Year-round retreat

Outdoor living areas aren’t just for the summer.



Sports pools like this one are gaining in popularity as they provide two shallow ends and deeper centers perfect for lounging and play.

Jeff Greer

Are you envious of those happy wafts of laughter that keep floating across your neighbor’s fence — proof of yet another ideal outdoor get-together? 

If you have the backyard blahs, now is prime time to be proactive. Whether you choose to spruce up your vegetable garden, buy a new grill with all the bells and whistles, or reconstruct your yard into an extravagant outdoor space, there’s still time to bring your backyard back to life.

 

 

Outdoor living and more

Outdoor living spaces have evolved far beyond pools and grills — although those elements are still in high demand. Now, homeowners are looking to extend their lives past the patio. They want to live outdoors year-round.

“Outdoor living started small, but now we’re seeing a full-blown outdoor living extension of the home,” says Cherlyn Reeves, lead designer and project manager at Tom’s Outdoor Living. “Whether they’re wanting to entertain, or lounge, or they need a playspace for kids or grandkids, we see it all.”

While a grill and patio table used to be the standard, now clients want a pool area, fire pit and full kitchen, complete with wine refrigerator and a grill with a couple of side burners. 

Outdoor kitchens can have more than just the usual suspects when it comes to kitchen appliances. Courtesy Metro Outdoor Living

 

“People are still very into grills, and they are building them into outdoor kitchen islands,” says Terry Taverner, who works in sales at Metro Outdoor Living. Even the popular Tulsa-based Hasty Bake charcoal grills are showing up as a built-in staple of the outdoor kitchen island.

“We’re also selling a lot of Evo flat-top grills,” Taverner says. “You can grill, make pizza and cook pretty much anything on them.”

The round gas- or propane-fueled grills are popular for those wanting to entertain a crowd. Building them into the end of the outdoor island gives the crowd a great gathering place for an outdoor chef’s table, she says.

But before putting together your wish list of outdoor features, it’s important to consider construction time and cost.

“When a client calls we have to make sure to help them manage expectations,” Reeves says. “We can help guide them through the process and help them get the most bang for their buck.”

The experts at Tom’s Outdoor Living say outdoor living has become an extension of the home. Courtesy Tom’s Outdoor Living

 

Construction of an outdoor kitchen can start at $30,000 for a small kitchen, pergola and lighting, and the sky’s the limit for a full-blown structure with shingles, gutters, lighting and even heating.

But if your budget is on the lower end, an outdoor kitchen with a pergola is a basic starting point.

“Overhead structures, pergolas, are the thing,” Reeves says. “We love our weather, but we want to also be covered from the elements.” 

For planning purposes, Reeves says earlier is better. So, those who plan their outdoor space in the spring will probably have to wait, as it’s a busy time for construction. She has seen cases though, where a client started on a structure, pool and all the amenities in July and completed the project in November. 

“The only thing that takes a little longer is a pool,” she says.

Pools are, of course, high on the wish list for many outdoor-loving homeowners. 

“Right now we’re seeing a lot of naturalistic water elements, and a lot of stonework,” says Brendan Schmidt, a designer at Blue Haven Pools. “And there’s a real push to have as much durability as possible. People want low-chemical, low-maintenance and long lasting.”

On the rise are sports pools — a type of pool that is shallow on each end and deeper in the middle, so people can play games in the middle, and relax on either end.

“Kids can have one side and parents the other, and the deep end in the middle divides it,” Schmidt says.

Homeowners also are becoming more chemical conscious, he says, so they often prefer an ozone sanitizer.

“It’s the greenest, lowest-chemical sanitizer you can put in a swimming pool,” Schmidt says. “It’s actually used as a step in bottled water purification. It’s a drastic reduction in the amount of chemicals used.”

Environmentally friendly choices can be made for the entire outdoor living area, such as using low-voltage lighting, which is affordable and saves energy, Reeves says.

