Weather it’s the hot weather, the age of your landscape or you just want a change; a summer makeover can help you increase your landscape’s beauty. Put the “WOW” back into your garden with a few new plantings, garden art or other simple improvements.
Evaluate and Manage Existing Plants
Many established landscapes have a few or many overgrown plants. Sometimes the plants you
purchase perform better than expected or more often we try to squeeze too many plants into a garden or large plants into small spaces.
- Make note of plants in need of pruning & schedule time on your calendar
- spring flowering shrubs until right after they bloom
- deciduous plants while dormant – late fall through early spring
- evergreen shrubs like juniper, yews and boxwood in late winter or early spring when severe winter weather has passed
- Remove overcrowded plants that have lost their beauty or outgrown the space
- Replace unsightly plants with those more suited to the available space and growing conditions. Check the plant tag for details.
- Phase in plant removals and replacements over time to reduce the visual impact on the overall landscape
- Avoid future problems by following spacing recommendations on the plant tag
- Fill space between young trees and shrubs with annuals and perennials that can easily be divided and moved as the shrubs grow to full size
Spruce up the Lawn
Thinning lawn, bare spots and weeds can detract from the overall beauty of the lawn. Start now to improve the health and beauty of the lawn and overall appearance of your landscape.
- Mow high. Keep grass at least 3 to 3 ½” tall to encourage deeply rooted grass that is more drought tolerant and less susceptible to insects and disease
- Leave grass clipping on the lawn. They add water and nutrients to the soil. One season of clippings is equal to one fertilizer application.
- Overseed sparse lawns and reseed bare patches late August through late Sept
- Fertilize the lawn around Labor Day to help it recover from the stress of summer
- Replace struggling lawn grass growing under trees. Use shade tolerant perennials flowers and groundcovers for better results with less effort.
- Edge beds for a neater appearance and to help prevent the surrounding lawn grass from encroaching.
- Refresh mulch maintaining a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch on the soil surrounding trees and shrubs.
- Add new annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs where space allows
- Select plants with multiple seasons of interest with their flowers, fruit, fall color and growth habit.
- Include plants that attract birds and butterflies to the garden.
- Use trees and shrubs for shading you and your home, screening bad views and creating privacy.
Add a bit of sparkle
- Use garden art to fill voids left by failed plants, add a new focal point or enliven a weather worn landscape.
- Invest in a water feature such as a leaky boulder, bird bath or fountain to mask noise pollution, create a relaxing atmosphere and attract birds and butterflies to the garden.
- Update outdoor furnishings with new cushions, a few new chairs, firepit or complete dining set.
Invite the Birds into Your Landscape
Birds provide color and motion to the landscape year round. Plus most songbirds eat pests that damage our plants.
- Provide food
- Many plants provide nectar for hummingbirds as well as fruit, seeds and shelter for other birds.
- Increase the diversity of your winged visitors with the help of feeders. You will attract a variety of local birds, seasonal visitors and those migrating through your backyard.
- Add a birdbath for drinking and bathing. Place a few rocks in the bath for birds to perch upon when they just want to take a drink without getting wet.
Freshen containers or add a few new planters
- Replace tired annuals in your summer container with fresh plants.
- Add some dried materials to existing plantings for added color and texture.
- Purchase or create new container gardens and
- set them by the front door for a colorful welcome home.
- place them in the garden for instant color and a fresh new focal point.
Start your list of changes you want to make. Tackle a few of the easier ones or those with the biggest impact first. Once you get started you won’t want to quit.
Written by, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Gardening How-To with you!