How to Create a Welcome Retreat in Your Own Backyard

How to Create a Welcome Retreat in Your Own Backyard - Greenwood HardwareSummer is here, and it is the time we wait for all winter! It is time to get outside and enjoy nature. Sometimes, your neighborhood can be a little busy, especially on the weekends. You may be prepared to kick back with a good book and your favorite drink only to find it is a little too busy for you to truly relax. You can help create a peaceful retreat in your backyard to give you that rest and relaxation you need. Our team at Greenwood Hardware would like to help you build your perfect retreat.

Build or Buy a Gazebo

A gazebo kit is a perfect way to create a space that is separate from your backyard. You can decorate with plants, flowers, lights and anything else that helps you get into that Zen mode. If you don’t want to buy a kit, there are plenty of free building plans to be found on the internet. You can build your own fairly easily.

Create a Foliage Wall

Plant thick shrubs in a square or just create a wall that will provide a bit of a sound barrier as well as some privacy. You can use climbing roses, morning glory plants or a row of sunflowers as well. Use a combination of shrubs and flowers to add color as well as create a defined space that will be your place to relax. Sometimes, it is just a little mind over matter. You need to feel as if you are separated from the chaos on the other side of your foliage wall, even if you can still hear it.

Pavers and Bricks

Adding pavers to create a path to your retreat is one way to help set it apart from the rest of your backyard. You can create a “wall” with decorative bricks around your retreat. Creating a patio in your retreat complete with your favorite chair and table is another idea. This designates that one area as a place for you to relax.

Hang Lights

If you plan on enjoying your retreat in the evening, you will want to have some light. Soft lighting is perfect for providing enough light for you to see, without being so bright it detracts from the natural beauty of a summer evening. Candles, lanterns and fun party lights hanging from your gazebo, pergola or strung between two trees is another way to add some character to the area.

Your backyard is your place to unwind and relax. Creating a space that promotes that is simple. This weekend, head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up everything you need to create your place of tranquility right in your backyard. Come on in, or contact us today.

Five Steps to Refinishing Your Deck

Five Steps to Refinishing Your Deck - Greenwood HardwareIf your deck looks tired and old, it is time to give it a face lift and make it a source of pride in your backyard. Decks get used and abused and are rarely giving the tender, loving care they need. It doesn’t take much to transform your deck from an unsightly, well-used addition to the home to one that looks new and loved. You can refinish your deck in a single weekend. Our team at Greenwood Hardware can help you get started on the task.

There are five steps to transforming your deck and making it look beautiful again.

  1. Preparation is the key to a great looking finished product. Don’t cut corners here! The quick and easy method is to clean the deck with a pressure washer. If you can’t get your hands on a pressure washer, you will want to scrub the deck with a wire bristle brush to remove as much dirt and grime as possible. You can use a chemical cleanser if you desire.
  2. Allow the deck to dry completely. While you are waiting, use a hammer to pound in any loose nails or a drill to tighten loose screws.
  3. Choose your stain. You can stick with what you know or brighten up the deck with a new vibrant exterior paint. Stains will typically last a couple of years. Invest in an excellent quality paint that will hold up to the rain that is prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.
  4. While you are picking up your finish, decide whether you want to brush on the paint or go with a roller. A roller is faster and easier, but certain types of paint will not work well with a roller. If you do use a roller, you can make the job a little easier on your knees by using an extension. This way you can stand and roll out the paint.
  5. Allow the paint to dry before adding a second coat.

Adding fresh stain and sealant to your deck isn’t just about making it look nice. You can protect the wood, extending the life of your deck with regular finishing. Head into Greenwood Hardware to pick up all the tools you will need to spruce up your deck as the summer barbecue season gets underway. Come on in, or contact us today.

Quick and Easy Garden Wall Planters for Your Seattle Home

Quick and Easy Garden Wall Planters for Your Seattle Home - Greenwood HardwareDo you love the look of pretty window boxes with gorgeous flowers blooming throughout the summer? Maybe you want to take that look and spread it around your front and backyard without taking the time and energy to build flower boxes. You can! There is a quick and easy solution, and you will find it right at your local hardware store, Greenwood Hardware!

You can get the look of a rectangular flower box by using drywall mud pans. These are available in plastic (typically red) or metal pans. They come in a variety of sizes as well, which means you can create a pretty arrangement with different-sized pans or line them up a fence or the side of your house.

Once you have chosen the sizes of boxes you will use, head over to the paint department and pick up some pretty colors of spray paint. You can use stencils to create cool designs or go with a solid color. Have fun with this part. Let your personality and design preferences show through.

Next, pick up some potting soil and peat moss. The peat moss on the bottom of the planter is nice and light and will allow for adequate draining. You can choose a variety of pretty flowers or herbs to put in your planters.

