Presumably, as you read this, summer has already arrived,
and you are outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Summer in Canada, is a short and
much-anticipated season (particularly this year!), and when it finally arrives,
we need to make the most of it.
Not just going to the beach/cottage/trailer or whatever your
escape might be on the weekends, but everyday, doing our best to bring the
outside in, and spending our days outside as much as possible. Consider running twinkle lights along fences,
railings, or around windows, to extend your outside time into the evenings. It’s surprising how much warm light those tiny
little bulbs provide. We tend to forget how lovely it is to sit outside in the
evening and enjoy the summer scents and warmth, until June or July comes around
If you have a yard, a deck, or a balcony, then you no doubt
already have some kind of outdoor furniture allowing you to eat, entertain, or
soak up the sun. If you haven’t already,
make the effort to clean out winter’s mess, dead leaves and old shovels, put
them out of sight, and winter out of
your mind for as long as you can.
Both metal and melamine furniture can be given a freshening
with spray paint. Just make sure to
lightly sand or roughen (I use a metal brush) the surfaces, and prime before
painting, to ensure a season or two of good looks. Cushions should be stored in sheds or deck
boxes, or covered up when not in use for more than a few days, to avoid
additional clean-up and fading.
Disguise unpleasant views or features with trellis,
umbrellas, or hanging pots for a quick fix.
If you own your home, consider investing in more permanent
solutions. It will not only add to your
own enjoyment, but will certainly increase the value of your home.
Take pictures of the outside of your home and yard during
different stages of the season, and consider what is needed to enhance the
“curb appeal”. Is it fresh paint or
hardware around the doors and windows, some added lighting around entryways or
in the landscaping? Maybe your walkways
need new stones or pavers, or your fencing needs maintenance or added privacy.
If you are a gardener, like me, then you have already been
digging, planting, and weeding for the past 3 months. Take a look at your gardens and plantings
over the summer as objectively as possible to see what areas may need
altering. Many plants outgrow their
alloted space and need to be separated or moved to a more sunny or shady area.
Visual interest such as statuary, fountains or water features
can be added and highlighted to create focus or deal with a difficult spot. Consider flowering trees or shrubs. Not only beautiful to look at, breath in, and
potentially eat berries or fruit, but a source of nectar to attract birds and
I like to draw a plan of my house and yard, and plan the
various areas for walkways, gardens, borders, play areas, storage etc., and
then work towards my plan as time and money allows.
If you are not the type to spend a lot of time working on
your property, or need help visualizing and planning the space, there are many
landscaping and gardening companies and professionals in the area that can
assist you with anything from the full landscape package, to recommendations on
plants or colours, and everything in between.
Whatever the activity or pastime that means summer to you
is, get out there and dig it, float it, or tan it! Live life outside while you can, and make
some memories for the long cold months to come.