As temperatures begin to warm up in most parts of the country, especially in areas where the weather may have had you cooped up for several months, yards, decks, and patios can feel like you've found extra rooms in your home. Whether it's an upper deck off a bedroom that can now serve as a cozy spot to start the day or a patio you can use as a second dining or family room, it's time to look at how you’ll use your outside spaces to get the most out of them this season.
Exercising Your Green Thumb
Chances are that along with your lawn, outside plants and other foliage could use a little love after experiencing winter weather. Start by clearing away any debris that may have collected. Then, rake your lawn to remove any thatch. After treating any weeds, look for areas that may need seeding. As the grass begins growing and filling in, sticking to a regular mowing schedule can enhance the restoration process.
Early spring is typically a great time to prune some of your shrubs and trim back any overhanging tree branches, particularly if they’re encroaching on walkways or play areas. Before pruning, research the optimal timing for your particular plants to get the best results. Some shrubs and trees respond better to trimming prior to flowering or even budding, while others are much more responsive after dropping their seeds.
Adding pots of hardier plants, like pansies, to your patio and throughout your yard can add some color before the rest of your garden is ready to bloom. As frost becomes less of a factor, move any outdoor plants that you’ve brought inside for the winter out into the fresh air and sunshine. As you do, examine the condition of the pots and replace any that are cracked. Also, some plants may have outgrown their current home and are ready to be repotted. Adding vibrant and aromatic flowers and plants, like petunias or a lemon tree, to your patio can also freshen up your layout.
From relaxing to entertaining, having the right furniture setup in your outdoor space can make it even easier to enjoy the warmer weather whenever the opportunity presents itself. Whether it’s been months since your patio set has had any use or just a few weeks, your tables, chairs, and loungers will probably benefit from a little sprucing up, even if it is just a good cleaning. Worn furniture can often be given a second life with a new coat of oil, stain, or paint. Be sure to check the labels to see which type of material they are recommended to be used on, but even today’s resin furniture can be safely recoated. For cushions and pillows that are still in decent shape, bright slipcovers can make them look as good as new and change the feel of your patio. You may even want to consider adding a few throws here and there for nighttime entertaining if temperatures dip a bit when the sun goes down.
From backyards and secluded decks to front porches, having outdoor living options is one of the great benefits of being a homeowner. No matter how you decide to liven up your space this coming season, with a little early spring prep work, you'll always be ready to enjoy some time outside!