Reclaiming My Backyard

With our growing family, Geoff and I recently toyed with the idea of moving to a home with a bigger yard but ultimately decided we just couldn’t leave the neighborhood and neighbors we love so much. So we decided to look into options to expand our yard space and maximize its best use. 

It was important to me that the entire yard be usable for entertaining. It was important to have a space for the puggle to do her business, an area for the future playset, and room to kick or throw a ball with kids. I also wanted the yard to have a southern and welcoming feel. 

Like many during Covid, we spent more time outside, so we had put in a patio, and I became a “gardener.” With the help of professional landscape architect Susanne Fyffe of Fyffe Landscape Architecture, we were able to identify that the patio was too small. I thought we were saving yard space by making it small, but really the space could’ve been utilized better. We also learned that while the plants were the right types for our areas, they were planted in less-than-ideal spots. A smaller lot size means closer neighbors, so we strategically planted Hornbeams and Sky Tower Gingko trees to create privacy through the greenery.

One of the things we really struggled with was our tight deck which felt like our interior home was closed off to the exterior. With the help of the landscape architect, we expanded the deck and the deck stairs to create a better flow. 

A focal point was created with an accent wall that features climbing hydrangeas. The fence gates were rebuilt to match the focal wall. And the patio was expanded to allow for both a dining and entertaining space with a gas fire pit. In addition, certain trees, the deck, and the accent wall now feature uplighting, making the space usable at night. This totally transformed the use of our yard into a destination for evening entertainment and enjoyment. 

Next week, I’ll tell you about what addition to our yard changed my mind on something I’ve always been against. Hint: it’s low maintenance! Stay tuned…


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