Pool & Patio Sitemap - Page 5 2014-12-17

Bough With Fresh Fruit Decor - Christmas Decorating Ideas
A fresh fruit bough decorates the door of a plantation in South Carolina. The bough is similar to Christmas door decor seen in Colonial Williamsburg. Page 6.

Door to Christmasland - Holiday Decor in Denmark
Lights and matching planters decorate this door and entryway of a house in Denmark - part of a slideshow of international ideas for decorating outdoors at Christmas. Page 5.

Funny Face Swag - Decorating Doors and Entryways
A Dr. Seuss-like character decorates a swag on a bright blue door for the holidays in West Berkshire, England. Page 4.

Bright Christmas
An entryway in New York displays a natural wreath for the holidays - part of a gallery of ideas for decorating outdoors at Christmas time. Page 3.

Mid-century Modern Aluminum Tree - Decorating Entryways for Christmas
Simple is the rule for holiday decorating when it comes to modern architecture. A vintage aluminum Christmas tree looks spectacular in this Mid-century entryway. Page 2.

Holidays in Danville - Christmas Entryway in Pennsylvania
An arch above double wooden doors of a historic Pennsylvania house is trimmed with evergreens at Christmas time. Discover how others decorate their entryways in this gallery. Page 18.

Outdoor Holiday Decor Inspired by Disneyland
The Christmas decor of an entryway in Virginia is inspired by Disneyland's Main Street decor - part of a slideshow of holiday decor ideas for doors and front porches. Page 17.

New Atomic Wreath - Ideas for Outdoor Christmas Decorations
Shiny ornaments adorn a wreath on the door of a fan of Mid-century modern design - part of a gallery of Christmas decorating ideas for doors and entryways. Page 16.

Holly Wreath in North London - Outdoor Christmas Decor Ideas
A holly wreath decorates a home in Hampstead, North London at Christmas time. Come along on a tour of outdoor decorations for ideas from around the world. Page 15.

Poinsettias and Ornaments - Decorating Outdoors for Christmas
An opulent swag and garland greet visitors of this elegant house - part of a gallery of ideas for decorating front doors and entryways at Christmas time. Page 14.

Natale Alla Porta
A single red bow decorates a door knob of a house in Italy at Christmas time. Page 13.

Red Door and Sleigh - Decorating Outdoors for Christmas
A rustic house in West Virginia is decorated with twisted vines, a wreath and an old sleigh at Christmas time. Page 12.

Christmas in Alexandria - Decorating Outdoors for the Holidays
A house in Alexandria, Virginia, is decorated for Christmas with a green bough, red wreath and matching red rose bushes. Page 11.

Decorating Doors and Porches - Holiday Outdoor Decorations
Kick off the holidays at your doorstep. Welcome guests and create curb appeal with ideas that come from all corners of the world.

Double Doors Decorated With Identical Wreaths
Double doors call for identical decorations, like two traditional wreaths with red bows. Page 9.

The Top 12 Luxury Homes and Pools for 2012 - Celebrity Real Estate - Luxury Homes
We've always loved to take a peek at how the other half lives, although that

Luxury Homes - Indoor Pools Most Tweeted in 2012
Did you happen to get a peek at those indoor pools someone might have shared with you on a social media site in 2012? They are real, and belong to a house that was for sale in Connecticut. Take a look. Page 10.

Mel Gibson's Old Mill Farm for Sale Again - Luxury Homes for Sale
Mel Gibson's house is on the radar again, only this time old Mel is not attached to it. The most recent owners of the Greenwich, Connecticut, estate were only there for a year or so before listing it. The house had been on the market for a few years prior. Let's take a look at the grounds, including the lovely pool. Page 11.

NBA Star Gilbert Arenas Lists DC Shark House
Among the changes NBA star Gilbert Arenas made in 2012 was to move on, and to act upon this he listed his remarkable DC-area mansion in July for $3.5 million. The former Washington Wizards basketball player definitely made a design statement on the property. A highlight: a custom-built shark tank. Page 12.

Waterfront Florida Villa for Sale - Luxury Homes and Pools
>Known as Torretta, this Destin, Florida, waterfront estate has been modeled after villas in Tuscany, on a grand, Florida-style scale, of course. The bay-front lot is located on a sprawling 1.8 acres, with water frontage on the Choctawhatchee and Jones Bayou. Let's take a look at the house and pool. Page 13.

Drake's Disneylike Grotto Estate - Celebrity Homes and Pools
Canadian hip-hop artist/songwriter/actor Drake reportedly paid about $2.8 million for a sprawling compound in Hidden Hills, California. The star attraction of his new home is the elaborate pool, complete with a torch-lit grotto. Page 2.

Kelly Wearstler sells Old Hollywood Estate - Celebrity Homes and Pools
Interior design icon Kelly Wearstler parted ways with her former mansion in Beverly Hills. The estate was built in the 1930s and once home to William Powell, Carole Lombard and James Bond producer Albert

Ronald Reagan Pacific Palisades House for Sale - Luxury Homes and Pools
For the late President Ronald Reagan, it was all about the view. The Reagan family's home in Pacific Palisades, which is currently for sale, boasted a panoramic view. It was also a GE Showcase House. Page 4.

Stone Eagle Retreat Backyard Water Theme Park - Luxury Homes
A home in the Malibu hills has an amazing swimming pool that looks like a water theme park, with boulders, caves, slides -- and classical statuary. Page 5.

Los Feliz House of Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson for Sale
Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson listed their Mid-century modern Los Feliz home in January of 2012 for $3.65 million. The house features a geometric-shaped pool with sweeping views of the LA skyline. Page 6.

Hollywood Glam Meets Big Game Deco - Luxury Homes
Villa Raphael, a 1925-built Hollywood mansion, was put up for sale at $2.49 million in 2012. While there's no big name attached to this West Hollywood mansion -- at least as far as we know -- it stands out for its fusion of vintage Hollywood fixtures and features so many of us love. And don't forget to check out that pool! Page 7.

Dick Clark's Flinstone House for Sale in Malibu
About a month before he passed away in April of 2012, Page 8.

Reese Witherspoon's Historic Ojai Estate for Sale - Sweet Home Ojai
That gorgeous Wallace Neff-designed house that served as the backdrop for Reese Witherspoon's wedding and was Robert Pattinson's hideaway when he and Kristen Stewart split is up for sale. The Ojai, California ranch estate is historic and features a pool that blends in with the natural landscape. Page 9.

Before Cleaning a Wood Deck
Yes, it is possible to recapture some of your wood deck's former glory. Instead of deciding the love affair is over and you need to replace the deck with a newer model, give it another chance to. Beneath that dirty, mildewy surface lies a thing of beauty, waiting for you to invest a little sweat equity to uncover it

Discus Thrower Statue - Ancient Olympian Statue
As a tribute to Greek history and the Olympic Games, the Discus Thrower is ready to throw his discus. This large garden statue takes on the characteristics and details of an authentic Greek statue with curls and the long arms and legs of an ancient athlete. Page 10.

Olympic Swimsuits for Women - Tyr AP12 Swimsuits
Swim like an Olympian. Not every pool owner has a serious swimmer in their household. But for those who do, Tyr makes racing swimwear -- the AP12 Speedsuit series -- that combines turbo compression with a new lightweight, hydrophobic micro-filament textile that repels water and decreases drag. Compression suits give swimmers a tighter core and better body positioning while reducing lactic-acid buildup in the muscles. Page 11.

Decorating with Pumpkins - Wicked and Whimsical Pumpkin Designs and Displays
Bright orange or ghostly white, pumpkins add an instant splash of color, form and texture when decorating outdoors. On the following pages, we've found several winning examples of pumpkin display and decorating. Most have not been carved, but you can't have a gallery of pumpkins without a carved face or two.

