By Sara Kennedy / Sunday Market
If the mild, sunny winter was any indication, we’re gearing up for an epic summer in the Pacific Northwest.
Enjoy every minute outside by working toward your garden goals — the improvements to your yard, garden or patio that you haven’t gotten around to, but that will make a world of difference.
Here are a few common goals and products to help achieve them.
For crops that love heat, we have a fairly short window of opportunity. Extend it with the Sunshine GardenHouse Starter Coldframe ($129; contact info at gardenhouse.com), out of Longview, Wash. The rigid but lightweight frame can be set over containers or right in a garden bed to hold in heat.
If crouching and kneeling in the dirt isn’t working for you anymore, opt for really raised beds, such as Swanson’s Nursery Midori Planters ($125 at Swanson’s Nursery, Ballard). The cedar beds also work nicely as dividers for small patios or sitting areas.
Take the front-porch rocker up a level with Crate and Barrel’s Union Red Rocking Chair with Sunbrella Red Cushion ($358). The powder-coated-aluminum rocker’s classic lines are updated by its fresh color and modern materials.
Find your perfect hue from the 15 stains offered on Laughing Creek’s Cedar Chair ($167 at etsy.com/shop/laughingcreekprod). The made-in-Seattle chairs fold for easy storage, making them ideal for backyard parties when extra seating is needed.
Looking for an outdoor-room centerpiece? The Pottery Barn Torrey All-Weather Wicker Roll-Arm Sofa ($1,599) is made of a synthetic wicker and Sunbrella fabric to stand up against the elements. The design is timeless and modern with its clean, rounded lines.
Inject hip succulents or air plants into your outdoor space with Potted Designs’ Circle Pots ($95 at potted
store.com), which can be hung by the included stainless steel cord or set on a side table.
Gardener’s Supply Company Poppy Sways ($30 for 5 at gardeners.com) will keep the color of flowers in your garden year-round. The cupped, powder-coated-steel pieces sway gently in the breeze and hold water to attract birds and butterflies.
Create a trompe l’oeil on your patio with the West Elm Notched Round Wall Mirror ($350). It’s designed to look like a window frame, with mirror pieces to reflect the natural surroundings.
Bring helpful pollinating bees into your yard by providing a habitat, such as the The Bird On the Tree’s Wild Bee House ($46 with shipping at etsy.com/shop/TheBirdOnTheTree). Its modern-rustic look includes oak, bamboo and an antique key for hanging.
Create an oasis, or just drown out the sound of street noise, with a water feature such as the Copper Lotus Cascading Fountain (at gardeners.com). It stands almost 3 feet tall, with five copper lotus flowers and a resin base.
Give your neighborhood birds a modern craftsman abode with a Twig & Timber Birdhouse ($70–$90 at etsy.com/people/twigandtimber). Made in Seattle, the reclaimed-cedar houses come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Get the kids involved with the garden by having them decorate Toysmith’s Paint a Butterfly House ($18 at Swanson’s Nursery). It includes a wood house with a chain for hanging, paint and a brush.
It’s easy to forget what you planted where. NestWell’s Herb Garden Markers ($12.50 for four at etsy.com/shop/NestWell) help you keep track of your herbs; or contact the shop for custom requests.
Ikea’s Risatorp Basket ($13), in powder-coated-steel with a lacquered birch veneer handle, makes harvesting and rinsing a breeze. Or opt for Barebones’ Harvest Baskets ($49 for three at Molbak’s, Woodinville), made of sea grass with a leather-wrapped handle.