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As an avid organic gardener for more than 40 years, I have been composting for almost that entire time. I have made them with chicken wire, old fence boards, recycled broken rain barrels, pallets, broken wine barrels, trash cans or whatever materials that I could find. I have also purchased compost bins from various farm supply stores and gardening supply companies. When I lived in Northern California 20 plus years ago, they already had a free composting program. So I am extremely happy that my city of these last 13 years is launching this program. They even have a downloadable composting guide.

I signed up for it immediately-about 2 weeks ago-even though I bought a very small one a while back. With all of my gardening & cooking, I filled it up very quickly. Just yesterday I received an email stating that “so many St Petersburg residents are interested in composting. Due to the demand for compost bins, it is taking some time to get them all delivered. Yours should be delivered before the end of next week. Thanks again for your interest (and patience), The St Pete Composting Team”.  I’ll gladly wait. I am so happy that SO many residents signed up!!

From the City of St Pete’s website:

Composting 7-2019

Did you know that kitchen and yard waste make up about 30% of what is thrown away? Composting helps divert these materials from landfills to deliver nutrients back into the soil.

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic material, like kitchen and yard waste, which breaks down to form a usable, nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Residential Composting Program

St. Petersburg’s residential composting program supports the sustainability initiatives of the City and empowers residents to minimize their environmental impact. Residents in single-family homes who are interested in composting are invited to sign up the free and voluntary program.

Participants in the composting program will receive a composting bin from the City to use in their backyard. The bin is approximately 33″ wide at the base and 33″ tall. There will be no collection service, but the resident will be responsible for feeding and maintaining the bin and will reap the benefits of the nutrient-rich compost by spreading it on their lawn or garden or even donating to a local community garden. For more information about composting, see our composting guide .

Next Steps

  1. Complete the form to request a composting bin.
  2. Start composting!
  3. Participate in periodic surveys to help improve the composting program.

http://www.stpete.org/sanitation/composting.php

The camera is a collaboration between Retrospekt and Parks Project.
— Read on www.afar.com/magazine/this-limited-edition-polaroid-camera-is-inspired-by-the-grand-canyon

Great graphic showing how green we are in Pinellas County, Florida. Pinellas County includes the area between St Petersburg, St Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach. In this case, the green means primarily green parks for people and animals. Check out the graphic and then come to see for yourself.

No photo description available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From poolside cabanas to open-air living rooms, elegantly appointed outdoor spaces are a key selling point in today’s luxury market.

from http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/market-insights/sumptuous-outdoor-spaces

1. Four-Season Outdoor Living Room
Fully realized alfresco living rooms are distinguished by one signature feature: fire. Whether a dramatic stone hearth and fireplace, a firepit, or a chiminea, a fire element turns an outdoor space into an outdoor room that can be used year-round in warm-weather states throughout the U.S., including Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona. “Florida’s weather is such that you can do virtually all of your living and entertaining alfresco, especially during the winter months, when the weather is characteristically warm and dry during the day and deliciously cool and comfortable at night,” says Michael Saunders of Michael Saunders & Company. Fire elements generate warmth and a welcoming ambiance; additionally, two-sided fireplaces can create a natural separation between outdoor spaces, such as a living room and dining area.

Fire elements provide warmth and enhance the ambiance of the outdoor living room of this luxury home in Nokomis, Florida.
Fire elements provide warmth and enhance the ambiance of the outdoor living room of this luxury home in Nokomis, Florida.

2. Poolside Cabanas 2.0
A perennially popular poolside accompaniment, the cabana today is designed to serve triple and even quadruple duty at summer homes in New England, including Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. In addition to being a respite from the sun’s rays, cabanas may be furnished with a wet bar and stools, a kitchenette, and even a full-size dining table. “Our clients enjoy being able to spend the day outside with little need for going indoors,” says Liza McKenney from Great Point Properties. “Being able to fix drinks and food, dine outside, and get some shade is a plus for many. Stepping out your back door into an outdoor living area makes you feel like you have your own private oasis.”