Decorating with Pumpkins - Wicked and Whimsical Pumpkin Designs and Displays
Bright orange or ghostly white, pumpkins add an instant splash of color, form and texture when decorating outdoors. On the following pages, we've found several winning examples of pumpkin display and decorating. Most have not been carved, but you can't have a gallery of pumpkins without a carved face or two. Page 10.

Gilded Pumpkins - Glitzy Pumpkins
Bright orange or ghostly white, pumpkins add an instant splash of color, form and texture when decorating outdoors. On the following pages, we've found several winning examples of pumpkin display and decorating. Most have not been carved, but you can't have a gallery of pumpkins without a carved face or two. Page 11.

Front Yard Pumpkin Patch - Decorating With Real Pumpkins
This front yard in a California coastal community shows what happens when you let your grass die and a pumpkin vine take over the landscape, with beautiful results. Page 2.

Fountain with Miniature Pumpkins - Floating Pumpkins
Finally, a place to display those irresistible mini pumpkins you always bring home this time of year from the market. Float several minis in a fountain or birdbath to delight guests and trick-or-treaters. Page 3.

Pumpkins on Porch Steps - Decorating With Pumpkins
If you have front porch steps, you might as well take advantage of them. Grab this year's crop of pumpkins and gourds and place them on the steps. You can go for an evenly spaced look or something more haphazard -- the pumpkin police are cool about it. Page 4.

Pumpkin Pathway - Dallas Arboretum
Imagine a village with cottages made of pumpkins. And beautifully arranged pumpkins on lawns and in landscaping with other fall-blooming plants. If you live in or visit the Dallas area in September and October, you might want to stop by the Dallas Arboretum for some much-needed inspiration. Page 5.

White Pumpkins and Gray Grasses
White pumpkins and white or gray flowers or shrubs making a gorgeous and ghostly combination in the garden. Page 6.

Carved Pumpkins on Porch Steps
Pumpkin carving has taken on an all-new art form as the traditional jack-o'-lantern faces are no longer the standard. With stencils, kits, tools and online instructions, kitchen artists are creating masterpieces based on their favorite film or book characters, politicians, animals and just about anything that can be carved on a pumpkin. Page 7.

Brooklyn's Pumpkins of Cobble Hill - Decorating With Pumpkins
Decorating with pumpkins goes to an extreme each year at this corner house in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill neighborhood -- much to the delight and entertainment of residents and passers-by. Page 8.

Decorating with Pumpkins - Wicked and Whimsical Pumpkin Designs and Displays
Bright orange or ghostly white, pumpkins add an instant splash of color, form and texture when decorating outdoors. On the following pages, we've found several winning examples of pumpkin display and decorating. Most have not been carved, but you can't have a gallery of pumpkins without a carved face or two. Page 9.

Outdoor Decorations - Christmas Inflatables - The Best New Christmas Inflatables for 2012
Inflatables have become many people's favorite holiday decorations. So, what's new for 2012 in the world of inflatable, airblown Christmas characters? Discover the trends and find out who -- or what -- made this year's list!

Inflatables - Xmas Polar Bear with Friends
BZB Goods' inflatable polar bear is a gentle-faced giant who serves as a taxi for his party-loving penguin pals. The polar bear is one of About.com's top picks for Best Christmas Inflatables for 2012. Page 2.

Inflatables - Redneck Nutcracker
The combination of a nutcracker and a redneck blends two popular characters into one for this inflatable Christmas decoration that sports tattoos. Page 3.

Inflatable Santas - Big and Bigger
Big is better when it comes to this year's inflatables. Santa comes in 12-, 16- and 20-foot models. Giant reindeer and tree are pretty big this year also. Page 4.

Gemmy Inflatables - Best Airblown Xmas Decorations
Gemmy's new animated line of inflatables include a shaking, teeth-chattering polar bear and snowman. Find out what else is new in inflatable decorations for this season. Page 5.

Inflatables - Gemmy Santa in a Camper
Riding on the popularity of last year's Trailer Santa, Gemmy has come out with a different RV for Santa this year. Mr. Claus greets happy visitors as he pops out of the door of his retro-looking camper to quiet down guests so he can take a nap. Page 6.

How to Decorate Cactus and Succulents with Lights for Christmas - Decorate With Outdoor Holiday Lights
How do you string lights on a cactus or spiny succulent? Very carefully, for starters.

Magical Light Display - Cactus Garden at Ethel M Chocolate Factory
With a landscape base of 15,000 cubic yards of sandy fill and a special planting soil, the cactus garden at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory is large and beautifully designed, making it a worthwhile viewing experience any time of the year. It is especially magical during the holidays. Page 2.

Lighting Up the Night - Ethel M Chocolate Factory Desert Botanical Garden
The Cactus Botanical Gardens at Nevada's Ethel M Chocolate Factory is host to more than 300 species of plants. Half are cacti and succulents largely native to the American Southwest, while others are desert trees and shrubs from the Southwest along with, Australia and South America. Page 3.

Penguin and Cactus - Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Gardens
The cactus garden displays more than a half-million lights, which lighting designer Steve Bowdoin and crew meticulously place on prickly and sometimes-delicate cacti and succulents. Page 4.

Barrel Cactus - Decorating Cactus and Succulents with Lights
A group of barrel cactus are carefully strung with LED light strands and are ready to light up the nighttime desert wonderland at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Desert Botanical Garden. Page 5.

Blue Christmas - Decorating Cactus and Succulents With Holiday Lights
A small tree takes on an entirely different look at night when the lights come on and it gets to show off its blue leaves. Page 6.

Decorating Cactus for Christmas - Covering the Shrub
Landscape and lighting designer Steve Bowdoin shows how to cover a shrub with lights, gesturing over the top of the hedge to indicate that full and complete coverage is necessary to cover it with lights and outline or capture its true shape. Page 8.

Steve Bowdoin - Landscape and Lighting Designer at Ethel M Chocolate Factory Botanical Garden
Steve Bowdoin is a landscape designer and has been illuminating the Desert Botanical Garden at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson, Nevada, for more than five years. Page 7.

What's New for 2013?
No decoration screams

Santa Above-Ground Pool Inflatable by Gemmy
Above-Ground Pool Santa and his friends is a new inflatable Christmas decoration by Gemmy for 2013. It involves lights, interaction and sound. Page 2.

Hippie Van Santa
Among the best inflatable holiday decorations for 2013 are a groovy Santa in a hippie van, taking you back to the colorful, fun-lovin' 1960s. Page 3.

Inflatable Archway for Christmas by Gemmy
One of the top inflatable yard decorations for 2013 is Gemmy's archway, which will invite visitors for a tour of your holiday scene. Page 4.

Mickey and Minnie Inflatable Cocoa Stand
Mickey and Minnie stop off at an inflatable cocoa stand in this scenic decoration for 2013 from Gemmy, one of the top inflatables of the year. Page 5.

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer Inflatable Decoration
The classic Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer is one of the top inflatable holiday decorations for 2013. It is made by Gemmy. Page 6.

Motorcycle Santa Inflatable From Gemmy
Gemmy's Motorcycle Santa wears a tattoo and long beard in his 2013 inflatable holiday decoration. Page 7.

Neon Snowman
Inflatable holiday decorations for the yard have gone neon, which will cast a new glow on all those other characters competing for space on your front lawn. Page 8.

Santa Exterminator Inflatable by Gemmy
Santa is an exterminator and drives a Humbug van in this inflatable decoration new for 2013 by Gemmy. Find out what the other top inflatables are for the season. Page 9.

Olympic Games Merchandise - Look and Live Like an Olympian
Look and live like a true Olympian by decorating your home and yard with official Olympic merchandise, souvenirs, and designs inspired by the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Swimwear, towels, torches, outdoor furnishings and accessories will help you celebrate the spirit of the Games long after the last medal has been awarded.

