What is Sugi?

Sugi wood refers to the timber obtained from the Japanese cedar tree, scientifically known as Cryptomeria japonica. Sugi is a large evergreen coniferous tree native to Japan and is highly valued for its wood, which possesses various desirable qualities.

Sugi wood is renowned for its straight grain and exceptional durability. It has a pale yellow to light brown color, often with subtle reddish tones. The wood has a fine texture and a moderately low density, making it relatively lightweight while still being sturdy.

One of the notable characteristics of sugi wood is its natural resistance to decay, insects, and fungi. This inherent durability, combined with its strength, makes sugi wood highly sought after for a wide range of applications. 

Apart from its practical uses, sugi wood holds cultural significance in Japan. It has been utilized in the construction of temples, shrines, and traditional Japanese houses for centuries. The aromatic scent emitted by the wood adds to its appeal and has contributed to its usage in various cultural ceremonies.

Sugi wood is a valuable resource, and sustainable forestry practices are employed to manage its cultivation and harvesting. The popularity of sugi wood extends beyond Japan, as it is exported to other countries where its exceptional qualities are highly appreciated.

In summary, sugi wood refers to the timber obtained from the Japanese cedar tree. It is renowned for its durability, straight grain, and natural resistance to decay. Sugi wood finds applications in construction, furniture making, and traditional crafts, while also holding cultural significance in Japan.

When comparing Sugi wood to Western Red Cedar, there are several similarities and differences to consider:

  1. Species and Origin: Sugi wood comes from the Japanese cedar tree (Cryptomeria japonica), which is native to Japan. On the other hand, Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) is found primarily in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, including parts of the United States and Canada.
  2. Appearance: Both Sugi wood and Western Red Cedar have appealing aesthetics. Sugi wood typically has a pale yellow to light brown color with subtle reddish tones, while Western Red Cedar showcases a vibrant reddish-brown hue that can vary in intensity. Both kinds of wood have a fine texture and straight grain, although Western Red Cedar may have more pronounced grain patterns.
  3. Durability and Decay Resistance: Sugi wood possesses inherent durability, making it resistant to decay, insects, and fungi. It is renowned for its ability to withstand harsh conditions. Similarly, Western Red Cedar is highly durable and naturally resistant to decay, rot, and insect damage. Both kinds of wood are suitable for outdoor applications and have a long lifespan when properly maintained.
  4. Density and Weight: Western Red Cedar is known for its low density, which contributes to its lightweight nature. Sugi wood, although generally lightweight, has a slightly higher density than Western Red Cedar. This slight difference in density can impact its weight and handling characteristics.
  5. Uses and Applications: Sugi wood is commonly utilized in construction for framing, siding, flooring, and interior finishing. It is also employed in furniture making and traditional Japanese crafts. Western Red Cedar is highly valued for outdoor applications such as siding, decking, and fencing. It is also used in boat building, roofing, and interior paneling.
  6. Scent: Sugi wood emits a pleasant aromatic scent, adding to its cultural significance and appeal. Western Red Cedar is also known for its distinctive aroma, which is often described as a sweet and earthy fragrance.


Both Sugi wood and Western Red Cedar are highly regarded for their durability, natural resistance to decay, and versatility. The choice between them often depends on regional availability, local preferences, and specific project requirements.

Read More

 Getting Ready for Gardening with a Greenhouse: Your Ultimate Guide!

Gardening enthusiasts often face the challenge of growing plants in unfavorable weather conditions or limited space. Thankfully, the solution lies in setting up a greenhouse—a controlled environment that allows you to extend your gardening season and cultivate a wide variety of plants. Outdoor Living Today offers a range of high-quality greenhouses that can enhance your gardening experience.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps to get ready for gardening with a greenhouse, with a special focus on incorporating Outdoor Living Today’s greenhouses into the process. Prepare to create an optimal environment for healthy and thriving plants with the help of Outdoor Living Today’s exceptional products.

1. Selecting the Right Greenhouse

Choosing the perfect greenhouse from Outdoor Living Today’s selection is the first step. Consider the available space, budget, and the types of plants you wish to grow. Outdoor Living Today offers various sizes and styles to suit your needs from our 8×8, and 8×12 Cedar Greenhouses, to the less traditional, and more modern Sunshed Models which are available in 8×8, 8×12, 12×12, and 12×16 sizes.