“Almost every client uses irrigation, and we make sure we’re tying in the gutters with the drainage so it’s not spilling out into the yard” or watering concrete, she says.

Homeowners can even go green while lounging in their outdoor furniture.

“Recycled plastic furniture is all the rage,” Taverner says. “These pieces are made from recycled dairy and detergent bottles and come in so many colors. You can choose chairs, chaise lounges and dining pieces.”

Recycled plastic furniture, like these chairs and table from Malibu Outdoor Living (sold by Metro Outdoor Living), are all the rage. Homeowners can choose these earth-friendly pieces in a variety of colors. Courtesy Malibu Outdoor Living

 

Installing an outdoor space can be as easy as adding a firepit and a grill, or it can be a full-blown construction process, so be realistic about how you want to use the space.

“People are investing a lot of money into their outdoor spaces, so they want to use them year-round,” Taverner says.

 

 

Organic gardening

Gardening is relaxing, it brings color and life to your landscape, and it’s rewarding to bring fresh food to the dinner table.

April is the perfect time for planting a summer vegetable garden, and people are more interested in organic gardening than ever before, according to Carla Grogg of Grogg’s Green Barn in Tulsa, an all-organic nursery.

“People are very conscientious about where their food is coming from, and they want to create their own organic gardens,” Grogg says. “People are a lot more aware of the benefits of organic gardening, and they want to take care of it themselves.”

Although purchasing organic produce at a grocery store might seem pricey, growing it yourself is not, Grogg says. She advises customers who want to start from scratch to first decide how much space they want to use. Grogg’s, other area nurseries and community facilities offer classes for budding organic gardeners.

“It is going to cost some money — but it’s more about time,” she says. “If you’re a person who has a demanding job or is out of town a lot, you don’t want to invest in a raised-bed garden. You’ll be frustrated if you can’t be there to tend and water it.”

For those who want to bring a new element to their gardens, try growing berry bushes.

“Blueberry bushes are high on our customers’ lists,” she says. “Think about how much you pay for a container at the grocery store. They’re easy, and we have lots of varieties.”

 

Here are some of Carla Grogg’s tips for greener gardening this spring:

Carla Grogg

  • If a plant says full sun, it doesn’t necessarily mean Tulsa sun. “Full sun in Tulsa is very hot, especially in July and August,” she says. “It’s OK to place your gardens in an area that gets afternoon shade. Good morning and
  • early afternoon sun will be fine.”
  • Collecting rainwater by hooking a rain barrel to the gutters is a good way to conserve water. “It’s amazing how much rainwater you can collect off the roof,” Grogg says.
  • Don’t forget to compost — creating a pile of banana peels, coffee grounds and eggshells is the natural way to fertilize your organic garden. “Your landscape can be functional and look pretty,” Grogg says. “It’s totally about the way you plant it and the varieties you pick.”

 

 

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July 2019

Sharklahoma is a collaboration between the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Jenks Chamber of Commerce to celebrate our community and its local businesses, while also raising awareness about the ecological...

Cost: Varies

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Central Library
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Magi 4 Christ Campers meet each Monday at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. At 4241 S. 37th W. Ave., Tulsa, OK. 74107.  We are a Christian group of camping enthusiasts. We are family friendly. Meeting...

Cost: Donations only

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Hope House
4241 S. 37th W. Ave.
South Door Activity Center
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Magi 4 Christ Campers
Telephone: 918-906-0564
Contact Name: Dorothy Brown

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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

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Sharklahoma is a collaboration between the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Jenks Chamber of Commerce to celebrate our community and its local businesses, while also raising awareness about the ecological...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
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The purpose of Opioid Epidemic Response is to provide an educational community event that brings together patients, providers, community organizations, and elected and appointed officials to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cherokee Community Building
908 S College Ave
Tahlequah, OK  74464
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Sponsor: OSU Center for Wellness & Recovery
Telephone: 918-561-1883
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This Magical event features: A Grand Entrance into our Showroom Greeted by Fairy Tale Princess Characters A Charming Breakfast Buffet (with paid...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Dave & Buster's
6812 S. 105th E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74014
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Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
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The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

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Tulsa, OK


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Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
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Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
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Website »

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The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

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Where:
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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
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Sponsor: OSU Center for Wellness & Recovery
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Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
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View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

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Sharklahoma is a collaboration between the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Jenks Chamber of Commerce to celebrate our community and its local businesses, while also raising awareness about the ecological...