The Remains of the Games - 2012 Olympic Village Furnishings
What happens to the 2012 Olympic Village furnishings and fixtures after the Games are over? There's no guarantee and the supply is limited, but most of the stuff that filled the athletes' rooms during the London Games are for sale by Remains of the Games. Page 2.

Blomus Torches - Olympic Torches for Outdoors
While Blomus did not design the London Games torches, the company's elegant styling makes them a worth contender for outfitting your yard in Olympic fashion. So far, the only way you can obtain a real Barber and Osgerby torch is to bid for one on eBay. Page 3.

Official London Olympics Cushion - Jan Constantine
An official Olympic souvenir, this cushion by Jan Constantine celebrates the history of the Olympics in London. It features a discus thrower depicted in front of Big Ben, and is one of many products available to celebrate and remember the London Games of 2012. Page 4.

Speedo 2012 Olympic Games Collection
Get that Olympic look by or in the pool when you slip on a swimsuit from the Team Speedo collection. Speedo has a long history with Olympic swimming, beginning with the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Speedo is the official outfitter for USA Swimming through 2012 and is a proud sponsor of the world's best Olympic athletes in swimming, including Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Ryan Lochte and Katie Hoff. Page 5.

Olympic Greek Competitor Garden Statue - Olympics Decor for the Home
Go Greek in your back yard with a Tuffstone bust designed as a tribute to ancient Greek Olympians: the ones who started it all. This garden statue is finely detailed and will withstand the elements for yeas. Page 6.

Crate and Barrel Olive Wreath - Greek Olympic Decor
Olive wreaths recall earlier Olympic Games, when winning athletes proudly wore them atop their heads as crowning displays of hard work and glory. Crate and Barrel's modern version of the ancient Greek victory wreath is handcrafted with Mediterranean-inspired branches and olives for an authentic design. Page 7.

Olympic Wreath Design Planter Set - Olympics Outdoor Style and Furnishings
Echoing the design motif of the olive wreath, which was significant to the ancient Olympic Games in Greece, is a set of planters that will blend well with many types of decor. Each of the five planters features raised carvings of olive wreaths on the sides, which give them a classic Olympian appeal. Page 8.

Ralph Lauren Pool Style - Official Outfitter fo the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team
You saw the U.S. Olympic athletes sporting Ralph Lauren's classic looks in red, white and blue during the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies. Didn't they look smashing? Bring it home, poolside, with a Lauren Olympics beach towel, flipflops and a tank dress. As far as the preppy beret -- leave that for another occasion, another season. Page 9.

2013 Best Patio Furniture - About.com Readers' Choice Awards
Our three finalists for 2013 Best Patio Furniture, as chosen and nominated by our Pool & Patio readers, represent a diverse range of styles and materials. All are excellent brands and worthy of consideration, so take time to read about each one and made a careful consideration before casting your vote.

Haskell Collection - 2013 Best Patio Furniture Finalist
An Orange County, California-based furniture company called the Haskell Collection is a finalist in the Best Patio Furniture category in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Learn more about the young company. Page 2.

Jensen Leisure - 2013 Finalist for Best Patio Furniture
Southern California-based Jensen Leisure Furniture is one of three finalists vying for the title of Best Patio Furniture 2013 in the About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Learn more about the outdoor furniture company. Page 3.

Oxford Garden - Best Patio Furniture Finalist 2013
Oxford Garden is one of three finalists for Best Patio Furniture in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Learn more about the company that makes wood garden furniture. Page 4.

Dwell on Design 2013 - Highlights From Dwell Outdoors and More
During Dwell on Design's three-day run, the largest design event in the U.S. offered nonstop discussions, demonstrations, home tours, and a diverse assortment of exhibits that covered all aspects of the modern lifestyle. Dwell on Design 2013 transformed more than 200,000 square feet of exhibition floor space at the Los Angeles Convention Center into a dazzling showcase for the world of modern design. Here are highlights from Dwell Outdoor.

Lumos Solar - Dwell on Design 2013
This outdoor roof is by Energy Lumos Solar, which was a 2012 Dwell on Design award winner. Energy Lumos Solar delivers “modules that are faster and easier to install, stronger for industrial applications and have less embodied energy making it the more sustainable choice.” The company unveiled its newest product at the show. Page 10.

JC Penney Designs at Dwell on Design '13
Longtime retailer JC Penney was a major presence at the 2013 Dwell on Design exhibit and conference in LA. Find out what the retail giant was doing there and what they've got in store, design-wise. Page 2.

Vessel USA Architectural Pottery - Dwell on Design 2013
Vessel USA makes the Architectural Pottery Collection, which was originally produced during the mid-20th century. Classic, simple, lines and shapes never go out of style, and Vessel continues the tradition and comes up with some of their own interpretations, many of which were on display at the 2013 Dwell on Design in LA. Page 3.

Modfire at Dwell on Design 2013
Modfire makes Mid-century modern-inspired outdoor fireplaces and firepits that add excitement and sleek styling to your outdoor room. Learn more about this Dwell Outdoor exhibitor. Page 4.

Maxx Spas at Dwell on Design 2013
Maxx Spas has been around since the 1980s and has evolved with the times. Find out what attracted visitors to their display at LA's 2013 Dwell on Design exhibit. Page 5.

Gainey Ceramics at Dwell on Design 2013
Gainey Ceramics of Pomona, California, was one of the exhibitors in the Dwell Outdoor exhibit at the 2013 Dwell on Design in Los Angeles. The longtime Southern California pottery maker and manufacturer produces architectural-style pottery with clean lines and simple glazes. Page 6.

Hurbz Planters at Dwell on Design 2013
Hurbz displayed its cleverly designed containers for urban herbs and other growing things at the Dwell on Design exhibit in Los Angeles in June of 2013. Page 7.

Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens - Dwell on Design 2013
Brown Jordan, a top name in the world of patio furniture, also creates outdoor kitchens. Keeping in line with its patio furniture, the kitchens are sleek, modern, and equipped with the finest materials and appliances. Page 8.

Airstream at Dwell on Design 2013
Airstream makes sleek silver trailers. Many style savvy consumers use them as second homes, guest rooms, offices, studios or backyard escapes. Learn more about Airstream, an exhibitor at Dwell on Design 2013. Page 9.

The Best Outdoor Toys - Award-Winning Outdoor Toys - Top Toys for Outdoor Play
While considering toys and gift ideas for children, keep in mind that the current generation of kids spends less time outdoors than any other generation in history. While a computer game or screen may be on your favorite child's list, why not introduce them to the pure, low-tech world of outdoor toys and activities?

Top Outdoor Toys for Kids 2011 - Root Vue Farm Grow Kit - Best Toys for Outdoor Play
Ever wonder how deep the roots of your favorite vegetables grow? Root Vue Farm is a self-watering grow unit with a viewing window that allows children to watch the development and progression of roots

Inflatable Sock Monkey - Outdoor Christmas Inflatables - Best Christmas Inflatables for 2011
The inflatable sock monkey from Gemmy is a reminder of Christmases past -- when gifts and toys were simple and often handmade by loved ones. Page 6.

Christmas Inflatables - The Best New Christmas Inflatables for 2011 - Inflatables for Outdoor Christmas Decorations
The Christmas season brings out the decorator in most of us, and is the one time of year that home dwellers and whole neighborhoods show their holiday spirit with lights and often-extravagant yard displays. While those lighted plastic blow-mold figurines dotted lawns and porches of Midcentury, Post-World War II homes, giant airblown inflatable decorations have taken over holiday yards of the early 21st Century.

Christmas Inflatable - A Christmas Story Leg Lamp Decoration - Inflatable Christmas Story Leg Lamp
From the humorous Christmas film classic, 'A Christmas Story', this is The Old Man's prized leg lamp that he displayed so proudly in his front window, for all his neighbors to see. Your neighbors will love this inflatable version that will surely lend a swanky something to the 'hood for the holidays. Unlike the shapely-but-fragile leg in the movie, this version simply plugs in and inflates in mere seconds. It stands a statuesque 5-feet 9-inches tall, includes a built-in fan, fabulous fringe on top and alluring lights inside to illuminate it like a beacon in a storm. Page 2.

