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Outdoor Enjoyment Year-round
October, 2010 - Issue #72
photography by Ted Dayton
photography by Ted Dayton
Yes, it gets cold in the SCV. But even on the chilliest days, the weather is more than accommodating for backyard relaxation when you plan ahead. NV Landscape, Inc. (286-8888) reminds us that, by expanding our living space into the outdoors, we can enjoy our property - and each other - any time of year.

Here are some ways to create a unique, elegant outdoor living space. These options, and more, are available from NV Landscape, Inc.

Increasing the proportion of hardscape expands all-season entertaining space. Stamped concrete or even a no-slip stone like slate make for beautiful alternatives to water- and time-guzzling grass.

Outdoor kitchens can be just as efficient - and gorgeous - as the one in your home. And, during the busy holidays, who couldn't use an extra range? Barbecued Thanksgiving turkey, anyone?

Fire pits are a must for Santa Clarita. In a community that places the upmost value on connecting with family and friends, there's no better way to spur laughter, conversation and (perhaps) romance than gathering around a fire pit. Marshmallows are optional!

Patio coverings do more than protect you from the sun during the summer. Combined with the right all-season furniture (check out Green Thumb (259-1072) and Oasis Garden & Patio (255-9909) for some great post-season deals!) they also prove to be cozy spots to sip on a mug of hot tea and drink in fall colors and early-spring flower bursts.

Saturday > October 16
Castaic Lake Water Agency Hosts Free Landscape Education Class
From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Castaic Lake Water Agency (located at 27234 Bouquet Canyon Road), learn how to perform your own water management and audit. The pros will discuss water use in and around the home, as well as ways to improve your water efficiency. A demonstration of a simple landscape water audit will be included; 297-1600 www.clwa.org

Time to take your Kitchen Outside
The current trend in today's economy is to save money by remodeling and rebuilding what you already own and love. Therefore, increasing living space by moving outdoors seems natural. Adding a patio with an outdoor kitchen or built-in grill can double your public space and create the perfect location to entertain your family and friends. Think about your new outdoor paradise as being an escape from everyday life, work and school.

An outdoor kitchen may also reduce electricity costs by reducing the need for air conditioning and lighting. Tom Moore, showroom manager of Bergammo of Italy, shares that outdoor kitchens hold their value and even increase the value of the home when its time to sell. "Outdoor kitchens are turning out to be one of the hottest trends of the past five years," he says.

An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a natural stone box with a grate over the top or as elaborate as a completely outfitted space with a built-in grill, burners, refrigerator, sinks, work space and dining area; everything you would find indoors, translated into outdoor materials. The appliances can be permanently installed or transportable into a protected area, depending on weather. Your outdoor living space should be as unique as you are. The perk of adding a kitchen to your backyard is the ability to incorporate trees, shrubs, plants and flowers into the mix - leaving endless opportunities only limited by your imagination.

No matter where you live, there is always the perfect time to be outdoors. Why not grab some food, gather your family, sit outside, and take a mini vacation in your backyard?
Tips courtesy of Surfaces USA, which boasts the largest selection of natural stone and tile in stock throughout Southern California; www.surfacesusa.com
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