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How to transition your outdoor space from winter to summer

How to transition your outdoor space from winter to summer

Apr 21 2016

Spring has sprung, which means the warmer months of summer are quickly approaching. Winter put backyard ideas like pool days, neighborhood cookouts and outdoor movie nights on the back burner, but now it's time to keep those concepts front of mind. Homeowners in Northern California in particular must brace themselves for the heat wave and also prepare their yards to enjoy those sunny days. Here are a few steps to take while your family anticipates summer:

Yard maintenance
If you're already on a roll with spring cleaning, then don't let those seasonal chores stop inside the home. Be sure to do some maintenance in the backyard as well. After all, you likely neglected landscaping duties during winter, and those plants, shrubs and trees need some TLC.

This Old House advised pruning branches that are either dead or damaged on your trees and shrubs to allow new ones to grow. Additionally, even if your perennials aren't damaged, still trim them down so they're about 4-5 inches tall.

Finally, take a look at your lawn. Did winter create unsightly dirt patches? Now is a great time to consider artificial grass installation. Synthetic turf keeps your yard brilliantly green all year round and never needs trimming, giving you back all the summer hours spent mowing.

Not only will these steps make for a more beautiful yard, but they'll also cut down the time it takes to care for your space when summer rolls around. This way, you can spend time with family and friends instead of maintaining your yard.


Hand cuts green bush with scissors.
Trim bushes before summer starts.


Take inventory of tools
While the aforementioned tips will give you back a lot of time, summer still requires some yard maintenance. This is especially true if you want your yard to stay nice or plan to garden, which is a great stress-relieving hobby. Take a peek in your shed or garage and evaluate the state of your tools. If anything needs to be repaired or replaced, do this before summer begins. Then, you'll always have the right equipment on hand.

Don't forget to check on the tools you need for fun summer activities. If you have a pool, do you have enough beach towels for your family and guests? Additionally, make sure your lounge chairs and rafts are still in good working condition for sunbathers.

Get out your backyard gear
One of the best aspects of living in Northern California is the location's geographic beauty. Whether your backyard sets up a picture-perfect view of the mountains or coastline, you'll want to spend plenty of time outdoors this summer. That means you need the right equipment.

Start bringing anything you put away for winter out to the yard. This includes any outdoor dining sets, lawn chairs, umbrellas and furniture. Completing this step early is important for two reasons: First, you don't want to struggle to set up your backyard space at the peak of summer when temperatures hit upwards of 90 degrees.

Second, if you have a good group of neighbors, you'll be ready to invite them over on a whim like if you see them on your morning jog or while unloading groceries. You've all likely enjoyed the inside of your home more than the outside for the past several months, and the start of summer provides the perfect opportunity to catch up with those who live around you.


Seashells in jars in living room.
Use seashells to create a beach theme in your outdoor space.


Set the scene
While the warm weather and sunny skies will certainly put homeowners in the summertime vibe, you can make some additions to help the seasonal transition along. Think of your backyard as an extension of your home - this space, too, can benefit from decor. Consider creating seashell-filled jars as the centerpiece on your outdoor dining set to go with a beach theme. On the other hand, property owners aiming to create a relaxation oasis may benefit from installing natural stone water fountains or hanging a swinging chair or hammock from the ceiling on their custom patio.

Don't forget your outdoor structures like pergolas or gazebos. Get these ready for lounging by setting up outdoor furniture and other additions. For instance, create a little privacy for open structures by hanging curtains.

Get ready for nighttime fun
Everyone's generally more relaxed during summer, which means homeowners and their families will enjoy the outdoors well into the night. Make sure you're prepared to host guests after the sun goes down by having a well-lit space. You can go with traditional outdoor lighting options like LED systems that line your walkways and patio. Otherwise, opt for an intimate ambience with twinkling string lights draped around your trees or railings, or carry on the beach vibe with lanterns.

While NorCal typically remains hot in the summer, temperatures can drop to the 50's at night. Outdoor fire pits provide enough warmth and light to keep everyone comfortable. So get outside, get gardening, and start enjoying your outdoor space for the summer months ahead

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