Looking for ways to improve the appearance of your garden? It’s time to start sprucing up the beds! Come tour the gardens with me while we chat about ways to tidy up the borders.

This is about the time of year when I start to think the gardens look messy.

I realize that is just me being a harsh critic, but summer is almost over and there is some work to be done to prepare for fall.

The bee balm is done flowering and starting to suffer from powdery mildew.

Echinacea is fading fast and falling over.

The Butterfly Weed seed heads have broken open and look unkempt.

Balloon Flower is almost done flowering and spilling over onto the walkway despite my attempts at staking.

Joe Pye is still doing great, but some browsing deer decided to snack on some of the foliage (I did not spray deer repellent on these this year and probably should have! Haven’t needed to spray them before. Ugh.)

Since I’ll be home this weekend, I plan to spend some time in the beds cutting a few plants to neaten up the garden before fall colors emerge.

As we tour the gardens this week, I’ll talk about what I will and will not cut back and why.

Let’s start sprucing up the late summer garden and preparing it for fall plantings.

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The Importance of Sprucing Up the Garden

Sprucing up the garden is a great way to improve the overall appearance and prepare it for the next season.

While it may seem like a chore, when it’s all said and done, it will have been worth the effort.

And it provides a great reason to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

7 Quick Ways to Tidy Up Gardens and Outdoor Living Spaces

There are lots of ways we can spruce up the garden.

Most of which, are very budget-friendly.

  • Clean-up garden edging
  • Prune or cut back plants
  • Weed pathways
  • Clean decks and patios
  • Paint and/or repair fences
  • Add more plants
  • General lawn care

Garden Tour 2019

During the 2019 growing season, I photographed and documented how my gardens grew weekly.

I shared the things I was doing, thinking about, and how things looked.

This is my garden diary.

And it’s amazing how much it’s changed since then. To see what the gardens look like now, CLICK HERE.

Sprucing Up the Front Yard Cottage Garden

The front entry garden’s summer show is starting to wind down.

As we inch closer to fall, the summer hues are fading and the muted blooms help the garden transition to fall color.

While this garden still looks pretty, it is starting to look a little messy to me.

Summer Perennial Garden

The Echinacea has really faded this week.

Notice how less vibrant they are but I love the autumnal vibe the fading blooms have.

Summer Perennial Garden

I love Sedum Autumn Joy this time of year.

Those chartreuse flower heads add color and texture to the transitioning border.

Notice how the flower heads are showing signs they are starting to pink up.

Summer Annuals and Perennials

I’m really happy I chose purple and yellow spring annual.

They help maintain color in the garden as the border transitions and will fit well with autumnal hues.

Summer Perennial Garden

Notice how much the Echinacea has faded.

I love this process because it helps the garden with its transition to fall.

Summer Perennial Garden

From this view, you can see how Echinacea is toppling over.

I could stake them but haven’t had time to run out to pick more stakes up.

This is why it is so important to prepare in early spring. Cause you’ll have everything you need on hand when you need them!

So buy your garden supplies early!

I’ll just wait for them to finish out their blooms and cut back the ones that are falling over.

Midsummer Flowers

I love the combination of Sedum, Black Eyed Susans, Russian Sage and Conefections Echinacea.

The fall vibe is growing…

Summer Perennial Garden

To get more fall color, I will add some fall annuals sometime in the next few weeks when the summer temps cool down.

Tip: I know they are out and available for sale, but hold off on buying mums for now – they can’t take the summer heat! It’s way too early for them.

Mailbox Garden Ideas

Quick Mailbox Garden Tour

Now that fall is approaching, I love how the mailbox garden looks.

I am really happy that I planted purple and yellow annuals in this bed.

They are going to look so good in the fall border until that first frost.

Annuals in the Mailbox Garden
mailbox fall garden
sedum autumn joy

Sprucing Up the Well Garden

The Well Garden is starting to develop that fall vibe.

The Zebra Grass is full-grown and adds movement to the garden.

And I love the color and texture it adds with the stripes on the grassy foliage!

The yellow and peachy orange annuals that I planted in spring are looking great with my Phlox, Coreopsis, and Sedum Autumn Joy.

It’s starting to look like fall!

Tricycle in the Garden

I love how Zebra Grass drapes over the tricycle like this!

The Phlox, Petunias, Sedum and still flowering Coreopsis are giving me the fall feels!

late summer flower garden ready for a spruce up
close up of late summer flower garden

Caryopteris is starting to bloom.

