Canopies, Screen Houses, and Solar Lights

There are plenty of great finds that can make your yard or garden more enjoyable, but some really stand out. A canopy, which is a bit like a pavilion made of plastic or metal tubes with a canvas roof, is a great item for adding a shaded spot to your yard for relaxing or entertaining. Even better, is a screen house or mesh walls to add onto the sides of a canopy so you can eat or entertain outdoors with the worry of insects joining your picnic.

I have a friend who sets up a large tent in her yard each summer. Her family doesn’t actually use it for camping, but they spend many hours outdoors, using the tent to protect against weather and pests.

Another great item is solar lights. They can be used for a simple, decorative touch or to light the way. Many styles are fairly small and don’t give off a lot of light but they look great and will still illuminate the path well enough without drawing insects.

The best part is that they don’t use extra energy. As long as solar lights are able to absorb sunlight for several consecutive hours, they should burn brightly throughout the night. Solar lights do require batteries, but the batteries are charged by solar power and generally last for at least a year or two even with constant use.

I have been looking for some solar lights to add to the walkway up to my front door. It gets dark, really dark, out here in the country. The only problem is that the path I want to illuminate is shaded for the better part of the day so I didn’t think solar lights would work for me. Now, it’s no longer a problem.

I found a few different options at Home Depot that have a separate solar panel that can be placed several yards away from the lights to absorb energy throughout the day so the lights can recharge for each night. All I have to do now is decided which style and finish I want. Of the sets I liked the best, one has three solar lights and the other has four. One has a black matte finish; the other has a shiny chrome finish. Both have the movable solar panels.

Do you use any of these outdoor accessories in your yard or garden?

Great Ideas for the Great Outdoors