Looking for Ideas for My Backyard


Old 08-05-08, 11:16 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Smile Looking for Ideas for My Backyard

My husband and I moved into our first new home last year and we've done a bunch of work on the inside and even some on the exterior but the backyard still needs some TLC. We got the house with a storage shed and a partially built out section with a dog kennel and there is a deck also. With these acquired backyard features we're stuck on ideas to make the backyard look beautiful and really feel like home that don't involve ripping everything out and starting a new entirely. Our biggest issue to tackle is getting some form of shade and seating for guests. We'd also like to get some privacy from the neighbors and hide some of the not too great scenery from neighbors. The yard gets full sun throughout the day and that makes it difficult to enjoy just sitting outdoors for the middle of the day and working in the backyard. My husband works on autos as a hobby and backyard has been his playground and the fence has been taken down a couple of times as cars come and go. I'd like to get some ideas on how to make this backyard functional and beautiful for my husband and me. See the photos of my backyard from multiple angles. Thanks for reading, perplexed-backyardigans..
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Old 08-13-08, 08:58 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Sonjialoma,

In looking at your pictures, several ideas come to mind for me. The first one is the dog kennel. If you have a dog there it should really have a tree to shade it. If you aren't using it for a dog then consider either removing it or using it as a fenced veggie garden.

If you don't want to remove or move the storage shed, consider painting it the same colors as the house. The dark brown trim just draws attention to it now.

Some type of shelter for the a/c and the trash cans might be a good idea. Maybe using the same lattice as surrounds the lower part of the deck.

For privacy from your neighbors the two basic choices that come to mind are a privacy fence or lots and lots of evergreen shrubs around the perimeter. I think in the long run, a privacy fence will be less expensive. There are loads of sites on how to design and build a privacy fence. This first site even has ideas on how to beautify a chain link fence.

For shade consider building a pergola or some type of shade structure. You can either build one over your existing deck or in the yard. This first site has loads of info on fences, arbors and a pergola.

For parking cars on the lawn you might find these sites helpful.

This site lets you design your yard.

Now that I've boggled your mind with all that, I would suggest you look at books and magazines about gardens, garden structures and garden design. When you see pictures of things you like, start a collection of the pictures. Eventually you will have a greater idea of what you like and what you want to see in your backyard.

Old 08-14-08, 05:35 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,628
As for the actual execution:

1. Come up with a plan; leave room for modifications.
2. Prioritize; decide the importance/necessity/urgency of each part of the plan.
3. Work one portion of the plan at a time starting at the top of the priority list.
4. Keep plenty of beer in the fridge.
Old 08-14-08, 09:25 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the great ideas and references. My husband and I already see some that we can act on quickly. We've been struggling with the placement of the bins and that's the second location that we've tried since they can't be visible from the street and I didn't even think of the A/C. Here we were thinking our neighbors' yards are an eyesore when we might just be guilty of the same. Thanks. It always helps to get another perspective. And, I'll definitely organize, plan and budget. I'm looking at this as an exciting renovation with long hours, sweat and compromise.
Old 08-14-08, 11:12 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Sonjialoma, you are so very welcome! If you need recommendations for plant material, when you get to that phase, don't hesitate to ask. If you want more sites on landscape design I have those too. Just lmk.


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