don't quite have the DIY thing down to the point that you think you can tackle small-scale home-building, consider one of the many playhouse kits available. You're still building it on your own, you've just got all the pieces cut and finished, ready for you to read the directions and assemble. Piece of cake, right? Find out what too look for and learn about some of the top-selling playhouse kits on the market.
Top-Level Doughboy Pool
This above-ground pool is a luxurious Doughboy, elevated off the ground with what looks like a private beach on the lower level. While the decking and fencing make it a rectangular-looking pool, the actual pool itself is an oval. Page 17.
Tree-Stump Patio Seating
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 29.
Footprint Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 31.
Patio Passageway
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 34.
Flagstone with River Rock Mosaic
Flagstone pavers on this patio floor get a framing effect with a mosaic border of Mexican river rock. This photo is part of a gallery of patio designs and ideas. Page 12.
Paver Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 35.
Circle of Adirondacks
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 32.
Secluded Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 33.
Neighborhood Pool
Somehow, raised above the lawn and everything else, this round above-ground swimming pool appears bigger than most backyard pools. Enjoy this gallery of above-ground pool designs. Page 11.
Three Patio Floors
Patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. Most patios are set on a concrete slab or a sand and pebble base. Once you've found the site for your patio, there are other design considerations. This photo gallery suggests patio design ideas to help inspire you. Page 15.
Enclosed Above-Ground Pool
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 6.
I Can't Believe it's Not In-Ground
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 10.
San Antonio Deck Surround
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 8.
Saltillo & Teak
Teak patio furniture gives this walled courtyard a warm, rich and inviting appeal. The patio is situated near the front door of a house in Santa Monica, California, and is a small, but well-designed outdoor room. The warm reddish hue of the saltillo tile flooring is picked up in the wood of the teak patio furniture and the outdoor cushions and pillows. Teak and other hardwoods, like ipe, have always been a popular choice for outdoor patio and garden furniture. Page 13.
Brick Pavers & Black Gravel
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 16.
Retractable Pool Cover
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 12.
Tuscan-Style Red Patio
Tuscan and Mediterranean-style gardens are popular themes, especially in warm climates. Find out the hallmarks of Mediterranean landscape design and enjoy this photo of a stunning courtyard patio. Page 6.
The Best Pool Landscaping Tips and Ideas
Landscaping near a pool takes time and consideration. Before making an impulsive trip to the nursery do your research. Follow our tips before poolscaping.
Kid's Paradise
In the current economy, above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why? Above-grounds always have cost less than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling points: above-ground pools are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take their pool with them when they move. Page 9.
Cottage Garden Patio Nook
This cottage garden has many nooks, crannies and surprises throughout. Here, a simple concrete slab with a curved row of bricks could be rather plain without landscaping, furniture, statuary, containers, lighting and other garden features. This is a great example of what happens when you combine design elements of a certain style or theme -- in this case, it's a whimsical cottage garden. Page 4.
Square Pavers & Pebbles
A prefab house at the L.A. Garden Show features a simple patio area with concrete pavers and pebbles. Get more ideas in this photo gallery of patio designs. Page 14.
Somewhat Above-Ground
Not all above-ground pools need to be placed way above-ground. This one is tucked in a corner of a large yard, near one of the side fences. Note that it is about 3-4 feet off the ground at most, has a safety fence around its perimeter, but that it is not much higher than the fence that borders the property. Page 13.
Side Motifs
An above-ground pool gets a sophisticated look with exterior panels surrounding the pool that bear a decorative motif and connect with the other panels. It's a simple but effective way to personalize an above-ground pool and give it an attractive, customized look. Some above-ground pools come with optional wood-grain panels, something that might have been popular in the 1960s or 1970s, kind of like wood-grain station wagons. Page 7.
Modern Decking & Gravel
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 10.
Round Pavers in Gravel
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 5.
Outdoor Living Room
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 11.
Living on the Outside
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 8.
How to Remove Moss and Mold From Patios and...