This deluxe poolside cabana creates the sense of a true private oasis on the grounds of a summer retreat in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
This deluxe poolside cabana creates the sense of a true private oasis on the grounds of a summer retreat in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

3. Designer Flourishes
“Carefully selected furniture adds to the sense of stylish outdoor living,” says Maria Gryllaki of 
Ploumis Sotiropoulos. Gryllaki has worked with numerous properties in Greece where the designer treatment has been given to the outdoor patios and terraces of centuries-old villas: importing pieces from shops as far-ranging as London and Hong Kong adds just the right touch of contemporary sophistication. Comfortable, elegant seating and pillows done in luxurious fabrics further blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

 

The patios and terraces at this centuries-old villa in Hydra, Greece, have been designed with great care so as to blend the old with the new.
The patios and terraces at this centuries-old villa in Hydra, Greece, have been designed with great care so as to blend the old with the new.

4. Blended Indoor-Outdoor Living
Oceanfront estates from California to the Caribbean are being designed with an open-air concept that takes full advantage of the desirable weather and gentle ocean breezes. The concept is essentially built into a home’s design, notes Peyton Cabano from 
Willis Allen Real Estate. Architects are bringing the outside in by creating permanent, covered living spaces with all the same amenities as an indoor family room, living room, or kitchen— only one or more walls are absent.

 

Expansive open spaces, vaulted ceilings, and wall-to-wall disappearing glass doors afford unparalleled ocean views.
Expansive open spaces, vaulted ceilings, and wall-to-wall disappearing glass doors afford unparalleled ocean views.

The resulting designs capitalize on sweeping ocean views and make for an impressive space for living and entertaining. “When it comes to entertaining guests, there is no nicer setting than by the sea,” says Dominique Silvera, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at One Caribbean Estates. “Entertaining in a beachfront property creates an unmatchable ambience.”

 

Arguably the most luxurious property ever built on Barbados, One Sandy Lane features residences designed with indoor-outdoor living in mind.
Arguably the most luxurious property ever built on Barbados, One Sandy Lane features residences designed with indoor-outdoor living in mind.

5. Dining Alfresco
Dining outdoors against the backdrop of a breathtaking natural vista is a cherished tradition amid the desert landscape of the American Southwest and the majestic mountain ranges of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. In these places of rugged, natural beauty, understated elegance is best, so as not to take away from the grandeur of the surroundings. That being said, outdoor dining sets have come a long way. Today they are made in a variety of materials that are both luxurious and able to stand the test of time and the elements; teak and cypress are popular choices. Tabletop flourishes including candles, floral arrangements, and elegant tableware and stemware set the stage for an unforgettable evening under the stars.

 

Spectacular views from the patio of this Jackson Hole, Wyoming, retreat are the ultimate backdrop for an evening under the stars.
Spectacular views from the patio of this Jackson Hole, Wyoming, retreat are the ultimate backdrop for an evening under the stars.

6. Next-Gen Pool Design
Ocean Home magazine reports that the latest iteration of pool design trending in the northeastern states—including the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut—is inspired by nature. Characterized by forest-like landscaping, rock work, and water elements that one might happen upon during a stroll through the woods—waterfalls, lily pad–topped ponds—these designs are as much about creating an environment as they are about the actual pool. Taking a page from nature’s playbook doesn’t mean scaling back on luxurious finishes, however. These homes may well have an outdoor kitchen or firepit, or perhaps both.

 

Featuring a cascading waterfall, natural rock work, and landscaping evocative of a forest, this stunning pool at an estate in Holmdel, New Jersey, characterizes the natural-pool trend.
Featuring a cascading waterfall, natural rock work, and landscaping evocative of a forest, this stunning pool at an estate in Holmdel, New Jersey, characterizes the natural-pool trend. 
 from  http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/market-insights/sumptuous-outdoor-spaces

This weekend I came across these 6 videos that I though might be useful for others to see too. There are great ideas for kitchens, backsplashes, front doors and outdoor rooms. Please let me know what you think or if you have other home ideas that you would like to share.

