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GardenSMART Episode

Show #48/6609. Back Yard Makeover - Finishing Touches

Summary of Show

Expanding Living Space Outdoors
This episode addresses EXPANDING OUR LIVING SPACE, the way we use our homes in current times and creating new outdoor living opportunities, which has been a huge topic in the world of gardening. And there are so many amazing possibilities available. Mark with LDC agrees and with this project we're installing an outdoor kitchen, even putting tv's outside, plus one can get outdoor speakers making it possible to play music while you're hanging out in your outdoor space.
For More Information Click here

Fire Pit
The weather's finally getting a bit cooler and what could be nicer than AN OPEN FIRE. Alison Fox with Solo Stove talks about the ultimate outdoor accessory, the fire pit. There are very few things that are more enjoyable than sitting around a fire pit in the evening especially when the weather just starts to change, both fall and spring, when there's a nice crispness in the air. There’s just something that's transfixing about watching a live fire. Alison agrees, historically fire pits could have been a ring of stones or an old cane boiler. They were simple and they worked. There are so many really, really exciting innovations that have gone on in the world of fire pits.
For More Information Click here

Surface For Outdoor Kitchen
The hardscape was definitely an important part of this design, something the homeowner wanted from a standpoint of bringing the functionality to this backyard. One thing that was very important to the homeowner was the outdoor kitchen space. The homeowners love being outdoors, they love cooking, but GETTING THRE RIGHT SURFACE for the outdoor kitchen was very important. And Mark points out that once again they were dealing with the issue of what was available. Mark worked constantly with the homeowner and with the supplier. Randy at SiteOne came through once again and was able to get pavers for the outdoor kitchen. Mark’s team installed the paver patio.
For More Information Click here

Base For The Patio
What should be done regarding a BASE FOR THE PATIO? It's not a simple process. Begin by excavating at least four inches of soil. Then go in and put a base down using crush and run, then you'll go over that with granite sand which will help level it out, then use a wacker packer to tamp it. The pavers come in different sizes and different styles. So depending on your budget, one could spend anywhere from $12 to $18 a square foot on a paver. But all of the preparation work is so important.
For More Information Click here

Evolution Of The Outdoor Kitchen
Eric would like to talk about the EVOLUTION OF THE OUTDOOR KITCHEN. We've seen them popping up everywhere in the last 5 to 10 years. Their popularity has exploded. It's a wonderful way of basically connecting the home to the outside. Thinking in terms of expanding the way that we use our garden and our landscape, outdoor kitchens are so much fun. Sharla agrees the outdoor kitchen category is absolutely booming, many are looking at expanding their interior living space to the outdoors. Especially the last couple years where people are staying home more, they're really investing in their homes and the outdoor area is one of those areas they're really spending a lot of time in, allowing folks to enjoy that as part of their home as well.
For More Information Click here

Customize An Outdoor Kitchen
Eric would like to talk about just how CUSTOMIZABLE these outdoor kitchens are. One can get carts and there are a number of different carts you can get, or you can get a built-in kitchen like the unit at this home. It has a built-in island.
For More Information Click here

Wood Pellet Grill
This kitchen has a WOOD PELLET GRILL. Wood pellet is really getting very, very popular with consumers. Eric is familiar with charcoal grills or gas grills, but what are the advantages of a wood pellet grill? A lot of consumers today are used to going out to restaurants where they're getting a wood fired pizza or they're getting barbecue ribs, smoked barbecue ribs and they love that. Now, they're able to do that at home with that same wood fire flavor.
For More Information Click here

Options For Outdoor Kitchens
What are some other OPTIONS with outdoor kitchens that are available for homeowners? With the islands one can get almost anything, different types of colors that would match your outdoor preference. For the grill itself they have carts as well as built-in’s. So you can have a built-in island like this. They offer doors and drawers that provide a very convenient amount of storage. There's a lot of variety.
For More Information Click here

Grill Controls
Eric is really fascinated with the CONTROLS ON THIS GRILL. It's definitely a very modern approach to wood fire cooking and it's got a beautiful interface. One can basically control so many different aspects of the cook, it's a huge upgrade over anything that's ever existed in the market before.
For More Information Click here

