Award-Winning Akimbo Design to Feature at New England Grows EXPO 2016

From the creative mind of playground designer, Sarah Carrier, comes Akimbo, the first winner of the Boston Society of Landscape Architect's Design Challenge 2016.This playful geometric and flexible design for public seating, inspired by children's blocks and the human figure, will occupy pride of place at the upcoming New England Grows Expo, November 30th to December 2nd at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

The Design Challenge was conceived by the BSLA and New England GROWS to display the talents of the society's members in the creation of physical products for parks, schools, and cityscapes. Whether on their side or standing up, the various Akimbo pieces can be set up easily into a comfortable seating height. Pulled together, Akimbo can form a social bench that accommodates more than 20 people. Sections can be moved around to create fun, imaginative shapes. This functional and highly imaginative interactive installation was handcrafted by Walpole Outdoors in AZEK cellular vinyl at their fabrication facility in Maine. The low maintenance material, donated by AZEK, is a cellular PVC that requires very specific skills and advanced technology to produce an exceptional, long-lasting end product. In crafting Akimbo the design and manufacturing team at Walpole Outdoors started with meticulous CAD drawings. Then, raw AZEK sheets were fed onto Walpole's CNC routers to ensure maximum accuracy, precise detail and repeatability.

At our Maine facility, AZEK cellular vinyl can be cut, routered, molded, and shaped with the same exceptional results that we have delivered to our fence and outdoor structure customers for generations, said Walpole Outdoors president, Lou Maglio. "We spent 10 years researching and testing wood alternative materials, laminating techniques, and advanced adhesives before choosing to handcraft with AZEK vinyl. Today, Walpole is the largest fabricator of AZEK cellular PVC in the country, Maglio continued. To finish the fun, user-friendly look of the Akimbo project, Sherwin-Williams donated the very best in finishing paints. Working closely with Sherwin-Williams, Walpole developed a unique factory in-line coating system with meticulous sanding and drying, to ensure complete paint coverage and a deep, rich, flawless finish. In conjunction with our partners, AZEK and Sherwin-Williams, we were delighted to help complete the highly creative Akimbo interactive installation. Along with Sarah, we look forward to seeing just how the attendees at Expo interact and have fun with the Akimbo pieces, said Maglio. 



Low Maintenance Structures For Planned Communities

When you are embarking on a complicated project finding a designer and supplier that can provide reliable, quality products is essential to getting things on time and under budget. With complex projects like planned communities Walpole Outdoors has provided a myriad of services and products that have delighted homeowners and developers alike. Whether you are looking for a grand entry gate into the community, a custom sign welcoming residents and visitors, large scale fencing, mail and lantern posts that will feature throughout the community or structural elements like pergolas and arbors Walpole can help.

Architects and developers choose Walpole Outdoors to help craft their planned communities for the quality products and flexibility of designs. Walpole products are crafted in low-maintenance AZEK wood alternative. This material has the look of painted wood without all the splitting and rotting that occurs over time. AZEK comes in factory-finished white but can be customized with Sherwin Williams vinyl safe paint to meet the exact color needs of the project. With such a large scale project that will require daily maintenance and attention providing a product that is virtually maintenance-free is highly desirable and one less thing to worry about. Walpole also works with architects and developers to craft custom designs that suit their exact needs so they can cultivate the perfect look for their community. Walpole specializes in working with developers design products that are unique like custom front entrance signage to products that require uniformity like mail and lantern posts that will feature throughout the community. In addition to fencing, gates, pergolas and arbors Walpole also supplies planned communities with options for storage including sheds, durable privacy fencing and small buildings as well as decor items like stylish planters and window boxes.

Give us a call at 800-343-6948 or request a free design consultation online to get started on your planned community. We will happily discuss our variety of products and styles to help you find the perfect structure for your planned community!


Preparing Your Yard For The Cold Weather

The seasons are-a-changing! Now is the time to pack up the summer supplies and start giving your garden and backyard a little TLC before the cold really hits. Preparing your garden and storage shed for the cold weather not only improves the look of your yard but also helps ensure a beautiful growth come spring.

Prepare The Garden

Prepare the ground by assessing the growth from spring and summer. Weed the soil, divide out overgrown plants, and remove under-performing bulbs. Trim back plants that have grown a little too much and remember to deadhead blooms that have faded with the cool weather. Also don't forget to remove the summer annuals and store them for the next season. The more prep you do now saves you from digging up frozen ground in the winter and rushing come springtime. Protect what's already in the ground by adding some fresh mulch and peat moss that can provide protection from the elements and add much needed nutrition to the soil.