Inflatable Santa Claus - Airblown Sitting and Waving Santa - Inflatable Christmas Decorations
Not only does this Santa Claus look sort of real (for airblown, anyway), he waves at passersby. Plant him in the middle of your holiday yard display and have airblown Santa be the official greeter for your holiday home. Better yet -- he could be the official greeter for the neighborhood! Kids should not sit on his lap, however. Page 3.

Santa in Trailer - Outdoor Christmas Inflatables - Best Inflatable Decorations for Christmas
When he's not at the North Pole or surfing with moose and snowmen, Santa's in a trailer, perhaps down by the river. It's called an inflatable Santa in an RV, but technically, it's not an recreational vehicle -- it's an inflatable replica of an Airstream-style trailer. f your holiday decorations are retro-themed or inspired, this is a quick and clever way of setting the tone. Page 4.

Santa Outhouse Inflatable Decoration - Gemmy Santa Claus in Outhouse Inflatable
If your child has ever asked,

Air Swimmers Shark and Clown Fish - Best Outdoor Toys - Award-Winning Outdoor Toys
These are among the hottest toys of the season, and it's easy to figure out why: they are flying fish and shark. The air -- or your yard -- is their ocean in which they swim above it all, with the guidance of your remote control. Because it's such an unusual sight and experience to witness, the Air Swimmers appeal to both children and adults. Page 2.

Discovery Flying Turtle - Best Outdoor Toys 2011 - Best Toys for Outdoor Play
Unlike the clown fish or shark, Discovery Kid's award-winning Flying Turtle never becomes airborne. A sit-skate ride-on toy, the Turtle can glide and zip on a hard, smooth outdoor surface by swinging the handlebars from side to side. Flying Turtle is has a polyethylene seat and powder-coated steel handlebars and super-fast wheels. Page 3.

Fisher Price Grow-to-Pro Pogo Stick - Best Outdoor Toys for Kids - Best Outdoor Toys 2011
Fisher Price's Grow-to-Pro is a smart outdoor activity toy, allowing its users to use it at their own pace. Fear or lack of self confidence often occurs when a child attempts a skill for which they aren't ready. Grow-to-Pro does what it says, guiding your child like a gentle and wise pogo instructor. And that makes for a more satisfying experience. Page 4.

Fortamajig - Award-Winning Outdoor Toys - Best Outdoor Toys for 20111
With the addition of a Fortamajig in your yard, all of those sheets and blankets will stay put in your linen closet. What is a Fortamajig? A fort, and a thingamajig -- although it's really more like a tent fort. Page 5.

FyrFlyz Award-Winning Outdoor Toys - Best Toys for Kids 2011 - Best Outdoor Toys
Warning: it's rumored that the FyrFlyz are addictive -- once you get the hang of it. Perfect for a warm night on the patio, this spinning ring of light changes color when you pull on its two plastic handles. When the center gets to spinning, the light creates all sorts of shapes. Groovy! Page 6.

Heartsong GBOP Incred-a-Ball - Best Outdoor Toys 2011 - Best Toys for Outdoor Play
The biggest of Heartsong's GBOP collection (Great Big Outdoor Playballs), the Incred-a-Ball is a 65-inch translucent orange and yellow humongous ball. It does the typical rolling, bouncing things that outdoor playground balls do, but children can also climb inside (without shoes). Adult supervision suggested for this particular activity. Page 7.

Airblown Santa on Fire - Gemmy Inflatable Santa on Fire - Best Inflatable Christmas Decorations 2011
The Christmas season brings out the decorator in most of us, and is the one time of year that home dwellers and whole neighborhoods show their holiday spirit with lights and often-extravagant yard displays. While those lighted plastic blow-mold figurines dotted lawns and porches of Midcentury, Post-World War II homes, giant airblown inflatable decorations have taken over holiday yards of the early 21st Century. Page 7.

Melissa & Doug Bella Butterfly Hopscotch - Children's Top Outdoor Toys -
Melissa & Doug are known for bright colors and lively graphics. Their Bella Butterfly Hopscotch set comes in a sturdy carrying case for nice, tidy storage and portability. Open up the case and set up eight interlocking, easy-to-clean foam hopscotch pieces to put on a walkway, patio, deck, lawn, balcony -- wherever it fits! Page 8.

Radio Flyer Bumper Car - Best Outdoor Toys for 2011
Radio Flyer is a name that has been around for as long as some of our grandparents -- or longer, even. It's the iconic logo emblazoned on the side of shiny red wagons and cool tricycles that are still sturdier than most of the competing trikes. Page 9.

Best Outdoor Toys - Spring Swings Twizzler II - Hot Outdoor Toys for Kids
What's more fun than swinging from tree branch-to-branch in your backyard like Tarzan, the Ape Man? Well, one thing that might squash that dream is the lack of trees or sturdy vines hanging in your backyard. Buzzkill! But wait -- it is possible. The Twizzler II can be easily attached to a tree limb, swing set or other support. Page 11.

Patio Furniture - What's New in Garden Furniture for 2012 - Outdoor Furniture Trends
Patio furniture -- or casual furniture, as it's called in the industry -- does not change drastically from year to year. The materials are pretty standard, and a true trend takes at least a few years to develop rather than a short 12 months or less. But that doesn't mean that the consumer -- you or I -- won't see anything different in our favorite stores or online retailers.

Target Conservatory Patio Collection - 2012 Garden Furniture
Although Target's sophisticated Conservatory collection is inspired by ancient Asian patterns in wood, the garden furniture itself is actually made of cast aluminum. With the square spa-bleu Olefin cushions, the collection has a modern vibe. Page 2.

CB2 Outdoor Furniture 2012 - Butterfly Chair and Sawyer Adirondack Furniture
CB2s are located in urban areas -- the first retail stores were in Chicago and New York. While its appeal goes beyond metropolitan areas and consumers under age 35, CB2's furnishings are cleverly designed for indoor / outdoor use and easy storage, which means many pieces are stackable and collapsible. Page 3.

Crate and Barrel Outdoor Patio Furniture - 2012 Outdoor Furniture at Crate and Barrel
Upon first glance, the Dune collection looks like a sleek, modern indoor living room set. And it very well could be, but the materials are made to withstand the elements of an outdoor room. Stainless steel frames are outdoor grade, and taupe Batyline synthetic mesh upholstery is UV-, fade-, mold-, tear- and stain-resistant. Page 4.

Grandin Road Outdoor Patio Furniture 2012 - Retro Outdoor Furniture for the Garden or Porch
Grandin Road's Retro Squares garden furniture has a wonderful, nostalgic look. I've seen rusted-out originals that inspired this collection, but the superior materials and colors give Grandin Road's Retro Squares collection a sharp, clean look. Page 5.

Pottery Barn Outdoor Furniture 2012 - Scroll Patio Furniture
Pottery Barn's Scroll bench and chair (sold separately) are a unique twist on metal garden furniture -- without trying too hard to be different than the rest. The lines are curvacious but still have a modern look. Add the tufted cushion for a comfortable porch-sitting. Page 6.

Pottery Barn Outdoor Furniture - Tavern Patio Collection 2012
There's a definite inspiration for Pottery Barn's Tavern outdoor furniture collection. The open-air outdoor beer gardens of Bavaria. The collection features rustic mahogany slats and sculptural metal bases in four different finishes: green, pewter, red and white. Page 7.

Philips Forecast - 2012 Best Outdoor Lighting Finalist - 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards
2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards' Best Outdoor Lighting finalist Philips Forecast began in Southern California in the early 1970s. In 1992, Lightolier acquired Forecast and relocated the company to its current headquarters in Elgin, Illinois. In 2010, the Forecast Lighting line became part of Philips Consumer Luminaires, a business unit of Philips North America. Page 5.