Get Retro Inspiration   Seaside Design: Beautiful Backsplash Ideas for Your Kitchen    http://bcove.me/esqpdti3

Seaside Design: Paint Ideas for Kitchen Cabinets   http://bcove.me/kml6ew86

Seaside Design: Create a Relaxing Outdoor Living Room    http://bcove.me/imjlt9h3

Seaside Design: Paint Color Ideas for Your Front Door    http://bcove.me/wgws12c1   Entryway with aqua front door

Coastal Colors: Beachy Neutrals    http://bcove.me/4gf5vg8u

Brightly decorated porch   Coastal Colors: Tropical Brights.  A bright, tropical palette brings vibrancy to any space.   http://bcove.me/w30gnqup

 

 

deck3

Houzz

1. Poolside lounge. If you have a pool (lucky you!) why not steer away from the usual plastic deck furniture in favor of something sleeker and more chic? A sea grass daybed, linen-backed deck chairs and a Moroccan tea table create a light, airy feel in this poolside space. Unwind under the shade of an oversize umbrella with a tall glass of something on ice and your favorite trashy novel. No pool? This look would work equally well on a backyard deck— I would surround
the seating area with big pots of fragrant plants, like lavender.

eclectic porch

Houzz/Sarah Natsumi Moore

2. Patio hangout. Who says only kids get to have fun on swings? Juice up your patio with a colorful indoor-outdoor hanging chair and a few big potted plants with interesting foliage, and swing your worries away.

traditional deck

Houzz/Hunter Design

3. Secret reading nook. If what you love most is to escape with a good book, a tucked-away reading nook is what you need. In a corner of this garden, a cushioned bench gets extra privacy from hanging vintage shutters and vines trailing down from overhead.

farmhouse porch

Houzz/Moontower Design Build

4. Napworthy porch. A covered porch is the perfect place for napping — the fresh air and gentle breeze soothe, but the roof is there to protect you if a sudden shower springs up while you snooze. Any daybed makes a fine napping spot, but I think the rocking motion of a hanging bed is especially restful.

eclectic deck

Houzz/Vuong Interior Design

5. Backyard hideaway. Make a simple pergola in the backyard feel like an exotic getaway by stringing up white curtains all around and placing a cushy outdoor sofa or daybed underneath. The curtains not only create privacy but can also be adjusted to block the sun on a hot day.

contemporary landscape

B. Jane Gardens

6. Classic hammock. If you have nice, big trees in your backyard, why not put them to good use? String up a hammock and let the relaxation commence. Come home from work, kick off your shoes, grab something to drink and make a beeline to the backyard. No trees? You can also find hammocks that come with their own stands.

mediterranean patio

Houzz/Esther Hershcovich

7. Private dining area. Whether you want to dine al fresco or just bring a glass of wine outdoors on a pleasant weekend, having a welcoming table for two is essential. Find a place blocked from the wind — a corner of the garden would be ideal — and make it feel even more private by surrounding it in lush plantings. Keep a stash of fresh tablecloths indoors and carry one out with you when you want to hang out at your table — it’s the quickest and easiest way to keep your table looking fresh.

tropical porch

Houzz/Ashley Camper Photography

8. Tropical retreat. Deep, dark tropical and reclaimed wood furniture, moody lighting and a hammock converge on this porch to make an irresistible hideaway. Whether your idea of R&R involves pouring cocktails and playing cards with friends, or enjoying a little peace and quiet solo, a setup like this will have you covered. On a deck that gets a lot of sun, curtains or blinds can make the space much more comfortable. For a tropical look, try hanging simple (and inexpensive) bamboo blinds.

modern deck1

Houzz/Churreria Photography
9. Rooftop refuge.
 A chill-out zone like this one is essential for city dwellers. Even if your space is small (and the budget is limited), you can pull together a cute retreat with a café table for sitting and a blanket-covered futon and burlap pillows for lounging.

modern landscape

Houzz/EPT DESIGN

10. Simplicity. Sometimes all you need is a place to get away. Tuck a pair of chairs (butterfly chairs are always stylish) and a small table into a hidden area of your garden — perhaps even in a side yard. Surround the seating area with native grasses that will rustle in the breeze, and hang a wind chime for gentle sounds that help release stress.

This article originally appeared at Houzz. Copyright 2014. Follow Houzz on Twitter.

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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