Mold, mildew or moss have messed up your patio. Discover sure-fire ways that won't destroy nearby landscaping or harm the environment with a blast of harsh chemicals.
A Round Above
An advantage of an above-ground swimming pool is that a fence can be attached to the pool's sides, creating an almost seamless vertical safety wall. The safety barrier is also higher than the average 5-foot pool fence recommended for in-ground pools. If the sides of an above ground pool are 4 feet high, and the fence is 3 feet high, that's a 7-foot-tall safety fence. Landscaping -- or hardscaping -- in the form of pea gravel in this case -- surrounds the perimeter of the pool for an attractive and practical design solution and presentation. Page 5.
Giant Bird of Paradise
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 5.
Spas and Hot Tubs: DIY Set-Up, Maintenance, and...
Bullfrog Spas is one of three finalists competing for the title of Best Hot Tub/Spa in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Pool & Patio readers can vote through March 19, 2013.
Color Your World
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 9.
10 Ways to Find Cheap Patio Furniture You'll Love
Maybe it's time for new outdoor furniture, but your budget won't bend. We show you how to look beyond the obvious and traditional sources for a pleasant surprise. In some cases, inexpensive translates into next-to-nothing or free.
Patio and Fireplace
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 7.
Poolside Proteas
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 15.
What's the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?
Patio or deck? How do you know which one is right for you, your lifestyle and your outdoor living space? And how can you really tell the difference between a deck and a patio anyway?
Eye-Catching Hebe
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 4.
Backyard Haven
Continuing our look at above-ground swimming pools, this one features a deck surround. This pool is separate from the house, off in a corner of the property, making it more of a private swimming and sunning retreat. A fence and gate make it a safe haven that would be difficult for young children to access. Page 2.
Kangaroo Paw
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 18.
Showy Ornamental Grass: Porcupine Grass
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 6.
Attention, Please! Agave Attenuata
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. One great choice for dry or drought-prone regions are non-spiky succulents, like this Agave attenuata, which grows well in coastal and inland Southern California. Page 14.
Pre-Fab Deck
Pre-fab decking is a smart alternative to the old-fashioned, labor-intensive DIY method of deck building. Wood stains and layout patterns vary, as demonstrated by this decking from the Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles. Page 7.
Schefflera
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 17.
Above-Ground Pool in the Hills of San Antonio
In a hilly section of San Antonio, an above-ground pool is connected to the house above it via a custom-built wooden deck. The deck is also comfortable on swimmers' feet and provides an anti-slip surface when things get wet as swimmers enter and exit the pool. The surface surrounding a pool is always an important consideration when choosing paving materials or decking. . Page 4.
Front Yard Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 3.
Let Creeping Jenny Climb, Spread and Spill
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 16.
Fenced In
One of the positive aspects of owning an above-ground pool is that it is literally raised above the ground, and not as easily accessible to children under 5 years old. This pool shows how you can make an above ground pool even safer, by adding fencing around the top rim of the pool and a fenced-off and gated stairway leading up to the pool.<. Page 3.
Who Let the Moose Near the Pool?
In the tropical regions from which they come, Staghorn ferns can be found growing on trees. For those of us who don't live in the tropics but are able to grow them in our zones, Staghorns do great mounted on wood slabs or bark, hanging baskets, or attached to trees. If you have a garden wall or poolhouse that gets filtered sunlight, this might be the scene-stealing plant for your pool area. Page 10.
What Are the Advantages of a Plunge Pool?
What, exactly, is a plunge pool? Find out why a plunge pool is different than other types of residential swimming pools.
20 Fun Facts About the White House Yard
Learn trivia about the White House landscape: the swimming pools, gardens, and secret retreats, along with incidents and events on the White House grounds.
Jade: A South African Succulent
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 7.
Wood or Composite Decking: Pros and Cons
Wood or composite decking -- or something else? Like any major home purchase, decking materials vary in looks, durability and cost. Start your research here, becoming familiar with types of authentic and synthetic decking. Also, you might want to use certain types of lumber of decking for structural parts of your deck project, and other decking timber for surfaces and railings -- the parts that you will see and walk on. What follows are the most-used materials to construct a residential deck.
