Hot August Nights

Campfire at Home

As we enter into our Indian summer in northern California, the sunsets get more vibrant and as the sun starts to set earlier, star gazing becomes a treat during those hot August nights.
It is a great time for camping or even just enjoying the great outdoors in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Below are some fun ways to roast marshmallows and enjoy your back yard with your kids when you’re not camping! 

Fire tables: Turning a wine barrel into a fire table? Who would’ve thought! These amazing designs are from a Sonoma County local contractor that has a flair for beauty and sophistication. When he isn’t busy building and finishing multimillion dollar homes, he creates these beautiful pieces to enjoy. The height off of the ground keep toddlers safe and s’mores perfect. www.customgrains.com

Fire Pits: Want to try something wood fired? These stand up metal frames are useful year round, inexpensive and easy to maintain. With some garden wall blocks placed in a circle around the
frame, kids can be kept safe at a roasting sticks distance.

Out Door Kitchen: Tired of cooking inside and making your house hotter? Step up that BBQ and add some counter space, a great grill, a sink and cook outside! What BBQ do you prefer? A Green Egg, a Traiger, or the classic Weber?

Seasonal Foliage for a Backyard Garden

In summer we crave the shade while in winter we want the sun! How can we plant to help accommodate this desire?

Trees: There are many trees that lose their leaves in the winter and allow the light in, and produce foliage in the summer for a shady effect.

Fruit Trees are fantastic for this effect. Boasting blossoms in the spring that help to feed the bees and fruit in the summer to make jams and pies, these trees offer more than just a cool place to picnic in the summer. They do require some up keep, because fruit on the ground can attract a lot of critters, but will give back what you put into them.

Ornamental Deciduous Trees- There are many that fit into this category, such as maples and ambers. The Sonoma County Master Gardener chooses Chinese Pistache as their top choice for color in fall and shade during the summer. In addition, it is drought tolerant and needs little attention once established.

Vines and climbers- Over an awning or around a gazebo wisteria and grapes can provide much appreciated shade in the hot months. Another fun climber is hops! It is fast growing and some varietals thrive in the area. Runner beans are beautiful, fix nitrogen and can also provide shade if given a proper path.

Best Place I ate this Month

It was a Friday afternoon and my Husband decided to work from home, so we grabbed a quick bite at Crocodile in Theater Square and the entire experience was amazing.

The charcuterie plate was unique and fun with amazing cheeses and mouse (you get to create your own from a list) with preserves, pickles and mustard. The owners are a married couple Moira and Michael and they have a 3-year-old little girl as well. They are both incredibly talented and the food and wine were great! If you haven’t been, I highly recommend taking a look!