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How to Get Your Outdoor Space Ready for Guests

Blair Brown — Aug 23, 2022

Warm weather means graduation parties, Mother's Day and Father's Day celebrations, backyard cookouts and more. And a well-designed landscape can add beauty to your gatherings and ensure your outdoor spaces are ready for guests. But, you may not know where to start – from design to planting and beyond, the entire process can seem a bit daunting!

Luckily, we’re here to help. We have top recommendations and tips to guide you through the entire process.

How to Upgrade Your Garden 

First, keep in mind that spring and fall are the best times to plant. You can technically plant any time of the year, but the milder temperatures of both seasons make it a lot easier to layer and scope out the most ideal areas in your garden.

And it's important to know which type of look you want. We recommend working with the design of your home to start, and planning the area you’d like to improve. Check out the quick video below for some patio improvement tips to help you get started! 

Creating a Backyard Flower Bed

If you're not sure where to start, select a few foundation plants to add to your existing scheme. These are the basics that will provide the framework for your entire garden. And though color and tons of blooms are amazing, the best selections will be those that are simple and uncomplicated. Look for greenery, preferably foliage that's evergreen, in a clean, simple silhouette.

After all, a backyard flower bed can be the perfect backdrop for outdoor hangouts (and give you an Instagram-ready backdrop for photos).

Boxwood Plantings

1. Wintergreen Boxwood

Flank your driveway, walkway border or property line with a row of Wintergreen Boxwoods. With these beauties, you get an elegant, structured look without much effort or cost. Wintergreens are also great for plant bed backdrops. Wintergreens pair perfectly with perennial flowers and roses, and if yard space is limited, they're ideal for tight spaces.

2. Thuja Green Giant

The best part about Thujas? Blocking neighbors while taking very little yard space. But the other huge perk is that Thuja Green Giants grow in a uniform shape and height. So, you get that classic French Renaissance look without having to prune or shear, and you get a strong framework with which to plan your garden. Use Thujas for property borders and green fencing - flowering shrubs and bushes in front of Thujas are perfect for a complete, layered look.

FGT Tip: Select the 10-pack of Thujas for a ready-to-go display and the easiest planting process. You can knock out your foundation planting with one easy package!

3. Azalea Shrubs

If you’re looking for a combination of evergreen backdrop color and pops of spring vibrance, consider planting Azaleas along your walkways, foundations or entryways. Azaleas bloom reliably in the spring and deliver a rainbow of color that’s second to none. Plus, they’re virtually carefree – it’s no wonder they’re such an enduring spring staple!

Adding Interest to Walkways and Entryways

Got the basics down pat but looking for extra interest? Creating a beautiful walkway or entryway ensures your guests are wowed as soon as they arrive at your home, and adding a few colorful plants here and there should do the trick. Whether you’re looking for a more polished, manicured look with roses or prefer the wild, cottage garden look of wisteria, we’ve got you covered.

Wisteria Vines

1. Wisteria Vine

A fast-growing vine that grows full purple flowers up to 12 inches long, the Amethyst Falls in particular delivers a graceful show of shimmering beauty. And since this variety is a sterile plant, it won't take over your yard like similar types. Take it from us: there’s no plant quite as ethereal and dreamy as Wisteria to upgrade your entryways!

2. White Lies™ Rose

From colorful hedging along driveway borders to containers alongside your entryway and cut stems indoors, the White Lies Rose is unlike any other. With the White Lies, you get double the color (and the look of a professional rose garden) in one easy-to-grow plant.

Hydrangea Blooms

3. Endless Summer® Summer Crush® Hydrangea

Living up to its name, this variety gives you the full, big-leaf growth and dimensional blooms of the classic hydrangea you know and love, just in a brand-new shade. Featuring a reddish-pink tone that’s not usually seen from this specimen, this vibrant plant with its second-to-none splash of color is accompanied by impressive, easy growth and heat tolerance, too.

Elevate Your Patio Plantings

Last but not least: the patio! The patio and porch areas are almost always central to entertaining, carrying you from spring events to fall get-togethers with ease.

And the good thing about elevating your patio space is that the plants you choose can move indoors or outdoors, giving you extra versatility in your garden scheme.

1. Ice Cream Banana

A fast-growing, cold-tolerant variety, the Ice Cream Banana Tree is known for its hardy strength, delicious taste, and eye-catching blue fruit. Plus, you get a tropical look that thrives almost effortlessly since this tree boasts substantial leaves, a strong trunk and well-developed root system that holds up well against the elements.

2. Moonglow Juniper

These are perfect for creating an elegant backdrop along your patio or porch. The Moonglow’s dazzling blue, shiny foliage delivers a unique silvery display. And this Juniper is totally adaptable with a dense growth habit and easily-trained branches that make it an excellent protective barrier.

Gardenia Blooms

3. Double Blooming Gardenia

Place them in pots around the patio as topiaries or plant in your garden to create your own personal paradise. Emitting a wonderful fragrance that greets your guests in any space, this tree is second to none with pretty white petals and shiny, deep green leaves that maintain their brightness for months at a time.

How to Plant Flowering Shrubs

You've got your spring garden planned out, and you’re ready for all the celebrations of the season. Now, it’s time to roll up those sleeves. Not to worry – the planting process is actually pretty simple and similar for most of our flowering shrubs.

Crape Myrtles

First thing’s first: select a location with well-drained soil and adequate sunlight for each variety. Most plants prefer about six hours of sunlight daily. Hydrangeas will like a bit of shade, though (any area with approximately four to six hours of sunlight per day with a bit of dappled shade is perfect).

When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole that’s about two to two and a half times the size of your plant’s root ball, place it in the hole, backfill the soil and water to settle your plant’s roots.

To preserve moisture (and help establish your plant just a bit more quickly), you can add mulch. Make sure you keep the mulch away from your plant’s bottom trunk and follow the label instructions.

When to Water Newly Planted Shrubs

Water your new plants about once weekly or more often in extreme heat and check the surrounding soil. Our favorite green rule of thumb: if your plant’s surrounding soil is dry about three inches down, it’s time to water until the soil feels moist but not oversaturated.

That’s it! Now, you’re ready to enjoy spring and summer gatherings with friends and family with a beautiful backdrop you’ll be proud to show off for seasons to come.

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at FastGrowingTrees.com, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

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