As quickly as Christmas morning flies by, that's how fast summer vacation seemed to go this year. Usually I don't mind, since summer can be exhausting with three young children. But suddenly, back-to-school gear's out and it's time to start thinking about fall again, and I'm not quite ready. Don't let summer days and nights go by without a celebration. Before the leaves start to fall, get that backyard ready for the perfect end-of-summer barbeque.
Consider a new grill.
Our grill is falling apart after 10 years, but we never think to replace it until the start of summer, when everyone is out purchasing their grill. Instead, purchase yours as summer draws to a close, where stores don't want to store the item for next year's summer season. Look for sales and you'll be able to get just what you want to barbeque your way out of the summer and into the fall. Your guests will love their burgers, hot dogs, and Italian sausage straight off your brand-new grill.
Examine the state of your flowers, plants, grass, and weeds.
Did your rosebush fade away in the summer heat? Did you forget to water those tomatoes you were trying to grow? Once the weather has started to cool off just a bit, you're in a good position to begin some fall planting. Consider hanging plants and hooks for around the deck or from the house. Time the arrival of your green thumb to coincide with your end-of-summer gathering so your yard really looks spectacular.
Now's also the time to take that weed-whacker to the deck and along the fence, use the edger along the driveway, and cut whatever's left of your grass and weeds.
Get the toolbox ready.
Are boards starting to pop up on your deck or fence? Grab that hammer and start nailing them back down. Does your patio need a little bit more gravel so that the stones don't wobble? Add them now. Consider installing hanging hooks on the fence or rear of the house to use for decorations or hanging plants, depending on the season. Before your yard is filled with your closest friends and family members, take the time to tackle those time backyard chores that you've let pile up.
Don't say good-bye to summer too soon.
Just because this is an end-of-summer barbeque doesn't mean you need to forget all about those fabulous summer days and nights. Serve watermelon slices and pasta salad with your grill-fare. Decorate with citronella-scented tiki torches and candles to keep the always-present summer bugs away. If your socializing during the day, don't forget the sprinkler or baby pool for the kids.
Your perfect end-of-summer barbeque doesn't need the perfect theme or out of the world decorations-but it's those perfect finishing touches that will delight your guests!