If the August heat is wilting your enthusiasm, try these playful ideas to jump-start your gardening moxie

As the August heat starts to wilt everything outdoors, ask yourself how you feel about this season's garden. Do you love every inch of it, or does all of that dead headed, pruned perfection leave you wanting more? It's time to have some fun in the garden, and this is the perfect time to start playing around and planning for next year.

September is a great time to plant new trees, shrubs, and fall bulbs, and as everything starts to wither on the vine, you can spend your time painting the shed, building window boxes, adding trellises, bringing in a statue, changing up the plan, putting out birdseed in funky feeders and scooping up outdoor furniture and decor on clearance. Here are nine fun elements that will get your gardening mojo flowing again.

#1 Vertical Delights: today's vertical gardens can take on all sorts of graphic designs. You can even create a sign, a painterly composition or spell out a monogram with plants on the wall.

#2 Cutouts: heart shapes entice visitors to pass through your garden doors.

#3 Unexpected Color

#4 Sneak a Design into the Plan View

#5 Wall Planters: classical statuary plantings with Medusa-like 'dos made of succulents bring a giggle to a fence or wall

#6 Birdhouse Villages: the only thing more fun than a single birdhouse is a swinging singles birdhouse community.

#7 Embellish the Shed: you can go over the top with a shed in a way you can't on the main house. Have some fun with color and accents such as barn stars, window boxes, trellises and climbing vines. 

#8 Surprising Scale: oversize items become eye-catchers when placed strategically in the garden.

#9 Kooky Statues: place a statue in a spot where people will delight in stumbling across it. 

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