2. Site Selection and Preparation

Identifying the ideal location for your Outdoor Living Today Greenhouse is crucial. Select a spot that receives maximum sunlight throughout the day, preferably facing south. Clear the area of any debris or obstacles that may hinder construction or plant growth. Ensure a level foundation and consider installing a weed barrier to prevent unwanted vegetation from encroaching on your greenhouse space.

3. Sustainability 

Western Red Cedar is a sustainable choice. It is harvested from responsibly managed forests in Canada and the United States, which means that the production process has a lower environmental impact than other materials. This is because the forests are carefully monitored and replanted, ensuring that the ecosystem is protected for future generations.

4. Climate Control and Ventilation

Maintaining optimal temperature and ventilation is vital for successful greenhouse gardening. Outdoor Living Today’s greenhouses are designed with ventilation features, such as adjustable roof vents, allowing you to regulate temperature and humidity levels.  Adequate airflow helps prevent disease, mold, and pests while ensuring optimal plant growth.

5. Irrigation and Water Management

A reliable watering system is essential to keep your plants adequately hydrated. Consider installing a drip irrigation system or misting nozzles to deliver consistent moisture. Regularly monitor water levels and adjust irrigation accordingly. Rainwater collection systems, such as rain barrel kits, also offer eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives to conventional water sources. Proper drainage is equally important to prevent excess moisture, which can lead to root rot or fungal diseases for your plants.

6. Soil and Plant Selection

Choosing the right soil and plants is crucial for greenhouse gardening success. Ensure your Outdoor Living Today greenhouse has good-quality, well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. Conduct soil tests periodically to monitor nutrient levels and pH balance. Select plants suited to the greenhouse environment, considering temperature, humidity, and light requirements. Start seeds indoors and transplant them when they are ready. Alternatively, Outdoor Living Today’s greenhouses can accommodate young plants purchased from nurseries for faster results.


By incorporating Outdoor Living Today’s exceptional greenhouses into your gardening endeavors, you can elevate your greenhouse gardening experience. Follow the essential steps outlined in this guide to prepare for gardening with a greenhouse, while utilizing the features and benefits offered by Outdoor Living Today’s quality products. With careful planning, proper site selection, climate control, irrigation management, and thoughtful plant choices, your Outdoor Living Today greenhouse will become a haven for healthy and flourishing plants, providing you with year-round gardening enjoyment. Happy gardening with Outdoor Living Today!

Read More

The Benefits of Western Red Cedar: Why it’s Worth It 

When it comes to building materials, it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest option available. However, choosing a more expensive material like Western Red Cedar sourced from Canada and the United States can be a wise investment in the long run.

1. Durability

Western Red Cedar is known for its durability and resistance to rot and decay. This means that it will last much longer than cheaper alternatives like White Cedar or Chinese Fir, which may need to be replaced more frequently due to weathering and other forms of damage. Not only will this save you money on replacements, and repairs, but also reduces the environmental impact of constant resource extraction and processing over time.

2. Premium Appearance 

Western Red Cedar has an attractive, natural appearance that adds value and visual appeal to any project. The wood’s distinctive grain and warm color create a timeless aesthetic that cannot be replicated by cheaper alternatives. This makes it a popular choice for outdoor structures like decks, fences, and pergolas, as well as for indoor features like ceilings and accent walls.

3. Sustainability 

Western Red Cedar is a sustainable choice. It is harvested from responsibly managed forests in Canada and the United States, which means that the production process has a lower environmental impact than other materials. This is because the forests are carefully monitored and replanted, ensuring that the ecosystem is protected for future generations.

4. Economic Impact

 Lastly, let’s discuss the economic impact of your purchasing decision.

By choosing this material, you are supporting the local economies of both the United States and Canada, as well as helping to create and sustain good-paying middle-class jobs within the forestry industry.

In Canada, the forestry sector is a major contributor to the country’s economy, accounting for more than 200,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars in economic activity each year. Similarly, in the United States, the forestry industry supports over 2 million jobs and contributes over $300 billion annually to the country’s economy.

By choosing Western Red Cedar sourced from Canada and the United States, you support the livelihoods of those working in the forestry industry, including loggers, sawmill workers, and others involved in the supply chain.

This benefits individuals and their families and helps boost local economies and creates a ripple effect throughout the broader community.