Prepare The Lawn

To avoid a patchy look in the springtime take the time to work on the lawn. Once you've removed all the leaves (which can be a task in itself) you can give your lawn a good dose of nutrition with a natural fertilizer. Fertilizing now will enable the grass to store carbohydrates and grow better and greener in the spring regardless of how cold the winter gets. Now is also a good time to get rid of weeds that have taken root to make sure they die off with the cold. Use natural herbicides or other natural methods to spot remove weeds to keep your lawn healthy and only kill off the troublesome plants.

Prepare The Tools

Fall is an ideal time for a post-season tool cleaning. Disinfect tools after you have done your fall garden cleanup and put them away someplace where they will not get wet and rust also add a little oil to the metal and wood parts to keep them in good condition. Do a good once over in the shed as well! Check expiration dates on chemicals and throw away anything that will be expired in the spring or that looks suspect. Replace through the off season to both save money and be ahead of yourself next spring.



Enjoying The Last Days of Summer

It may be hard to believe but summer is starting to wind down. Kids are headed back to school and families are finally unpacking from their summer vacations. Instead of breaking out the fall sweaters savor every ray of sunshine left! Here's how you can get the most out of the last few weeks of summer...

Spend Evenings Outdoors

The cool weather of fall and icy weather of winter makes spending time outside when the sun goes down difficult and unpleasant. But don't put away the outdoor furniture just yet! Get as much use out of your outdoor spaces until you see the first frost blanket over the grass. Make it a point to eat dinner outdoors as much as you can while there is still a little bit of the sun in the sky. Enjoy the fireflies and crickets once the sun goes down by lighting a fire in your outdoor fireplace or fire bowl. Break out the marshmallows while you're at it! Try some unique recipes for smores... you will be amazed by just how many there are!

Get Some Sun

You may not be getting as much use out of the pool this late in the season but you can still enjoy sitting by the water. Now is the best time to catch a few rays (responsibly, of course). Move your weekend relaxation and lunch outdoors to catch the last few summer rays. Take a nap in the chaise or just read a book - the idea is to get out as much as you can before you have to retreat indoors.

Get That Fall Garden Started Now

Keep the flowers blooming well into fall by starting, or at least planning, your fall garden now. Carve out some space in your summer garden and start working the soil to accommodate your autumn blooms. Get the seeds started now so you have lush color right as the temperatures begin to cool. Start something new by adding a fall planter garden to your front entry! Find the perfect vessel and choose some of the best seasonal plants. Get them started outside now and transplant later or just start it off right in the planter. Choose from classic square or rectangle planters or go for a more unique shape like a tapered planter.



Creating the Best Staycation

One of the best parts of summer is taking a long trip to someplace unfamiliar and spending the time relaxing and forgetting about all of your normal worries. But sometimes you can do just that without leaving your home! We're talking about a staycation. Creating the optimal staycation is all about bringing those resort luxuries to your own backyard and hushing those reminders of work and responsibility. Whether you are on a budget or not you can create a memorable staycation with a little prep work and a true dedication to the art of relaxation.



The first task in any good staycation is turning off the alarm clock, disabling your calendar reminders and simply just shutting off your phone and putting it somewhere out of reach. With your work emails and messages only a click away it's hard for anyone to get any real time away aside from leaving the country. Once you've disconnected you have time to relax without the constant distraction of dings and pings.


Create a resort-like space

Since you will be spending a lot of time finally enjoying the warm summer weather you have to do a little prep work to create the perfect outdoor space. What are your favorite parts of going on vacation? If you love lounging poolside invest in a quality chaise that you can melt into. If you love spending time reading or napping set up a hammock in a quiet place and surround it with flowers and other accessories that make it feel a little more like an island resort than your backyard. Once you have that space created the only thing left is to use it!


Skip cooking (at least inside)

Put household tasks on the back burner and indulge a little. A great way to do this is by ditching the kitchen. Prep some indulgent meals and desserts for your staycation in advance or simply have them delivered so you don't have to lift a finger! If cooking is something you love simply move the kitchen outside to the grill or outdoor kitchen. Put your diet on hold and think vacation. What would you be eating at a resort? Indulge on delicious seafood and rich desserts. Plan ahead and create some >island cocktails by the pitcher that taste as good with lunch as they do with dinner!


Treat yourself

This is the perfect opportunity to take some time out and focus on you. Find a masseuse that makes house calls and enjoy a massage outside followed by a long dip in the hot tub. Play up that theme by turning your bedroom and bathroom into luxurious spaces with aromatherapy candles, plush overstuffed pillows, terrycloth robes and high thread count sheets. Organize all of your beach favorite books in a shelf by the pool so you don't have to move a muscle. Even better sleep outdoors under the stars! Bring comfy bedding outside and setup a wonderful outdoor bedroom in your backyard in a tent or under the kit pergola.