Installation
Eric found it particularly impressive how EASY IT WAS TO PUT TOGETHER. When looking at it, it looks like this big, heavy thing that's going to take four or five strong guys to set up, But it's surprisingly easy to assemble, these new islands and grills are very easy to put together. They can be delivered to your home, they come in a crate and there are a number of panels. With two or three people one can put those panels together, put the granite on, put the grill in, along with the doors and drawers.
For More Information Click here

LINKS:

L.D.C. Landscape Design
Home | LDC Management Groups

Solo Stove
Ultra-Efficient Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves & Fire Pits

Memphis Wood Fire Grills
Memphis Wood Fire Grills – Award-Winning Pellet Grills

Plant List

Show #48/6609. Back Yard Makeover - Finishing Touches

Transcript of Show

Eric thinks there is little more exciting than an evening in front of a roaring fire and your favorite food on the grill. In this episode GardenSMART dives into outdoor living.

The GardenSMART backyard transformation is finally complete and now it's time to make it feel like home. Eric loves designs that allow a space to be lived in, these spaces connect people with nature and become a beautiful extension of the home. Having an area where homeowners/gardeners can entertain friends outdoors has been a significant driver in the design of this space.

The front yard looked amazing when we arrived, it even won yard of the year multiple times, but the backyard was in need of some real attention. All the work has paid off and the homeowners are ready to move the party out back.

This episode addresses EXPANDING OUR LIVING SPACE, the way we use our homes in current times and creating new outdoor living opportunities, which has been a huge topic in the world of gardening. And there are so many amazing possibilities available. Mark with LDC agrees and with this project we're installing an outdoor kitchen, even putting tv's outside, plus one can get outdoor speakers making it possible to play music while you're hanging out in your outdoor space. It's kind of like an extension of your living room, but outdoors. When we think about the expense of adding a giant addition to our home, tens of thousands of dollars, expanding our outdoor living space is just a fraction of that cost. And there's so many cool things that can be done, really wherever your mind will take you. From water features to gazebos, pavilions, even a hammock between two trees and a beautiful landscaped area are certainly good places to start.

Eric finds it amazing the way one can transform a space with just some simple ideas. Nice hardscape, gazebos, pavilions, all can be very complicated or they can be very simple. This project has added an outdoor kitchen, which means we’re really creating a room. Include your grill, maybe your big green egg, fire pits, et cetera. It's really boundless, the only limitations would be your imagination. And there are a lot of outdoor kitchens to choose from. There are prefabricated kitchens that have a bar top to them, those often look great with bar stools. Or keep it a little more simple and just have the grill. Most of these outdoor living expansions can be put together fairly simply, they take just a fraction of the effort required for an indoor home expansion. A simple gazebo on a nice patio area, boom, you have a new room.

The weather's finally getting a bit cooler and what could be nicer than AN OPEN FIRE. Alison Fox with Solo Stove talks about the ultimate outdoor accessory, the fire pit. There are very few things that are more enjoyable than sitting around a fire pit in the evening especially when the weather just starts to change, both fall and spring, when there's a nice crispness in the air. There’s just something that's transfixing about watching a live fire. Alison agrees, historically fire pits could have been a ring of stones or an old cane boiler. They were simple and they worked. There are so many really, really exciting innovations that have gone on in the world of fire pits. Alison’s company has done much to transform the way we think about outdoor fires from a standpoint of just portability, but also the way they burn. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on the wrong side of a fire pit where the smoke's all headed in your direction and this fire pit has solved that problem. Alison likes to say that one of her magical powers is to be able to sit around a fire pit and have the smoke follow her no matter where she goes. This fire pit is truly magical. What they've done is create a fire pit with double walled construction, that allows the air to circulate, it gets this amazing secondary burn, which burns extremely efficiently, and with very little smoke. One can sit right up near it and not smell like a fire pit the next day. Eric has also noticed that you don't get a lot of the sparking that can happen with conventional fire pits and that can create a bit of a safety issue. Alison agrees, it can absolutely be a safety issue. She does suggests one keep some water or sand nearby for safety, but the wood does not pop out like one finds with a standard fire pit. And that means one can enjoy a much, much more stress-free experience.

