From Ho-Hum to Inviting: A Backyard Transformation You Have to See

I come across lots of ho-hum yards in my job. These yards are "fine" but not fabulous. The worst part is that homeowners minimally use them even though they had specifically bought their house to be able to have a yard. Sometimes a few quick fixes can be done to spruce up a yard but other times a full facelift is what a space really needs. Our goal at Secret Garden Landscapes is to get people to enjoy their outdoor space so when we can do a complete overhaul we are all in.


Before: When I first came to the yard, my clients lamented about rarely using the space. They told me that their kids would come out and jump on the trampoline often but otherwise the yard was left unused. My clients wanted to be able to entertain in the space and presented me with a list of wishes for their ideal backyard. In looking at the list, I knew this was a challenge I was excited to accept. :)

Design: An outdoor kitchen and an inviting space to entertain was on the top of the priority list. To help make this happen, we needed to redo the failing wood retaining wall. By redoing the retaining wall, we were able to open up the space. This gave us more room to add a large outdoor kitchen and seating area. This larger area is conveniently located near the house and hosts a new outdoor TV for prime game day viewing.

The remainder of the backyard had to get re-organized as well to accommodate the needs of the family. My clients have 3 active kids so we needed to make sure their requirements for the outdoor space were also met. So I decided to move the trampoline (kid play zone) to the other side of the yard away from where the new entertaining space would be. This allowed the kids to have fun, be loud and not have to be shushed all the time by their parents. ;) The kids now have their own dining table near the house as well a smaller but more functional lawn space to play games on. Now the kids can have their own fun without having to run through the "adult" area.

One of the main areas of the backyard that had to be addressed was actually the side yard. The one side yard was an eyesore from the house. When you enter their front door the first windows you see are out to the side yard. In addition, several living room windows look out to this part of the yard making this portion of the yard really important. While talking with my clients, I found out that gardening was something that the husband really enjoyed and wanted to get his kids involved with. Since the side yard gets so much sun, it was the perfect place to place garden beds and espalier fruit trees. Having an organized space to garden makes gardening so much for fun.


To finish off the transformation, we added colorful plantings, new paver patio, new/smaller lawn layout, and added/fixed/painted the fences. Now the outdoor space is spacious, clean and inviting. At a moment's notice they can easily entertain or relax as a family watching TV near the fire pit.


After: The transformation of this backyard was so much fun. It is always so gratifying to see the image in my mind become a reality. I loved that my clients were game for my ideas and I am so thrilled that they now use the space often. My clients are some of the nicest people I have ever met so I know their circle of friends is always expanding. Knowing they can now host outdoor gatherings like they always wanted to makes me endlessly happy.



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