Lawn and garden chores can often exceed the time we have to get them done, but there are some relatively quick tips and fixes to keep your landscape looking good. Some of these ideas take just a few minutes, others take a little longer.
Remove leaves and sticks. A chipper/shredder can convert most small lawn debris to usable mulch or compost.
Prune dead or diseased limbs from trees and shrubs. Deadhead or remove spent annuals.
Clean up any edging that has started to look ragged from contact with mower blades or encroaching turf-grass. A power edger can quickly create clean lines.
Wash the driveway. Seal an asphalt drive if needed and if you have time. You can also seal and patch concrete drives.
Clean the house itself, including mildewed brick or siding and areas of the foundation where rain may have splashed up mud. A pressure washer can make quick work of a cleaning job. Make sure you use the proper nozzle to avoid damaging siding. Clean gutters and downspouts, too (inside and out).
Add a new layer of mulch to the planting beds and paths. For an even quicker fix, stir up existing mulch to make it look fresh.
Add containers with in-season flowering or foliage plants. These will help to draw the eye away from the spots you'd rather not have people looking at.
Clean and seal your deck, especially if you're planning an outdoor gathering.
Install low voltage lighting for security and to highlight your home's best features.
Build simple enclosures for the service areas such as trash cans and utilities. Lattice or fence panels can be installed relatively quickly.