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Our Favourite Pre-Summer Landscaping Tips

By Rebecca Rowe

To make sure your home’s outdoor area looks great all summer (without having to risk heat stroke), all that’s needed is a few hours prepping this spring.

START YOUR PLANTING

Late September through October is the best time to plant most things. However, if you’re late to the party you can still put seeds and plants down in the next few weeks as long as you’re selective about what it is. Drought hardy or native specimens are your best bet so late in the year, as these are generally tougher, and quicker to take hold.

Flowering plants such as Grevilleas, Kangaroo Paw and Banksias are some of our favourites, plus they’re known to attract bees which may help your garden flourish, helping you with upkeep during the summer. Other options include tough shrubs such as the Pultenaea or Davesia, both of which should flower beautifully over summer. You only need to mulch and water deeply twice a week to help them thrive.

If any of your new planting struggle with the heat covering them with shade cloth will help them get through the hottest months alive.

KEEP YOUR COOL

Under a hot sun most pots tend to turn into mini-ovens. In the midst of a blazing Australian summer, this means all of your potted plants are at risk of cooking (especially if they’re in terracotta which holds heat particularly well).

There are few things more Australian than a family barbeque on a balmy summer’s evening.

To prevent this from happening stand your potted plants in wet sand. This will ensure they always have a cold drink of water on hand, while avoiding root rot and mosquito breeding which occur when standing plants in bowls of water.

If you miss a chance to water your plants and they dry out completely, cool them down by standing them in a bucket of water for 30 minutes then let them drain.

PLAN YOUR OUTDOOR BBQ 

There are few things more Australian than a family barbeque on a balmy summer’s evening, however, many of us are guilty of plopping the burner on the back lawn without any thought. Taking a little time to plan, landscape and design your outdoor kitchen could take it to the next level, improving your summer and even the value of your home.

Every great barbeque area has three elements: a kitchen or barbeque, a sitting area and a dining area. Regardless of the size of your garden these should all be clustered together so that you can easily entertain guests while cooking.

If you’re working with a small space set the barbeque and dining area up against the home, to improve indoor/outdoor flow. If you’ve got plenty space consider setting the area away from the home on a tiled or decked area to create another separate outdoor room that will really feel like an escape.

No matter how amazing your yard is it doesn’t matter if you don’t spend time enjoying it.

REVARNISH, PROTECT AND ENJOY 

During summer your home and garden will get a beating from the sun, which can cause serious damage if you’re not careful. For that reason now’s the time to look around your home and consider what you can do to protect your home from damage. These are a few good places to start:

  • Revarnishing your deck will help keep the wood from damaging and ensure it’s looking great all summer long.
  • Shading your most vulnerable plants and installing a sprinkler system will help keep your garden alive.
  • Buying a cover for the barbeque will make sure it stays in great shape for many summers to come.

Spending a quick day in the garden getting everything ready could mean a better summer for you and your family. It could even mean the value of your house increases, which isn’t a bad Christmas present to give yourself!

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