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Enjoying Your Backyard All Summer Long


If bathing is more your style, consider a teak soaker tub or, for a more rustic look, a stock tank pool, which takes up little space and doesn’t require professional installation. “You can fill it up with your hose and be ready to go,” Ms. Trilling said.

Mosquitoes are always showing up uninvited to the backyard barbecue, but you don’t have to drench yourself with bug spray. A few well-placed citronella candles can help, though the odor can be overwhelming. Instead, fill planters with bug-repellent plants like rosemary, lemongrass, basil, lemon thyme, marigolds or peppermint.

To keep the mosquitoes under control, make sure your property has no standing water and keep foliage from getting overgrown. Ask your neighbors to do the same.

If you live in an area with deer, check yourself and your pets for ticks before you go back inside. “With the pandemic going on, nobody is paranoid about Lyme disease anymore, but it still exists,” said Janice Parker, a landscape architect in Greenwich, Conn. “Lyme disease isn’t going anywhere.”

Add ambient lighting, and you may find yourself sitting in your garden until late in the night. A string of fairy lights adds a festive mood, and LED lanterns can make a space feel inviting. Wrap a tree in a string of lights, or up-light your favorite one to draw attention to it.

Just be careful not to overdo it — think of the lighting like an accent, not a centerpiece. “You’re actually working with the dark,” Ms. Parker said. “You have to think of the dark as an element. Think of it as a negative in a photograph.”

Incorporate white into your garden, too — white fabrics or flowers — since the color will be the last to go as the evening darkens. Plant late-afternoon or evening-blooming foliage like midnight candy or evening primrose. Night-blooming jasmine, for example, “only blooms at night and about four or five times during the summer,” Ms. Stuart said. “It is incredible what it smells like; it is an event all of its own.”

And perhaps it will be lovely enough to keep you outside just a little bit longer.

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