April 17, 2017 Kim Cox

6 Ways To Get Your Backyard “Summer Ready”

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My loyal readers know that I previously published a post about the renovation of my back yard. As soon as I hit send, I knew I had created a problem…..

In my last post, I showed you the before and after pictures from complete overhaul of my backyard. We took a barren space and turned it into a backyard oasis, complete with an outdoor living room, enlarged dining areas and private spaces. To read the post and see the pictures, click here.   It is the best home improvement money I ever spent.  Then it occurred to me, now that I published the post and people have read it, what if they want to come over and see it?  I hadn’t done anything to my yard since last year and it was a mess!   I had dirty concrete, weeds in the  flower beds, and drab, sun beaten pillows and cushions.  It was time to get to work, and get to work fast.

I spent 5 days of non-stop work to get the backyard summer ready.  It helped that I had an event on Friday which created a drop dead deadline for me.  I will share with you ideas to get your outdoor spaces ready for summer.

Sprucing Up Your backyard In 6 Easy Steps


Take a look at your surfaces and hardscape. Does your deck, brickwork, or concrete need sprucing up? Rent or borrow a pressure washer and get to work. It’s really easy to do – the hardest part is starting up the pressure washer. After that, its mind numbing, going over your space inch by inch, but it is oddly satisfying. If you’ve got some time on your hands, this is a job you can do yourself – no skill required. It’s amazing what pressure washing will do for the overall look. It’s like looking at a picture that is beautiful but ever so slightly unfocused. After pressure washing, your beautiful backyard will appear crisp and pristine.


Take stock of your shrubs, bushes and trees. Every year, you should walk your property, taking stock of your trees and shrubs to see which ones are damaged or did not survive the winter. Remove all items, or parts thereof, that did not survive the winter. If a plant that is in a conspicuous place is damaged, go ahead and remove it, but don’t throw it away. Plant it in a less conspicuous place and maybe by next year it will have rejuvenated and you can use it to replace another dead or damaged plant. Also use this time to cut back any shrubs or bushes that may have outgrown their space.


Are your pillows and cushions faded from last year? If you are one of those people who take their cushions in every time it rains or when it gets cold, then you have no worries. For the rest of us, some of our pillows may need replacing. Pillows are a great way to add color and interest to an outdoor space.


Consider an outdoor rug. This is one thing can make a big impact on the look of your outdoor space. Rugs help to make our space look finished. You can also use rugs to define the look you want for your space, whether classically elegant or colorful and fun. You can also use rugs to creates different “spaces” as they can be used to define a dining area, or a cozy sitting area.

When was the last time you re-stained your deck? It’s soooo easy – with the right products. You will need to use a deck wash first.   You apply it and the stain just comes right off with a hose or pressure washer. Wait until it completely dries, then re-stain it again. Your deck will look like you just installed it!

Take a good look at your outdoor furniture. Chances are, none of it needs to be replaced, but it might need a little care. If your furniture is wrought iron or other metal, it may have rusted a bit. Give it a good scraping and then spray paint it with Rustoleum paint. It will look brand new. You can also paint wicker and other types of furniture. Follow your care instructions and make sure to use the correct type of paint.

By no means am I suggesting that you do all of the above work yourself – there is no “work shaming” here! Hire the help you need and let them do the “heavy lifting,” leaving the more pleasurable jobs for yourself. You will feel an incredible sense of accomplishment and get to enjoy the fruits of your labor to boot. This is a win-win situation.


Now just get out there and do it!  Then, relax and enjoy it!



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