The Top Garden Project Ideas to Try Out This Summer

a patio with a large dining table, chairs and a parasol

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and tackle some exciting new garden project ideas. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your garden’s aesthetics, experiment with new plants, or create a comfortable space for relaxation, there are numerous garden projects you can undertake.

As temperatures rise and nature springs to life, our gardens become our sanctuary, a place where we can connect with nature and bring our creativity to life.

This year, why not take it a step further? How about embarking on a journey that enriches your garden, makes it more eco-friendly, nourishing, and a hub of relaxation and joy?

Top Garden Project Ideas

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, I have compiled the top garden project ideas to try out this summer. Let’s roll up our sleeves, feel the soil between our fingers, and let the magic of gardening unfold.

1. Add New Plants to Your Garden

dahlias in pots in the garden

Adding new plants to your garden is a straightforward project that can significantly impact your garden’s look and feel. Consider adding plants that bloom in the summer to add color and vibrancy.

One fantastic option is the Crepe Myrtle, which offers stunning summer flowers and beautiful bark for winter interest.

a garden with vegetable patches on either side of green grass with a fence to the left and an old shed at the end
Turn your garden into a vegetable patch haven

Another garden project idea is to start a vegetable or herb garden. This not only enhances your garden’s aesthetics but also provides fresh produce for your summer meals. If you’re short on space, consider vertical gardening or container gardening.

2. Build a Patio or Deck

a lawn with patio and pergola

A patio or deck can significantly enhance your garden’s usability, providing a comfortable space for outdoor dining, relaxation, and entertaining, but is a little more daunting when it comes to garden projects.

You can choose from various materials, including wood, concrete, or paving stones, depending on your budget and the look you want to achieve. Building a patio or deck can be a top garden project, but it also requires a fair amount of planning and work.

Here’s a basic step-by-step guide on how to build a patio or deck:

Materials you’ll need:

  • Lumber (typically pressure-treated wood)
  • Nails or screws designed for outdoor use
  • Concrete mix (for footings)
  • Gravel
  • Post anchors
  • Flashing tape
  • Decking boards
  • Stain or sealant

Tools you’ll need:

  • Shovel
  • Post hole digger
  • Level
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Power drill
  • Circular saw or table saw
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter’s square

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Plan Your Design: Start by deciding on the size, shape, and location of your patio or deck. Sketch a design, indicating where the house, fence, or other structures are located. Include where the stairs will be, if applicable.

2. Prepare the Site: Mark the corners of the deck area using stakes and make sure the site is level. Remove any grass or plants and dig out the soil if necessary. For a patio, this step involves laying a gravel base and compacting it.

3. Create the Footings: Dig holes for the footings, which will support the deck posts. Pour concrete into the holes and place post anchors in the wet concrete. Ensure these are level and allow the concrete to cure.

4. Build the Frame: Attach beams to the post anchors and attach joists to the beams. Use a level to ensure everything is even.

5. Install Decking Boards: Attach your decking boards to the frame using screws or nails, ensuring they’re flush with the frame.

6. Apply a Sealant or Stain: Protect the wood by applying a weather-resistant stain or sealant.

7. Build Railings and Stairs (if necessary): If your deck is high off the ground, you’ll need to install railings and stairs for safety.

Remember, local codes and regulations can significantly impact how you approach your project. Always check local building codes or consult a professional if you’re unsure.

Additionally, while this guide provides a general overview, certain details may vary depending on the type of deck or patio you want to build, the terrain, and the specific materials used.

Once your patio or deck is built, you can add outdoor furniture, lighting, and potted plants to create a cozy outdoor living space.

3. Create a Garden Path

A garden path weaving through bushes and under a pergola in the garden

A garden path can add structure to your garden and make it more accessible and is a relatively simple gardening project. You can create a path with various materials, such as gravel, bricks, or stepping stones.

Consider the function of your path. Is it a direct route to a frequently used area, or a meandering path for leisurely walks? Use landscape marking paint or garden hoses to outline the desired path.

Use a spade or shovel to cut and remove the sod or plants within the outlined path area. Make the path deep enough to contain your base and path materials. Typically, a depth of about 4-6 inches is recommended.

If you’re using edging materials like stones, bricks, or wood, install them on both sides of the path. They help keep the path materials from spreading to the surrounding area and provide a neat finish. You can also consider lining the path with flowering plants or solar lights to make it more attractive.

Cover the path area with landscape fabric, this prevents weed growth while still allowing water to drain through. Then, fill the path with a 2-3 inch base layer of crushed stone or gravel which provides good drainage and a stable surface. Use a tamper or plate compactor to compact this layer.

Finally, add your chosen path material on top of the base layer. This could be more crushed stone or gravel, or something softer like bark mulch. For a firm, durable path, consider pavers or stepping stones. 

This is a fun gardening project but will need a bit of planning, designing, and foresight before you begin!

4. Set Up a Compost Bin

a compost bin in the garden

If you’re looking to make your garden more sustainable, setting up a compost bin is a great garden project. Composting is an excellent way to recycle kitchen scraps and garden waste into nutrient-rich compost that can benefit your plants.

You can build a compost bin from wood pallets or purchase a ready-made one.

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5. Install a Water Feature

a small swimming pool next to a pergola in the garden

A water feature can add a sense of tranquillity to your garden. This could be a pond, a waterfall, or a fountain. A birdbath is another simple water feature that can attract birds to your garden.

Remember to consider the maintenance involved in keeping the water clean and fresh when choosing your water feature.

