Garden Thyme, Home Improvement and DIY

Sprucing Up Outdoor Areas For Late Summer

summer container garden ideas late summer flowers late summer containers


It’s already the end of July, and school starts back in two weeks! Nevertheless, summer is far from over and there is still time to enjoy our outdoor spaces and to do some outdoor home improvement projects. Fall is my favorite season and I really love getting the outdoors ready for pumpkins, mums and fall outdoor entertaining, but I am just not ready to let go of summer yet! August is a great time tidy up the landscape and outdoor entertaining areas to enjoy for the rest of summer and to plan for fall. Here are some simple ideas for sprucing up outdoor areas for late summer. *This post contains affiliate links.



When I think of August and September, apples and sunflowers come to mind, before pumpkins. I love this simple porch decor via The Happy Housie.  A basket of apples, bright mums, and an acorn pillow welcome early fall before the pumpkins come on the scene. August in Kentucky is still too early for mums, but there is still time to plant some late summer-to-fall annual containers.



Plant a pot of living color Like a canvas waiting for paint, an empty garden planter can become anything you desire: a meditation in violet, a carnival of oranges and limes, or a quiet study of leaf shapes and textures. Here, Seattle container designer Marsha Davis-Thomsen used Purple fountain grass, Zinnia 'Profusion Orange', Pelargonium 'Tango Violet', variegated English ivy (Hedera helix 'Gold Ripple'), Calibrachoa 'Liricashower Blue', and Acorus gramineus. Photo: Norm Plate,


This summer was kind of pitiful for my container plants! Luckily I had plenty of vintage garden junk and few herbs to share on my Vintage Summer Garden Tour. I have already thrown away the dead or dying annuals and I am replanting some late summer and early fall flowers. I have been looking on Pinterest for inspiration and I am so excited to try out some of new plants. I love purple fountain grass paired with orange and yellow flowers for late summer which give a hint of fall color. The fountain grass will last all the way through November and looks great when grouped with pumpkins and gourds too.


Fountain grass, coleus, million bells



Tuscan Sun is a perennial sunflower, hardy in zones 3-9. Such an easy, happy way to brighten a spot in your backyard.


I really like Heliopsis, ‘Tuscan Sun’ a perennial sunflower, hardy in zones 3-9.  I am headed to the garden center this afternoon to see if there are any of these plants in stock.


Easy Front Porch Decor for Fall | Tips and ideas for adding autumn decor to your front porch. Pumpkins and cozy throws add a warm and inviting touch.

via The Happy Housie

Of course sunflowers are the perfect late summer, early fall flower. I didn’t plant any this year, but now there are now dwarf varieties that can be grown in containers so I think I will pick up some today too.  I love them!


Purple Osteospermum, Chrysanthemum segetum - Corn Marigold and Dwarf Sunflowers in bright containers



In addition to replanting late summer/early fall containers, our patio area is in desperate need of some TLC. Actually it is in need of an entire makeover! Right now the area is collecting junk for an end of summer yard sale we are planning for next weekend. We just haven’t decided what we want to to with the area, but cleaning it up is a great start! One thing I definitely want to check off the list is building or purchasing something that will hide the trash cans in an attractive way. There are lots of creative DIY ideas online. If you have a problem with animals getting into the trash, be sure to check out aBearSaver residential trash cart enclosure as well.


Nothing ruins the view in a small backyard faster than a set of garbage cans blown over in the wind. Instead of having your garbage in plain sight, build a wooden surround to keep them contained. Here, a set of stylish wooden panels camouflages the homeowners garbage with a little space left over for bags of potting soil and extra garden tools. When the gate panel is closed, everything is completely hidden.

via BHG


As for the patio styling, I have plenty of vintage junk that will work year round as decor with some seasonal changes. I love the vintage patio furniture we already have, but if we extend the patio or add on a deck, we may consider purchasing a smaller bistro style dining set for additional seating too.


Bring the indoors outside with the 3-Piece Metal Patio Bistro Set from Threshold™. This casual and stylish outdoor dining set marries comfort and design. This set includes two cushioned armchairs and a round table so you can turn any outdoor space into your own personal bistro. The clean lines and tapered front legs add a detailed touch to the design of the chairs. Fitted with foam-filled cushions, these armchairs provide a comfortable seat that's made to last and sure to please....

Fairmont 3pc Metal Patio Bistro Set – Threshold™


I don’t tolerate heat very well, so for the first part of August I have to stay indoors most days. The evenings are better for enjoying a little outdoor relaxation and I am looking forward to spending time on the front porch. For late summer I plan to update the look of the porch simply by changing out the pillows and container plants. Since our porch is covered, I can use indoor pillows or pillow covers for a few weeks at time. Inexpensive pillow covers are my go-to way of changing up the decor quickly on a budget.


Set of 4 Oil painting sunflower Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover Decorative Cotton Blend Linen Pillowcase for Sofa 18 “X 18 “, Vibrant Yellow Flower Vintage…


pumpkinseason: A little autumn deco…


Time passes so quickly, and I certainly don’t want summer to end, but it’s hard not to get a wee bit excited about fall outdoors…so I’ll end this post with this pretty patio decorated for fall…


How do you transition or spruce up your outdoor entertaining areas in late summer to get ready for fall? I love hearing your ideas!

Thanks for visiting today!



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1 Comment

  • Reply Marty Oravetz

    Oh wow, yours already sounds amazing. I just finally cleaned up our patio for summer, so I am just now getting to enjoy it. Maybe a few new plants for fall will be good.

    July 30, 2018 at 5:53 pm
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