Wonderful Weathervanes

Nothing adds a classic rustic touch quite like a weathervane. No matter which was the wind is blowing a quality weathervane sits atop your home or barn like a small beautiful statue made to catch the sun. Every Walpole weathervane is made to last out of durable materials and careful craftsmanship in a variety of finishes. Out large collection includes nautical, classic and rustic pieces for every type of home aesthetic.


From fish to sharks and boats - even mermaids! If you are looking for a beautiful nautical weathervane you have looked in the right place. A beautiful way to dress up a Walpole cupola is with the Racing Sloop Weathervane. Crafted in polished copper this weathervane features a detailed sailing ship sat atop directional rods to ensure you always know where the wind is coming from. Or if you are feeling a little whimsical look at the lovely Mermaid with Starfish Weathervane. Crafted in either blue verde or polished copper this piece will make you smile for years to come and will serve as a great conversation piece. 


A classic choice for many homeowners is a weathervane with a swooping eagle or another bird in flight. Animals in motion make wonderful weathervanes and evoke the feeling of the blowing wind. A beautiful piece is the Blue Heron in Flight Weathervane which features a detailed heron gliding in the sky. This weathervane, crafted in polished copper, is a great way to embrace the grace and elegance of birds in flight. Another classic animal in motion is the Horse Weathervane. This piece showcases the magic of a galloping horse against the power of the wind. In blue verde or polished copper this piece is not just for horse lovers! 


There are a number of classic weathervane themes and styles that don't feature an animal or nautical theme. The Banner Weathervane is a great example of a classic image utilized to show the blowing of the wind. This piece suits any style of home and has a timeless appeal. When you think of a weathervane chances are the first image that pops into your head is a shiny brass arrow. Our Smithsonian Arrow Weathervane evokes that classic image with beautiful details in either blue verde or polished copper.



Easy Summer Cocktail Recipes

The invites are out, the grill is ready and the outdoor furniture is set up. Now there is one last thing to make your summer party one to remember - delicious summer cocktails! Getting creative is a great way to give your guests something to remember and talk about at every summer party to come. So grab the shakers and blender and create some fun and fruity summer cocktails for everyone to enjoy (alcohol optional, of course).

Kiwi Margaritas

Now here's a fruit you don't see utilized enough! Not only are kiwis a delicious snack, they also make a great base for a refreshing drink. This recipe for Kiwi Margaritas from How Sweet It Is is the perfect unique take on one of summer's favorite drinks. This recipe will require a little prep-work since you have to formulate your own kiwi simple syrup yourself (but don't worry, it's easy). Grab the food processor and a bunch of ripe kiwis and blend them until pureed. Combine water and sugar in a sauce pans and heat until the sugar is melted then add to the food processor with the kiwi when it has fully cooled and blend away! This syrup can be added to the drink depending on how much kiwi taste you desire. Combine with your favorite tequila, lime juice and ice in a salt and lime garnished glass and enjoy! 


Layered Lemonade Drops

Now THIS is a beautiful summer drink! Layered Lemonade Drops from Delish are simple delightful to look at and surprisingly easy to make. All you need is three different kinds of lemonade (mango, strawberry pink and regular), your favorite vodka, ice, strawberries and a blender. The key to making each glass look perfect is mixing and chilling each lemonade mixture separately and utilizing clear glasses. 


Cucumber Cocktail

It doesn't get much more refreshing than this. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has the right idea with the Cucumber Cocktail. This recipe is simple and can be served by the glass or pitcher at your next summer gathering. While this can be done by hand, having a juicer handy can speed up the preparation quite a bit. You simply need to create simple syrup with water and sugar and add in tonic water (or club soda if your prefer), fresh cucumber juice, lime juice and cucumber vodka. Add in mint leaves for an extra bit of freshness and garnish with mint, cucumber or lime wedges!



How To: Outdoor Entertaining

Now is the best time of year to throw the perfect summer party! From food to decor to company, outdoor entertaining is about creating a low-key environment for people to relax. Here are a few ways you can create the perfect summer party...

Create a comfortable space

Picnic tables and adirondack chairs are a summer staple but another great way to create an instantly relaxed space is to utilize deep seating furniture (or even couches and chairs from indoors) to create a feeling of luxury. Use colorful pillows and throws to create a cozy and inviting space under the kit pergola or on the deck. Grab an area rug and coffee table and bring the living room outside. This is the perfect time to break out those comfy cushions! Set up end tables with colorful summer flowers and pitchers of lemonade or fruity cocktails and enjoy. This set-up works great for an afternoon brunch or an evening enjoying life under the stars.

Light it up!

Nothing brings people together like a fire. You don't need a permanent outdoor fire pit or expensive outdoor fireplace to enjoy a cozy evening gathering, a fire bowl or stand-up fire pit work just as well. If you are looking for something simple and practical a fire bowl with a spark screen is a great choice. Enjoy the ambiance with added safety to protect guests and furniture from sparks. Another wonderful and more decorative choice is a fire pit with a decorative screen. Choose from the Orion screen or Full Moon Party screen. Each pit measures 30 inches so you can get the function of a fire pit while being able to easily change its location. Grab the smores! Adding a fire feature to your evening summer party is an instant way to bring every closer together.

Add some sweetness

If you love entertaining you've probably found a million ways to add some fun to your beverage menu. A great way to do this in the summer is to make simple fruited ice cubes for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Grab some of your favorite summer fruits and add them to water in your ice cube tray, it's as simple as that. Try some simple ones like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries while also trying out a few combination recipes like adding a little mint and lemon! These cubes will keep your drink cool while adding a splash of color and flavor (once they melt, of course).



Easy Summer Recipes

What makes the perfect summer day? Friends, sun, having fun in your pool or patio and delicious food. On a beautiful day you certainly don't want to spend too much time inside cooking so simple recipes for delicious dishes are always needed. Light up the grill, organize your outdoor furniture under the kit pergola and get cooking with these great ideas for some delicious summer get-togethers.

Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken Breasts

Who doesn't love chicken fresh off the grill? This dish from Rachel Ray has summer written all over it. Sweet and spicy this is a great and unique take on grilled chicken that virtually everyone can enjoy. All you need to make this dish are chicken breasts, onion, garlic, olive oil, honey, hot pepper sauce, pineapples, chili powder and lemon juice. Combine the ingredients for the glaze and brush onto the freshly grilled chicken. Grill the pineapples and serve them together for the perfect sweet and tangy taste. Pair this spicy and sweet dish with a grilled vegetable or summer salad and enjoy.  

Goat Cheese Zucchini Quesadillas with Grilled Corn Pico de Gallo

Loaded with summer veggies this Quesadilla recipe may look like something that takes a little skill but don't worry, it's surprisingly easy! This dish makes the perfect meal or when cut into smaller pieces a perfect snack or appetizer for a party. In total this recipe takes only 35 minutes from start to plate. The key to making the most of this recipe is getting delicious and fresh vegetables either from your garden, grocery store or farmers market. Corn, zucchini, squash and grape tomatoes should be in season and at their flavorful peak. 

Lobster Rolls With Corn and Celery

Summer always calls for seafood. Instead of buying those pre-made (albeit delicious) lobster rolls from a grocery store or deli try your hand at making them in your own kitchen! This recipe only requires eight ingredients (many of which you probably already have on hand) and is simple from start to finish only taking about 20 minutes to complete. You can use fresh lobster or frozen lobster depending on the availability of it in your area. This recipe would pair wonderfully with crunch chips or something a bit healthier like freshly grilled asparagus or corn on the cob. This recipe is not only the perfect dinner recipe but would work well at a party or even just for lunch on a regular work day. Celebrate any summer day with some amazing flavors.



Enjoying Your Pool Area

It's officially summer! That means that it is officially time to start enjoying your pool (weather permitting, of course). You can get some great use out of your pool and pool area beyond simply swimming in the water. With a few touches your pool area can be more relaxing, cleaner and ready for entertaining all season long.

Outdoor Shower

Keep the chlorine and dirty mess outside! A great way to transition from swimming to eating and entertaining without tracking dirt and water through the house is an outdoor shower enclosure. Imagine who much use this would get during your next pool party cookout! This is a fully functional shower with a great looking privacy enclosure in a variety of styles to suit your needs. Perfect for using after swimming or the beach or even if you just want to enjoy the weather a little bit more. These units are crafted from AZEK high performance wood alternative, are virtually maintenance free and can be customized to match your home. Choose from a variety of styles including free standing shower enclosures to units that are attached to your home. These units can also be installed on decks and are great to use with hot tubs and other outdoor water features.

Outdoor Furniture

Spend a little more time relaxing this summer by turning your pool area into an oasis. Forget plastic the lawn chairs this year and opt for something that will last years longer, look infinitely better and feel so much more relaxing. You need a chaise. Imaging laying back with a book or just getting some sun on the beautiful St. Tropez Chaise. This chaise is beautiful looking and perfect for catching some rays. Add a little side table and you won't need to get up all day long. If you are looking for something a little more cozy check out the Westchester Chaise. This chaise is made with room for two and the option of plush, comfortable cushions to take your summer nap to the next level.