J&S Landscaping wants to help you enjoy your outdoor living space this winter. If you read our last blog entry last month on how to winterize your outdoor living space, then you already know we don’t just want you to cover everything up and put it away and ignore it until spring. Your outdoor living space is a room without walls, a retreat, and a great space to invite family and friends into. You should use it year-round.
Here are some tips on how you can continue to enjoy yours with just a little planning.
Baby, it’s Cold Outside.
Do you enjoy being outdoors during cold weather? Love the starkness of a snowy winter’s day and the coziness of a warm fire? Are you looking for new ways to incorporate this into gatherings? Or maybe you’ve never used yours during cold weather and need suggestions. Regardless, J&S Landscaping has your back!
Light Up that Fire Pit
If you’re thinking wistfully of all the great times you had in front of your fire pit last summer, take heart! Those times don’t have to be over. Your fire pit is a great way to enjoy your outdoor living space this winter.
If you have a wood burning fire pit and stored your wood in a clean dry place like we suggested last month, you’re set. Uncover your clean, dry fire pit and build a fire—or turn on the gas—and enjoy the change in scenery. Cook some s’mores, or sip some hot cocoa while you sit in your personal winter wonderland.
There are several great every day ways to enjoy your fire pit with your family during the winter. Make hot cocoa and play some simple fireside games (link here). Or take some “you” time, make something hot to drink (link) and enjoy the quiet respite in an otherwise busy life. You’ve earned it.
Just be sure to clean up afterward and cover everything back up so you don’t undo all your hard work!
Create the Perfect Mood with Outdoor Lighting
Well-placed outdoor lighting is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as a homeowner. It accentuates the beauty of your yard, lowers insurance rates, increases outdoor safety, provides additional safety, and raises property values. And with the right outdoor lighting, you will enjoy your outdoor living space this winter until well after dark. That lighting will add to the atmosphere and encourage people to relax and settle in for a long visit.
J&S Landscaping installs outdoor lighting for customers regularly. Be sure and check out our work on our site and call us so we can help you brighten up your yard.
And if you don’t have a fire pit and are thinking you’d like to have one, contact J&S Landscaping now so we can get you on our calendar. By this time, next year, you could be enjoying your own fire on a winter’s day.
Uncover Your Outdoor Cooking Skills
Have a grill or an outdoor kitchen? Cooking outdoors during the winter is a snap! And some people swear that food cooked on the grill when it’s cold outside tastes even better.
If there’s a wind blowing, set up a temporary barrier to shield your grill or outdoor stove so that it’s not undermining what you’re doing. But with a little planning, it is easily done:
- Use heat-resistant gloves (The mittens your mom made for you are not fireproof. Neither are those cool gloves you got when you went skiing AND NEITHER ARE YOUR EVERY DAY SNOW SHOVELING GLOVES. Put them back and go get a better pair. We’ll wait).
- If there’s snow on the ground, take the time to sweep or shovel it out of the way. It’s going to be chilly enough out there without mounds of snow making it harder to heat your oven or grill.
- Be prepared to use extra fuel or be prepared to finish cooking the food in the oven inside (or be prepared to start it inside and bring it out to finish—both options work). You will go through more of it than you would during warmer weather.
- Cook what you know the first few times you do this. Now might not be the time to try that new recipe to cook a brisket if you’ve never cooked one outside before.
- Be patient. Cook times are longer, but it is well-worth the trouble.
- Eat and enjoy!
Be sure and clean everything up and put it back under cover when you’re finished!
Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space This Winter And Party Like it’s 2023
Let’s get this party started! Your outdoor living space remains the best place to have gatherings, even during the winter. For example:
- Turn your backyard into a winter wonderland—with Christmas decorations, lights, and lawn ornaments. Create a pathway through your backyard for friends and family to “tour” through mini-displays. Set up spaces for people to sit down and visit on your patio and around your fire pit. Have hot Wassel, apple cider, hot cocoa, and baked goods for party-goers to enjoy while they wander and visit with one another.
- Leave those Christmas lights up and you can have a legendary New Year’s Eve Party! Set off fireworks (if permitted) hand out noise makers—or even make your own. Have your own ball drop! Instructions for this and more are here.
- Give the best Super Bowl Party ever! Put the game on the big screen using a projector. Grill food, set out snacks, and lots of comfortable places to sit (fun fact: you won’t need to ice those sodas or that beer). That way, when someone gets excited and wants to open a foaming beer or spills food when they jump up to cheer (or yell at the referee), the mess will be easy to clean up! Light up the fire pit for post-game celebrations or . But give your football lovers a reason to declare it a great day, regardless of the outcome of the game.
- Celebrate your Irish Heritage (or somebody else’s if you just want an excuse for a gathering) by throwing a Patrick’s Day Party. Encourage people to come dressed in green outfits. Create your own Irish Tavern and/or serve Irish Dishes (many of which are great on the grill). There are more great ideas here .
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show your significant other how much they mean to you. And it’s a solid excuse to light up the fire pit or outdoor fireplace. But it doesn’t have to be the only time you prioritize time together. As busy as we all are these days, couples need to set aside time to spend together and make it a priority. Going out to dinner or slipping away for the weekend is not always possible. So we have to make our time together at home special. Here is a great way (maybe the best way) to enjoy your outdoor living space this winter.
Make a point of leaving your cellphones in the house so you won’t be interrupted and send the kids to a friend’s house for the night. Light up your fire pit or outdoor fireplace, maybe cook something on your grill that you both love, grab a blanket to cuddle under, and pour yourselves something to drink.
Studies have shown that couples who do this regularly have healthier relationships and are happier and more content. You’ve earned this moment. Furthermore, you need it. And enjoying your time together in a space you are both proud of and love only adds to the atmosphere.
These are just a few of the ways you can enjoy your outdoor living space this winter. We’re sure that now that we’ve fired your imagination, you can think of even more ways to make the most of your beautiful outdoor room year-round!
Next month, we’ll look at landscaping projects that will increase your home’s value, so be sure and drop back through for those tips and ideas.
J&S Landscaping is a member of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. We provide top-notch lawn care and support for plants, trees, and shrubs. And everything we purchase and plant for you has a one-year guarantee.
J&S Landscaping is certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute to install paver patios & walkways, brick paver driveways, retaining walls and more. We are an authorized contractor for Belgard and we’re so confident of our work that we certify our installations for two years. All of our crews are carefully trained, certified, and bonded.
Call today to learn more about what our company can do for you!