Yeti, the Tailgate MVP

Every tailgater has a list of Must Haves. For some, it’s a portable grill and a lucky spatula. For others, it’s a favorite drink, crisp and cold. But no tailgate is complete without a cooler. From tender patties and fresh toppings to refreshing drinks and icebox desserts, a cooler keeps the tailgate essentials ready to play. Without a good cooler, a summer tailgate is nothing more than eating chips in lawn chairs. But a cooler—and the game day essentials it defends—takes tailgating from a halfhearted party to an epic celebration. Which cooler do you trust to stand by your side while your team gears up to win?

Yeti, the Ultimate Tailgate Cooler

burgers and dogs on grillWhether you’re tailgating a Braves game, a United match, or preseason SEC football, your cooler should be stocked to carry your team to victory. Yeti coolers are tailgating MVPs. They’re designed for peak performance, with a spacious interior, straps and handles for convenient transportation, and maximum ice retention. No need to fear that your burgers went bad in the 95 degree Georgia heat. Yeti can keep food cold for days. When you’re ready to eat, just crack open the cooler and get cookin’. Yeti coolers come with hard and soft sides, and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can even get a team decal to show off your team spirit. And when you buy a Yeti cooler from Ace of Gray, you get free ice for life!

Is your Yeti a game day essential? Let us know why you love tailgating with a Yeti cooler!

How to Plant a Garden Quilt

Do you want a fresh, classic, and eye-catching design for the spring garden? We’re inspired by an innovative take on square foot gardening. Gardeners are digging into the past and finding new mediums to transform garden plots into lush, living quilts. If you want the sense of accomplishment of stitching a quilt without the aching finger joints and stuck fingers, this is one garden project to put on your list.

How to Plant a Living Quilt

  • flowerbed quiltStep 1: Collect your materials. If you have a favorite quilting pattern gathering dust in a box of your grandmother’s things, the time has come. Gather your pattern, stakes and string, a raised square garden bed (or materials for building one), tools for planting, and annual plants that will stay relatively compact and bloom often.
  • Step 2: Using stakes and string, mark off your pattern in the flowerbed. This may be easier if you transfer your pattern onto graph paper and measure it out.
  • Step 3: Plant your annuals, giving them a little room to grow, but positioning them closer together than you would in a bigger flowerbed.
  • Step 4: Remove the stakes and string, water your plants, and step back and enjoy your handiwork. Snap a few pictures for Facebook and tag family members who will appreciate the significance of planting a garden quilt with Grandma’s heirloom quilting pattern.

Whatever garden project you’re tackling today, Ace of Gray has the tools you need to succeed. Visit our garden center for plants, gardening equipment, and lumber to build raised flowerbeds.

Flowerbed Quilt

How to Organize the House (from Top to Bottom)

You’re up to your elbows in cleaning solution, diligently scrubbing at the baseboards, when you catch sight of the pile of junk shoved behind the armchair. You can’t clean around it, but if you move it, it will just migrate to another forgotten corner of the house. Ace of Gray has you covered. Learn how to organize your home (without going crazy).

Entryway Organization

  • Hang a double hook for each member of the family. Kids can hang their coats and backpacks, while parents can hang up jackets, seasonal accessories, and purses or briefcases.
  • Shoe cubbies keep clutter contained and prevent kids from tracking mud through the house.

De-Clutter the Kitchen

Don’t store stuff on the counter. You’ll only wind up with a messy-looking room (and a lot of crumbs under the cookbooks). Instead, maximize storage space by hanging hooks, magnetic strips, or small baskets on the inside of cabinets and doors. Store dry goods like cereal and flour in glass containers to minimize on unsightly, awkwardly-shaped boxes. Organize your pantry by type to keep food from getting lost or going bad.

Banish Bedroom Mess

  • backpack on comforterUse the hanger trick to weed unused items out of your closet. Turn every item of clothing to face one direction. After you wear and wash something, put it back facing the opposite wall. In 6 months, donate any items still facing the original direction.
  • Use chic storage boxes to hide clutter like dress shoes, winter scarves, and other items that don’t fit in your dresser.
  • Don’t have shelves in the closet? Invest in flat boxes for under-bed storage.
  • Store jewelry and accessories out of sight in a cute bowl or jewelry box to keep the bedroom clutter-free.

A More Beautiful Bathroom

  • Wall storage is a great way to utilize your smallest spaces. Hang hooks, shelves, or cabinets to hide clutter.
  • Organize items in a cart or small tray to skip the under-the-sink madness.
  • Organize the linen closet by type (sheets on one shelf, towels on another). Reserve floor space for baskets of odds-and-ends.

Need to get your house in order? Visit Ace of Gray for simple storage solutions.

6 Indoor Gardening Tips for Apartment-Dwellers

Your living space shouldn’t define your ability to garden. Flex your green thumb (no matter how small your home may be) with these gardening solutions for apartment-dwellers.

