Photoshop Redo: How to Liven Up a Bland Yard
TOH reader Anne Bonsted's ho-hum outdoor space gets a boost from colorful flowers and a new patio
Who> Anne Bonsted
Where> New Hartford, N.Y.
What> Wants to turn her yard into a welcoming spot for entertaining
"Our home is the hub of family gatherings, but since we removed the pool years ago we haven't done much with the yard," confesses Anne Bonsted. She's raised two kids with husband Steve in this house, which her father built 50 years ago. When we asked Boston-area landscape architect Elliott Brundage to give her a few ideas, he suggested a number of fixes. Keep reading to see what they were.
The landscaper suggested adding flowering foundation plants for color and texture, scrapping the small deck for a bluestone patio big enough for a crowd, and framing the stonework with a low sitting wall along its edge. "I love the idea of putting in a patio," says Anne. "It would make the yard inviting."
The curves of the irregular bluestone patio makes for a casual dining and entertaining area that softens the sharp angles of the house.
Build pergolas in sunny areas and plant climbing vines to filter the sun, or just
use them to define the boundaries of the outdoor room as seen here.
Here, layered plants dress up a down spout with short hostas in the front, then
azaleas, and finally a blue holly near the house.
The short path to the hose is paved with the same bluestone from the
patio, and ensures you won't have to rummage through plantings to access the water source.
Anchor a corner of the yard with a specimen tree, like this flowering
Loebner magnolia (Magnolia × loebneri 'Leonard Messel'), for visual