When people think of summer landscaping, their first thought it usually to add a pool, followed by a pool house. The next most common additions/renovations are barbecue areas and then patios. However, these landscaping projects take a long time to complete and can be quite pricey. If you have neither the time nor the budget for something of that scale, you shouldn’t push it.
Thankfully, there are other ways to get your backyard ready for summer. Summer landscaping isn’t necessarily limited to pools and patios. Here are several other projects you can do to get your backyard ready for summer that won’t take up as much time:
Put Up Shade
Obviously you can’t enjoy a nice, tall glass of iced lemonade if you’re just frying under the sun. The first piece of summer landscaping you want to tackle is the shade in your backyard.
- If you don’t have shade, you need to put one up
- If you already have shade, you need to extend it
- A few picnic umbrellas will do in a pinch, but you should seriously consider investing in an awning,
- a pavilion or gazebo, a patio cover, or a pergola for decoration and long-term shade
Add More Seats
Once you’ve got shade put up, start looking into your seating arrangements. Even if you don’t have a pool or barbecue area, you can still enjoy a good old-fashioned summer cookout with your friends and neighbors. Adding more seats can give such gatherings a comfy, more relaxed atmosphere.
- As with picnic umbrellas, lawn chairs and plastic chairs will do in a pinch
- If you’re willing to invest, we recommend lounge sets, patio sets, or practical, sturdy benches in statement colors
Add More Color
Psychologically-speaking, the best way to keep your mind off the summer heat—and all the discomfort that comes with it—is to distract yourself with aesthetic pops of bold, happy colors. Instead of staring at a boring white picket fence or walking down conventional—but bland—gray stone paths, pick up a paint brush, a can of paint, and reinvent your backyard.
- Paint your fences and lawn chairs a summery blue or happy green
- Paint white stones different colors (or simply dip them in paint cans) and use them to create bright, colorful borders for your plants or walkway
- Place bold accent pieces (i.e., fun throw pillows, quirky centerpieces, large coffee table books) in and around your outside sitting or lounging area
Mulch Instead of Water
Because it’s summer, it can be very tempting to just switch the sprinkler system to max, set it to a timer, and hose everything down. However, this is a good way to waste water and potentially overlook plants that actually need extra tender loving care. So instead of going overboard with water—and sending your utility bill through the roof—go crazy with mulch instead.
- While water adds moisture, mulch retains it
- Spread as much mulch as you can around your plants and flower beds
- Mulch can give gardens a richer, more finished look
- Watering deeply is still one of the best things you can do for a healthy garden, so do that before laying the mulch down
Tropical bulbs, like caladiums and cannas, make beautiful additions to any garden year-round. However, they truly shine during summer, as they grow faster in heat. They are also cheerily colorful, which ties in quite nicely with our earlier tip to add bold, pigmented spots of color around the garden.
- Popular tropical bulbs include canna, elephant ear, curcuma, and trumpet lilies
- Let your backyard explode by planting them en masse or placing whole beds of them around your garden
- Alternatively, put them down in planters and arrange them to create a more structured, organized effect