Kichler Lighting - Finalist for Best Outdoor Lighting - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012
Ready to vote for the company that designs and manufactures what you consider to be the Best Outdoor Lighting? The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2012 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the second year that the Pool and Patio category has participated in the site-wide About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Page 4.

Best Outdoor Lighting Finalist - Hinkley Lighting - 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards - Home and Garden
One of the finalists for Best Outdoor Lighting in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards is Hinkley Lighting, which began in 1922 as a small family lighting company. Currently led by the family's fourth generation in northeast Ohio, Hinkley continues to design and manufacture top-quality lighting fixtures with a focus on energy-efficient lighting. Page 3.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Decking - Best Pool and Patio Products About.com Awards
Best Decking finalists have been determined in the 2012 About.com Reader's Choice Awards. Learn more about the finalists and cast your vote for Best Decking 2012. Winners will be announced on Friday, March 30, 2012.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards: Decking Finalists - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2011 - Best Pool and Patio Products About.com Awards
The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2011 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the first year that the Pool and Patio category has joined the Readers' Choice Awards. This year's Best Pool and Patio category seeks to honor the Best Outdoor Patio Furniture, Best Pool Cleaner/Vacuum, Best Pool Test Kit, Best Hot Tub/Spa, and Best Decking. Voting is Feb. 22 to March 8, 2011. Page 2.

Best Decking Finalist - DuraLife - About.com 2012 Readers' Choice Awards - Pool and Patio
Vote now for Best Decking in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. One of the decking finalists is DuraLife, which includes hardwood blends and composites. DuraLife is part of the GAF company. Page 3.

Vote for Best Decking - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - About.com Readers' Choice Awards Best Decking Finalists - Best Pool and Patio Products About.com Awards
It's time to vote for Best Decking in the 2012 About.com Reader's Choice Awards. Best Decking five finalists include Fiberon, a manufacturer of wood-plastic composite decking that's been around since 1997. Page 4.

Best Decking: About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Voting for Best Decking
Vote for Best Decking. GeoDeck is one of the finalists in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards, with voting ending March 21, 2012. Page 5.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards: Best Decking Finalists - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Pool and Patio Products About.com Awards
The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2012 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the first year that the Pool and Patio category has joined the Readers' Choice Awards. This year's Best Pool and Patio category seeks to honor the Best Outdoor Patio Furniture, Best Pool Cleaner/Vacuum, Best Pool Test Kit, Best Hot Tub/Spa, and Best Decking. Voting is Feb. 22 to March 8, 2011. Page 6.

Sea Gull Lighting - 2012 Best Outdoor Lighting Finalist - About.com Readers' Choice Awards
About.com Best Outdoor Lighting finalist Sea Gull Lighting began as a small lighting specialty shop in Philadelphia in 1919 -- right after World War I. Owner Henry Siegel designed and hard-wired portable lighting fixtures, patenting them with an eye to the future. The Hirsch and Solomon families continue the philosophy of Siegel's family-run business -- design and build quality and fashionable products. Sea Gull Lighting's plant is now based in Riverside, New Jersey. The company also maintains operations in Philadelphia; Houston and Las Vegas. Page 6.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Book Landscape Design - Best Book Outdoor Living
The Best Book, Landscape Design & Outdoor Living category is new to the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. The five finalists include books about succulent container gardening, designing for privacy, outdoor structures, outdoor DIY projects and all-things related to backyard living.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Book Landscape Design - Best Book Outdoor Living
Since the late 1940s, the authors/editors of Sunset Books have been providing homeowners and do-it-yourselfers with how-to books on every topic inside and outside of the home. Backyard Cottages & Gazebos offers contemporary design solutions for backyard-based home offices and studios, pool houses, playhouses and other outdoor structures. This Outdoor Sunset Design Guide is a Best Book finalist in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Page 2.

Handmade Garden Projects Best Book Finalist - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Book Landscape Design
In her book, 'Handmade Garden Projects,' artistic, crafty horticulturist/author Lorene Edwards Forkner shows readers how to decorate the garden going the DIY route. It's a Best Book, Landscape Design and Outdoor Living, in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Page 3.

'Landscaping for Privacy' Book - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Book Landscape Design - Best Book Outdoor Living
Vote now for Best Book, Landscape Design and Outdoor Living, in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. One of the finalists, 'Landscaping for Privacy' provides numerous creative ideas for dealing with the areas in your outdoor living space that you want to gain some privacy, cover up, or that intrude on your personal outdoor space. Author Marty Wingate shows several real-world examples that demonstrate how to keep the outside world at bay. Page 4.

New Backyard Idea Book - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Book Landscape Design
The 'New Backyard Idea Book' by Natalie Ermann Russell is a finalist for Best Book, Landscape Design and Outdoor Living, in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Based on the concept that homeowners and dwellers are using their backyards as living spaces now more than ever, the book offers lots of ideas and designs for porches, patios, outdoor rooms, pools and many other aspects of the backyard lifestyle. Page 5.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Book Landscape Design - Best Book Outdoor Living
In Debra Lee Baldwin's follow-up to her best-selling 'Designing with Succulents', the author shows gardeners how to create beautiful container designs of succulents and other water-wise plants. 'Succulent Container Designs' is a Best Book finalist in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Page 6.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Favorite Outdoor Toy - Best Outdoor Toy 2012 - About.com Awards Best Toy
The finalists have been chosen in the Favorite Outdoor Toy category for the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. To help you make an informed choice, About.com Pool and Patio has researched each nominee so our readers / voters can become better acquainted with each product and finalist.

Favorite Outdoor Toy Finalist Incred-a-Ball - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Favorite Outdoor Toy - Best Outdoor Toy 2012
Incred-a-Ball is one of the Favorite Outdoor Toy finalists in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Made by Hearth Song, this 65-inch outdoor ball is translucent orange and yellow and the largest of Hearth Song's collection of GBOPs (Great Big Outdoor Playballs). Page 2.

Kids Crooked House - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Favorite Outdoor Toy - Best Outdoor Toy 2012
One of the finalists for Favorite Outdoor Toy in the About.com Readers' Choice Awards is Kids' Crooked House. The company got its start in a Maine barn when cousins Glen and Jeff started building unconventional, crooked and whimsical playhouses -- and a great idea caught on. Page 3.

Schylling Speedster Race Car Ride-on - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Favorite Outdoor Toy - Best Outdoor Toy 2012
Schylling's Speedster Race Car is vintage-style ride-on toy that is a finalist for Favorite Outdoor Toy in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Voting end March 21, 2012 and the winner will be announced March 30. Page 4.

Swimways Turtle Best Toy Finalist - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Favorite Outdoor Toy - Best Outdoor Toy 2012
The Rainbow Reef Turtle by Swimways is a finalist for Favorite Outdoor Toy in the About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012. The newest line of Rainbow Reef Turtles features bright colors and shell designs. Page 5.

Vortex Ring Swing - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Favorite Outdoor Toy - Best Outdoor Toy 2012
The About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 has a new category, Favorite Outdoor Toy. One of the finalists is the Vortex Ring Swing, an updated version of the classic tire swing. Made by Swing N slide, the Vortex helps kids increase strength and coordination. Page 6.

Best Outdoor Lighting 2012 - Foscarini - Finalists - 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards
There are five finalists in the Best Outdoor Lighting category of the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Finalist Foscarini got its start in the early 1980s as a Murano blown glass lamp studio/company. Now located on a Venetian island, Foscarini has expanded its materials to include glass, polyethylene, wood, aluminum, an exclusive textured glass and Kevlar or carbon fiber composite. Each light or lamp is like a work of art. Page 2.