Now, that you have what you need, the rest is easy. Make a couple of small holes in the bottom of your box planter. Paint your planter and allow it to dry. Attach the box to the side of the house or wall with a couple of screws. Add a layer of peat moss to the bottom and top with soil. Plant your seeds or plants, and you have just created an instant garden!

You will find all the supplies you need to make your quick and easy flower garden in a single afternoon at Greenwood Hardware. Come on in, or contact us today.

Create a DIY Backyard Water Park for Your Kids!

Create a DIY Backyard Water Park for Your Kids - Greenwood HardwareAre the kids hounding you to take them to the busy pool already this summer? There is a terrific DIY solution to your water fun needs! Our folks at Greenwood Hardware want you to be able to enjoy the summer from the comfort of your backyard while keeping the kids entertained and the lawn watered all in one!

A DIY water sprinkler and slip and slide is the perfect solution. It will only take you a couple of hours at most to build your kids this really fun watering system that will help keep them cool while providing hours of entertainment.

Supplies Needed

  • Handsaw
  • Drill with a 1/16 bit
  • Three 10-foot ¾ inch PVC pipe
  • Four ¾ PVC pipe elbows
  • 3/4″ slip x slip x FPT Tee
  • Two 1/2″ x 3/4″ male adapter MPT x slip
  • Two 3/4″ x 1/2″ side outlet elbows
  • 3/4″ x 1/2″ female garden hose-to-MIP adapter
  • PVC glue
  • File/Box cutting knife
  • Fishing line or string
  • Tape measure

Building the Sprinkler

  1. Cut one of the long PVC pipes in half, giving you two 60-inch long pieces. Use a file or knife to smooth out the cut ends. Cut another piece to 57 inches long and file the ends. Cut the last piece into four 30-inch long pieces and file the ends.
  2. Hold or tape the fishing line to one end of a 60-inch piece. Stretch the line the length of the pipe, keeping it nice and straight. Use a pencil or marker to draw a line on the pipe. Remove the line. Measure two inches in from the end and drill a hole every two inches or so down the length of the pipe, leaving two inches at the opposite end. Repeat this for the second pipe.
  3. Cut one of your 30-inch pieces in half. Then use PVC glue and the tee to rejoin the two pieces. Then attach the hose adapter to the tee. Remeasure the length of the conjoined pipes and cut off each end until it measures 30 inches across.
  4. Connect the piece you just worked to another 30-inch piece by creating a V. The two pieces will join together with 3/4 x 1/2 side elbows. Place a 90-degree elbow on the bottom of each of the 30-inch pipes.
  5. Attach the 60-inch pieces into the bottom elbows with the holes facing into the triangle you are creating. The 60-inch pieces will run parallel to each other along the ground. Place an elbow on each end of the pipe with holes.
  6. Place the 57-inch piece at the top of the upside-down V. Place the remaining two 30-inch pieces into the elbows at the opposite end. These pipes will connect to the side outlet elbow at the top. Your structure should resemble a tent with two upside-down Vs on each end.
  7. Connect a hose to the adapter and turn on the water. Water will spray out of the holes. You can put a tarp or sheet of plastic under the sprinkler to create a fun slip and slide or stand the structure on end for the kids to run through.

Head into Greenwood Hardware today to pick up the supplies you need to build your inexpensive water toy that will keep the kids entertained for hours! Come on in, or contact us today.

Independence Day Decor Ideas for Your Seattle Home and Yard

Independence Day Decor Ideas for Your Seattle Home and Yard - Greenwood HardwareIt is almost that time of year that all Americans love to celebrate with a backyard barbecue with friends and family — the 4th of July. As you plan your festivities for the holiday weekend, you will want to help get into the spirit of things with coordinating décor. You can put your unique stamp on things by creating your own backyard décor for your barbecue. You can find the tools you need and a little creative inspiration at Greenwood Hardware.

  1. Hanging stars are a fun project for the kids. You can head to your local craft store to pick up some poster board or make the stars a little more durable with some cork board from your hardware store. The 12×12 inch sheets are perfect for making large, brilliant stars. Either draw your own star or print a free pattern off the internet. Use red, white and blue spray paint to paint your stars. You can add a little shimmer by spraying a glitter paint over the dried painted stars. Use some brass rings to hang the large stars around the yard or in your entryway.
  2. Picnic tables are a staple in any backyard. You can make yours patriotic with the help of a few cans of spray paint. This is something that can be appreciated all summer long. Choose your red, white and blue colors and paint your table. Allow to dry before adding a sealant to keep your colors vivid all summer.
  3. Buy a case of canning jars and spray paint them in coordinating colors. You could also tie ribbon around the jars to create a pretty vase for a beautiful bouquet of flowers or as a mini-flag holder in the center of your table. Add a candle to the jar to use as a pretty centerpiece for an evening barbecue.
  4. A patriotic planter is another fun way to jazz up your deck or patio. Choose your paint colors and pick up a roll of masking tape. Wrap a layer of tape around the pot and paint your first color. Remove the tape from the middle section and paint your next color and so on. You can create fun designs or write your military family’s names on each of the pots. If you don’t have a spare planter, use an old coffee can.

