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This year, for the first time, you can purchase an individual site pass to a particular pond that intrigues you if you don’t have time to take in the whole tour. Individual site passes, $5, are available at all sites during tour hours only. (Ages 16 and under admitted free.) All proceeds benefit Children’s Cancer Research Fund. To buy tickets and view photos and other details, visit www.tcpondandlandscapetour.com.
Fair weather has finally arrived. It’s time to fix up the patio if you have one — or create one if you don’t — to provide a comfortable spot for outdoor entertaining and relaxing.
If you don’t already have a patio, delegate a space that will be designated “the patio.” Separate it from the rest of the back yard with stone slabs, pavers, short bushes or greenery.
For hot, sunny days, some covering — an awning or big patio umbrella — will be welcome.
Outdoor lighting will be necessary for evening, and there are many options available, from lanterns to floor lamps. Or consider strings of lights — soft white for a romantic look, or colorful for a festive look. Tiki torches around the perimeter add a casual summer feel.
For furniture, bistro tables with chairs will work nicely for eating and entertaining, while chairs and loungers are a must for relaxing outdoors. Cushions are great, but remember to bring them indoors when there are heavy rains. Yes, outdoor furniture cushions are meant to withstand the elements, but they will get moldy if not taken care of.
Privacy is also important. To block your outdoor patio from neighbors’ views, try tall plants or a trellis with flowering plants growing on it, to add privacy and color to your patio.
ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANN, interior designer and author of “Mystery of Color”