Eric loves the design too. It's a very elegant-looking piece and it's very flexible because they're not super heavy and they're portable. You can take it to the beach, you can take it camping, or as this homeowner did, you can sit it in an existing fire pit. One just needs about two inches of space around the stove so the air can get in. With this fire pit the outside holes take the oxygen in puts it on the inside and that's how it gets that efficient burn. One can use it as differently as you want for your experience and your space. It creates a natural chimney effect and because of that air moving through, you get a really, really clean burn. Of course any fire requires oxygen to be healthy and this naturally gives it the chimney effect which allows for a really, really clean burn. And, of course the heat and the smoke are going straight up. It's perfect, beautiful to look at, beautiful to sit around and one can take it anywhere.

The hardscape was definitely an important part of this design, something the homeowner wanted from a standpoint of bringing the functionality to this backyard. One thing that was very important to the homeowner was the outdoor kitchen space. The homeowners love being outdoors, they love cooking, but GETTING THRE RIGHT SURFACE for the outdoor kitchen was very important. And Mark points out that once again they were dealing with the issue of what was available. Mark worked constantly with the homeowner and with the supplier. Randy at SiteOne came through once again and was able to get pavers for the outdoor kitchen. Mark’s team installed the paver patio. There's a bit of an art and a science to working with pavers and Eric is always fascinated when he sees the installation. It’s much more than the pavers, one has to get the foundation right, then also use polymeric sand between the pavers so they're basically locked in place. It's so important to get everything level or, in some cases, sloped just right to where it doesn't retain water.

What should be done regarding a BASE FOR THE PATIO? It's not a simple process. Begin by excavating at least four inches of soil. Then go in and put a base down using crush and run, then you'll go over that with granite sand which will help level it out, then use a wacker packer to tamp it. The pavers come in different sizes and different styles. So depending on your budget, one could spend anywhere from $12 to $18 a square foot on a paver. But all of the preparation work is so important. We've all seen brick patios that over years will look super uneven, really bird baths in the middle. Those type problems are all symptomatic of not getting that foundation right from the beginning. If you want to put a gazebo on top make sure to install concrete footers at the base of the gazebo. This will secure a pavilion or a gazebo to the patio.

Eric loves to cook and being able to enjoy the thrill of the kitchen outdoors is possibly the perfect way to spend an afternoon. There are tons of options when it comes to outdoor kitchens. Eric next meets with Sharla Wagy to discuss one of her favorite kitchens. Sharla is with Memphis Wood Fire Grills and shares her knowledge about outdoor kitchens on an amazingly beautiful day to be barbecuing. Sharla, thanks for joining us. Absolutely. Sharla is happy to be here.

Eric would like to talk about the EVOLUTION OF THE OUTDOOR KITCHEN. We've seen them popping up everywhere in the last 5 to 10 years. Their popularity has exploded. It's a wonderful way of basically connecting the home to the outside. Thinking in terms of expanding the way that we use our garden and our landscape, outdoor kitchens are so much fun. Sharla agrees the outdoor kitchen category is absolutely booming, many are looking at expanding their interior living space to the outdoors. Especially the last couple years where people are staying home more, they're really investing in their homes and the outdoor area is one of those areas they're really spending a lot of time in, allowing folks to enjoy that as part of their home as well. When we think about adding an addition to a home compared to even very expensive outdoor kitchens and really nice ones like Memphis the prices are very approachable for consumers. And, one can do anything, from just putting a nice cart on your grill and a nice patio table to doing something much more luxurious like this stone island with a built-in grill with doors and drawers. You can get very elaborate with your whole outdoor living space. Memphis Wood Fire grills has outdoor kitchen options for almost any space that you could imagine. There’s an outdoor kitchen for you.

Eric would like to talk about just how CUSTOMIZABLE these outdoor kitchens are. One can get carts and there are a number of different carts you can get, or you can get a built-in kitchen like the unit at this home. It has a built-in island. With this particular island there are options available with three different kinds of stone and three different types of granite. One can get different size grills and different fuel sources for those grills-charcoal, gas or like this grill a wood pellet grill.

This kitchen has a WOOD PELLET GRILL. Wood pellet is really getting very, very popular with consumers. Eric is familiar with charcoal grills or gas grills, but what are the advantages of a wood pellet grill? A lot of consumers today are used to going out to restaurants where they're getting a wood fired pizza or they're getting barbecue ribs, smoked barbecue ribs and they love that. Now, they're able to do that at home with that same wood fire flavor. And with the wood fire flavor, you can really get the juices, the flavor of that wood, whether it's mesquite, hickory, apple, whatever type of wood variety you want, And wood really lends to the flavor of that meat.

