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How this Yard Went From Drab to an Inviting Outdoor Entertaining Space

Before: My clients had lived in the house a few years before calling me to their house. They had become frustrated with the lack of entertaining space and the yard felt so closed in and narrow. They wanted to be able to entertain their immediate family but also have a quiet place to relax after a long day of work/school.

During my first site visit with my clients, I noticed the amazing view from the house to the open hills. Cows were casually hanging around the fence and I noticed how much my clients delighted in this connection with nature (honestly, I loved the cows too – so fun). While inspecting the yard, a fence randomly cut into the yard at an odd angle. Behind the fence was a dilapidated shed and quite a bit of land. After some research, we determined that that was also their property! I immediately knew that fence was going to come down so we could extend the yard! In addition, an arborist was called in to determine the health of the current trees. Unfortunately several of the trees were unhealthy or were disrupting the foundation so would need to come out. So, it turned out that we were going to have a blank slate to work with.

Design Plan: In designing the yard, I wanted to create multiple zones. This would allow my clients to not only entertain large groups but also to help make the space feel much larger. Since they backed up to open space, I wanted the space to feel organized (pavers, fire pit etc.) but also to feel natural (moss rocks). I chose a lush colorful plant palette that is heavy in evergreen plants but also gives bursts of color throughout the year. I extended the yard into the area previously hidden behind a fence. This allowed the yard to have multiple entertaining zones and feel larger even though the back fence line did not change (although a new fence replaced the previous fence that was falling down).

After: It makes me endlessly happy when my clients tell me how much they love their garden and every time I run into these clients around town, they always tell me how much they love it (my heart is so full!). They talk about how they were able to work from home in the garden, how they relaxed in their yard with their kids sitting by the fire pit or how delighted they were with the colors of the flowers currently blooming. Needless to say, I am so happy that I created a space that they love and that gets them outside more than they ever did before.

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