Martha Washington Geraniums
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 9.
Ipe Deck Steps
This deck is made of ipr wood, which is a hardwood that is much like teak and is resistant to rot and termites. . Page 6.
Egyptian Papyrus
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 8.
Angel's Trumpet
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 11.
Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 12.
Saltillo-Tile Patio
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy! Page 2.
What's So Unique About Ipe Wood?
What is ipe wood, and where does it come from? Is it a good choice for decking materials or outdoor garden furniture? Find out what ipe wood is and is not.
Zoysia Path
Pathways in a waterwise garden use traditional hardscape materials -- like pavers, concrete, bricks, pebbles and pea gravel. How they differ from non-water-wise landscape design lies with what's growing -- or not growing -- between and surrounding the pathway materials. While many walkways are placed across a carpet of grass, the growing stuff on a waterwise pathway might be a drought-tolerant groundcover -- like thyme or stonecrop -- or another hardscape material, like bark or loose aggregate. Page 6.
Soft & Fuzzy Echeveria Coccinea
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 13.
Hawaiian Hibiscus for Your Poolside Paradise
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 2.
Deck on Side
Pathways in a waterwise garden use traditional hardscape materials -- like pavers, concrete, bricks, pebbles and pea gravel. How they differ from non-water-wise landscape design lies with what's growing -- or not growing -- between and surrounding the pathway materials. While many walkways are placed across a carpet of grass, the growing stuff on a waterwise pathway might be a drought-tolerant groundcover -- like thyme or stonecrop -- or another hardscape material, like bark or loose aggregate. Page 8.
Steps
Pathways in a waterwise garden use traditional hardscape materials -- like pavers, concrete, bricks, pebbles and pea gravel. How they differ from non-water-wise landscape design lies with what's growing -- or not growing -- between and surrounding the pathway materials. While many walkways are placed across a carpet of grass, the growing stuff on a waterwise pathway might be a drought-tolerant groundcover -- like thyme or stonecrop -- or another hardscape material, like bark or loose aggregate. Page 7.
The Best Trees for Pool Landscaping
Which trees are best near a pool, spa or pond? Size, shape and leaf drop are things to think about when planting a tree by a body of water.
A Bouquet of Aeonium Rosettes
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great. Page 3.
Backyard Banana Tree
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and spa chemicals. The trick is to find strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate, be easy to maintain and still look great.
Dining on the Deck
Who doesn't love to dine outdoors with a view? The lucky homeowners of this deck took advantage of the surrounding landscape to build a deck that would afford them a view of their large yard and the nearby foothills near Los Angeles. Page 5.
What is a Spool?
What, exactly is a spool? Not the spool of thread, but the body of water you have installed in your backyard for leisure and therapeutic benefits. Find out why you may or may not want one.
Best Decking Finalists 2013: About.com Readers'...
DuraLife Decking is one of three finalists in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Learn more about the composite decking company.
Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood House for Sale
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000.
Side-Yard Deck
You've chosen a deck over a patio. Now what? Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Then there's the type of deck you desire, along with shape, size and even the pattern of the wood. How are your do-it-yourself skills? If you aren't up for the task, you will need to find a contractor or subcontractor to do the job. Need deck ideas? Enjoy this gallery of deck design pictures. Page 3.
Slideshow: Instant Ideas for Outdoor Privacy...
Are you seeking a private space for a backyard retreat, patio or deck? A privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. Check out our creative solutions.
Free Playhouse Plans for When You Want to Build...
From basic sheds with a few embellishments to miniature mansions with all the details, you're sure to find a plan for a DIY playhouse project.
Succulent Garden Design Ideas
Ready to see succulents like never before? If you live in an arid climate, chances are good that you can use your swimming pool, spa, patio or deck nearly year 'round. Along with the advantages of enjoying your outdoor space all year comes the challenge of selecting the right plants for landscaping. Succulents have gained in popularity over the past decade, and as we learn more about them and work with them in landscape design, they are no longer seen as just a cousin to the prickly cactus.
