Summer Tips for a Beautiful, Succulent Gardens

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Summer Tips for a Beautiful, Succulent Gardens

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With summer in full force, now is the perfect time to invite friends over and entertain at your home. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts and bring the party outside. Besides food, seating, and décor, a great way to welcome your guests and set the tone for a fabulous party is to make sure your outdoor space is lush and bountiful. Flowers add a pop of color, while well-manicured trees and plants lend to an eye-catching, attractive setting.

During summer, some plants will flourish, and others will struggle; but with some tender loving care and these helpful hints, your friends, family and neighbors will be left marveling over the breath-taking, impressive, and maybe even a little majestic backyard scene and declare your garden the best in neighborhood.  
Here are top 10 ways to beautify your garden this summer and make it succulent:
1. Map it Out. The key to creating a beautiful garden is to make sure you pick the right spot for your plants. Most plants and vegetables do best with full sun -- at least eight hours of direct light a day. Do some research on the plants you want to grow, so that you know how to take care of each of them the right way. 

2. Pop with Color. Turn your garden into a tapestry of color! Complement dark colors with bright ones to make a bold impact. 

3. Add Variety & Fragrance. Adding different types of plants and vegetables with texture can enhance your garden.  Moreover, adding plants with fragrances to your garden will not only be a treat for the eyes but the nose as well. Guests will swoon over a heavenly Gardenia scent. Plus, flowers help attract bee's, ladybugs, and butterflies that help pollinate and take care of our vegetable gardens! 

4. Pick Your Pots. While you may plant some of your trees, flowers, and plants directly into the soil, pick out pots that fit the scale of your plants and add personality to your landscaping. You can't go wrong with a classic terra cotta pot. 

5. Brighten Shady Spots. Shade plants can illuminate areas of your garden that do not get as much light. Plus, light bounces right off of the leaves of these plants. While you're at it, make sure you have adequate lighting in your yard. This is especially important if you're hosting an evening event. Anything from romantic twinkle lights to flickering candles, to actual installed lighting will help set the tone of the night.

6. Use Leftover Tea and Coffee Grounds.  To keep acid levels high in your soil for your acid-loving plants, use leftover tea and coffee grounds. Sprinkle your plants with them at least once a month to acidify the soil. 

7. Mulch for Moisture. Adding a few inches of mulch to the soil can help retain moisture. An added benefit of mulch is it prevents weeds from growing and keeps soil-borne diseases at bay.

8. Reuse Water. Water your plants with the same water you use to boil or steam vegetables. Don't drain or throw it out! Your own concoction of "vegetable soup" can do wonders for your plants. 

9. However Do Not Overwater! Water slowly and regularly. Imagine you do not drink water for two days. Then you chug a gallon of H20. Doesn't feel great? It won't for your plant, either! Over-watering is also a sure fire way to get aphids and infestation. Water consistently and gently for a happy and luscious garden.

10. Add Ornamentation.  Garden ornaments will add character to your garden. Decorate it with ornaments that fit your taste, anything goes.

Avis lives in New York, has two children, and runs Birds Nest Foundation (, a 501(c)3 non-profit creative group that produces several television shows, documentaries and short films for charitable organizations. The charities that benefit from Avis' work include a host of worthy causes dedicated to improving health and education, defending the environment, women's rights, and more. Birds Nest Foundation recently launched an incredible new venture, the Ground Up Campaign, which is planting academic gardens in schools across the country. The goal is to help kids understand and appreciate healthy foods, vegetables, proper nutrition, and teach healthy eating habits from a young age. The initiative was inspired by a documentary film Avis directed and produced, Lunch, which addresses unhealthy lunch programs in schools. Lunch inspired Avis to create a weekly TV series in New York, called Dylan's Lunchbox, a lifestyle program helping New Yorkers with sustainable healthy living in the city starring her son, teen food critic Dylan Richards - for which she was nominated for Three New York Emmy Awards this year. Avis is currently in production on Lunch: The Solutions, a sequel to Lunch which focuses on healthy solutions for school lunches in America.


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