How to Spruce Up a Dormant Landscape

Many gardeners are looking for many ways to spruce up a dormant landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a home gardener looking for a new plant, bedding plants, adding some green grass, rearranging your decor, or simply cleaning up the look of your garden, there’s plenty that can be done. Explore some of these landscaping ideas and simple tips and tricks on how to make your garden and outdoor space come to life again.

Stop Watering the Lawn

If you have green grass in front of your house, stop watering it during the summer months and see what happens. You might be surprised at just how long it will take before the yard turns brown if left unattended for an entire week!

For Greener Grass, Water Deeply But Not Often

Heavy soils should be watered less frequently and sparingly but for prolonged periods. On the other hand, sandy soil can withstand heavy and rapid rainfall but are quickly dry; watering should usually happen every 2-3 days in dry weather.

Planting Ground Covers

How to Spruce Up a Dormant Landscape

Ground covers such as thyme and lavender add colour and help prevent weeds and erosion. They’re also durable and unlikely to die during a heatwave or freeze.


Remove a dead plant and those that no longer meet your needs (ex: those with yellow leaves) to make room for new ones. Pruning stimulates growth and helps retain moisture for another plant nearby to selectively use their water. Improper pruning does not promote healthy new season’s growth of plants; new branches could look ugly and might put your garden to compromise.

Use first-class, sharp tools that do the job quickly and efficiently (bypass for live wood, an anvil for dead.) Don’t let a neighbour or friend prune for you unless they know as much or more than you know about how to do it

When to Prune

How to Spruce Up a Dormant Landscape

Pruning at a wrong growing season does not only kill a plant. To severely prune plants means you damage or weaken them. In general, the best time to prune most plants is during late winter or late spring before growth starts. The lowest desirable time is right before new vegetation develops in the spring. Preserve plants damaged from weather or vandalism or those with dead limbs as quickly as possible to avoid any additional insects or diseases problems that may develop. It is also advisable to reduce the amount of pruning old growth late in the summer as new plants grow is possibly urged to some plants. This new season’s growth may not have enough time to harden before cold weather arrives, leading to cold damage or winter death.

Pruning Hedges

The establishment of deciduous hedges begins with a selection of nursery stock. Choose young trees, shade trees, shade-loving plants, deciduous trees or shrubs one to two feet tall, most commonly multiple-stemmed. When planting, remove the foliage to the depth of six or eight inches and reduce stem spacing. Trim to the desired shape when the hedge grows to your desired size. Regenerating broad-leaved evergreen hedges is possible with trimming the hedge below one-third of its height just before the early Spring growth. Sometimes hedges may not return to full maturity to receive this treatment, and it is required that replacement plants be replaced for plant health purposes, also. Yew and arborvitae are exceptions.

Making Pruning Cuts Correctly

Most woody plants are classified into two categories because of the arrangement of buds in twig and branching. Buds on top will most likely grow at an angle and direction directed upward. Selected buds form inside the plant are preferred more than those from around the inside. By cutting from an outside bud, shoots cannot reach the inner plants or cross the plant. The strength and vigour of the new shoot may often be directly proportional to the amount of pruning in the stem since roots are not reduced. If more side branches are desired, remove all tips of all legs.

Pruning Mature Trees

The house gardener should restrict the pruning of mature trees to smaller branches obtainable directly from the soil. Leave trimming large trees to specialist arborists skilled climbers. Trees generally need less pruning than other ornamentals but may need corrective pruning to keep health and vigour. Winter prunings often are preferable due to their simple morphology when the foliage falls out. An experienced tree specialist can easily tell between dead and live wood when wintered, and an expert arborist can quickly and efficiently detect the deadwood in the deadwood.

Keep your tools in good condition: Garden Tool Maintenance Tips

Pruning Equipment

Good equipment that is taken care of well can last longer.

  • Store equipment in dry space
  • Keep sharp and in good working conditions
  • Use soap or chlorine for washing equipment before cutting a damaged or diseased plant
  • Pole pruners usually have a cutter with an overhanging blade above and below a cutting blade similar to a large pair of lopping shears
  • Most professionals do not use hand saws on tall trees owing to safety concerns
  • Other tools that may be needed are a chisel, a knife for cutting, or a pick-axe. They are useful for healing damaged wounds or other wounds.

Add Some Annuals

An annual flower can brighten up your yard and help contribute to the overall look of your yard. Place them in containers, in a flower bed, or along walkways for an added touch.

Use Mulch

This isn’t just great for composting, but it also helps retain moisture, reduces weed growth and makes for a healthier lawn. Mulches may come from dead branches, and this isn’t just great for composting or potting soil, but it also helps retain moisture, reduces weed growth and makes for a healthier garden.

Add Some Colour via Decor

How to Spruce Up a Dormant Landscape

Place vases with flowers along walkways, stones at the border of your garden or even lights inside your trees to make for a more lively landscape that will bring you joy!

Clean Up Your Outdoor Space

Drawers and containers can be transformed into storage units to keep things neat in your garden. Dirt, dead leaves and stray branches can be piled up to create centrepieces or simply thrown away.

Follow Nature’s Lead

Why not create a path through your yard by placing rocks of different sizes in the ground? They’ll provide for an exciting walkway that also helps divert water into your lawn.

Plant Strawberries

Not only are berries great for desserts, but they’re also perfect for decorating your landscape! Place them around trees or near borders to help bring colour and fruit to your yard.

Get Rid of Clutter

If you have unwanted items you don’t use anymore (ex: broken lawn chairs), get rid of them. Not only will this help simplify your landscape, but it’s also bound to create some added space for more plants and other items that catch your eye!

Water Less Frequently

When watering the lawn, make sure you give each grass area enough time to soak up water (at least an hour). This reduces the amount of water you’ll need to use, and it ensures your lawn gets the hydration it needs.

Water your plants effectively: Guide to the Best Garden Hose

Use Recycled Materials

This includes using glass jars for holding flowers or even old tires as planters (or stepping stones). Not only do these items help reduce waste, but they’re also unique and can add some fantastic character to an otherwise dull landscape!

Include Unusual Materials for Your Budget Garden Ideas

Corrugated iron fencing is a modern yet rustic alternative to wooden fencing. Take notes of local builders’ businesses and reclamation yards to buy something for a quick update. The use of corrugated steel fencing looks good, and its quality is very good. A modern alternative to traditional wooden fencing also adds character and interest to the garden.

Read up on how to install a fence: Learn How to Install Your Own Garden Fence

Pot in a Pot Landscaping

It will be necessary for you to buy some landscape pots about the same size to nest them in the garden. Put your plants in double-sided pots and bury them as deep as possible. This methodology is great for quickly changing out seasonal plants and allows for easier experimentation with the colour and placement of plants and even small flowers. It also allows experimentation with the placement and the colour and placement of flowers and plants on the garden and flower pots so that your pots and plants can be easily changed.

Give Your Pots a Refresh

Give the pot a clever and affordable update by using paint instead of purchasing any. Just make them clean and remove tacks of baked soil before you work. It also removes slug and snail trails. There is plenty of fabulous paint finishes available that allow you to paint virtually any surface; so you can be confident that your pots look amazing when finished.


The tips and tricks we’ve provided in this article should help you bring your dormant landscape back to life. Whether you’re looking for new plants, adding some green lawn, rearranging your decor or simply cleaning up the look of your garden, there’s plenty that can be done. Follow these simple steps, and soon enough, you’ll have a lush and lively space where you can enjoy spending time with family and friends!

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