How to Prune Ornamental Grasses
Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum', aka fountain grass, has been increasingly popular as both an accent plant and focal point in many landscape designs. Learn how to prune and groom it.
Three Paving Materials
Where do patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs in a magazine or get garden design ideas from a local garden tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy!
Eco Arbor Designs
Environmentally conscious decks by Eco Arbor, like this one featured at Dwell on Design, are made of exotic hardwoods such as ipe, Curupay, masarnduba and Red Gum. Page 4.
2013 Best Pool Cleaner / Vacuum: About.com...
Hayward is the winner of About.com's Pool & Patio site for Best Pool Cleaner 2013. Find out more about the cleaners and company.
A Fall Wreath for Every Door
On doors across America and sites like Etsy, deco mesh wreaths have become increasingly popular. DIYers love to work with inexpensive and forgiving poly mesh -- the fabric that tutus are made of. Mesh wreaths are fluffy, fun and fairly easy to make -- your DIY skills can be at a beginner's level.
10 Things You Should Not Do in a Hot Tub
Owning or using a hot tub or spa requires paying close attention to safety tips, even those that may seem like common sense.
A Guide to Pool Types, Designs and Styles
Pools come in all different types, designs, sizes and shapes and are used for various purposes. Consult our guide to find out the best pool type for your yard and budget.
Pink Flagstone
When building a patio or walkway, one of the more fun but challenging decisions you'll have to make is determining what type of paving material to use. The material should blend in with the architecture and landscaping, be easy to walk on, easy to maintain and weather-resistant. This photo gallery provides a look at the wide variety of paving and surfacing materials available. Of couse, there are numerous types out there -- this gallery only begins to cover it. Page 15.
Light Gray Cobblestones
When building a patio or walkway, one of the more fun but challenging decisions you'll have to make is determining what type of paving material to use. The material should blend in with the architecture and landscaping, be easy to walk on, easy to maintain and weather-resistant. This photo gallery provides a look at the wide variety of paving and surfacing materials available. Of couse, there are numerous types out there -- this gallery only begins to cover it. Page 16.
Hot Tub Deck
What makes this V-shaped deck is a true extension of the house? The deck floor is level with the floor of the house. Patio doors open up to the deck, and are often left open in warm weather. The hot tub is placed out of the way, but near the house for easy access. In other words, it's a quick hop in and out of the spa and back into the house. Page 2.
The Best Way to Clean Tile at the Pool Waterline
What's the best way to clean the water line tile in your swimming pool? If you don't want to pay a pool service company to bead blast it clean, try a few of the do-it-yourself methods we recommend. A big benefit: you'll save money.
How to Contact an Above-Ground Pool Company
An above ground swimming pool seems like a great idea, but where do you go to learn more about the different manufacturers? The following is a frequently updated list of above-ground pool manufacturers.
The Best Time to Buy an Above-Ground Pool
While late summer is traditionally the best time of the year to score a great deal on an above-ground swimming pool, the current economy changes all the rules. Whether you get an above-ground pool in the spring or fall, you still have the potential of saving hundreds of dollars, if you keep an eye on the prices. Above-ground pools can be as simple or elaborate as you need, desire or can afford. Take a look at the assortment of on-ground and above-ground swimming pools currently available.
Water Conservation Landscape Design: Garden Art
Drought tolerant landscaping can be attractive with well-chosen plants mixed with hardscaping, garden structures and garden art. And like the conservation-minded gardens that focus on using less water, natural fertilizers or organic pest control, some of the best garden art comes from ordinary objects that have been recycled, reused, or repurposed. Let these photos of landscape designs inspire you to look at that old sculpture-class bust or architectural relic in an entirely different light.
