Monday, May 22, 2006

Keeping Your Backyard Safe From Stiltwalkers...

Did you know that the most common garden pest this year isn't the mosquito, but the ladies (myself included) who can't leave the house without their high heels? It's true. As the heat pushes us out of our apartments and in to our outdoor spaces- however microscopic they are- for entertaining, chances are that you'll have at least two guests who are slowly sinking in to the lawn.

Those with patios aren't really safe either- a short while ago, I got a heel stuck in between both a boardwalk-like walkway and in the mossy stuff in between bricks on a sidewalk. Since most of us stiltwalkers aren't ready to give up our heels, you can keep your garden, and your guests safe by using an outdoor rug.

Why an outdoor rug? An outdoor rug, such as this rainbow Plynyl Shag from Foster's Urban Homeware (124 N. 3rd) is usually made from weather-safe materials that'll keep mold and mildew away, while acting as a protective barrier between high heels and lawsuits. You can leave it outside for weeks on end and the only thing you'll have to worry about is a sudden wind blowing it away, Aladdin-like. Outdoor rugs can also look like your indoor rugs if you buy carefully: at left, is a polypropylene blend that mimics sisal, from Pottery Barn (4230 Main St. Manayunk; King of Prussia Mall; Market Square, Marlton). See other outdoor rugs from Pottery Barn.

But why can't I just use my indoor rug, outside? Personally, I'm all for using indoor things as outdoor decor- such as a (non-wired) decorative chandelier hung from a tree, a la Versailles- and I've been tempted to further the faux-aristocratic vibe by rolling out the Medici Rug from Scarlett Alley (241 Race St.) myself. HOWEVER. Natural, non-treated fibers can soak up the darndest things, even on a very nice day. Until I get a Dyson vacuum, I will keep my indoor rugs, indoors.

But that doesn't work both ways- outdoor rugs, since they are treated, can keep the allergens (there I go with the allergens again), small bugs and stubborn dirt away, making it perfectly fine to drag in to your apartment.