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Ten Ways To Spice Up Your Yard For Summer

May 08, 2021

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Ten inexpensive and creative ways to spice up your yard for summer.

Come check out the DIY ideas and projects to give your patio and garden a makeover.

Cottage Style Garden With Pool

Last night, my husband surprised me and opened the pool. Greatest day ever.

Almost better than Christmas.

Well almost

Here on my long northeastern island, the winters are long and summer is fleeting, so we try to embrace every last second.

Even more importantly, from September to May, my waterview disappears and it makes me sad.

So when that awful green cover is peeled back to reveal that gorgeous, deep blue color, you'll find me smiling in the kitchen.

You'll also find me making plans for the garden.

Looking for inspiration.

Flipping through seed catalogs, surveying my beds, dreaming up new ways to turn my old junk into garden decor to dress the patio.

And this weekend is no different.

Of course, each year there are some new ideas, but there's always the old standbys. Tried and true favorites that keep me smiling all summer long.

Here's hoping some of our past DIYs will inspire you.

Ten Ways To Spice Up Your Yard For Summer

Small Red Bench In the Garden

1. Add A Trellis

I have to say that of all the things we've done in the yard, this one's had the most impact. A little bench, a little twine and in no time flat, our boring and bland garage door, was turned into a flower covered show stopper.

Don't tell the others...but I think it's my favorite.

Get the full trellis DIY.

Before And After Painted Patio

2. Paint Your Patio

Years ago when we renovated the yard, we agreed that a cement patio with wooden dividers was most appropriate for the age and style of the house.

We had the cement tinted brown so it appeared aged. We wanted it to look and feel like it'd been installed back in the 20's when the house was built.

Of course almost 20 years later, it just looked dingy. Not so charming anymore.

Replacing the patio would cost thousands, so instead, we painted it.

And now, it's fabulous all over again.  I love a quick fix.

It's a process that works great on steps, walkways, patios, stoops and porches.

Grab a peek at how to paint your own concrete.

Red and white garage door curtain

3. Add A Curtain

Have a shed, garage, cabana or coop in your yard?

Why not add a little fabric to cozy the place up?

We'd had a basic white sheer on our garage door for years. When it tore, I decided to replace with something fun and red. No surprise there.

The color brightened the window and added a little unexpected charm to an otherwise utilitarian door. Sometimes, it's the little things, that have the biggest impact.

You can make a curtain up your own with this simple pattern.

Metal Rooster Plate Rack

4. Add Some Unexpected Garden Art

When I found this plate rack in the thrift store, I knew I didn't have enough wall space for it in my tiny cottage.

But I had plenty of room for it in the garden.

It's a bit out of the box to hang a plate rack outside, but it looks perfect and adds some interest.

Check out how we mounted it.

White Bundt Baking Pan

5. Feed The Birds

I've always thought one of the best things about summer is the return of the animals, especially the birds. Suddenly, my yard is buzzing with movement and song.

To encourage my feathered friends to visit more often, I feed them.

What? It's just a little harmless bribery.

However, you already know that no ordinary bird feeder will do around here. So I opted for a unique thrifted one.

Check out my bundt pan bird feeder...and who popped in it for a visit.

Patio Chair with pillows and new slings

6. Replace The Slings On Those Old Patio Chairs

Our outdoor dining set is aluminum and fits perfectly on the patio.

Unfortunately, after many years in a full sun exposure, the chairs faded. New sets were thousands and we weren't excited about that.

Instead, we bought new slings to replace the old. I didn't even know that was possible.

It wasn't the easiest DIY, but definitely worth it. We saved the set and got a brand new look.

Here's the makeover and the process.

Frog Fountain In Pond

7. Add A Fountain

We have a very small pond in our yard. Very small.

However, the bright fish and sound of the water bring us great enjoyment.

Years ago, my husband turned a family treasure into a fountain and last year he did it again.

Take a peek at how you can turn virtually any garden statue into a fountain in minutes.

Zinnias In The Garden

8. Grow A Zinnia Bush

Zinnias are my favorite summer flower.

Their colors are outstanding, they look great in bouquets and the butterflies adore them.

A few years ago, my husband combined a bunch of different sized zinnias to make a bush of sorts and it's become a staple in our garden.

Here's the entire zinnia bush tutorial.

Creative Ideas For Galvanized Tubs

9. Add A Variety Of Planters

Several years ago, I asked a bunch of blogger friends how they used their old galvanized tubs and it's become my all time most popular post on Pinterest. And with good reason.

The ideas are brilliant and the container gardens are fabulous. I personally, pepper my vintage tubs around the yard, next to urns, whiskey barrels, ceramic and clay pots.

Want a peek at that popular post? It's right here.

Metal Lanterns On Patio Table

10. Bring The Inside Out

I treat my outside spaces as extensions of my indoor rooms. A lot of people do.

That means I put pillows, throws and rugs on my patio and porch. But let's be honest, it's a lot to drag some of that stuff in and out every day.

You know what you don't have to worry about? Lanterns.

