From the Desk of Clearissa’s Command Center/Divinely Organized
Dominate Your Summertime Deck
Well Lovies, Memorial Day has come and gone. We have honored our fallen military members, and rightfully so! I come from a military family, and I know how important their sacrifices were and are. There is one other event that we traditionally celebrate during the long Memorial Day weekend and that is the official beginning of summer. With that comes summertime decorating and organizing our outside area. We set out to do just that this past weekend and as usual, we did it on a budget.
I live on the east coast and it can be quite hot and humid here during the summer. Temperatures upwards of 90 with humidity above 85 percent is kind of the norm here and in anticipation of our summer weather we installed a gazebo on the deck (this was done a couple of years ago) so that we can enjoy the outdoors without being subjected to the harmful rays from the hot sun or the awful bites of the mosquitos – oh yeah, we have a lot of those as well. Because we have the gazebo, I can set the table and add pillows and other decorative items because they are protected from the blazing east coast sun and those late afternoon rain storms. This makes al fresco dining much more fun and enjoyable!
Pulling this together was a process.
The deck was a process that began in the middle of May. In our area, we have to wait until the pollen stops falling at the beginning of spring. It makes everything yellow, and it is very difficult to keep cars and yes, decks, clean so we did not power wash the deck until the second week of May.
We waited 48 hours after power washing the deck and then we put a clear coat to protect the wood. As I said, it gets extremely hot and humid here and we use the sealant to protect the wood. We do not paint or stain the deck because we both like the natural look of the wood.
During the winter, we leave the frame of the gazebo up because it is bolted to the deck to avoid it blowing away during our massive storms. We do, however, take down the top and the side panels and store them during the winter.
We learned the hard way that the top must come down. We had an ice/snow storm a couple of years ago and the whole top of our first gazebo collapsed under the weight. It was a mess. We take it down during the winter, which means we have to put it all back together for the spring/summer season, but it is worth it.
Once the side panels and the top are up it is time for the fun stuff.
Flowers & Flower Pots
In preparation for completing the deck this past weekend, I added new plants to the family to replace the ones that were not perennials or that did not survive the winter two weeks ago. Potted plants on the deck and plants in my very compact yard were pruned and new ones planted during this prep work.
And this past weekend…
I do a lot of my gardening in pots. I have hostas, roses, strawberries, herbs and various other flowers in pots. Most are perennials (I love perennials because they come back every year) and they sit dormant all winter. There were squirrel footprints up the sides of several of the larger pots and they all required a good cleaning (I am not so fond of squirrels).
I prepared my personal concoction of Dawn dish detergent, Clorox, and an all-purpose cleaner, to thoroughly clean the outside of each pot.
I prepared a bucket of hot water, Dawn dishwashing liquid, and Clorox. I sprayed the all-purpose cleaner directly onto the sponge and clean each pot. They perk up like new when this concoction is used. The result…no more cruddy flower pots.
I added fresh soil and coffee grounds to each pot (another fun concoction). After the winter season of dormancy, new soil adds much-needed nutrients to the plants and makes the posts look fresh and renewed and the coffee gives the plants/flowers a shot of energy and sparks growth.
The Finishing Touches
Once the gazebo was up, deck cleaned, flower pots were in position, flowers trimmed, planted and renewed, it was time for the fun stuff.
Next step was to clean the table, chairs and other décor items with a new batch of my cleaning concoction.
I added a rug under the table to add a bit of softness and for a comfortable feeling for those bare summer feet.
I added solar lights to each flower pot for added ambiance when we are enjoying the deck during the evenings. Because my herbs and some of my plants are not bloomers, I also added pinwheels to each flower pot for added color. They are just another element to make the area cheerful and festive.
The grill was uncovered, cleaned and opened for summer business.
Finally, I placed a clean trash bag under each chair cushion. Now I know you are asking, why would you do that? Well, I will tell you. Tip – there are two reasons, the first is to give the chair cushions some support. The bags just makes the cushions sit better and helps to keep the cushions from going flat. And secondly, they come in handy when the family is hanging out on the deck and as usual, pop bottles, snack bags, etc. seem to multiply. The bags are handy and no one should have to run back and forth into the house when you are having summer fun. That is also a way to cut down on in and out traffic which helps to keep the electric bill from skyrocketing. Killing two birds with one stone.
That is that. The deck is open for summer fun and it is colorful, organized, clean and happy. Believe it or not, this entire project cost less than $100.00. If you want my complete shopping list, I am sharing it below.
If you like the bar stools I use for extra seating, I found those at my local flea market a couple of years ago. They look totally different. You can see how I upcycled them here. They look totally different.
The space now feels like a tree house and there is a feeling of cocooning when we are all zipped inside the gazebo. Whether it is just hubs and me or we are entertaining family and friends, it is a pleasant place to enjoy the days of summer.
Thanks for coming along on this journey, I hope you will join me for my next project at the Command Center. I hope your summer place is all you want it to be and that you make many wonderful summer memories.
Power washer $0.00 purchased 2 years ago during a special on QVC
Deck cleaner $0.00 purchased last year at season end when on sale
Other cleaning supplies $0.00 regular household cleaners on hand
Pillows $25.00 purchased 4 at the beginning of the summer season
when on sale. The others from years past
Plants $25.00 Added a few but most were perennials
and are from years before
Place Settings $0.00 Used what I have in my arsenal
Solar Lights $8.00 Dollar Store Finds (Had others from last year)
Don’t forget to check out my eBook; Organize Your Life in 21 Days is available for download and has a variety of small projects to help you take on and complete projects you may not have thought of. Get your copy today.
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Until next time…I remain in my element
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Thank You for Stopping By!