If the home is one’s castle, then the yard is the palace grounds. And, like the landscape of any palace, your yard needs to be a place where you can rest, relax, and be rejuvenated. However, it is difficult to find these three “R’s” if looking at your backyard conjures up a list of To Do projects or makes you cringe. But perhaps looking at your backyard is much like an artist with a clean canvas. You know the possibilities are there, you just haven’t determined how to best utilize the space. If this is you, then here are a few ideas to get you started. · Custom designed patio or deck – From mini-kitchens to fire pits, delightful chandeliers and romantic seating options, the sky is the limit in designing an oasis where you can entertain or simply relax like royalty. · Define the zones – Create specific areas in your yard based on activity. Be it a space for that hot tub you have always wanted, an outdoor chimney with a casual dining area, a place for croquet or a shaded area perfect for encouraging creativity, a landscape designer can determine a plan that will meet all your outdoor needs. · Privacy is a must – Just because you live in a neighborhood doesn’t mean that the whole block has to know what you are doing! When thinking about an outdoor oasis, be sure to include shaded areas or enclosed spaces such as fences or garden walls –don’t forget a beautiful gate! Or, you may want to consider a secluded patio or seating area that allows you to relax in private. · Water feature – Have a pond or waterfall built to add the quiet sounds of water trickling and creating a soothing melody. Add a larger pond and you can have fish to make the water element even more relaxing – as well as entertaining. · Take a walk – A quiet garden path that meanders around delightful gardens, through an arbor, perhaps a footbridge over a water feature, or nooks that give the element of privacy are great ways to add delight to a backyard area. Be sure to include secluded, comfortable seating, some statues, and soft lights to make night strolls more doable! · Add some romance – Don’t forget the citronella candles that not only help minimize the bugs, but add some soft lighting. Other lighting may include strings of white lights, buckets with light or even old school lampposts. · Don’t forget the kids – Make your backyard an oasis for the kids. Include swings, slides, and other items that make children feel welcomed, while allowing them to get their wiggles out and develop their imagination. Of course, sometimes the problem with the backyard is more about the planning. After all, not all of us excel at designing the perfect backyard oasis! Thankfully, you don’t have to be a backyard design expert to have a gorgeous backyard retreat. The Outdoor Makeover team has a long list of ideas, and is always looking for new ways to take a basic, inviting yard and turn it into an oasis worthy of royalty. Give us a call today to get started on your outdoor oasis.