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On the cover ’Tis the season for porches and patios, backyards and balconies and making the most of Calgary’s short summer. The key to encouraging gatherings for good food, conversation and relaxation is to think about how you will use the space, and then combine practical ideas with some flair and fun. PhOtO COuRtEsy DECORAtING DEN

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Outdoor inspiration Summer — it’s that time of year when you become reacquainted with your backyard. If you’re planning to spend as much time outdoors this summer as possible, making your space as inviting as possible will serve you well. Plants and flowers are a great starting point for transforming your outdoor space. Container gardening continues to be a hot trend. Sprinkle in time-release fertilizer for plants to thrive all summer long. While Calgary is in Zone 3 for gardening, don’t let that completely rule out enjoying tropical plants this summer. Eugenia topiaries look stately dropped into a large planter and placed on either side of your front door, says President’s Choice garden expert Peter Cantley. They’re also a great way to add some privacy to your deck. They won’t last outdoors throughout the winter, but can be brought indoors and placed back outside next year. There’s no question you’ll utilize your backyard more if you have comfortable furniture. Before

investing in any pieces, envision how you’ll use your space. As entertainment central or a place to relax with a good book? If you don’t plan to dine outdoors, don’t worry about a table. You may get more use out of a sectional set or padded chairs with matching ottomans. Ensure fabrics are designed to withstand the elements and choose furniture made of materials that are durable, low maintenance and rustproof. If you plan to be outside on chillier evenings or after the sun has set, you’ll appreciate a flame table or torch, which provides warmth and ambience. Accessories are just as important outdoors as inside your home. Area rugs, lighting and colourful throw pillows make a space more welcoming, allowing you to enjoy the longer days and warmer nights in your outdoor oasis. — Carrie Kelly

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Sun summer 2015 3  
Sun summer 2015 3