Whoo boy, what can I say?  It was a long winter.  And then spring hit with all of the rain.  I have done a little work in the back yard but nothing on the front patio.  My grill sits out there, lonely.  My table and chairs have been blown around.   And I have weeds coming up in the flower bed.

So now that we have some dry weekends coming up, I'm going to have to get out there and work.  Which brings me to this:  What have you been doing to get your yard ready for summer?  Are you planting anything special?  What kinds of foliage is working for you?  Do you fertilize your flower beds?  I need tips to help me bring my front patio area back to life.  I would love to hear what you're doing for your home outdoors this season!
Here are some patio tips I picked up from Better Homes & Gardens:
  • Use different textures of plants.  Too much of one thing can make for a bland patio.
  • Move the air around.  If you have a covered patio, add an outdoor ceiling fan.  They can really help make it more bearable to be outside come July and August.
  • Include lighting.  Exterior lighting such as along walkways or above a table help keep the party going after the sun sets.
  • Add a water feature.  A small fountain or birdbath make for soothing sounds or for attracting birds and butterflies.  And it helps build an oasis out here in the desert.