Cost: Varies

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Oklahoma Aquarium
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Cost: 75.00

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Pottery Barn Utica Square
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Telephone: 918-619-5009
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Would you eat an invasive species? You can! The Nature Conservancy has challenged local chefs and restaurants to make you delicious dishes from invasive and native species as they compete for the...

Cost: 125.00

Where:
The Mansion at Woodward Park
2435 S Peoria Ave
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Sponsor: The Nature Conservancy of Oklahom
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Would you eat an invasive species? At this event, you can! The Nature Conservancy has challenged Tulsa chefs and restaurants to make delicious dishes from invasive and native species as they...

Cost: General Admission: $125

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2435 S. Peoria Ave.
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Telephone: 405-503-1411
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11th Annual Quilt Show featuring judged and non judged quilts made by Sequoyah County and surrounding area quilters.  We will have vendors, demonstrations, door prizes and a boutique.  We will...

Cost: $5.00

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Blackgum Harvestime Church
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Sharklahoma is a collaboration between the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Jenks Chamber of Commerce to celebrate our community and its local businesses, while also raising awareness about the ecological...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
, OK


Website »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The purpose of Opioid Epidemic Response is to provide an educational community event that brings together patients, providers, community organizations, and elected and appointed officials to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cherokee Community Building
908 S College Ave
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Sponsor: OSU Center for Wellness & Recovery
Telephone: 918-561-1883
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5

Where:
Tulsa, OK  74120


Sponsor: Ability Resources
Telephone: 918-592-1235
Contact Name: Krisann Diaz
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More information

Join choreographers from across the country for the first of three intimate showings of new modern and contemporary dance, from the hilarious to the introspective, followed by a moderated...

Cost: $12.00-$15.00

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: The Bell House
Telephone: 918-269-1621
Contact Name: Alicia Chesser
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Cost: Free

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2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Website »

More information

Join choreographers from around the country for an intimate evening of new modern and contemporary dance: five experimental, tender, challenging, moving works of art, followed by a moderated...

Cost: $12.00-$15.00

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Liddy Doenges Theate
110 E 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: The Bell House
Telephone: 918-269-1621
Contact Name: Alicia Chesser
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
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11th Annual Quilt Show featuring judged and non judged quilts made by Sequoyah County and surrounding area quilters.  We will have vendors, demonstrations, door prizes and a boutique.  We will...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Blackgum Harvestime Church
451558 E 0980 Rd
Vian, OK  74962
View map »


Sponsor: Blackgum Harvestime Sewing Sisters
Telephone: 918-457-9362
Contact Name: Sharon
Website »

More information

Sharklahoma is a collaboration between the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Jenks Chamber of Commerce to celebrate our community and its local businesses, while also raising awareness about the ecological...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
, OK


Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The purpose of Opioid Epidemic Response is to provide an educational community event that brings together patients, providers, community organizations, and elected and appointed officials to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cherokee Community Building
908 S College Ave
Tahlequah, OK  74464
View map »


Sponsor: OSU Center for Wellness & Recovery
Telephone: 918-561-1883
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12.00-$15.00

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Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Liddy Doenges Theate
110 E 2nd St.
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View map »


Sponsor: The Bell House
Telephone: 918-269-1621
Contact Name: Alicia Chesser
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Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


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Contact Name: Jenée Day
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