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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? They can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape in mind.
Side-Yard Deck
Side Yards are often neglected. Consider using yours as a place to build a private deck, like this one. Page 10.
Decks, Designs and Mainenance
In addition to deck photos, we provide you with free deck plans, the best types of cleaners, and our annual deck safety checklist. Page 11.
Decking Connection
If you have an above-ground pool, a deck adds privacy. The one in this photo connects a house to separate decks, a hot tub and pool. Page 9.
Rustic Beauty
Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Page 8.
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. Page 17.
The Top 10 Outdoor Patio Umbrellas
Find out our picks for the best patio umbrellas, sure to bring shade and style to your yard. There's a type, color, and price for every budget.
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.
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
A wheelchair-accessible garden and patio area are designed at chair height and also in the round for easy access. Page 18.
In-Ground or Above-Ground?
An expansive and beautiful pool deck is the first thing you notice about this above-ground pool. Page 14.
Elizabeth Taylor's Puerto Vallarta Patio
This second-floor courtyard patio is at Casa Kimberly near downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico . Long ago,
Mid-century Modern Patio
A midcentury modern home and patio designed by Lloyd Wright features a subtly patterned concrete floor and vintage lounge chairs. Page 19.
Above the Deck
This above-ground swimming pool has a wooden deck surrounding it. What's different than others pictured
Decked-Out Doughboy
Doughboy was one of the first manufacturers of above-grounds on the market back in the 20th century. Page 15.
Doughboy Buried Pool
Since 1945, Doughboy has manufactured affordable above-ground pools. Doughboy recently introduced a line of pools that can be sunken in the ground. Page 18.
The View From the Terrace
A terrace-style patio surrounded by succulents and drought-tolerant plants offers a beautiful view of the ocean. Page 20.
Sun Bath Garden Hideaway
Large flagstones set in pebbles or pea gravel make up the floor of this backyard patio retreat. Page 24.
Enclosed Above-Ground Pool
An enclosure for an above-ground pool creates privacy, safety, and makes it a true backyard destination.. Page 6.
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. Page 19.
Front-Yard Flagstone Patio
The front lawn of this Santa Monica home was replaced with a patio, pea gravel, pavers, and drought-tolerant plants. Page 25.
Low Wall for Privacy
A raised patio in the front yard of a home serves as an outdoor entryway that also offers space for dining and privacy. Page 21.
Long, Cool Pool
Another above-ground swimming pool that features childproof fencing and a gate that makes it hard for kids to gain entry. Page 16.
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. Page 17.
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.
San Antonio Deck Surround
A flagstone patio is incorporated into the design of an above-ground swimming pool - find out how the builders made it happen. Page 8.
Gravel Framing and Edging
Drought-tolerant plants and bark mulch with pea gravel frame a patio area in this water-wise yard. Page 26.
Bark Mulch & Pea Gravel
This outdoor room at the LA Garden Show demonstrates how loose materials can make be pulled together for a casual, yet complete look. Page 37.
Neighborhood Pool
Somehow, raised above the lawn and everything else, this round above-ground swimming pool appears bigger than most backyard pools. Page 11.
I Can't Believe it's Not In-Ground
Find out how the designers achieved the look of an in-ground pool with this oval-shaped above-ground pool with a raised deck. Page 10.
Kid's Paradise
This family-friendly backyard features a playhouse, deluxe playset, pool deck, and a rectangular above-ground pool. Page 9.
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.
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.
Retractable Pool Cover
An above-ground pool is surrounded by a beautiful wood deck and features a retractable pool cover to keep it warm and clean. Page 12.
Side Motifs
An above-ground pool gets a sophisticated look with exterior panels surrounding the pool that bear a decorative motif and connect with other panels. Page 7.
El Patio: Mexican Patio
This outdoor patio near Lake Chapala, Mexico, is enjoyed throughout the year in the area's mild climate. Page 28.
Round Pavers in Gravel
Pea gravel with round aggregate pavers in different sizes makes an attractive and easy patio area. Page 5.
Beanbag Patio Area
This children's patio play area features a pea gravel surface and colorful beanbag chairs. Page 27.
Great Deck Design Ideas and Pictures
You've chosen a deck over a patio. Now what? Need deck ideas? Enjoy this slideshow of deck design ideas and pictures for your next project.
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.
Tuscan-Style Red Patio
Tuscan and Mediterranean-style gardens are popular themes, especially in warm climates. Find out the hallmarks of Mediterranean landscape design. Page 6.
Tree-Stump Patio Seating
A brick patio makes use of tree trunk stumps and logs for informal seating. Page 29.
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 includes a border garden. Page 4.
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. Page 13.
Brick Pavers & Black Gravel
A combination of brick pavers and black gravel make a striking contrast of materials for a patio. Page 16.
Mediterranean Courtyard
A courtyard patio features low walls and tall Cypress trees that give it a true, Mediterranean atmosphere. Page 30.
Above-Ground Swimming Pool Designs, Shapes and...
