Don't let July put you off from taking on major garden projects. You can lay that new patio, install that new drain, or finish out your fence with plenty of preparation. A wheelbarrow of bottled water piled with ice, a tube of sunscreen, and plenty of moist towelettes will keep you going in the hottest weather.

Make it a summer thing for everyone to exit the car with the driver. Every time. Heatstroke can happen in minutes, especially in young children. The inconvenience is worth it.

You love privacy, and so do thieves. Before heading out of town, walk along the sidewalk and view your house critically. Are there places a thief could hide while breaking into your home? Get out the pruning shears and start snipping for a safer, more secure summer.

Not every plant will survive summer's heat well. Take a snapshot of fading plants with your phone, and you'll know exactly what to look for at the garden store.

Hose down the walks and furniture. If the day is warm, power wash outdoor fabrics early in the day, then set them in the sun for a fresh, clean smell. Adding garden flowers to water-filled vases just before guests arrive will make your garden pop with "Wow" appeal.