With the warm weather upon us, it's time to enjoy our love of the great outdoors. Many chamber members are committed to offering services that support our enjoyment for entertaining, travel, outdoor living and cooking.

With the warm weather upon us, it's time to enjoy our love of the great outdoors. Many chamber members are committed to offering services that support our enjoyment for entertaining, travel, outdoor living and cooking.


Contain Yourself
One of the easiest ways to complete your outdoor room is through the use of containers. Containers have been used for centuries and offer a versatility that is unmatched in the gardening world.

Whether you would like to add continuity to your garden by choosing containers with similar characteristics or adding a little whimsy by using whatever you can get your hands on, almost anything can be used as a container. Traditional terra cotta pots, a hollowed out boulder, even an old watering can or a rustic coffee tin can make interesting containers. Don't be afraid to try different things.

Use a large number of containers clustered together to really "cozy up" your garden and give your space a lush, resort-like feel or group just a few to soften the edges and create a focal point for contemplation. Place them strategically to hide an eyesore, direct the flow of traffic through your garden, or define the boundaries of your space. Shift them as the seasons change to create renewed interest in the garden or remove them completely to create additional space when entertaining.

Plant the containers with your favorite colors and textures in the spring and reap the rewards all summer long. Be sure to incorporate a few plants with "long range" interest like ornamental grasses or evergreens so that a complete replanting is not needed with each season. Faded summer flowers can be replaced with gold and orange mums that will play off the bronze color of the grass for a beautiful fall display.

Use containers to grow vegetables and herbs when space is at a premium. A cherry tomato plant offers a quick snack in the summer while the broad leaf of basil mixed with the fernlike texture of parsley creates a bold, aromatic contrast. Keep these containers near the kitchen to add a fresh touch to the evening dinner.

Whether your containers make a statement by bursting at the seams with plants or by simply being a stand-alone sculpture, they are a great way to change the look of your outdoor room without changing the surrounding garden.

Steve Graham and other landscape designers from Yard Solutions are available for consultation on containers or any aspect of landscape you can imagine. They are an award-winning landscape design, installation and maintenance company that works throughout central Ohio. To contact Yard Soultions, call 614-836-8205 or visit their website, www.yardsolutions.com.


The Thrill of the Grill
The yard looks great, the patio is ready for entertaining, and the summer season makes it a great time of year to support locally owned and operated agricultural outlets.

Huffman's Market proudly offers a wide variety of "homegrown" products year round; however, the state showcases its finest offering during the summer months. Such fine "Ohio Proud Products" allow consumers to utilize states resources, while reaping the benefits of getting the freshest products possible.

There is no better way to support you local farmers and economy than to buy local when you're hosting summertime events. If it's homegrown, award-winning meats that you want to treat your guests to, then Huffman's Market has all you need. Huffman's offers prize beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, and from all the county and state fairs that will be sure to make your next BBQ a treat. Stop in and ask anyone behind the meat counter at Huffman's Market for the best grilling tips and meat selection for all your outdoor entertaining.

Huffman's Market has a full array of delicious, healthful, farm-fresh produce displayed in the front of the store for your convenience. As summer progresses, watch for locally grown sweet corn, strawberries, and tomatoes to compliment your meals.

No matter what the occasion, stop by Huffman's Market to take advantage of the freshest products possible, and to support your local agriculture.

Visit Huffman's Market at www.huffmansmarket.com.