Rainbow-colored Solar Path Lights

April 13th, 2007

colorful solar lightingPathway lighting is a must if you’re going to do any entertaining in your yard after dark, or even just for safety when people are coming home at night. You want the way to the front door well lit to prevent accidents.

Now I’ve seen all sorts of solar-powered path lights (the big perk with solar is that you don’t have to run any wires; just hook up the solar panels and let the sun power your lights), but I haven’t seen too many that can turn different colors.

These colorful solar lights change through all the hues of the rainbow. They automatically turn on at dusk and provide up to 8 hours of their soft colorful light show.

They’re available from Eco Lights and start around $115.

A Garden Stepping Stone with a Sense of Humor

April 7th, 2007

humorous stepping stoneIf you’re looking for a gift (Hey, Mother’s Day isn’t that far off) for an irreverent gardener (or maybe someone who doesn’t bother with lawn maintenance at all), this cute stepping stone could be a fun one.

“Weeds for Sale, Pick Your Own.”

How many people’s yards does that describe well?

The stepping stone is for sale at the Online Discount Mart for $20.

Solar-powered Swimming Pool Purifier Cuts Down on Need for Chlorine

April 2nd, 2007

solar pool cleanerThe biggest downside of owning your own swimming pool is the maintenance. Anything that can automate the process takes some of the load off your shoulders, and if it’s eco-friendly by being solar-powered, so much the better.

This solar pool purifier from Smart Home is supposed to reduce the need for chlorine by 80%, which means less fussing with balancing the chemicals for you (and less of that chlorine smell around the water). The device requires little maintenance (it just floats around the pool releasing mineral ions that eliminate algae and bacteria but are harmless to humans), and since it’s powered by the sun, it won’t add anything to your monthly energy bill.

The price is just under $270:

Solar Powered Pool Purifier

Knee Pads for Gardeners, Now We’re Thinking

March 22nd, 2007

gardener knee padsYou may be a fan of gardening, but chances are kneeling in wet grass or on a concrete walkway to attend your plants or vegetables isn’t that fun. It can be hard on your knees after a while. That’s doubtlessly why someone thought to invent special knee pads just for gardeners.

These pads from Fiskars have comfortable cushions to protect your knees from moisture, cold, and rough terrain. They are made from EVA foam that isn’t supposed to absorb water, and the double adjustable straps should let them fit anybody’s legs.

The price is $15 from the Brands Place.

Cantilever Umbrella Offers Shade for the Backyard

March 13th, 2007

cantilever umbrellaIf you live in a warm climate, some summer-time shade is a must if you want to spend time out in the backyard or on the deck. It’s easy to find patio umbrellas that are designed to be thrust into the center of a patio table, but what if you want some shade elsewhere in the yard? Perhaps you want to lounge by the pool or just sit and read, but you don’t have any appropriately placed trees to block out the sun. Here’s a way to make shade anywhere in the yard.

This cantilever umbrella is designed to stand off to one side of your chair. It has a vertical tilt feature and an adjustment knob, so you can angle it just right to block out the sun. Available from Ballard Designs, the umbrella costs $449.00 - $479.00.


Circular Skewers for Grilling Shish-kabobs

March 4th, 2007

circular skewersShish-kabobs are a fun alternative to steaks, hot dogs, and hamburgers when it’s time to come up with meals suitable for preparation on the grill. You can stick your favorite veggies or even fruits (pineapple anyone?) on them, add chunks of fish, chicken, beef, or other meat, and douse it all with a good marinade or barbeque sauce. Yummy.

You can add convenience by getting your own set of stainless steel skewers (not that the slivers from those bamboo throw-away ones aren’t great…). If you do buy your own, don’t feel confined by the usual straight sticks. Why not try something fun? These circle kabob sticks are available online from Uncommon Goods. A set of 8 costs $18.

Circle Shish-kabob Skewers

Picnic Table Made from Recycled Skis Perks up Backyard

February 15th, 2007

picnic table made from recycled skisLooking for some outdoor furniture that is environmentally friendly? Maybe something made from reclaimed wood or something… recycled? Well, if you’re a ski enthusiast (or just like the idea of having furniture made from recycled sports gear), check out this picnic table.

Made from reused but top-quality skis, the table is supposed to last for years. Since skis are made to withstand being damp, you won’t have to worry about rot or mildew with this piece. The table will cost you $485 from the Snow Shack. It’s not cheap, but just think of all the trees you’ll be saving (and, okay, it’s just cool to have something a little different when it comes to outdoor furniture).

Snow Shack