Lighting on steps and walkways is a smart safety measure — and, fortunately, one that won’t require you to call an electrician. Just mount these Solar Deck Lights, $44.95 for four from Gardener’s Supply, to any flat surface with screws included (or just place them on the ground); they’ll charge when the sun is out during the day, and turn on two LED bulbs at dusk.
This contemporary pool features a 360-degree wet-edge perimeter, underwater speakers and 40-feet vanishing edge. The independently heated spa has 16 jets, and an expansive gas fire pit is designed for the entire family to enjoy. The sweeping Caribbean coral stone decks expand into the covered pavilion which is the perfect place to escape the sun. Throughout the entire space, the design takes full advantage of this property’s beautiful oceanfront views
This home is located on a steeply sloping ridge top and is designed to sensitively step down with the land. The steep topography influenced the linear design as it hugs along a natural rock outcropping. The layout is perfectly harmonious to the land and sun, allowing the home to orient its long faces to the north and south while minimizing its east and west exposures.
Tall, north-facing window walls capture cool, even lighting throughout the day, while deep overhangs along the south protect from overexposure from the sun. The main roof sheds to the south, providing maximum solar collection potential. Decks and screened-in porches along the south face also provide areas for outdoor entertaining and a means to capture prevailing breezes that blow up from the canyons below.
Usually dwarf Alberta spruce is a go-to plant for adding an air of formality to gardens. But the topiary forms also lend themselves to playful garden whimsy, like this pom-pom spruce decked out with sun hat and shoes. It’s a great choice for a children’s garden. If your dwarf Alberta spruce develops brown needles or dead spots due to winter burn or spider mites, you can always prune out those branches to create your own one-of-a-kind topiary style.
This old-fashioned beauty brings unparalleled fragrance to the garden. Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) is a native of Peru and is an annual in all but the very warmest regions (Zones 10-11). Also known as cherry pie plant, heliotrope has a complex fragrance that’s said to have notes of marzipan, vanilla, almond and cherry pie. Grow it in containers to keep the scent close at hand on a patio or deck. Or fill a flower bed with this blooming beauty to release a wave of living aromatherapy in your yard. Give heliotrope rich, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade (a little shade is good during the hottest part of the day). Pinch growing tips when young to encourage branching, and remove spent blooms to promote more flowers.