Please welcome guest author Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows for another installment of KAPOW, wherein she will teach you how to have a pool party without a pool, irrigate your garden, and mix a super-fancy gin and tonic. —Ed.
Here’s the third in a series of ideas for an outdoor refresh, inspired by some of my favorite super heroes (and villains). Over the next few weeks, I’ll bring you projects and recipes for SUPER outdoor living. If you missed the first two, go check them out! Here are all four installments of KAPOW Your Backyard.
KAPOW Issue 3: Making Waves with Aquaman
Aquaman (aka Arthur Curry) is an expert on happy fun times in the water. A Justice Leaguer, sometime King of Atlantis, and super strong swimmer, this snappy dresser knows what’s up. The man can talk to fish, so clearly he knows all the ocean’s secrets and therefore can harness water to use it to his advantage. With a little creativity, so can you.
The warm weather is only going to get warmer. Wouldn’t you just love to host a pool party? If you don’t have a pool, not to worry. I’ve got you covered.
If you have an extra $600 lying around, you should get this amazing eight foot high inflatable water park. It has TWO slides, people, and the potential to make you the coolest of all of your friends. It also comes complete with its own air compressor for fast and easy set-up.
$600 a little rich for your blood? Then buy a bunch of kiddie pools of all shapes and sizes, fill them all with water (except for one or two that you fill with ice and adult beverages). Or better yet, have each of your guests bring their own kiddie pools. Either approach is guaranteed to fill your yard with good times and laughter.
How’s your garden doing? Have you been watering it, or does that just feel like a little too much trouble? You could set up a very simple irrigation system. If you add a timer, you just have to do it once and you’re all done for the season.
- 2 port garden hose timer
- Regular garden hose
- Soaker hose (or an old hose with holes drilled in it)
- Soaker hose end cap
- Attach the timer to your outdoor faucet and then thread your regular hose into one of the ports. The second port is for your other hose needs so you don’t have to disengage your garden system unless you want to. Run the regular hose out to the garden, then attach it to the soaker hose. You only want the soaker hose to be in the garden or you’ll lose precious water.
- Run water through both hoses to flush them into your grass, then attach the cap on the other end of the soaker hose. Wind the soaker through your plants leaving 18” between hose sections.
- Cover your hose with mulch or grass clippings to keep the soil moist and protect the hose from cracking.
- Set your water to low so the hose is just barely emitting water. Set your timer for thirty minutes every three to four days. Don’t forget to check it occasionally to make sure the plants are getting a good amount of water and that your hoses are still working correctly.
You could take your backyard hippiedom to the next level and get a rain barrel. Saving rainwater to saves money and the earth. You can use it to water your garden, lawn, houseplants, even wash your cars. You can buy one relatively inexpensively, but I found this great DIY tutorial that will have you up and running with materials you can buy at your local hardware store.
Rain barrels often won’t work with a soaker hose, but you can use a standard hose or fill up a watering can. One word of warning: as crazy as this may sound, collecting rainwater is now illegal in a number of states in the US so check your local laws before making any big purchases.
Wet your whistle with…
“Rosemary-infused Gin and Tonic”
“Lime Ice Cubes”
- 1 quart Beefeater gin (or a similar plain-tasting gin)
- Fresh rosemary spear
- 1 quart mason jar with lid
Wash the rosemary thoroughly and put it in a clean mason jar. Fill with gin. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 4-5 days, shaking occasionally. Sneak a taste. After the gin has reached desired potency (ie. You can taste the rosemary but it’s not too overwhelming), remove and discard rosemary. Your gin will look a bit brown but that’s normal. You can actually SEE the flavor.
“Lime Ice Cubes”
- ice cube tray
- lime juice
Fill ice cube tray with water and add 4-5 drops of lime to each compartment. Freeze until frozen.
“Gin and Tonic”
- rosemary-infused gin
- lime ice cubes
- cold tonic water
- rocks glass (8-10 oz)
Fill a rocks glass with lime ice cubes. Add a shot of rosemary-infused gin. Fill the rest of the glass with tonic. Serve immediately and often.
This post has a companion board on Pinterest! You can find it here.
Enjoy all four installments of KAPOW: