(BPT) - Hooray for a holiday. You've got the day off, you've sent out the backyard barbecue invite and all your nearest and dearest are coming over to eat, drink and be merry.
So, what's next? Whether you're a seasoned entertaining pro or a new host, The Home Depot has tips to make your backyard an oasis for a long holiday or any weekend.
A week before
About a week before the long holiday weekend, check off your heavy cleaning jobs like power washing, mowing the lawn or cleaning the grill. Whether you're washing the outside of the house or the back patio, new innovations like the Ryobi 3100 psi Pressure Washer make the job a breeze. Powered by an 187cc Honda engine, it has five spray pattern adjustments and a 25-foot hose - making it easy move around freely and customize water flow for different areas.
With the neighbors over, you want to be the envy of the neighborhood where the grass really is greener. Give it a fresh mow and clean up the edges with a hedge trimmer. Outdoor power tools that use the latest technology like the Ryobi ONE+ Lithium Ion Hybrid Trimmer make the job easier. The battery charge lasts four times longer, the tool is lighter and easy to maneuver.
Cleaning the grill used to mean getting a bicep workout, but simple cleaning products on the market today make it a lot easier. An example would be a non-toxic, multipurpose cleaner like Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner and Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro Magic Eraser - versatile enough for your grill, patio furniture, car rims and hand tools.
If you're in the market for a new grill, it's time to strike while the iron is hot with great holiday deals - a Brinkmann 5-Burner Gas grill is $399 with a free propane tank. You'll look like a gourmet using this grill with its 634-square-inch cooking area - it can handle burgers, veggies and your other sides all at once. Color is a huge trend in grills this year - the Brinkmann 5 Burner makes a stylish statement in copper while other grills, like the Aussie Walk-A-Bout, pop in cheerful bright red.
Nothing is more inviting outdoors than some fresh flowers in pots or in the garden. The Home Depot offers easy options like the new Drop 'n Bloom flowers or stress-free design options like Thriller, Filler, Spiller. For Thriller, Filler, Spiller, choose your favorite large plants - the thriller - to serve as the focal point. Smaller plants - the filler - are used to fill in the space between the focal point plants. Finally, low-growing, cascading plants - the spiller - are used to cover the ground of the garden.
The day before
Prep your decor for tomorrow. If you're looking for a creative way to display your American flag, try a DIY project like The Home Depot's DIY American Flag, made from lumber. This folk-art inspired flag is an easy project to complete in 24 hours. Look to Pinterest for table inspiration and know that a beautiful tablescape doesn't have to be expensive. Combinations of burlap, mason jars filled with wildflowers and potted plants are beautiful and inexpensive. Small, clustered arrangements aren't as pricey as large floral arrangements and make a bigger impact. Buy your supplies today and check off any last-minute cleaning projects. Prep your arrangements and water the plants - one less thing to deal with tomorrow.
Weekend time: Relax and barbecue. Congratulations on being the envy of the block. With all the prep work you've done, all you have to do today is decor detail. Assemble your table and check off the last of your finishing touches. Now, put your feet up on your patio furniture and wait for the guests to arrive.