Posts Tagged summertime landscaping

Enjoying the Early Summer

It’s hot hot hot!  Here are some fun ways to beat the heat:

– Get a hammock or a lounge chair and… lounge.  You can laze about in the sun or enjoy the shade with a good book or cold lemonade.

– Install a cool sun room.  If you already have a patio, get an awning and a fan.  Or, you can partially enclose your patio to keep the bugs out and just enjoy being outdoors.

– Let the sprinklers go and run through them like a kid.  There’s nothing wrong with a little summer fun.

– Install a water feature, like a little creek, fountain or pond.  The sound of running water can keep you nice and cool.

– Paint things with bright colors, whites, or cool greens.  Another option is to plant some nice shady greens or bright flowers.

Get a pool installed.  There’s nothing more fantastic than a nice cool pool in the summer time.  If you can’t quite afford a new pool, try getting an over-the-ground pool set up.

– If you have outdoor hardscaping, think about accenting it with tile, or installing tile flooring.  It’s a nice way to cool down an outdoor space.

– Get inspired by amusement parks and get those misters installed in your yard.

– Install a gazebo under a nice shady set of trees, or with its own shade.

What are your favorite ways to cool down?

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Summertime To Dos

Even though it’s only May, weather is showing us that summertime is coming to town.  Here a little list of things to get done in your yard before summer is officially here:

1. Break out the patio furniture.  If you haven’t taken out of your patio furniture yet, but if not, it’s time to dust off your chairs and tables, and set them out.

2. Speaking of patios… a great way to revamp your backyard is to revamp your patio.  You can go easy and get it cleaned, painted, and sealed – or do more and get cultured stone or stamped concrete installed.

3. Get your sprinklers ready.  Check that your sprinklers are providing full coverage of your lawn and plants.  If anything is broken, or you don’t have an automatic system, consider getting them fixed or installed before summer starts in earnest.

4. Find shady spots.  If you have trees or a gazebo, make sure you have a hammock or bench positioned beneath the shade for your weekend or evening enjoyment.

5. Think about gathering spaces.  It’s always wonderful to have family and friends over – and in the summertime they don’t want to be cooped up inside.  Decide what spaces in your yard are good for getting large groups together and figure out how you’d like to host them.  Do you want a permanent structure – like a firepit with benches or a gazebo?  Do you want a temporary awning that you can roll in and out as heat and sun bathing preferences change?

6. Get your plants in the ground.  If you haven’t gotten new plants in the ground, get them in as soon as possible, unless you plan to keep them in pots until fall.  Summer is not a great time to plant tender seedlings, it’s better to get them planted when the weather is still comparatively mild.

7. Consider what could accent your yard.  Bright pots of flowers, a bougainvillea covered fence, raised beds, a water feature, etc, could all make your yard unique.

Here’s to long, lazy summer days!

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Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

In summertime, it’s always fun to entertain outdoors.  Here are some fun ideas:

– Try out installing an outdoor kitchen by adding a barbecue area to your patio.  It’s a great idea to include a shady area, a table-top space, a fan, and more.

– Adding a fire pit is always a fantastic space for late-night get-togethers, family fun, etc.

– Install an entire outdoor fireplace and chimney to your patio area for night-time gatherings and marshmallow roasting.

– Put a putting green in your backyard.  Or, if you’d like a permanent lawn – try adding fake grass.

– Set up a hammock.  Even if you lack trees, you can still get a hammock with a shade installed into your yard.

– Have extra space? Try adding a shuffleboard or tennis court. Don’t have quite that much space? Try a jacuzzi or a permanent trampoline.

– Find fun outdoor games and set your space up for them.  For example, if your family likes slip ‘n slide, get your lawn sloped slightly and try not to get sprinklers installed right in the way.  If you want to play a yard game like horseshoes or bocce ball, set up a permanent space for your games.

Here’s to a fantastic summer!

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Keeping Cool and Enjoying the Outdoors – Impossible? Think Again.

We (meaning people with yards) want to enjoy the outdoors in the summertime, without needing an ice bath afterwards.  Is that even possible?  Will we ever be able to stop the extreme heat from ruining an otherwise beautiful day?  I say we can!

Here are some ways to do it:

1. Get an enclosed patio with air conditioning.  I know, this sounds extreme, but it’s actually a great solution to wanting to be outdoors without “being outdoors”.  A few other variations are installing a covered patio with a ceiling fan, or even getting a moat between your patio and the rest of the yard. You’d be amazed at what a professional landscaper can do for you.

2. Setting out a hammock.  Got two trees?  Are they close together?  Set out a hammock!  Don’t have two trees and really want a hammock?  Summer is not the best time to plant trees, but if you have room for them, consider planting a couple of trees this winter.

3. Turn on your sprinklers.  Get childish!  Enjoy a few runs through your sprinklers.  I’m sure your plants won’t mind the drink.

4. Install a water feature.  Cool down your yard with a beautiful water feature and enjoy the sound of running water, the feel of water trickling between your fingers and the general coolness of running water.

Do you know of some great ways to beat the heat?  Let me know!

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Time to Get Outside

The first day of summer is June 21st!  It may be hard to believe on these chilly, cloudy days, but the heat is coming.  I’m not sure what you do to prepare for hot, sunny days.  But, here’s a checklist for last-minute summertime preparations that I go through:

1. Clean the pool.  I don’t have a heated pool and there is no way I’m getting in when it’s cloudy outside, so I generally cover it until this time of year.  But, no matter how well I cover my pool, it still needs cleaning.  It’s time to either find a pool person, or get updated on your DIY tasks.

2. Prep the deck chairs, pull out the awning and generally make the deck spiffy.  There’s nothing better than sitting under the shady deck with a cold drink and good book in hand.  Except perhaps spending the night stargazing by the pool with all the lights off.

3. Speaking of stargazing – make sure your lights are all in good repair and your neighbors didn’t install a light that points right at your face in the middle of the night.  Warm summer nights make us want to stay outside.  To do this, we need light, but not too much light.  Make sure your neighbors didn’t install a new light that points straight into your backyard.  My cousins had this happened and they almost went blind each time they went outside to enjoy the night air.

A simple solution to this problem is to install some kind of shielding, like a tree, a wall or a large bush.  It’s a good idea to talk with a landscaper to find out which option best fits your yard and lifestyle.

4. Dig out any weeds growing between cracks.  Those weeds really sneak up on you.  It’s time to look at your yard with a critical eye.  Do you have weeds growing out of your foundation?  Between the bricks or cement in your pathways?  In any bare soil occupying your yard?  Yank them up if you can, or try grabbing a spade or trowel and digging them up.

5. Break out the barbecue!  I love barbecues.  I just had one and I mean to have many, many more this summer. Now is the time to clean up your barbecue and prepare it for a summertime of charcoally deliciousness.

If you’re really into barbecuing, realize there is a possibility of making this a year-round activity in Southern Calfornia.  It may get chilly, but it doesn’t usually get so cold that you can’t cook some food out doors. 

To enable your barbecuing needs, you can always get a barbecue installed permanently.  Another option for outdoor cooking is outdoor fireplace or a firepit

6. Clean up your garden.  This includes pulling any dead plants, any last weeds and installing any last-minute plants. 

Here’s to a summer filled with fun!

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