April 20, 2018

Get Ready for Summer!

It looks like summer plans to make an early appearance this year, which means it’s time to start creating that ideal outdoor relaxation spot!

Image from Better Backyards

To start with, ask yourself what your goal is for your outdoor space.  Do you plan to entertain a lot, or do you prefer quiet summer afternoons in the shade?  Can you keep up with maintaining elaborate gardening plans, or is something worry-free more your style?  Regardless, the first step to readying your yard for summer is to clean up any lingering winter messes such as downed tree branches, piles of dead leaves, or plants that didn’t survive the colder weather.  Shrubs or bushes may need to be trimmed and trees might need attention for dead or broken limbs.  Spread a layer of mulch in flower beds or gardens to discourage weeds and help retain moisture, pull up any early weeds, and generally straighten up the area.  This might include a quick inspection of lawn furniture and outdoor accessories to see what might need repairs or replacing.

Image from Patio Furniture Clearance

 

Next, consider how you can liven up your yard, patio, or deck.  A local garden center is a great place to find the right plants and flowers for the amount of sun and type of soil in your yard.  They can also advise you on which choices best fit the level of work and commitment you want to put into your garden.  You may enjoy a full vegetable garden and lush flower beds, or you might rather have colorful containers of easy-to-maintain flowers.  You can choose flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, herbs and vegetables you most enjoy cooking with, or simply the plants you most love to look at.

Image from Irrigation Direct

 

 

 

To update your patio furniture, you don’t necessarily need to invest in all new products.  Updating outdoor cushions or applying a fresh coat of paint can give your things a quick makeover without a big financial investment.  Adding a decorative touch with lanterns, new planters, or statuary gives your outdoor retreat added visual interest.  Small potted plants make wonderful accents for outdoor tables.  If you decide to go for a total upgrade, plan your purchases around your lifestyle.  If your grill isn’t up to the task of cooking for a crowd and you like to host summer cookouts, a bigger appliance could be a good investment.  Adding a fire pit is a great way to give your family a memorable way to spend warm summer nights, or maybe a hammock slung between two shady trees is just what you need to make your yard perfect.

Once your plans have been made and the work has been done, your only job is to sit back and enjoy your own backyard retreat!

Image from Kudzu.