Best Outdoor Lighting Brands - About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012 - Best Outdoor Lighting
Ready to vote for the company that designs and manufactures what you consider to be the Best Outdoor Lighting? The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2012 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the second year that the Pool and Patio category has participated in the site-wide About.com Readers' Choice Awards.

The World's Biggest Swimming Pool - Where is the World's Largest Pool? - Guiness World Record for Largest Pool
Your boastful neighbor who never fails to remind everyone he owns a really big swimming pool has been upstaged. The world's largest swimming pool is the San Alfonso del Mar seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile. It is 3,324 feet long (1,013 meters) and spans 19.77 acres. The resort swimming pool was completed in December 2006.

The World's Biggest Swimming Pool - San Alfonso del Mar Resort
Guests usually don't choose the San Alfonso just as a place to

Beach Club at the San Alfonso del Mar
The San Alfonso del Mar is not just home to the world's largest pool. The resort's Beach Club features a spa, a tempered beach under a crystal pyramid, open-air Jacuzzis, a sauna, a beauty parlor and gym, an open-air amphitheater and a restaurant with its own dock and a large terrace along the lagoon's coastline. Page 3.

Caribbean Blue Waters - World's Largest Swimming Pool
The lagoon's waters at the San Alfonso del Mar have the transparency and intense turquoise color of tropical seas. The technology behind the waters was created by Crystal Lagoons, a company that collects ocean water and maintains the large pool. Page 4.

A Jacuzzi Room With a View - San Alfonso Del Mar - Biggest Pool in the World
If you're fortunate enough to afford a duplex penthouse at Chile's San Alfonso del Mar resort, you'll be staying atop a pyramid-shaped building that features a large balcony and an open-air Jacuzzi. Page 5.

Private Beaches at the San Alfonso del Mar - World's Biggest Swimming Pool
Each building at the San Alfonso del Mar in Algarrobo, Chile, has its own dock and private beach, complete with white sand and tropical landscaping with palm trees. Page 6.

Vertical Gardens - The Best Plants for Growing on Walls - The Best Plants for Vertical Garden Landscaping
Bare exterior stucco walls without windows or architectural details can be made more interesting with the addition of a vertical wall planter. Make sure the planter is sturdy enough to hang on a wall and has a flat back. Use the container rule of thrillers, spillers and fillers for a wall vase. Take a look at a few plants for inspiration. Page 5.

Halloween Decorating Ideas and Props - Haunted House Chandelier - Rogers Garden Halloween
Rings of fire: a metal chandelier that is nearly floor-to-ceiling has a cage- or prison-like presence. Not exactly something you'd find at Tiffany's, but perfect for an edgy home haunt or haunted house, like this creative themed display at Roger's Gardens in Southern California. The world-famous home and garden center goes all-out for Halloween each year with its creative and one-of-a-kind props and decorations. Page 5.

Why are Old Theaters Haunted? - Roger's Gardens Halloween Decorations 2011
While The Blackstone Back Alley has been staged at Roger's Gardens to display the garden center's fascinating and eclectic mix of Halloween decorations, the idea was not selected radomly. Besides graveyards and former sanitariums or what used to be referred to as

Rogers Garden Halloween 2011 - Rogers Gardens Halloween Decorations - Pictures of Halloween Decorations From Roger's Gardens
ans and visitors of Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar, California, look forward to the upscale garden center's annual Halloween display. No, it's not a bunch of pumpkins and bales of hay. The talented designers and buyers at the internationally known home and garden destination in Southern California's Orange County create a production that wows the crowds each year. In 2011, the theme is

Outdoor Halloween Decorations - Rogers Garden Halloween 2011 - Rogers Gardens Halloween Decorations
Ever wonder what to do with all those old masks you've acquired over the years -- from Halloween, Mardi Gras, or the ones your kids made in middle school art class? Attach them to the ceiling -- on the porch, inside your home haunt, wherever. The older and stranger, the better. It's an eerie feeling having all those odd faces staring down at you. Page 4.

Halloween Outdoor Decorating Ideas - Rogers Garden Halloween 2011 - Pictures of Halloween Decorations From Roger's Gardens
Mirrors in spook houses and at home haunts always add an element of surprise -- you never know what will stare back at you when you look at your image. Have one of your

Vertical Garden History - Plants for Walls - A Brief History of Vertical Gardens
The concept of walled gardens has been around for centuries. Records show that Egyptian gardens in 3000 B.C. established the tradition of compartments separated by plant-covered walls and arbors. Walls add permanence and establish boundaries within a yard or landscape design. They also offer privacy and block undesirable views, like your neighbor's side-yard junk pile. Plants that adapt best to walls are those that are climbers or that spill or trail over the walls.

Patrick Blanc - The Vertical Garden - Vertical Gardens
While the climate and plants that grow so well in Machu Picchu aren't easily adaptable to most environments, the idea of green, living walls certainly is achievable. One of the biggest proponents of living, vertical walls is Patrick Blanc, a botanist, artist and author of

Ideas for Vertical Gardens - The Best Plants for Growing on Walls - The Best Plants for Vertical Garden Landscaping
Walls add permanence and establish boundaries within a yard or landscape design. They also offer privacy and block undesirable views, like your neighbor's side-yard junk pile. Plants that adapt best to walls are those that are climbers or that spill or trail over the walls. Other types of wall gardens are living walls in which plants are fitted in crevices or planted in containers that allow them to grow vertically and cover all or part of the wall. Take a look at a few plants for inspiration. Page 3.

A Wall of Lettuce - Vertical Gardening Ideas - Growing Lettuce on a Fence or Wall
Not only does this living wall provide privacy, a touch of nature and color, it also is a smart solution for growing varieties of lettuce when space is limited. Vertically positioned pots or pockets work well for this type of crop. Page 4.

Tall, Vertical Containers - Vertical Garden Ideas
Tall and narrow wooden containers bring plants up to almost -eye level and are easy to access for maintenance. They also dress-up an otherwise-plain space, bringing greenery and plant life to an area that may have extremely limited room otherwise. The plants in these wood containers are ponytail palms. Page 6.

Mexican Courtyard Wall - Patio Courtyard Vertical Garden - Vertical Garden Ideas
A small courtyard patio in Ajijic, Mexico -- near Guadalajara -- wisely uses is walls to hang wall pockets. Creeping fig climbs up the walls to add even more greenery and vegetation. With living green walls, this courtyard patio provides a nice, colorful retreat. Page 7.

Fytowalls Vertical Container Gardens - Vertical Garden Ideas
Fytowalls are a series of modular panels that contain a lightweight, non-soil growing medium for a variety of plant species. A fully integrated hydroponic watering system supports the planted panels, which can be attached to a wall, fence or balcony. Page 8.

Taylor Swift House in Beverly Hills - Vine-Covered Arbor at Taylor Swift's New House in LA
Taylor Swift need look no further than this romantic vine-covered arbor covering a patio for inspiration when writing a new song. If it's a scented vine -- all the better. Can't you picture her using the arbor as a setting for a music video? Depending on the type of vine, it can bloom for up to three seasons and stay green for all four, growing in Southern California. A brick patio gives the property a certain old-fashioned charm, and may have added to its appeal. Page 6.

Flower Box With Foot - Leg and Foot Halloween Decoration
Subtle touches go far when it comes to decorating, like these witches legs and feet dangling from a second-story window box. A little Halloween humor helps take the edge off. Page 6.

Creative Halloween Ideas and Outdoor Decorations - Halloween Decorating Ideas for Yards and Porches - A Picture Gallery of Halloween Decorating Ideas
A tall and skinny pumpkin makes a suitable head for a long and lean scarecrow. This happy Jack hung out at the kid-friendly Woody's Round-up at Disneyland. Yes, it's Disney, but it's devoid of anything high-tech and animatronic. The same type of scarecrow could be achieved at home for a yard display at Halloween. Page 7.