So when I had some for indoor use that I wasn't actually using anymore, we coated them with Rustoleum and moved the candlelight under the stars.

Ambiance and no worries about a dewy morning or sudden thunderstorms.

It's a pretty self explanatory process, but here's the DIY.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to spice up your yard for those hot summer nights.

But I hope some of these spark your own brand of creativity.

At least I hope it will get you dreaming of days full of cold drinks on plushy patios, surrounded by colorful gardens and blue water views.

Because that's what summer was made for.

Don't you think?

Ten Ways To Spice Up Your Yard For Summer
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  1. Super ideas! The frog fountain is so cute. We still have tree trunks that have yet to be ground! :( I will enjoy your garden today!

    1. Thanks RIcki! That frog was a clearance Home Goods find, he was too cute to leave behind! Happy Mother's Day my friend. I hope you get time in the garden tomorrow!

  2. Great tips! This is the first summer in over 30 years I will not be planting a garden....just my herbs on my lanai. It feels great!

    1. There's no doubt that a yard is a lot of work, Penny. Sometimes a little too much! Enjoy your lanai!!

  3. Your garden always looks fabulous, Kim, but you know I am addicted to that morning glory wall..I'm getting in the mood also..xxoJudy

    1. From one cottage garden lover to another, Judy…bring on the summer blooms!! And thank you for your sweet words. xxoo

  4. Thank you for sharing Kim! I love the galvanized tubs... I am always looking for ideas to spruce up our yard since I can only seem to grow weeds around here. It's so sad! I am looking forward to seeing what I come up with having your help now! Thanks so much for the ideas! Enjoy your weekend

    1. So glad you found some inspiration here, Cara! Trust me, I don't have a green thumb at all. I'm not sure I could even grow weeds! My husband is the plant whisperer, I'm just the garden designer. I hope you'll share your garden with us!

  5. Oh I love the plate rack did I miss that originally?

    I have a zillion containers & this year I'm trying so hard to plant every single one but I don't think I'll get it done. I have plenty of flower & herb seeds to plant.

    1. Thanks Jenny! That plate rack has become one of my favorite things in the garden. The rooster just fits and I love the way the vines grow up and over it by midsummer. I envy your container collection. We used to have so many, but over the years they’ve broken, cracked or chipped to the point where we’ve needed to toss them. I’d like to add a few back, but I’m looking for unique ones now. And if I can find them the curb even better! Good luck with your planting and Happy Mother’s Day!!

  6. The frog fountain is adorable. Sounds like you will be getting some nice pool time. Now if the weather could just stay warm. Happy Mother's Day. xoxo Kris

    1. I hope it warms up quickly, Kris. In the meantime, I'm just happy to have my waterview back. I wish you a lovely Mother's Day my friend. Enjoy!!

  7. Things I didn't know - that you could paint a concrete patio (makes sense but I never thought of it) or that you could replace the slings on those chairs!
    I love your frog fountain, I also love zinnia's! We need to plant some this year.

    1. My husband put himself through college working construction so he was the knowledgeable one behind the concrete paint. I’m shocked at how well it worked. Google suggested the slings. We’d found a few old gliders at the curb and started investigating fixes and it took off from there. The frog was all me though…Home Goods…clearance. Shopping is apparently my strength! 😉

  8. Oh the pool looks great! Too bad it's not warming up much but it will soon enough.

    Happy Mother's day!

    1. I hope so, fingers are crossed for some hot weather and soon!

  9. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful, happy, sunshine loving ideas. With love from your very jealous friend down here in the Southern hemisphere, where it's chilly and the grass is turning that bleh brown color :D

    1. I don't know why I always picture you drenched in sunshine and balmy weather...even in fall and winter? I really have to study up on my geography...or meteorology? Either way, stay warm my friend.

  10. So many great ideas. The plate rack made me gasp, and honestly I never will look at all those plate racks I see in the thrift shops in the same way again. Totally thinking outside the box, Kim. I love that about you! Have fun with all your creativity in the garden, and enjoy that beautiful pool. We're experiencing cold days right now, but in a new days we should be back to warmer days and then I can get serious about dressing up my patio. Like you, I have lots of ideas. And now that I've seen your post, I have even more! Hugs, Nancy

    1. Nancy, you are always too kind. I just really wanted that plate rack and it wouldn't fit in the my mom always said, necessity is the mother of invention. I'm sure a plate rack in the garden is just what she had in mind. 😉

  11. These are all great ways to spice up your yard for summer Kim. How nice to have the pool opened up. Now we just need some nice warm weather! :)

    1. Fingers crossed for soon, Julie!! We went for our daily beach walk today and what a bummer…cold and rainy. Ick. Hope you had a lovely day!

  12. Pool Time... I love how you get excited year after year. It is like us when we bring the cross country skis out. Hee Hee!
    LOVE the ideas you shared.

    1. Thank you!! Well, I certainly don't have your green thumb, but I try in other ways. And between the two of us, we have the summer and winter activities excitement covered!! xxoo