Above-ground swimming pools are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. They cost less than in-ground pools, a point that not lost on pool shoppers.
Poolside Plants That Look Like Paradise
The plants that surround your pool should be chosen carefully. The trick is to buy strong plants that can withstand your pool's microclimate,and still look great.
Paver Patio
This home near Pasadena, California, lost its lawn and replaced the turf with pavers and decomposed granite. Page 35.
Pre-Fab Deck
Pre-fab decking is a smart alternative to the old-fashioned, labor-intensive DIY method of deck building. Page 7.
Three Patio Floors
This patio features three different types of materials, which proves you don't have to be limited to one look or material. Page 15.
Footprint Patio
A footprint in concrete adds a personal touch to this outdoor patio. You can make impressions of hands or pets' paws too. Page 31.
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. Page 5.
Patio and Fireplace
An outdoor custom-built fireplace is the focal point for a patio that features all-white furniture. Page 7.
Faux Fossils
A colored concrete floor is made more interesting when a texture or design is added to the surface. Here, fake fossils are added for fun. Page 36.
Front Yard Patio
The front yard of a home in Venice, California, includes an enclosed patio that provides a place to dine and is a true outdoor room. Page 3.
Square Pavers & Pebbles
A prefab house at the L.A. Garden Show features a simple patio area with concrete pavers and pebbles. Page 14.
Saltillo & Teak
Teak patio furniture gives this walled courtyard a warm appeal. The patio is situated near the front door of a house in Santa Monica, California, . Page 13.
Circle of Adirondacks
Colorful Adirondack chairs and fake turf grass make a fun, retro patio area, as seen at Dwell on Design in LA. Page 32.
Modern Decking & Gravel
Bright orange pots serve as a focal point in this patio area on view at the LA Garden Show. Page 10.
Secluded Patio
A concrete slab patio is located off the master bedroom of a Mid-century modern home, offering privacy and relaxation. Page 33.
Living on the Outside
A brick front-yard patio is small but welcoming. Everything is pulled together without appearing overly cluttered or crowded. Page 8.
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.
Saltillo-Tile Patio
A wrought iron patio dining set placed on a front patio of a home allows its owners to visit with neighbors and passers-by. Page 2.
Showy Ornamental Grass: Porcupine Grass
Ornamental grasses are a good choice to plant near a swimming pool. One to try: porcupine or zebra grass. Page 7.
Outdoor Living Room
An odd and interesting assortment of furniture is assembled for an attractive outdoor room or patio area - not everything has to match perfectly. Page 11.
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.
Color Your World
Colorful outdoor tables, chairs and accessories highlight this outdoor space at Chicweed in Solana Beach, California. Page 9.
Giant Bird of Paradise
Giant bird of paradise is a striking plant that will bring a tropical look to your yard when planted near a swimming pool. Page 6.
Patio Passageway
A brick wall surrounds a patio and offers privacy. Page 34.
Three Paving Materials
Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, These patio design pictures are here to inspire you. Enjoy!
Eye-Catching Hebe
Hebe is a New Zealand plant that looks striking planted near swimming pools and spas. Page 5.
Ipe Deck Steps
This deck is made of ipe wood, which is a hardwood that is much like teak and is resistant to rot and termites. Page 6.
Jade: A South African Succulent
Jade is a succulent that is extremely easy to grow and looks neat and attractive near a swimming pool or spa. Page 8.
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.
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.
Dining on the Deck
The homeowners of this deck took advantage of the surrounding landscape to build a deck that would give them a view of their yard and the foothills. Page 4.
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.
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. Page 4.
Egyptian Papyrus
Egyptian papyrus is an exotic-looking grass that likes to be planted near water, making it a good choice near pools and ponds. Page 9.
Path Materials in Water Conservation Landscape...
Paths in a waterwise garden use traditional hardscape materials. How they differ depends on what's growing between and surrounding the path.
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.
Fenced In
One of the positive aspects of owning an above-ground pool is that it is literally raised above ground, and is not easily accessible to kids under 5. Page 3.
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 and Red Gum. Page 5.
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?
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.
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 10.
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.
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.
How and Where to Find Cheap Outdoor Furniture
It's time for new outdoor furniture, but your budget won't bend. We show you how to look past the obvious and traditional sources for a nice surprise.
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.
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 11.
Zoysia Path
Zoysia is used as an alternative to a regular lawn in this drought-tolerant garden. Page 6.
Angel's Trumpet
Angel's trumpet is an attractive and sweet-smelling plant that looks beautiful planted near a pool. Page 12.
Backyard Banana Tree
If you desire a tropical look for your pool area and live in a mild, frost-free climate, Banana trees
Concrete Block Steps
Simple concrete-block steps are used in a water-wise backyard near Pasadena. Boulders, rocks and native plants are also incorporated into the design. Page 7.
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.
Side Yard Decking
A deck was built in the side yard of a home near LA to serve as a retreat and easy way to move from the front to the back yard. Page 8.
