Spending time outside is one of the great joys of the warm-weather months—but the chores it involves can be decidedly less fun. So before things heat up, get your yard, garden and deck in top shape with smart strategies.
Take stock of your shrubs and trees, removing dead branches and pruning as necessary. Replant shrubs that have been pushed out of the soil during the spring thaw.
Do a critter check. Examine shrubs, trees and your home's foundation for evidence of unwanted guests, including rodents and insects. Also look for and eliminate stagnant water (in birdbaths, for example, and gutters) where mosquitoes might breed when the weather warms up.
In the future, plant in triangles. This creates the illusion of having more plants than you do—which saves you money. Have the widest part of the triangle most on display.