Getting into the holiday spirit is fun and a terrific way to show your patriotic spirit. Head into Greenwood Hardware today to pick up the paint and other supplies you need to create a holiday masterpiece in your backyard. Come on in, or contact us today.

How to Make a Mini Deck Pond for Your Seattle Backyard

How to Make a Mini Deck Pond for Your Seattle Backyard - Greenwood HardwareDo you love the look and sound of water features in the backyard? Ponds are a beautiful addition to any landscape design, but they are not always feasible for every family. Larger ponds do require a lot of upkeep, and for families with small children, they are not necessarily an ideal choice. You can have the best of both worlds with a mini pond that is small enough to sit right on your deck. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has some great ideas to help you decorate your backyard and achieve the look and feel of a regular size water feature.

Supplies

  • Two 1x8x8 cedar planks or other treated wood
  • One sheet of ¾ inch pressure treated plywood in
  • One box of 2 ½ inch deck screws
  • Waterproof polyurethane glue
  • Pond liner
  • Fountain pump

Directions

  1. Cut the cedar planks into two 30-inch long boards and two 15-inch long pieces. This will be the frame of your box.
  2. Cut a sheet of plywood 14 ½ by 28 ½. This will be the bottom of your box.
  3. Use glue to connect the sides of your box. Reinforce the box by placing the deck screws into each corner to hold it together.
  4. Attach the bottom with a layer of glue around all four edges. Use screws every few inches to secure the bottom panel.
  5. Cut your pond liner to fit your box. Line the box with the liner.
  6. Fill your pond with some rocks and fill with water. Place your fountain pump in the center to circulate the water, which will give you that tranquil sound.
  7. Add water plants or floating flowers for décor.

Your mini pond can be made bigger or smaller depending on your needs. You can also create a small section at one end that will hold potting soil where you can add a few plants as well to really give you the appearance of a natural pond. Head into Greenwood Hardware today to pick up the supplies to make your own pond. Come on in, or contact us today.

Outdoor Lighting Options for Your Pacific Northwest Backyard

Outdoor Lighting Options for Your Pacific Northwest Backyard - Greenwood HardwareSpring is here, and it is time to get outside and soak up the fresh air! If you have already been busy in the yard and sprucing up your patio or deck, you deserve the chance to kick back and enjoy it. Spending an evening outdoors amid all your hard work is the perfect way to end a busy weekend or unwind after a hectic day at work. While you are out there, you will want a little lighting to make it safer and just a bit more enjoyable. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has just what you need to spruce up your outdoor lighting scheme.

Check out some of the fun ways you can add lighting to your backyard.

Party Lights

These are great for hanging off a pergola, a covered deck or patio or even between trees in the yard. There are so many unique designs to choose from you are sure to find that one design that speaks to you and reveals your personality. You can have even more fun by changing out your party lights based on holidays or events.

Solar Lights

These are very common and can be used to light up pathways or around the edge of your patio. The designs don’t stop there. You can put in a spotlight to highlight your backyard pond or your flagpole. You can also find solar lights to float in your backyard pond, stick in your flower pots or just to add some flair to the backyard. Have fun with quirky designs and colors. Check out the LED lights that are super bright.

Lanterns

If you have a deck, lanterns attached to the railings are a terrific way to provide light without it being overpowering. These are also a great option for fences around the yard. You can find distinctive styles of lanterns with some being larger than others.

Have fun lighting up your backyard and make it a place you can relax and entertain. You can do more than just go with the standard floodlight at the back door! Head into Greenwood Hardware to pick up any hardware you may need to upgrade your backyard lighting. Come on in, or contact us today.

How to Repair Your Garden Hose

How to Repair Your Garden Hose - Greenwood HardwareA good garden hose is something gardeners value. They can be expensive pieces of equipment that we often take for granted. When you find a hose you like, you want to do everything you can to make it last! Rolling it up every fall and putting it away to prevent cracks is one way to do that. However, life happens, and there are going to be times when your hose is inadvertently damaged. Maybe the dog ate it, the lawnmower cut it or it got ran over one too many times in the driveway. No matter what the case may be, you don’t have to toss out the damaged hose. You can head into Greenwood Hardware and get a few things to repair that damaged garden hose.

