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Finds for the porch and patio from local shops

Published 08/17/2011 12:00 AM

BIRDHOUSES, license plate, $38

Natural twig, $25.95

I was so inspired on a recent walk through my neighborhood. There is this amazing little castle, no joke, it really is a castle. But that is not the spectacular part. Not only does the owner keep his grounds pristine, but he must love birds.

He has to have at least a dozen different birdhouses scattered about his property. All of them are immensely different. I thought, "What a precious idea!"

So I am stealing it, and starting my own eclectic birdhouse collection with these two beauties.

Wish me luck!

— Kara T. Walters

The Lyme Tree

Woman's Exchange of Old Lyme

(A non profit shop) — license plate

86 Halls Road, Old Lyme

860.434.7290

The Bowerbird — natural twig

46 Halls Road, Old Lyme

860.434.3562

www.thebowerbird.com

ONION LIGHT, $359.95

This light is too beautiful to pass up.

Called a "wall lantern," it's made of solid American brass and was constructed in New England. At 20 inches tall and 12 inches wide, it's the perfect fixture to shed just enough light on your deck. The barn carries other Colonial-reproduction lanterns and period pieces as well.

— Katrina T. Gathers

Saybrook Country Barn

2 Main St., Old Saybrook

860.388.0891

www.saybrookcountrybarn.com

FIRE COLUMN, $250

For the last six weeks, the DIY Network show "Yard Crashers" has been on constant rotation in my home. I can't understand why every back yard has to have a "water element" but the hubby assures me I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Anyhoo, I'm all about funky lighting and accessories, so it was exciting to see this greeting me right inside the store's front door. The bowl on top is filled with lava rocks, which give off both light and warmth, the latter which can come in handy on a chilly summer night.

The adjustable flame is powered by a 15,000 BTU propane tank that is stored inside a small door on the side of the column. The clerk assured me that one tank would last roughly 15 to 20 hours, more than enough time to get your relax on in the great outdoors.

— Katrina T. Gathers

Holdridge Farm Nursery

749 Route 117, Ledyar

860.464.8400

www.holdridgegarden.com