I love this late summer blooming shrub.

However, it struggled a little this year and doesn’t look as good as it should.

Butterfly Weed Seed Heads

Not the prettiest looking plant right now, but these are Butterfly Weed seed heads.

I noticed there are Monarch eggs on the underside of the leaves so although it looks messy, I will not cut this plant back.

Woodland Garden

The woodland garden on the side of my house is starting to look fall-ish.

Joe Pye Weed is in full bloom, the Cranesbill foliage is starting to change color and my Oak Leaf Hydrangea is just starting to bloom!

Have I mentioned how much I love that shrub yet?

Woodland Garden Ideas

Cranesbill is turning to a yellowish chartreuse color and flanks the blooming Joe Pye Weed.

I love how I can see the back border too – really adds to the fall vibe!

Woodland Garden Ideas
Joe Pye
Oak Leaf Hydrangea

I love Oak Leaf Hydrangea for it’s foliage and blooms.

The blooms look good through fall, but the foliage turns a beautiful autumnal color. Can’t wait for you to see!

Backyard Gardens Tour

I really love my backyard this year.

The borders look incredible and it’s so nice to sit in the different outdoor spaces with a different view of the gardens!

Sprucing Up the Backyard Border

It’s beginning to look like fall in the backyard!

The combination of Hostas, Joe Pye and Plume Poppies are transitioning this garden nicely into fall.

I’m happy to say that my Endless Summer Hydrangea is finally starting to bloom!

It is not going to bloom as it has in prior years, but I’ll take what I can get!

The New Jersey weather affected the blooms on old wood, so I’m happy to see them blooming on new growth.

To learn more about Hydrangea Care, CLICK HERE.

Shade Garden Ideas

It’s beginning to look like fall!

Hostas and Joe Pye are starting to bring the fall feels to the

Midsummer Flower Garden Ideas

Although the Plume Poppies are starting to fall over, I love the casual vibe they add to this garden.

Their plumes are starting to get a peachy hue that will add some fall color to the changing border.

backyard view
Endless Summer Hydrangea

I’m really happy to see the Endless Summer Hydrangea start getting some blooms!

Better late than never!

To learn why they struggled to bloom this year, CLICK HERE.

Fall Flowers
Love the fall transition happening with Sedum Autumn Joy and Joe Pye Weed.
The Blackberries are ripening!

Sprucing Up the Deck Garden

This is my favorite spot to be during the summer.

The garden views from the deck are spectacular and the container gardens look so lush right now!

outdoor dining on rustic dining table and wicker chairs with area rug
outdoor fireplace and wicker seating

The lower deck needs some serious sprucing up because the white wicker has seen better days.

It took me a few years to update this space but CLICK HERE to see what it looks like now!

Shade Container Garden Ideas
I love the pink Double Flowering Impatiens in this container but they can be a little messy!
Shade Container Garden Ideas
Apolis Global

Shed and Fire Pit Garden

The shed and fire pit garden is becoming another favorite spot.

It sits just outside my vegetable garden so while I’m out there watering, weeding and harvesting, I get to walk by this view a few times a day!

To see a video tour of this garden, click here.

Shade Garden Ideas

This is the walkway from the deck and patio area to the shed and fire pit garden.

The Reblooming Lilac is to the far left – it did not rebloom as much as I thought it would but I’m giving it time because this was the first year it bloomed since planting it years ago.

I’ve learned to be patient with plants.

Some take years to develop good root systems and bloom the way they are intended.

Shade Garden Ideas

This garden houses Sedum Autumn Joy, Double Flowering Impatiens, Maiden Grass, Mugo Pine, Leucothoe, Hostas, Solomon’s Seal, Catmint, Holly, Knockout Rose, and a Variegated Dogwood.

late summer flower garden ready for a spruce up
Midsummer Flower Perennial Garden Ideas
Smarthome 10% OFF Coupon SUMMER10

What Do You Think?

How is your garden doing this year?

Overall, I’m really happy with how well my gardens are doing and I love to see how it changes week to week.

I learn so much from taking snapshots each week!

What is your favorite garden in these tours? I would love to know  – let me know what you think in the comments here.

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summer garden in bloom with purple cone flowers and sedum autumn joy

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this week’s garden tour and appreciate you joining me! If you missed a few tours or want to see how the garden has progressed, you can see them here:

Thank you for following along. Happy planting – enjoy your day! xo

Stacy Ling bricksnblooms logo

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