The official start of summer is hovering closer and closer. June’s days are increasingly long, hot, and filled with the promise of outdoor fun. It would be a shame to let this gorgeous weather go to waste by not utilizing hardscapes, patios, and decks to their fullest potential. You probably spent a healthy chunk of change turning your backyard into the perfect warm weather entertainment spot, and now is the perfect time to spruce it up for barbeques, cookouts, and corn hole. Here are a few easy (and cheap) tips on how to add a touch of summer flare to your yard, so you’ll be ready for whatever adventures this season brings:
Colorful Lawn Chairs
Chairs are a necessary but often overlooked party facet. They are most often drab, utilitarian, and they kind of just…sit there. Giving your trusty lawn chairs an exciting boost is easy: a can of brightly colored spray paint (pastels are especially great for summer) and any other decorations you think necessary (the most daring among us has even tried glitter glue) can quickly transform them from boring to bold. Plus, spray painting plastic or wooden lawn chairs is a fun afternoon activity for the whole family, just be sure to wear paint-hardy clothing (that stuff gets everywhere).
Wine Bottle Candle Holders
If your lifestyle is anything like mine, you probably have dozens of old wine bottles lying around your house, waiting for the opportune moment to be “crafted” into something useful. Well, this is that opportune moment. Once the wine bottles are cleaned off, you can decorate them with ribbons, twine, paint, or anything else you see fit. They make great candle holders, especially when bundled in the middle of patio table. They are a creative way of making your own DIY landscape lighting, and the soft glow of natural fire is the perfect complement to any summer night (for those who don’t drink wine, mason jars and tea lights are a great substitution for wine bottles and candles).
Not all of our gardens can look perfectly neat and structured all of the time. Container planting takes away some of the chaos inherent in open soil. Pots are tidy, simple, and decorative all on their own. When adorned with bright, summer flowers like marigolds, dahlias, and roses, they become even more spectacular. They’re also highly customizable; you can place and move container plants wherever you want. Perch several on a retaining wall or hang a bundle from your deck or patio. Fresh flowers are always in style.
Freshly Polished Walkways
Some of our clients will go ten or fifteen years without pressure washing their walkways and patios. Understandably, a pressure wash can seem like a daunting chore, but it’s really quite simple (and you can rent a pressure washer for cheap from almost any hardware store). Simply clear off the area you need to wash–removing all furniture and sweeping for debris—then apply the pressure washer steadily and evenly over all areas. It’s amazing what a bit of water can do. We recommend a pressure wash every couple of years or so.
Though the holiday season has long past, a well-placed string of golden Christmas lights retains its charm year round. Warm, inviting light is an essential feature of an effective outdoor space. Christmas lights are fun, versatile, and simple to install. We recommend hanging them off banisters, decks, and siding, or stringing them above your backyard to create a “glowing ceiling” effect.
Fire up the Grill
What’s a summer party without freshly grilled food? Admittedly, I am no expert at grill maintenance. Luckily, there are guides out there that can help even the most amateur of grillers polish, prime, and prep their machines for the ultimate test: a summer barbeque. After the grill is all ready to go, you can finally enjoy the best part of summer: relaxing outside with friends and family, eating good food and enjoying the fruits of your labor.