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Summer Yard
Improvement and Care Q&A
August, 2009 - Issue #58
Local experts answer your questions about making your backyard the perfect place for a "stay-cation".

QUESTION:
We finally invested in gorgeous patio furniture and, I'll admit, I'm a little paranoid about keeping the furniture in good condition. How can I best protect our patio furniture from the intense SCV weather?

Whether it is a dusty, windy day, or an afternoon drizzle, weather in Santa Clarita can take a toll on the look of your patio furniture. To keep your outdoor living space looking its best, cover your furniture when you are not using it.

Premium protective covers will shelter your investment from the harshest conditions. You can purchase covers for each of your pieces (sofa, individual chairs, tables, etc.) or one that will cover an entire set. Don't forget your umbrellas.

If you have an oddly-shaped table or a barbecue island, you can have a quality cover made to match your specifications. For the best fit, precisely measure the dimensions (height by width by depth).

For table and chair sets, make sure chairs are pushed in to the desired position and measure from chair back to chair back, both length and width.

These tips will be helpful when a beautiful weekend comes along and you don't have to spend precious time hosing dust, debris and water spots off your furniture. Just remove the covers and relax!
Tip courtesy of Amy Boswell of Oasis Garden & Patio 255-9909.

QUESTION:
My wife and I have been dreaming about installing a kitchen island in the yard for some time. We've visited some local stores but were put off by the limited options. I have a uniquely-shaped backyard and a picky gourmet cook on my hands. Suggestions are welcome.

Trying to match your "dream" to a generic, Big Box cookie cutter concept can be frustrating. No matter how big their selection, chances are that you'll be forced to choose between what's available and what you really want. Here's our suggestion. Create a simple sketch of your "dream" outdoor kitchen and bring it on in to Barbeques Galore. A professional will make sure they understand what you're looking for and then will take your sketch and provide a complimentary quote within 48 hours. Whether you're hoping for a cozy, compact two-seater or an elaborate island oasis, we can make your dream a reality.
Tip courtesy of Barbeques Galore 284-6880.

QUESTION:
My family knows that water conservation is always a good idea, but now that we're experiencing a real drought, we really need to change our landscaping plans. What works well in Santa Clarita, yet doesn't depend on a lot of H2O?

The first thing to keep in mind when it comes to landscaping is that grass is one of the biggest water consumers. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have grass scapes if you want them, but it does mean that you should balance your grassy areas with more drought-resistant options.

Luckily, there are literally hundreds of attractive choices. Some favorites include a variety of Salvia plants; Cone Flower; Agave; Rosemary, a variety of Succulents; Sedge and Grasses; and trees like the very-cool Chitalpa and Desert Willow.
Tip courtesy of Chad Curtis of Landscape Pros 510-8865.
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