Search and destroy
And while you're at it, please keep the barbecue out of sight, unless it's one of those stainless steel jobs built into a stone fortress. Your regulation barbecue with the fading paint and rusting tank greatly diminishes the charm of the garden.
Path to success
If I feel I've been criminally neglectful in my garden, I tend the paths. If you have a well-cared-for path, with crisp edging, everything in the garden will look better. And if you're planning or renovating a garden, consider how beautiful pea gravel or limestone screenings are for paths. They're economical, easy to care for and so harmonious with plants.
Very little was in bloom, so I filled florist vials (you could also use test tubes or small vases) with water, stuck in some cut flowers and hid them in the window boxes. Shasta daisies, black-eyed Susans and cosmos magically appeared, and the window boxes looked lush and swank.
I've learned from years of shooting locations for Gardener's Journal on HGTV that nothing sticks out more in a shot than glaring, white, plastic garden furniture. To tone things down, we always have on hand some solid-coloured fabric to drape over chairs and tables. Blue denim or natural burlap looks wonderful against green foliage.