Choosing Western Red Cedar sourced from Canada and the United States is not only a wise investment in terms of durability, aesthetics, and sustainability but also a way to support the economies of both countries and create and sustain jobs within the forestry industry.


Read More

A pergola is a beautiful structure to have in your lawn. It makes a wonderful focal point that you can turn into anything space you want – an outdoor dining area, a party space, or just a place where you can relax and enjoy a lazy day. To give your pergola privacy, one of the best ideas is to use plants. And the magnificent news is that there is a wide variety of beautiful climbing plants that you can grow. They will cover your structure and they require minimal care.

Top Pergola Plants

Here is a look at some of the best plants to choose for your pergola:

  • Passionflower – Passionflower is a climber that is exotic and has intriguing white and purple flowers. It grows fast, quickly covering garden structures of all types. If you live in a cold region, you can choose varieties that are frost hardy. For a striking effect, pair passionflower with an early-blooming clematis.
  • Clematis – Homeowners love clematis as it is a climber that is easy to grow, beautiful and colorful, and relatively lightweight. It starts blooming in early spring. You can combine this beautiful climber with climbing roses for a burst of color and quick coverage. You can also combine different varieties of clematis plants that bloom during different seasons.
  • Wisteria – This is another favorite among homeowners when it comes to climbing plants. However, you need to keep in mind that wisteria needs sturdy support and a little maintenance to make sure that it looks its best at all times. This fragrant beauty also requires full sun to thrive.
  • Honeysuckle – Honeysuckle flowers have a nostalgic fragrance and become stronger as dusk sets. There are more than 180 different species and almost all of them are creepers. Honeysuckle is a large vine that grows at a rapid rate. You can plant one honeysuckle plant and easily cover your pergola in no time.
  • Jasmine – Jasmine is without a doubt one of the most intense flowers. You can smell its fragrance from far away. If you love flowers with a strong scent, this is the one you should pick for your pergola. In regions with a warm and humid climate, this magnificent flower blooms throughout the year. In cooler areas, you can grow it as an annual plant.
  • Grape Vine – One of the best plants for pergolas, grape vines do not just give you privacy and shade but juicy fruits too. You can grow this in just about any type of climate. Grape vine varieties are native to Central Asia, South West Asia, America, and the Mediterranean, so you can find a diverse variety to choose from. If you want a beautiful climber that bears fruit, this is definitely a great choice.
  • Trumpet Vine – Called the trumpet vine because of its gorgeous trumpet-shaped flowers, this is another beautiful choice for a pergola. You will trumpet vines that flower in a variety of colors such as red, orange, and yellow. These flowers attract pollinators like hummingbirds and bees. It grows best in full or part sun. Trumpet vine is a beautiful choice for garden structures such as pergolas, trellises, etc.
  • Bignonia – Also known as cross vine and trumpet vine, bignonia is a breathtaking choice for pergolas. It has delicate bell-shaped flowers and is a fairly vigorous plant. It grows extremely well in USDA zones 6 – 9 and tolerates moderate to mild frost. It can also grow in tropics as long as you give it shade from the afternoon sun.
  • Sweet Pea – This is a fragrant vine that has delicate flowers and it looks beautiful in all types of garden structures. It is a salient choice for pergolas. Keep in mind that you should not grow the bush-type varieties if you are considering sweet peas for your structure. Make sure that you plant them in well-drained soil and in the sun. Sweet peas grow best in warm regions in fall and winter. If you are in a warmer temperature area, plant this beautiful, sweet-smelling vine in the spring or summer.
  • Bleeding Heart and Tropical Bleeding Heart – With beautiful heart-shaped flowers, this exotic-looking flower is another excellent choice for your pergola if you are looking for a climber for shade. Bleeding heart requires an area with partial sun and moist soil. It is suitable for cold climates and can be grown in USDA Zones 3 – 9. Tropical bleeding heart, also known as glory bower, has flowers that resemble the bleeding heart and thrives in warm temperatures like USDA Zones 10 – 11.

As you can see, you have a plethora of choices when it comes to climbing plants for your pergola. Other exquisite climbing plants include butterfly pea, climbing hydrangea, bougainvillea, ivy, golden hops, morning glory, kiwi, and many more. Make your landscape even more striking by adding beautiful climbing plants to your pergola.

Make your own Garden of Eden. Make your own little paradise. You only live once. You can make your backyard look like it should be on the front page of a magazine. And perhaps it should!

Read More