How to Make the Most of Your Garden

A few days ago I wrote about summer maintenance tasks for the garden: weeding, mowing, and weed and feed for lawns. Today I’d like to talk about projects in the garden to enhance your enjoyment. If you’re lucky enough to have outside space at home, are you making the most of it? At this time of year especially, it’s so nice to get into the garden whether it’s to entertain friends, make memories with the family or just to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet by yourself. We all need a spot in the garden for a morning or evening drink. A place to sit and read or just relax and enjoy the view. When the weather is nice, the garden essentially gives you another ‘room’ in your home to enjoy.  Here are a few ideas that can help you create or improve your special space and make the most of your garden.

Red and Orange Daylily

Do you have a plan?

No matter the shape of your garden, you may have dreams of additions and deletions to your yard. This summer I am removing a garden bed that didn’t quite do what I wanted. My early plan 7 years ago had put the wrong plants in the wrong place. The flower bed is too hard to maintain, and this year I want to remove it and put in sod. Choosing the wrong plant is a mistake many of us make at one time or another. When I bought my home 12 years ago, I thought there were too many flower beds. It’s true and I compounded it with a new one. Now my plan is to simplify my garden. That will make it easier to maintain and will look so much better. I’ve discussed before about planning changes in steps makes it easier to finish. For more information about making or updating a garden plan, see Garden Guide With Printables. Whether you add flowering bushes or remove a dying tree, plan for the changes.

Add flowering trees like magnolia

Create or enhance “your” spot

For most of us, we want a spot to relax and enjoy being outside. Perhaps you have a porch, balcony, or patio where you have your favorite chair. No porch or patio? If you are not a gardener or DIY master, you can still have a spot. You don’t have to build a deck or patio. Take a comfortable folding lawn chair with pillows and place it on the mowed grass. I’d chose close to a tree for shade. The summer can get really hot in the middle of the day. What would you like to do to enhance your spot? How about a small side table for your lemonade?

A small patio table with an umbrella would be great for summer dining. Whether I sit on the porch, balcony, patio, or deck, I’d be sure to have a few pots of flowers around me. Buy a favorite at the beginning of the season and place it in a nice planter. Water frequently. If it wears out, buy another pot of flowers. By September, your last pot should be chrysanthemums.

Create a seating area

If you want to have a space for your family to enjoy being outside, create a seating area. No budget for expensive furniture? Check out the Marketplace on Facebook for deals. Make a cinder-block bench, add folding chairs with pillows, place several small side tables, or hang a swing from a tree or porch.

Paint fences, sheds and decking

Over time, outdoor wood can fade and look scruffy. In some cases, you might have had fence panels blow down over the winter, and the new wood doesn’t match the rest. A coat of paint really can smarten things up. If this is a problem in your garden, then it’s an easy fix. You can use a paint brush, but painting is much faster with a sprayer. If you like the rustic worn wood look, then skip the fence.  How about painting your shed or summerhouse a pretty pastel color? Sand down benches or any other wooden furniture and give them a fresh coat of paint. If you have decking down, it might need to be sanded and oiled to keep it at its best.  Below is a photo from Better Homes & Garden‘s post, How to Build the Garden Shed of Your Dreams. I would love to have that in my back yard.

Add a walkway

Finally, consider adding a walkway or path in your garden. A path adds both a pleasing design feature as well as function. It doesn’t have to expensive as I discovered when I first worked in my yard of my new home. A friend visited (a master gardener friend) who suggested a walkway from the driveway to the porch. I asked about the cost of the pavers and she suggested I use the leftover straight garden edging I already had. I just turned 2 of them on their sides to make small stepping stones. You’ll notice the stones around it. Several years ago I removed the stones and added grass. I had complicated a good idea. It works great with grass and the lawn guy uses a weed whacker around it. For lots of professional ideas on pathways check out Real Homes’ post, How to Design a Garden Path. You’ll notice in their photo below, they have a path with grass.

My Home Walkway Spring 2016

I hope these ideas inspired you to reconsider how you use your  garden. Find a spot in the garden, sip a cool drink, and relax. Thanks for coming by.

This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.


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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

3 thoughts to “How to Make the Most of Your Garden”

  1. Our garden is a work in progress and it is starting to take shape. I love the idea of “your” spot. We have made a little corner in our garden where it’s nice to sit. Every summer we paint our fences and the sheds. They always look so much better.

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