6 Gardening Tips for Apartments

  1. vertical gardenGo vertical. Don’t have space for an indoor vegetable garden? Get inspired by creative vertical gardening ideas and watch your tiny apartment burst into bloom.
  2. Hit the roof. If you’re lucky enough to have rooftop access to your apartment building, you have plenty of useable space for growing light-loving plants, potted trees, and other plants that may have a hard time flourishing indoors.
  3. Hang around. Hanging planters aren’t just for idyllic Southern patios. Hang a few well-placed planters in the kitchen for easy access to herbs and spices. Find brightly decorated pots to incorporate hanging greenery into your living room decor. If you have a balcony, you can take advantage of the roof overhang to give hanging planters better access to unfiltered sunlight.
  4. Short, squat, and in a pot. Container gardening allows apartment-dwellers to cultivate their favorite blooms small-scale. Do you have a balcony or patio that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight? Pot dwarf roses and enjoy!
  5. Hang out the window. What’s an easy way to make your apartment stand out from the crowd? Window boxes! Plant window boxes filled with spring flowers, an herb garden, or strawberries.
  6. Plant wisely. Want a plant that will add life to your apartment without requiring a lot of care? All succulents require to thrive is water every 10 days and 2-4 hours of direct sunlight.

Transform your apartment with fresh, vibrant herbs, succulents, and seasonal flowers. Visit Ace of Gray for plants, fresh tips on apartment gardening, and the materials you’ll need to build a DIY vertical garden.

3 Easy Grow Shrubs for Spring

Is your inner gardener waking up from hibernation? Spring is just weeks away, and there’s no need to hold back your green thumb anymore. Plant these easy grow shrubs for a sensational, stress-free landscape. It’s time to make spring bloom!

Lacecap Hydrangea

If you want to flex your gardening muscles, hydrangeas are our top pick. They’re delicate, voluminous, and thrive in well-drained soil. What’s the fun part? They change colors based on the pH of your soil. Play around with the acidity of your soil to change hydrangeas from pink to blue (or a purply mix of the two). The more aluminum in the soil, the bluer they’ll be! A few pro tips:

  • It’s easier to change hydrangeas from pink to blue than vice versa, so keep that in mind when you purchase your plants
  • White hydrangeas won’t change color no matter how much you amend the soil

yellow daylilyStella D’Oro Daylily

These smiling, sunny flowers make us happy just thinking about them. Add a dose of warmth to the spring landscape by planting them in early to mid spring. Make sure they get full sun to light shade. These lovely lilies love smiling at the sky!

Knockout Rose

Easy to grow, hard to kill, and with a flair for the dramatic, knockout roses are one of the most popular plants for springtime. Just don’t decide “low maintenance” means “no maintenance.” They still need water, fertilizer, and enough sunlight to thrive.

Did your favorite low maintenance spring shrubs make the cut? If not, visit Ace of Gray and share your favorite plants for the spring landscape.

Plan Your Spring Garden Redesign

As winter ends and nature awakens, you might consider improving the look of your yard. One of the main challenges of spring landscaping is having the right vision of what your garden design could look like after the changes are made. Ace of Gray can provide expert advice about outlay, color, type of flowers and shrubs, maintenance, feeding, tools, or anything else that can help create a quality landscape.

Garden Design Tips

bird bath and flowersDo you have a feature in your yard that stands out? A fountain, outdoor fireplace, dining area, or anything else that draws the first glance? Shrubs can be strategically planted around your outdoor entertaining area in patterns that are pleasing to the eye, creating a personal space for your family and guests.

If you wanted to add some color to your landscape, annual flowers are available in every hue imaginable. While perennials are better value for money, adding various annuals each year allows you to find your preferred color through experiment and testing. The most popular annuals are petunias, zinnias, impatiens, and marigold. Some more exotic choices include cleome, lisianthus, Joseph’s coat, or gazania.

Plant arbors, birdbaths or other ornamentals now. When the flowers grow around them, your hardscaping elements will look twice as nice.

5 Spring Landscaping Tips

  1. Always prune hedges and clean up winter debris like dry branches, leaves, and dead plants.
  2. Apply pre-emergents to prevent weeds from developing.
  3. Check the condition of irrigation equipment and tune your lawnmower regularly.
  4. Keep the lawn watered to ensure the healthy growth of new grass.
  5. Mow any cool season grasses like fescue.

The new plants are at gentle stage of beginning of their growth. Applying these tips now can contribute to your garden displaying its full potential throughout the year.

Is Your Garden Ready for Spring?

If you want your garden to look beautiful this spring, the time to start prepping is now. Check out these spring lawn care tips to get your garden ready for a gorgeous spring.

Give Your Tools a Bath

After being used to dig in the dirt, it is no surprise that garden tools get messy fast. Prepare them for another season of hard work in the garden by giving them a good scrub. All you need is some soap and water. To keep your gardening tools in top shape, do this at the beginning and end of gardening season, plus any other times that they get especially dirty. While you’re cleaning your tools, rubs some mineral spirits on any wooden handles. This will help keep the wood from splintering as you do your spring gardening. Early spring is also an excellent time to tune-up your lawn mower or get a professional service.

