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Get ready for the great outdoors

Warming weather means it’s time for outdoor living


Whether you have an outdoor play area for the kids or comfortable living room spaces with sofas, chairs, chaises and cushions, creating space to enjoy the great outdoors is a hallmark of warm weather in Bucks County.

The American Psychological Association website reports nature and spending time outdoors is good for us.

From boosting our mental and emotional health to reaping physical benefits like lowered blood pressure and gentle exercise, it’s a boon to our overall health to spend time in the great outdoors.

Fluff the pillows, break out the citronella candles and set up strings of outdoor-rated lights to create attractive spaces where you’ll be drawn to linger.

Light it up

Leigh Nunno, a Realtor and associate broker at Melissa Healy Group at Keller Williams Real Estate in Doylestown, said soft ambient lighting is a huge trend for summertime fun.

“Strings with bulbs hanging from poles and trees give that evening and nighttime entertainment area soft welcoming lights,” she explained.

An additional outdoor family room complete with high-quality performance rugs, side tables, chairs, solar lamps and other features adds living space to your property and injects a bit of romance to spaces, Nunno said.

Jaimie Meehan, of the Melissa Healy Group recommends tabletop fire elements — like a propane fueled table top fire pit or fire bowl — to bring ambiance and illuminate outdoor living spaces.

“There are some that provide lighting and a fun romantic element, while others use TIKI Torch fuel to help with bug repellent” features, she said.

Take the bite out of mosquitoes

If mosquitoes interfere with your outdoor activities, take charge of ridding yourself of these pesky — and sometimes dangerous — summertime pests.

From allergic reactions to mosquito bites to more serious mosquito-borne illnesses like Yellow Fever, Zika virus and Dengue, prevention is key to minimize the risk of mosquitoes ruining outside gatherings and enjoyment, the Pennsylvania Department of Health website said.

“Mosquito treatments for properties (may include) natural plants or sprays, while others can be DIY applied or you can hire a professional landscaper,” for treatments, Meehan said.

Think about incorporating citronella and geranium plants into containers for the patio and deck.

Lavender, mint, lemon balm and marigolds are natural mosquito repellents, too, and can be woven into garden areas or potted up and combined with other plants and flowers for porches and on patios and decks.

“Sprays that have peppermint in them (can work) or you can make or buy those that are pet- and kid-friendly,” Meehan said.

An easy way to discourage mosquito breeding is to eliminate containers where standing rainwater sets up a perfect environment for them to lay and hatch eggs.

“Mosquito dunks and granules for outdoor ponds and water features” are another tool incorporating natural bacteria that are lethal to mosquito eggs, but won’t harm pets or wildlife, she said.

A shady spot

For those seeking a cool, shady retreat, there are more portable and outdoor cover options than ever.

Look for whimsical, classic and fun patterns, as well as classic bright solid performance fabrics for umbrellas, patio coverings and awnings. Newer performance fabric technology means these accessories are able to take the heat and still look great — season after season.

“We’ve noticed a wealth of sun shades which have advanced in various categories to make spaces feel like an outdoor living room,” Meehan said.

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