6. Try DIY Garden Art

a metal bird feeder hanging from a tree

Get creative and add a personal touch to your garden with DIY garden art. This could be a painted fence, a mosaic stepping stone, or a homemade bird feeder, which is a fun garden project to get kids involved.

Some other ideas for DIY garden art include: 

1. Personalize your garden path by creating your own stepping stones. You can embed pebbles, mosaic tiles, or even children’s handprints in concrete mix for a unique look.

2. Gather some colorful glass bottles and mount them on a dead tree or a sturdy pole. When the sun shines, they’ll sparkle and add color to your garden.

3. Use paint to turn rocks into garden art. They can become colorful markers for your vegetable garden, or be painted to look like animals, houses, or anything else you can think of.

a bike painted pink in a garden
Old bikes have been painted and turned into planters

4. Turn an old log, bird bath, or even a toy truck into a unique planter. Fill it with soil and plant a variety of succulents for a low-maintenance garden feature.

5. Use old silverware, seashells, or broken bits of colored glass to create a unique wind chime. When the wind blows, you’ll be greeted with a lovely sound.

6. Break old ceramic dishes or tiles and use the pieces to create a mosaic on a terracotta pot. Fill the pot with colorful flowers for an eye-catching piece of garden art.

7. Get creative with old tools, bike parts, or other bits of metal to create a sculpture for your garden. Even something as simple as a spiral made from an old hose can become a unique piece of art.

8. Craft your own birdhouses out of wood, then paint them in vibrant colors. They’ll be a charming addition to your garden and a welcoming spot for local birds.

9. Paint an old tire and fill it with soil to make a striking and sustainable garden planter.

10. Create miniature worlds in your garden with small plants, tiny houses, and figurines. You can use old pots, tree stumps, or even a corner of the garden bed as a base.

Remember, the beauty of DIY garden art is that it’s a reflection of your personal style. Use these garden project ideas as a jumping-off point and don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine.

7. Outdoor Entertainment Area

Creating seating on a small deck with a canopy to provide shade

Creating a dining or relaxation area in your garden is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and can be an easy garden project or complex if you have a larger garden.

Here are some ideas to consider:

Choosing the Right Spot

Location is everything. Look for an area that provides a balance of sunlight and shade. If you have a nice view, try to position the space so it takes advantage of it.

Consider the Flooring

Grass can be a lovely natural floor, but you might prefer a more solid surface for a dining area. Consider using decking, paving slabs, or gravel to provide a sturdy base for tables and chairs.

Install a Patio or Deck

If you want to take your entertaining garden project that little bit further, a patio or deck provides a great, solid platform for an outdoor dining or relaxation area. You can use natural wood, stone, or composite materials.

a patio with pergola and outdoor fireplace

Outdoor Seating

Comfortable seating is a must. For a dining area, a sturdy outdoor table and chairs are necessary. For a relaxation area, consider hammocks, loungers, or a daybed.

Shelter and Shade

Think about incorporating a pergola, gazebo, or umbrella to provide shade and protection from the elements. Climbing plants can be trained over these structures to provide natural shade and is a popular gardening project.

Lighting

To extend the usability of the area into the evening, consider installing outdoor lighting. Solar lights, string lights, or lanterns can all add a charming and inviting glow.

Outdoor Kitchen or BBQ Area

If you enjoy al fresco cooking, consider incorporating a BBQ grill or even an outdoor kitchen area.

Again, outdoor kitchens have become an extremely popular gardening project in the last few years and can be as simple as using old decking material to create shelves around your BBQ area. 

Fire Pit or Outdoor Heater

a fire pit with seating area around it

For chillier evenings, a fire pit or an outdoor heater can add warmth and a cozy ambiance and be a focal point in your outdoor space. Plus, who doesn’t love a good s’more session?

To create your own, dig a hole, lay a layer of gravel, and surround it with fireproof materials like bricks or stones. Always remember to check local regulations regarding fire pits, and never leave a fire unattended. 

Landscaping

Enhance the area with surrounding plants. Consider low-maintenance shrubs, blooming flowers, or even aromatic herbs. They will act as a natural screen and improve the atmosphere.

Personal Touches

Finally, don’t forget to personalize your outdoor space. Outdoor rugs, throw pillows, wind chimes, or garden art can all add to the charm and complete your garden project.

8. Container Garden

flowers in planters along a gravel path
Putting plants in containers is one of the easiest gardening projects

Creating a container garden is one of the best small garden ideas and is a versatile and creative approach to gardening. You can grow a variety of plants, from herbs and vegetables to flowers and small trees, all within a limited area.

Select containers that are appropriate for the size of the plants you intend to grow.

Make sure each container has one or more drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and fill your containers with high-quality potting soil. This is specially designed to retain water and nutrients while still providing good drainage. Leave an inch or so at the top to allow room for watering.

Most container plants need to be watered more frequently than their counterparts in the ground. Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch and keep an eye out for pests and diseases, handling any problems as soon as they appear.

Summer is an excellent time to get creative and improve your outdoor space. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a gardening newbie, there’s always a garden project that you can tackle to enhance your space.

From adding new plants to building a patio, creating a garden path, or setting up a compost bin, these garden projects can help you make the most of your garden this summer.

So roll up your sleeves, and get ready for a summer filled with gardening projects and the joy they bring!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here.

I also use Artificial Intelligence Image generators to create some of my images. These are to show you examples of my ideas and inspiration when I cannot produce the real images myself.

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