Summer Landscaping: Make your garden more inviting

Echeveria Galaxy (looks like E. Setosa to me) at Malvern Garden Show by srboisvert (CC BY 2.0)

Echeveria Galaxy (looks like E. Setosa to me) at Malvern Garden Show by srboisvert (CC BY 2.0)

As the days get longer and the temperatures higher, you can’t help but look for an escape to cool down. Sure you could run off to the beach, the pool or hide away at home with the AC blasting, but wouldn’t you rather enjoy your very own oasis in your backyard? That dream garden doesn’t have to only exist on your Pinterest boards. A little summer landscaping project will have you enjoying the fresh air this summer. Thanks to the experts at Flores Artscape, I’ve gathered some great summer landscaping tips that will get your hands dirty and your garden blooming. Whether it’s your front yard, backyard, patio or small balcony that needs some tender love and care, these five simple steps will have you lounging in paradise in no time.

1. Survey and declutter

Backyard, spring & summer 2004 by Tomathon (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Backyard, spring & summer 2004 by Tomathon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Start by surveying what you are working with and tackle a small portion at a time. Remove any debris or clutter that has found its way in the corners or walkways. Clip and clear the area of old bushes, dead plants or damaged trees. Once your area has been cleared you can have a better sense of space. This first step will help you see what works or what you would like in your garden.

2. Look for inspiration

Gat-Schaffer House
Find out what plants are native to your area

You might be tempted to head inside and search online for inspiration away from the heat, but actually you can find more realistic inspiration by talking a walk around your neighborhood or local gardening center. Check out what plants and flowers work best for your environment. For those of us in Southern California, you might want to explore drought resistant landscaping options that will survive the hot summer weather. After you’ve done your investigation around town, you may want to return to your pinterest boards to gather some ideas for DIY design and space planning.

3. Planning

Start by making a sketch of the space and consider how your choice of plants will grow over time. Estimate how large the plants will grow in a couple of weeks, months and years. Make sure they’re placed in areas that don’t obstruct views or walkways. Climate, pests, soil needs and timing should all be carefully reviewed for each plant you are considering in your summer gardening plans.

4. Design

Hammock awaiting visitors by Living in Monrovia (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Hammock awaiting visitors by Living in Monrovia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Now that your sketch is in place add some flair with gravel paths or stepping stones to open up your garden to others. Plan areas for outdoor summer parties, game nights or just afternoon naps. Simple DIY ideas like using concrete blocks as planters can make for affordable added flair. If it’s a small balcony space consider a hanging garden. Add mood lighting or a DIY firepit to the plan for those long summer nights. Patio furniture, a hammock or even just place to picnic could be perfect for creating a summer backyard getaway.

5. Plant & Maintain

succulents in a pot in a garden by ProFlowers.com (CC BY 2.0)
succulents in a pot in a garden by ProFlowers.com (CC BY 2.0)

You dug it  up, you drew it up now you just have to plant it. Water your plants as soon as they are in the ground and add some mulch to keep the moisture in. Invite your friends over for a summer bbq and to show off your summer gardening.  Remember to water your plants or yard early mornings and in the evenings for most efficiency. Keep weeds out and add more features as you go, soon you’ll be spending more time outside than indoors this summer.

What are you summer gardening plans? Share your your gardening stories below in the comments section.