Great Deck Design Ideas and Pictures
You've chosen a deck over a patio. Now what? Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Then there's the type of deck you desire, along with shape, size and even the pattern of the wood. How are your do-it-yourself skills? If you aren't up for the task, you will need to find a contractor or subcontractor to do the job. Need deck ideas? Enjoy this gallery of deck design pictures.
Landscaping Ideas for Pool Areas
Carefully choose the plants that will go near a pool or hot tub. Something that is pretty at 2 feet tall can grow quickly and drop leaves and debris into your pool in just a couple of years. We've done some of the work for you by researching the best plants, shrubs, trees and succulents that would make great poolside plants and work well with the rest of your landscaping.
Patio Furniture Brands
How do you distinguish one outdoor patio brand from another? Years in production? Materials? Popularity? Price? About.com has compiled a handy go-to list of garden furniture brands, companies and manufacturers. Explore each company's website to learn more about the products and where you can buy them.
The Top 12 Hot Tub Films
A hot tub on screen suggests some kind of action will occur, romantic or otherwise. Our list of best hot tub scenes covers a broad range of years..
Can I Get H1N1 Flu From a Pool, Spa, Fountain...
Reports about H1N1 flu have many people worried about sources of transmission. Learn what the CDC advises for those who use pools, spas, and other treated water venues.
The American Flag (How to Display and Care for...
What's the correct way to display or hang the American flag at your home? Before the first Flag Day, on June 14, 1923, the United States federal government had no official guidelines dictating the display of the flag. Learn flag etiquette and the do's and don'ts of flying the flag at your house.
10 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Swimming Pool
Thinking about filling in your swimming pool? Before you throw in the towel, consider our good reasons for demolishing that backyard money pit.
How to Reupholster a Patio Chair Cushion
Continuing the patio chair recovering project: if you have a color scheme in mind, excellent. If not, consider favorite colors, color of furniture, or color of walls and house.
Cool Hanging Chairs For Your Outdoor Pad
The Cacoon is part tent, part hanging chair. It joins a select few that we consider the top outdoor hanging chairs of the season.
Pool Party Essentials: Fountains, Floats and...
The pool party is at your house! Be sure and supply fun and festive fountains, underwater light shows, inflatables, pool toys and other waterworks and accessories.
What is a Chimenea?
Chimeneas are those hand-decorated clay outdoor fireplaces you see for sale at marketplaces and tourist sites in California, Arizona and other western states. While many use their chimeneas as accent pieces or as garden art on the patio for a rustic or Southwestern look, chimeneas can be functional fire features in your outdoor living rooms.
An Above-Ground Pool Can Make Ownership A Reality
If an in-ground swimming pool isn't in your future for whatever reason, maybe an above ground pool is the solution. Above ground swimming pools range from affordable models to more luxurious (and expensive) styles. Many can be enjoyed year 'round, and some use saltwater systems popular with in-ground models. Above ground pools can also be equipped with solar heating systems and covers.
Path Materials in Water Conservation Landscape...
Pathways in a waterwise garden use traditional hardscape materials -- like pavers, concrete, bricks, pebbles and pea gravel. How they differ from non-water-wise landscape design lies with what's growing -- or not growing -- between and surrounding the pathway materials. While many walkways are placed across a carpet of grass, the growing stuff on a waterwise pathway might be a drought-tolerant groundcover -- like thyme or stonecrop -- or another hardscape material, like bark or loose aggregate.
10 Smart Reasons to Cover Your Swimming Pool
Your swimming pool is aqua, the water is calm and still and the atmosphere is perfect, as close to paradise as you’re going to get in your backyard. The next morning, your pool is an unrecognizable pond full of leaves, twigs, and debris from last night’s winds. Consider these 10 smart reasons for buying a swimming pool cover.
How to Choose Outdoor Privacy Screens
Need an outdoor privacy screen? Regardless of your property's size, some areas of your outdoor living space need to be private. Follow these tips for finding the right privacy fence.
