Summer is in full swing and the explosion of leaf and bloom can only be matched by the explosion of energy in the soul of the gardener.

The scent of soil after a rain or watering is an intoxicant. You’re seized by a primitive obsession to tend your land however small or grand. There’s plenty to do this month, so make a list. Start with the big jobs, like lawn care and container plantings.
Whether the lawn is a tiny patch of grass for sun bathing or large enough for a football game, the goal is the same: keep it lush, green and well manicured. Mow the lawn frequently, but do not rake up the clippings because they’ll return to the ground they came from as organic matter. Irrigate the lawn in the early morning or late evening. That gives the water time to sink deeply into the soil, losing less to evaporation, but allows the garden to dry out during the day, reducing mildew problems. Remember, it’s better to water deeply several times a week in hot weather, than to water daily. An application of an organic fertilizer, like Milorganite will assure a green and vigorous lawn. Also, edge the lawn to give it a crisp look and move lawn furniture around frequently to avoid yellow spots.

With the lawn in shape, think about freshening up containers.

Gardeners everywhere have discovered the joys of mixed containers filled with medium sized shrubs, perennials or even small trees and accented with rambunctious summer annuals tucked in around the edges. The only limits to your combinations are finding plants with similar sun and water needs.
The secret to bountiful garden containers is good soil so always use fresh potting soil when potting up a new combination. If your container is a year or two old, you can add several inches of new soil to the top of the pot. Make sure it has a good texture and drains well. Scoop up a handful of soil and squeeze; it should compact into a firm ball. Next, rest the ball on the flat of your palm and give it a few good taps; the ball should crumble apart. To assure bloom and strong growth fertilize now through September, use a liquid plant food like fish emulsion or kelp once a month or cut it to half strength and apply it every two weeks.

But the most important thing this summer is to enjoy your garden.

Take time to putter around, sniff the blossoms, admire the foliage, sit down quietly in a chair and listen to the birds and other critters enjoying the garden with you.
CLICK HERE for 9 tips from Garden Design on to help you put on a summer show with perennials, grasses, and mounding shrubs.