Summer is the time to really appreciate your garden, so let’s maximise your enjoyment by making the landscape look as spectacular as possible!

There’s nothing worse than finally sitting on your favourite sun lounger, only to notice how various parts of the garden aren’t looking as good as they ought to. If you think you’ve left it too late to improve your garden, don’t worry; here are some easy ways to improve it which will make a world of difference.

5 tips to transform your garden

  1. Photograph your garden as it is now. Photographs help you see the overall picture, which you can sometimes miss when you are actually in the garden. You can use them to look at your garden objectively and make any necessary changes.
  2. Cut back any untidy plants that have finished flowering (unless you live somewhere hot and dry, where you should wait until it’s cooler). Just a little bit of a tidy up does wonders to the look of your garden.
  3. Edge your lawn, preferably in a coherent shape, to improve the look and flow of your garden.
  4. Fill in any gaps with seasonal perennials or annuals in tubs. A big burst of flowers creates dramatic interest and livens up any dull spots.
  5. Strategically place focal points like benches, pots, urns and statues in key viewing locations. This draws the eye around the garden and creates visual full stops, bringing coherency to any unruly planting schemes.

Then it’s just a matter of inviting your friends and family around for a barbecue, while showing off your wonderful landscape. Oh, and throw a burger or two on for me please!

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Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 25 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    9 replies to "How to make your garden look spectacular this summer!"

    • Jenny

      I can’t help feeling that the photograph was taken in a Texas garden. Both those plants are staples of the summer garden. You are right about cutting back spent plants. I just spent the last 2 weeks doing that after our 5 week trip. It looked terrible with all the spring annuals gone to seed. It looks better already. I also back many of the blooming perennials now, despite the heat. That is because we really have two seasons in hot places and cutting back will mean a great fall garden, although with 15 consecutive triple digit days who knows what the fall will look like. Thanks for your advice.

    • Rachel Mathews

      It does look a bit like a Texan garden doesn’t it! A bit of a summer cut back and tidy up does make a huge difference.

      Really loved all the pictures you took of all the UK gardens you visited. For those that haven’t yet seen them, it’s a must to look at

    • Mike Korner

      OK, that is a seriously nice picture Rachel. It triggered a thought that may lead to a small piece of fence being added to a small flower/bird garden I constantly see out my window. I still want flowers that bloom 365 days a year. Kind of hard given that our temperatures (Iowa USA) go from -20F to +110F (-28C to 43C). But hey, a guy can dream 🙂

    • Rachel Mathews

      That’s an easy one Mike, you can indeed get those 365 days a year flowers, but I think they’re plastic! 😉

      There are some pretty hardy flowers, check out the plant picking tool for advice

    • It’s a great photo, I agree. It really shows how a simple plant arrangement can be pleasing to the eye. Rudbeckia and Echinacea are two of my favorite summer-time perennials – they are both native to Kansas and attract butterflies, which feed on the nectar. Rabbits just happen to love eating Rudbeckia, unfortunately. While I love the wildlife in my garden, I don’t appreciate rabbits eating plants I just bought. So, I have wire surrounding my Rudbeckias.

      • Rachel Mathews

        Thanks Alison. I know what you mean about the bunnies eating everything, I have had to do the same thing in a few gardens here, they can be a complete pain!

    • Great tips and great photo, I tell my customers that putting a lawn chair in your garden gives it character plus you can enjoy looking at it while sitting there sipping lemonade:)

    • Landscaping_Katy

      Very helpful, direct to the point post. The tips are so doable. I definitely agree especially with tip D on accenting with a burst of blooms as well as with creating focal points using outdoor furniture, urns, statues etc. All five of your tips will certainly give the landscape/garden a quick “facelift”.

    • Amanda Colberg

      I’ve just found your blog and can’t wait to read some more of your posts. Summertime is great for the garden. Great tips on keeping it looking tip top. I love the idea of taking photos to help plan for next year.

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