Things You Will Need

  • Utility knife
  • Hose mending
  • Hose coupler (for damaged hose ends)
  • Black tape

How to Repair

If you have just a tiny hole in the hose, it is a quick fix with some black tape. Wrap the tape around the house, about an inch above and below the hole. The tape will plug the hole, and you can use your hose as you normally would. You may need to replace the tape eventually.

For large areas of damage, you will want to use your utility knife to cut the damaged portion off. Get a nice clean cut on each side of the damaged area. Use a small screwdriver to loosen the fittings of the hose mender. Insert one end of the hose in one side and repeat on the other. Tighten the screws until the hose is secure and doesn’t pull out.

If one of the couplings on the hose is bent or damaged, it is easy enough to replace the damaged one with a new one. Cut the hose that is attached to the damaged coupling as close to the rim as possible. Loosen the screws on the new coupler. Slide the hose into the new coupler and tighten the screws down.

That’s it. Each of the fittings is only a couple of dollars or less. You can save a great deal of money by repairing those old hoses instead of running out and buying new ones. Head into Greenwood Hardware today to pick up what you need to take care of the damaged garden hoses taking up space in your garage. Come on in, or contact us today.

Five Reasons Why You Want Ladybugs in Your Seattle Yard

Five Reasons Why You Want Ladybugs in Your Seattle Yard - Greenwood HardwareWhen you think about controlling harmful pests like aphids in your garden and your orchard, you may automatically jump to the conclusion you need some kind of chemical spray. For many people, they would prefer to keep their yard and garden as chemical free as possible. Organic gardening is a growing trend for many reasons. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has a solution to your aphid control needs—ladybugs. Ladybugs are an all-natural way of keeping down unwanted pests in the garden. In fact, there are several other reasons you want the little red bugs hanging out in your trees, flower beds and garden.

  1. Ladybugs love to feast on aphids. They can help keep the aphids off your beautiful rose bushes, fruit trees and other leafy greens in your landscaping.
  2. If you have a garden with potatoes growing, you will want ladybugs who love to eat the eggs of the Colorado potato beetle.
  3. Ladybugs eat mealybugs that can suck the juice out of new growth on plants.
  4. Ladybugs also prey on spider mites. Spider mites can destroy entire branches on fruit trees and many fruiting plants.
  5. Ladybugs eat the larvae of many of the insects that can diminish a harvest. This prevents further problems.

One of the best things about using ladybugs as a natural solution to pest problems in the garden is they are extremely inexpensive and completely safe. You can get packs of ladybugs for relatively low cost. Spray a little sugar water on the netting that holds the ladybugs before releasing to help keep them in the area in which you want them to remain.

They require no upkeep and will stick around your garden and landscaping as long as there is plenty of food. Planting flowers like marigolds and cosmos will invite more ladybugs to make your landscaping home. They also enjoy things like cilantro, chives, and dill.

If you would like a natural way to control pests in your gardens this year, head into Greenwood Hardware today and pick up a package. They are an amazing addition to your garden, and you will love how you can take care of your garden without any harsh chemicals. Come on in, or contact us today.

Save our Local Seattle Apples!

Save our Local Seattle Apples! - Greenwood HardwareWith Spring here and the trees in full bloom, it is time to start thinking about what you can do to make the Pacific Northwest a better place to live. One way to do that is by limiting the amount of waste that is produced. Another way is helping your neighbors have healthy meals, even if their budgets don’t allow for things like fresh fruit. Apple trees are plentiful in the Pacific Northwest, and they can thrive—when they are properly taken care of. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has partnered with City Fruit to encourage our neighbors to take care of the apple trees in our neighborhood.

In recent years, 12,000 pounds of fruit was added to waste heaps and composted. It is a staggering amount that was completely preventable. In 2014, City Fruit managed to harvest 28,000 pounds of fresh fruit, with the majority being donated to emergency food programs. Imagine if the 12,000 pounds of fruit that was inedible could have been saved.

With the installation of pest barriers, that is a real possibility. The apple maggot and coddling moth are often to blame for making the fruit inedible. By putting the pest barriers over the small fruits in the spring, it can ensure the crop in the fall is edible. This is a desirable method because it does not involve the use of any chemicals. It is truly a green solution!

The bags can be picked up for free this Spring. They are completely organic and will not damage the fruit or the tree. It is fairly simple to tie the small bags over the fruits. By taking care of fruit trees, you can help eliminate thousands of pounds of waste while feeding people in need in the Seattle area. Visit Greenwood Hardware today to pick up your organic pest barriers and do what you can to help save Seattle’s apples. Come on in, or contact us today.

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