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 4.
The Best Trees to Plant Near Pools
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.
Hot Tub Deck
What makes this V-shaped deck is a true extension of the house? For starters, the floor is level with the floor of the house. Page 3.
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 3.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Best Way to Clean Tile at the Pool Waterline
What's the best way to clean the waterline tile in your pool? If you don't want to pay a pool pro, try a few of the DIY methods we recommend.
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.
What to Look for in an Outdoor 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.
Instant Ideas for Outdoor Privacy Screens
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.
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.
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.
12 Beautiful Brick Patio Designs and Pictures
Brick has been around for centuries, making it a wise choice for patio flooring. Check out this slideshow featuring 12 stunning brick patio designs.
Deck, Patio, and Container Garden
An outdoor deck, patio, and container garden are all combined into a small space with careful planning and raised levels.
Outdoor Privacy Screens: Ideas for Outdoor...
With an outdoor privacy screen, you can add some much-needed privacy to your pool, hot tub or spa area. Maybe you're seeking a small space for a backyard retreat or a patio, deck or balcony. An outdoor privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. These photo galleries provide inspiration and creative solutions for gaining privacy in your backyard or outdoor living space. Check back often -- new photos are added frequently.
All Decked Out: Building Wood and Composite Decks
You don't want a "slab" of concrete -- you'd like your outdoor space to rise up to the level of your
2013 Best Pool Cleaner / Vacuum: About.com...
There are three finalists for Best Pool Cleaner/Vacuum in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Pool & Patio readers have until March 19th to vote for their favorite in the site-wide contest. Meet the finalists.
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.
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.
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.
Water-Saving Ideas for Pools and Spas
There's a big source of water consumption in your backyard: it's called a swimming pool. While the World Water Council is not asking you to replace that big pit with a vegetable garden, there are several ways you can practice water conservation with your pool or spa. Get water smart by learning more about your pool or spa and the preventative steps you can take and repairs you can make to help conserve water.
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.
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.
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.
Deck Basics: So You Want to Build a Deck?
More planning and consideration may go into building an outdoor deck than, say, an indoor bathroom. Besides determining it's a deck you want instead of a patio, you will need to establish a budget, select materials, find a space to build it, and determine whether it is a DIY project or you'll need to hire a professional. Read these 10 considerations before planning or starting to build a deck.
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.
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.
Deck With a View
When planning a deck, one of the most important considerations is placing the deck in a location that offers a great view. Page 2.
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.
Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine
Bright chartreuse sweet potato vine is a sun-loving subtropical plant that looks beautiful planted near a swimming pool.
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.
Basic Horseshoe Rules: How to Play the Game
While Roman soldiers may have tossed a shoe or two back in ancient civilization, credit our colonial forefathers with making horseshoes an American tradition. Like bocce ball, badminton and croquet, it's a perfect activity for backyard gatherings, barbecues, or parties. You don't even need real horseshoes to play the game.
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.
Slideshow: Landscaping With Ornamental Grasses
Purple Fountain Grass has become an extremely popular landscaping plant in both residential and commercial settings.
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.
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.
Bamboo Planter for Screening Small Spaces
With an outdoor privacy screen, you can add some much-needed privacy to your pool, hot tub or spa area. Maybe you're seeking a small space for a backyard retreat or a patio, deck or balcony. An outdoor privacy screen gives you personal space away from the view of neighbors or passers-by. Follow these creative solutions to gain some privacy in your backyard or outdoor living space. Page 5.
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.
Taking the Succulent Path
Small, irregular pavers cut through a drought tolerant garden and converge. Succulents and other water-wise plants are used in this landscape design. Page 5.
The Best Free DIY Plans for Outdoor Projects
These free DIY projects for your yard include deck, playhouse, treehouse and garden bench plans. The projects are for beginning to advanced skill levels.
The Pros and Cons of Natural Swimming Pools
Before you build a natural swimming pool in your yard, consider the pros and cons of this type of pool vs. a more traditional type.
Deck Building Basics
Whether your deck is new or in need or repair or an upgrade, you know that it is something that you can't build and just leave alone. Like a pool or spa, a deck requires time and energy to care for it. And when you do put in some effort, the reward is a beautiful addition to your home -- which may be the centerpiece of your backyard.
The Best Automatic Cleaners for Swimming Pools
The next-best thing to having a weekly "pool guy" is buying an automatic pool cleaner for your in-ground
The Best Fire Pits for Your Backyard
A fire pit is the perfect reason to warm up a chilly winter evening or create a reason to stay outside later during the summer. With a variety of designs, shapes, sizes, materials and price ranges, there's a fire pit that will suit your outdoor living space.
What is a DE Pool Filter?
DE stands for diatomaceous earth, which is a fine white powder made from the chemically inert, fossilized (or skeletal) remains of billions of microscopic organisms called diatoms. There are three types of filters used for pools: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Many pool owners and pool maintenance workers consider DE filters to be the best type of filter for residential swimming pools.

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