Creative Halloween Ideas for Outdoor Spaces - Halloween Decorating Ideas for Yards and Porches - A Picture Gallery of Halloween Outside Decorations
Three ghosts -- one sporting the mask popularized in the movie Scream -- greet visitors and neighbors. The

Winner Announced for Favorite Outdoor Toy 2012 - About.com Readers Choice Awards - Pool and Patio Awards 2012
A winner has been chosen for Favorite Outdoor Toy 2012 in the About.com Readers' Choice Awards. The Swimways Rainbow Reef Turtle, a toy for pools, ponds or spas, is the winner. Favorite Outdoor Toy was one of three category in the Pool and Patio site's contest this year, and it's a natural. Backyards -- outdoor living spaces -- are where children develop their muscles, coordination and a life-long interest in exercising -- both physically and mentally.

Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights: Avoiding Disaster - Christmas Light Safety Tips
You don't need to be a certified electrician or hire one to light up your home and yard for the holidays. Simply follow the rules, educate yourself on lighting and electrical basics, and don't try to

Winner for Best Hot Tub / Spa 2012 - About.com Readers Choice Awards - Pool and Patio Awards 2012
It was a tight contest, but Bullfrog Spas has earned the most votes from the readers of About.com's Pool and Patio site. To make it official, the winner for 2012 Best Hot Tub / Spa is Bullfrog Spas. Learn more about the contest, winner and finalists.

Planning a Sandbox or Sand Table - Children's Outdoor Playgrounds
A sandbox is one of the oldest and simplest of all outdoor activities in which a child can engage. That's what makes it enduring in its appeal, setting the stage for imagination and creative play -- truly the best kind. While many sandboxes are available, requiring you to just add sand, buying one is not the only option. Let's explore other choices before making a quick decision.

Who is Most at Risk of Drowning? - CPSC 'Pool Safely' Campaign 2012
The summer swimming season and third year of the Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign kicked off before Memorial Day weekend this year with a focus on the populations most at risk of drowning. New data reveals that children under 5 years old represent nearly 75% of child drowning fatalities.

Drowning Prevention During Holidays - 4th of July Drownings on the Rise
The U.S. CPSC reports that child drowning incidents increase over the 4th of July holidays. Previous years' sobering statistics reveal a rise in drownings that could be prevented if more people practiced the water safety program known as 'Pool Safely.'

Winner for Best Pool Cleaner / Vacuum 2012 - About.com Readers' Choice Awards
The votes have been counted and a winner has been announced! Best Pool Cleaner / Vacuum honors the year's top pool and spa cleaner and vacuum brands and manufacturers. We asked our voters to go beyond looks or familiar brand names when making a decision. Our list of hot tub and spa brands and manufacturers includes company websites to learn more about the brands and products out there.

What is a Chimenea - Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits
Chimeneas are those hand-decorated clay outdoor fireplaces you see for sale at marketplaces and tourist sites in California, Arizona and other western states. While many use their chimeneas as accent pieces or as garden art on the patio for a rustic or Southwestern look, chimeneas can be functional fire features in your outdoor living rooms.

Choosing a Gas Pool Heater - How to Heat a Pool With Gas
For years, gas heaters have been the most popular type of swimming pool heater. Compared to other types of fuel, gas has been one of the more inexpensive ways to keep a pool warm and comfortable. A gas pool heater is convenient because a gas line is usually available. But not all gas heaters are made alike. Discover the different types, along with pros and cons of heating your pool with natural gas or propane.

Winner for Best Outdoor Lighting 2012 - About.com Readers Choice Awards - Pool and Patio
A winner for Best Outdoor Lighting has been chosen in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Appropriately, Best Outdoor Lighting honors the year's top outdoor lighting brands and manufacturers. Solar and LED lighting is a way for consumers to save energy and be more environmentally minded, and each of the finalists offer products that are eco-friendly.

What are Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers? - Plant Types for Patio Garden Containers
While there is no hard and fast rule for container gardens, the popular concept of thrillers, fillers and spillers has made it easier to approach the design task of which plants to put in a pot. The idea is based on the theory that an odd number of plants -- three is a good number for an average-sized container -- looks natural, well-balanced and interesting.

What is the Difference Between a Landscape Architect and Landscape Designer?
What's the difference between landscape architects and landscape or garden designers? Apparently, more than you may realize. Learn who does what before hiring a professional or deciding to further your education.

What is a Sauna - All About Home Saunas - Building an Outdoor Sauna
Saunas are sometimes confused with spas or hot tubs, possibly because people refer to them in the context of taking a sauna bath. They also are used for many of the same reasons: to relax sore muscles, stimulate circulation and to get warm -- sometimes extremely warm. While a hot tub spa bathes you in hot water, a sauna bathes you in heat. In other words, the only water you will experience in a sauna will be your own perspiration. But that's the whole idea.

Winner Announced for Best Book 2012 - Pool and Patio - About.com Readers Choice Awards 2012
The Best Book, Landscape Design and Outdoor Living was a new category for the Pool and Patio awards in 2012. Votes have been counted and a winner has been announced. Congratulations to author Marty Wingate and her publisher, Timber Press, for winning Best Book for 'Landscaping for Privacy.

Grills - Gas or Charcoal
Grill lovers can be opinionated when it comes to which type of barbecue they prefer, hands down, to the other. The choice: gas -- either natural or propane -- or charcoal, usually briquets. A lot has to do with actual taste and flavor of the cuisine.

What is Badminton? - How to Play Badminton in the Backyard
It's a racquet sport that you can play in your own yard, with a simple stringed net, some racquets, and shuttlecocks. While badminton became an official Olympic sport in 1992, it's still an easy, inexpensive game to play at home parties, barbecues and when friends and family gather.

What is Bocce Ball? - Outdoor Games to Play in Your Yard
Bocce, also known as Italian lawn bowling, is one of the most widely played games in the world, and is one of the oldest lawn or yard games. Best known in Italy, where you may picture a group of retired Sicilians gathering in a town square for a daily afternoon game, bocce has been gaining popularity in North America and other locations. Its pros: the game is simple, can be played by people of all ages, and you can use just about anything as a bocce court.

What is Croquet? - A Brief History of the Lawn Game and How to Play it
If you didn't grow up with a croquet set, perhaps your grandparents had one. Better yet, if you read Lewis Carroll's

What is Horseshoes? - How to Play the Yard Game of Horseshoes
While Roman soldiers may have tossed a shoe or two back in ancient civilization, credit our colonial forefathers with making horseshoes an American tradition. Like bocce ball, badminton and croquet, it's a perfect activity for backyard gatherings, barbecues, or parties. You don't even need real horseshoes to play the game.

What is an Oxidant | Definition of Oxidant | Pool Glossary - Oxidant
An oxidant is a substance that “burns up” organic matter.

Fiberglass Pool - What is a Fiberglass Pool?
Basically, a fiberglass pool is made of a fiberglass or acrylic shell that is placed in a hole in the ground. There can be above-ground and in-ground fiberglass pools. Find out more about this type of swimming pool and why you might want one.

What is a Rope Swing? - Types of Swings for the Yard
Every yard needs a swing. They invite opportunities for quiet reflection or to engage in play -- some of the simplest, purest desires that exist. Unlike the traditional plank swings that take you back and forth, rope swings twist, spin, whirl, twirl, and all of those dizzying motions that can be exhilarating and give you a mild case of motion sickness. Ready to hang one?

What Does Centrifugal Force Have to do With a Centrifugal Pump?
A pump is a pool or spa's circulation system. Pool and spa pumps are known as centrifugal pumps. Why? These important pieces of equipment cause water to move, due to the principle of centrifugal force. Learn why it's an important part of keeping your pool clean.