Tidy Up the Garden

Your carefully maintained garden can become a bit of a mess during the fall and winter. Clear away any branches, leaves, and debris that may have accumulated over the last few months. It is important to do this task early, before the weather really starts warming up. You don’t want to risk damaging or disturbing any bulbs and plants as they start to sprout. You should also apply pre-emergent herbicides well before weeds start sprouting.

Prep the Soil

organic garden sprinklerThe soil will play a critical role in supporting your garden throughout the spring and summer. Give it the care it needs before you begin planting. Start by using your pitchfork and rake to turn the soil over. Remove any weeds you find. A few weeks before you begin planting, add compost or manure. This gives it time to integrate the nutrients into the soil and prevents the fertilizers from burning your plants’ roots.

How to Get Involved in National Bird Feeding Month

Attracting winter birds to your yard is a great way to help protect wildlife. It also adds color to a dreary, lifeless landscape. February is the most difficult month for wild birds to find the food and shelter they need. There’s no better time to dust off those bird feeders!

National Bird Feeding Month

February was declared National Bird Feeding Month to help wildlife survive the harshest part of the winter. How can you get involved with backyard birding?

  • bird feederBuild a buffet. Just like people, the way to a bird’s heart is through its stomach. Attract colorful birds to your backyard by putting out winter bird feed like sunflower seeds, cracked corn, fruit, mealworms, and suet. Ace of Gray sells bird feeders, but if you want to get creative, these DIY bird feeders will look as good as they’ll taste.
  • Provide shelter. Animals need protection from the elements, especially in winter. Buy a bird feeder from Ace of Gray or plan a fun weekend project and teach your kids to build their own.
  • Let them splash around. Who wants to take a bath in the bitter cold? Birds! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should drain your birdbath. Not only will birds still splash around, birdbaths are a vital source of water for many winter birds. Keep the water from freezing by putting a handful of pingpong balls in the water. If it’s in the shade, move it to direct sunlight to keep it warm during the day.

National Bird Feeding Month is a great way to teach kids about winter birds, help with wildlife conservation, and add vitality to a dull winter landscape. Visit Ace of Gray for backyard birding supplies.

The Sweetest Valentine’s Day Gifts

Not sure what to get that special someone this year? Valentine’s Day can put a lot of pressure on relationships, no matter how long you’ve been together. But you have an ace in the hole! Ace of Gray has every Valentine’s Day gift you could ask for.

The Valentine’s Classics

woman and heartsDoes your S.O. love the classic romance of Valentine’s Day? So do we! Every year we get creative with well-loved gifts like chocolate, teddy bears, gift baskets, and fresh bouquets from our in-house florist. You can even personalize presents with monograms. And we deliver! Surprise your spouse with their favorite flowers at work or send your daughter a box of candy at school to show her you’ll always be her #1 supporter (and supplier of chocolate).

Tough Lovers

Does your loved one prefer muddy boots to chocolate kisses? We can help! Our gift center isn’t all hearts and roses. We also carry practical gifts that will show the adventurer in your life how much you care. Buy his and hers hiking boots and plan a night of camping just for two, or get your husband that Stihl leaf blower he’s had his eye on. It’s a gift for him and a gift for you. After all, acts of service is one of the 5 Love Languages!

Crafts and Kisses

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones made with care. Do you have a dozen DIY gifts pinned online? Get crafting! Ace of Gray has craft supplies and building materials to make your DIY Valentine’s Day gifts a breeze.

Whether you’re a romantic planner or a last-minute shopper, Ace of Gray has what you need to make this Valentine’s Day a success.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Brighter This Year

A brand new year is just over the horizon, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve made our pacts to drink more water, eat fewer cookies, and spend more time with the people we love. But something is missing . . .

5 Home Improvement Resolutions for 2017

  1. woman painting the houseDon’t call the pros (unless it’s a specialized project). We wouldn’t recommend redoing your home electrical system unless you have some serious training, but things like fixing the garbage disposal, repairing drywall, and fixing a leaky faucet are much simpler than they appear. Save money and fix it yourself!
  2. Cut the energy bill. Double check that your HVAC system isn’t leaking air (and wasting your money). Seal any holes or cracks you find, and consider insulating your heating and cooling system. Dial back the thermostat when you’re not at home to save even more.
  3. Go big when you go home. Even if you live in a tiny house or apartment, you can make a small home feel spacious with a few simple interior design tricks.
  4. Don’t delay. We’ve all been there. “I’ll do it tomorrow” turns into “I’ll do it next week,” and soon your critter problem is out of control. Don’t delay on important home improvement projects this year. You’d be surprised at how much money and stress you save.
  5. Grab a coat and go outside. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you’re stuck inside. Use this opportunity to build a backyard fire pit or finish those deck renovations you started last summer.

Visit Ace of Gray for home improvement tips and tools.