Vertical Gardens: Plants for Walls
Walls add permanence and establish boundaries within a yard or landscape design. They also offer privacy and block undesirable views, like your neighbor's side-yard junk pile. Plants that adapt best to walls are those that are climbers or that spill or trail over the walls. Other types of wall gardens are living walls in which plants are fitted in crevices or planted in containers that allow them to grow vertically and cover all or part of the wall. Take a look at a few plants for inspiration. Page 3.
Pictures of Swimming Pool Shapes and Designs
Swimming pools come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, styles and designs. Check out our pictures of classic, modern and novelty shapes and designs.
Before You Buy a Patio Umbrella
Before you go shopping for an outdoor umbrella, you might want to do some research. Most umbrellas measure anywhere from 5 to 11 feet in diameter. Affixed to a pole, they are placed into a hole that's in your outdoor dining table or anchored by a weighted umbrella base. Using a crank at the top of the pole, you can raise or lower the canopy of the umbrella. Sounds simple? There's more.
Composite Decking Brands
Composite decking is an alternative to all-wood decking and is made of materials that can include recycled and new plastic, bamboo and wood fibers. Many synthetic or composite decking products have evolved as a reflection of the environment in which we live and are green, eco and LEED qualified or certified.
The Best Free Garden Bench Plans
Looking for fairly simple free DIY plans to make an outdoor bench? We researched and compiled bench plans that take about a weekend to complete.
6 Calculators That Measure Saltwater for Your...
How much salt should you put in your swimming pool? Provided you have a chlorine generator -- that thing that turns salt into chlorine -- you're going to need to calculate the correct amount of salt to add to your swimming pool. You can't just salt it liberally, like it's a big, juicy slab of steak on the barbecue. We've assembled a list of saltwater calculators -- some online, some that are cell phone apps -- to help you get it right.
How to Remove Tough Stains From Patios and Walls
Brick, stone and concrete patios and walls are exposed to the elements or something else creates a stain: efflorescence, mortar, mildew, rust, paint and grafitti. Put away the pressure washer and learn the best ways to clean that particular stain off your patio, wall or other outdoor project or surface.
15 Safe Things to Do in a Hot Tub
Those lucky enough to own a hot tub or spa probably know what you should and shouldn't do in and around a tub like issues of safety, care and maintenance.
How to Make a Festive Fall Wreath
There is a wreath that suits every door: modern, country, neo-classical, traditional. If you make a wreath for your door -- or wherever else you want to hang it -- the style and materials used are entirely in your hands. While the Grand Poo Bah of wreath-making won't grab the wreath off your door if it is nonconformist, there are a few guidelines you might want to follow to make it look good.
Beach Cottage Playhouse
The perfect playhouse is really left up to the imagination of the kid-sized home's builder and the child him or herself. Skill, the ability to follow directions, and patience help too. The elaborate and amazing playhouses built for Project Playhouse's 19th annual exhibit at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Orange County, California, aren't typical. They're built as a fundraiser for HomeAid, a homeless and home-assistance nonprofit. Check out the playhouse pictures and get inspired. Page 4.
Marilyn Monroe's Office & Courtyard
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000. Page 5.
Pool Skimmer: What it is
What is a pool skimmer and when should you use one? A skimmer is a box-like device through which debris and contaminants flow into the filter when the pump is activated.
Marilyn Monroe's Patio and Pool
Marilyn Monroe only lived in her Brentwood, California, house for about nine months before her life came to a tragic end on August 4, 1962. The one-story hacienda-style house was built in 1929 and is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath home features a sparkling freeform pool, patio and citrus grove on more than half an acre. The list price is $3,595,000. Page 4.
Before You Buy: Shopping for Outdoor Fabric
If you are going to reupholster or make new cushions or pillows for your outdoor furniture, it's important to pick the right fabric for the project. Follow our tips before you go shopping for outdoor fabric for your next DIY project.
The Top Schools for Landscape Architecture and...
What are the top colleges and universities for landscape architecture?
Wood Patio Furniture (How to Clean and Care for...
What's the best way to protect wood garden furniture from the elements? Discover what it takes to maintain and bring out its natural beauty.

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