2012 Best Decking Winner - About.com Readers Choice Awards - Best Decking Winner GeoDeck
As with the Best Decking awards contest for 2011, many readers were quite vocal about their reasons for voting for certain decking finalists. In fact, the conversation will continue. Congratulations to our winner for 2012 -- GeoDeck! And a shout-out to the finalists these decking companies and products have vocal many fans out there!

What is a Lanai? - Patio Types and Styles
True, Lanai shares a name with the smallest of the Hawaiian islands. But the one we're talking about is the type of patio, not the body of land owned by billionaire Larry Ellison. Find out what distinguishes a lanai from other types of patios.

What is an Atrium? - Patio Types and Styles
Traditionally, an atrium is located in the center of a house, is open to the sky, but enclosed on four sides by the house walls. Atriums have been in use in one form or another since ancient civilization. Find out more about atriums and what sets them apart from other types of patios.

What is a Loggia? - Outdoor Rooms and Patios
Do you have a loggia in your house? Find out what it is and if you should get one.

How Do I Become a Landscape Architect? - Landscape Architects
Are you interested in becoming a landscape architect? As a professional landscape architect, you will have the skill set to design public and private landscaping, hardscaping and water features. Learn the educational requirements for becoming a landscape architect.

What is Shorea? What is Shorea Wood - What is Shorea Hardwood
Shorea is a tropical hardwood that is used for many of the same purposes as teak, including garden furniture. Like teak and other hardwoods, shorea is resistant to damage from insects, fungus and moisture decay. Learn more about this increasingly popular and desirable wood.

What is an Awning? - Reasons to Use Outdoor Awnings
What are awnings, and why would you want one or more for the exterior of your house? If you want to control the amount of light and sun that on your patio and keep it from fading your interior furnishings, you might want to consider installing awnings. Find out more.

What is Balau? - A Guide to Balau as an Outdoor Wood
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What is a Sunroom - A Guide to Sun Rooms
Sunrooms are especially popular in cold-climate regions to take advantage of sunny days, like England and the eastern United States. Like a porch, a sunroom can be attached to a house or detached. What distinguishes them from other types of structures are their many windows. Interested? Learn more about this outdoor structure.

Before You Buy a Play Set - Planning Your Outdoor Space
Before you give in to your child's sincere desire for a swing set, do a little homework. Don't let the store or your child pressure you into an impulsive purchase before taking a few things into consideration.

What is a Belvedere? - Porches and Belvederes
The word belvedere is rarely used in modern architecture or landscape architecture, probably because few designers include them in their designs. Or, they simply go by a more familiar word, like gazebo.

The Three Pathways Used in Japanese Gardens - Designing a Japanese Garden
Strolling is an integral part of a Japanese garden, allowing the homeowner or visitor to explore and contemplate details in the landscape. A path in a Japanese garden is intended to an enjoyable experience as well as a practical way to connect different areas of the landscape. Discover the three types of pathways in Japanese garden design and how to use them in your landscape.

Types of Outdoor Lighting - Net Lights - What are Net Lights?
When they were introduced, net lights seemed like a lifesaver. And they can be. Learn the proper way to handle them, along with where and when you want to decorate your landscape with net lights.

Outdoor Lights - What are Rope Lights?
The clear, white or colored tubes of light that twist or wrap their way around porches, deck railings, columns and are parts of a landscape have their advantages and disadvantages. Find out if rope lights are something in which you might want to invest.

What is Rattan? - A Brief History of Rattan Furniture - How to Identify Rattan Patio Furniture
Is there a rattan plant? Yes, but it's not readily available. Rattan is an exotic vinelike palm that hails from the tropical jungles of Asia. Since the early 1800s, it's been a popular material for making outdoor patio furniture. Find out why.

Marissa Mayer and the Vogue Cover Shoot - Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and That Lounge Chair
By now, you've heard plenty about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's controversial photo in the September 2013 issue of Vogue. Mayer was photographed in a form-fitting blue dress and stilettos on an outdoor lounge chair. Reactions have been mixed but mostly unfavorable. But what about that lounge chair? We reveal the truth behind that sensuous outdoor upon which Mayer poses alluringly.

Patio Glossary -- Deck
Definition: an open area of wood flooring that can abut a house or be detached and tucked into a remote section of a property. Decks can link homes with gardens on the same or different levels. A deck on a steep slope allows a quiet retreat and makes good use of otherwise inaccessible land on a property. Decks can be made of various woods – like redwood or cedar – or composite decking material.

Patio Glossary -- Gate
Definition: A “door” that swings and allows access, frames a view or makes a design statement. The minimum width for a gate is usually 3 feet.

What is Hardscape or Hardscaping Patio Glossary -- Hardscape or Hardscaping
Definition: In landscape or garden design, hardscape refers to the hard or solid areas in the outdoor space. These “hard” areas may be made of materials like concrete, wood, flagstone, pea gravel, rocks, pebbles, etc.

What are Icicle Lights? - The Best Uses for Outdoor Icicle Lights
Icicle lights have been around since the 1990s. So what's the big deal? Discover the advantages and disadvantages of festooning your house during the holidays with icicle light strands.

Play Area or Play Yard | What is a Play Area or Play Yard?
A play area is a designated outdoor space for children’s activities.

What is a Trellis? - Definition of Trellis
So, what, exactly, is a trellis? You know it's a structure of some kind that can be found in a landscape or yard. Do you use it to train vines, or is it that thing you walk through or under? Find out.

What is Ashlar? - Types of Stone
For construction projects like walls or patios, stone is available in three basic types: rubble, flagstone and ashlar.

What is Terracotta? Definition of Terra Cotta
Terra Cotta is used for many outdoor purposes and products, including bricks, architectural features, roof tiles and garden containers.

What is an Olympic-Size Pool? - How Big are Olympic-Style Swimming Pools?
For obvious reasons, Olympic-size swimming pools are built big. The first Olympic swimming competitions of the

What is a Family Pool? - Types of Swimming Pools
A family or recreational pool can have all the bells, whistles, slides, waterfalls, caves and rainbow lighting you desire. While some pools reflect a home's architecture, many family pools are designed to appear more naturalistic, like a giant body of water with boulders and elaborate water features.

What is a Swim Spa - Pool Types and Designs
You've seen them advertised on TV, but aren't really sure what they are. Swim spas are increasing in popularity as a more compact version of a lap pool, with built-in jets that provide resistance for exercise or training.

What is an Indoor Pool
Since we all know what an indoor pool is and where it is located, let's take a look at some of the reasons why you might choose an indoor swimming pool over an outdoor pool.

How to Survive a Hurricane - An Engineer Shares Tipes on Keeping Home and Family Safe During Storm
Juan Rodriguez, a civil engineer based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, shares tips on how to survive a major weather event like a hurricane or tropical storm. Married and the father of three daughters, Rodriguez experiences each storm with a personal and professional perspective: concerned for his family's comfort and safety, and knowing what types of buildings and infrastructure are most likely to survive in the path of a storm, while learning from each event. Here, he shares his suggestions for preparing before a storm, riding it out, and dealing with its aftermath.

What is a Green Screen - Privacy Screens for the Yard
Mention the term green screen, and images of special effects for films comes to mind. But what do they have to do with privacy and outdoor living spaces?

What is a Patio Tree - Trees for Containers
It's somewhat obvious what a patio tree is. But what characteristics qualify a tree to

What is a Cactus? - Cacti in Landscaping
In desert climates, homeowners spend much of their time outside year 'round. Cooking, dining, entertaining, relaxing and exercising often take place outdoors, and yards and outdoor living spaces are designed to accommodate and enhance the outdoor lifestyle. Plants suited for arid landscapes include succulents, some of which may be cactus.

Succulents - What is a Succulent? - What Are Succulent Plants?
Cactus plants are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. And succulents do not belong to one plant family. Instead, they are represented in more than 30 different plant species. Succulents can be found in different plant families, including lily, amaryllis, crassula, daisy, milkweed and even geraniums.