It can be hard for a modernist to find a comfortable place to sit, harder still when it comes to outdoor furniture. That's why the boxy, colorful, irreverent pieces from Duluth-based Loll Designs caught our eye. The company's motto: "Outdoor furniture for the modern lollygagger."

Made from 100 percent recycled milk jugs, the updated Adirondacks, tables, planters and bird houses come in leaf green, apple red, sky blue as well as chocolate brown, sand and black. (Charcoal gray is on its way.)

Room & Board and Design Within Reach carry some exclusive Loll designs. The rest of its line is available on its website, www.lolldesigns.com.

The pieces come flat-packed and, yes, some assembly is required.


Hot, windy days can dry plants quickly, especially plants in containers or raised beds. Water wisely by watering early in the day, before the temperatures rise. You can't "burn" plants by watering in the middle of the day, but much of the water will be lost to evaporation. Soaker hoses are one of the most efficient ways to water because they deliver the water right to the base of the plant. Just make sure to keep them running long enough to soak the top 6 to 8 inches of soil.


Got a blah back yard? CSN Stores have teamed up with HGTV's Justin Cave, host of "Ground Breakers," to give one lucky winner a $15,000 back-yard makeover.

To enter the Battle Your Blah Backyard Contest, you need to explain (in 25 to 250 words) why your yard is most in need of a makeover and why a "brand new outdoor retreat from CSN Stores and Justin Cave would help them de-stress and relax in style."

To enter, go to www.csnstores.com/backyard. Entries are due by Aug. 20.


A collector's quest for unusual plants and ancient artifacts inspired him to turn his garden into an arboretum and his home into a museum.