Eric comments that it's also a pretty smart grill, there's a lot of technology behind this. And they're quite efficient in the amount of wood that they burn. This particular model has intelliburn technology which is a patented. Intelliburn is actually a secondary combustion system, which means when it burns the wood, it actually burns everything coming off of the wood. So, it's very clean burn, essentially it uses less fuel, so you're getting more heat with less fuel.

What are some other OPTIONS with outdoor kitchens that are available for homeowners? With the islands one can get almost anything, different types of colors that would match your outdoor preference. For the grill itself they have carts as well as built-in’s. So you can have a built-in island like this. They offer doors and drawers that provide a very convenient amount of storage. There's a lot of variety. It really depends on what you're looking for in your outdoor space and what you're going to be using it for. One needs to consider am I going to have a lot of large parties or is it more just intimate family and friend gatherings? Then what do I really need for options when looking at what to select?

Eric thinks it's amazing how much the whole category has been elevated. These pieces are beautiful, it adds so much to the design of this outdoor kitchen and is so versatile. They are very versatile and actually add value to the home, according to recent studies. For example, there was recently an interesting article/survey that was done by the National Association of Remodelers that found that outdoor kitchen areas have about a 71% return on investment. Which for remodeling projects is really very high. It really is a very popular area, people are going to the wood fire cooking because they love that flavor and today's wood fire grills are so easy and so much more convenient than the wood fire grills, the wood pellet grills, of years ago.

Eric doesn't think a lot of people understand how simple it is to use these grills. A novice can get professional pit results on one of these systems. It's incredible. Absolutely. One can smoke a brisket overnight, you can watch it on your phone and see how it's doing, it's just really amazing and very, very easy. It's - set it and forget it. It makes anybody an outdoor chef.

One of the hallmarks of professionally cooked pit barbecue is that beautiful pink smoke ring that we see on the outside of a piece of meat. And that actually can be pretty tricky to get from most cooking systems, but the wood fire grills are made for that. Absolutely, it's very easy, one can get a wonderful smoke ring on a brisket when you use the wood fire grills.

Eric is really fascinated with the CONTROLS ON THIS GRILL. It's definitely a very modern approach to wood fire cooking and it's got a beautiful interface. One can basically control so many different aspects of the cook, it's a huge upgrade over anything that's ever existed in the market before. The control is a touch screen allowing one to turn the temperature up or down plus can turn the lights on with a touch screen, it makes it as convenient as possible. And, as mentioned one can watch the grill, monitor it on your phone from any place. It's a great option today.

The quality of this grill is unparalleled. We don't see many grills on the market that are double wall stainless and that are built to last. This grill is an investment in the future of your cooking. Sharla agrees, homeowners invest a lot in their backyard living space, the grill and kitchen should reflect that. These grills are double wall insulated using oven grade gaskets and 304 stainless steel. They will last a long time and one wants to make that kind of investment because you don't want to be changing out your grill every other year. You want something that's really going to last and give your family enjoyment and wonderful meals for years to come.

Eric found it particularly impressive how EASY IT WAS TO PUT TOGETHER. When looking at it, it looks like this big, heavy thing that's going to take four or five strong guys to set up, But it's surprisingly easy to assemble, these new islands and grills are very easy to put together. They can be delivered to your home, they come in a crate and there are a number of panels. With two or three people one can put those panels together, put the granite on, put the grill in, along with the doors and drawers. You can start in the morning putting this together, assembling it, and have a barbecue that night. Eric thinks it's a beautiful unit he can't wait to try the barbecue that's about done cooking. Thank you Sharla so much for being with us.

Taking a walk through all the early photos of this project has been a wonderful walk down memory lane. The process of transformation has always been one of Eric's favorite parts of gardening. Seeing the early plans, getting the soil and grading just right, moving in the plants and making sure each one is planted with intentionality and care and then pulling together all the small details that make a garden unique and personal is truly a joy. Be sure to join us next time as we GardenSMART.

LINKS:

L.D.C. Landscape Design
Home | LDC Management Groups

Solo Stove
Ultra-Efficient Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves & Fire Pits

Memphis Wood Fire Grills
Memphis Wood Fire Grills – Award-Winning Pellet Grills

Plant List

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FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Have your hanging baskets seen better days? It’s normal, by midsummer they are ready for a little TLC to bring them back to their former glory. To learn more click here for an interesting article.


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