This transformation of Brandi’s backyard is absolutely stunning! Brandi’s water garden pond with a mini water fall had so much potential. One might enjoy watching the fish swimming in the pond but there is not much here to support a beautiful relaxing backyard experience. Backyard water gardens can offer the soothing sights and sounds of nature that are so relaxing, but those relaxing elements are absent here.
Second Nature used this outdated pond structure to transform their backyard area into an inviting backyard oasis.
While children may enjoy watching and feeding fish here, it is not a relaxing area for adults.
The oxygenated water here is only benefiting the fish. The relaxing sights and sounds of a properly built waterfall are lacking here. Second Nature worked their magic with a few embellishments and transformed this fish pond into a beautiful, tranquil water garden.
The reveal you have been waiting for…
Now Brandi has a beautiful and relaxing oasis in her backyard for everyone to enjoy! You can almost hear the soothing sights and sound of nature from just the picture. Just a few steps from Brandi’s backdoor is mini paradise to de-stress and unwind in.
Does your home’s backyard need a makeover or update? Contact Second Nature today to discuss your vision.
Today we have some awesome backyard landscaping pictures to share with you! We want to highlight a recent landscape design we completed for Scott and Lisa. They have a beautiful home that was not being showcased due to the overgrown beds in the front of the house. They also were not fully utilizing the beautiful setting they had in their backyard with a wonderful lake just a few steps out their back door. They had a number of landscaping ideas, but were unsure of how to execute them, which led them to Second Nature, one of your premier local landscaping companies in the Lee’s Summit area. Our team of designers worked with them to create a custom landscaping plan with one of the best backyard desks we have seen in a while!
Before, the front of the house had visually been taken over by the out of control bed.
After, the bed will complement, not compete, with the house. We also added a new retaining wall.
Before, the back deck area was overgrown and almost unusable. It was a dark and uninviting area that was mostly used for storage.
After, we implemented some of our best deck design ideas to create an amazing space for Scott and Lisa to relax, enjoy their hot tub, or entertain friends! With their outdoor living area they now have an outdoor kitchen, seating area, and fireplace. With the area around the patio and deck cleared out, they now can enjoy the serenity of the lake while they are relaxing outside.
Before, the back of the house was completely obscured by the overgrowth surrounding the deck.
Now you can see the house, the deck, their amazing outdoor living area, and the expanded deck we built, which were all key components of the backyard landscape design we created for Scott and Lisa.
Before, the beds along the house were overgrown and undefined.
After, now Scott and Lisa have beautiful beds along their home along with a new and defined walkway that gives them easy access to the backyard!
Here are some additional photos of the final result of Scott and Lisa’s deck landscaping project.
If you are ready to make some changes to your home’s landscaping call us at Second Nature, your local landscapers in Lee’s Summit, MO! We would love to discuss all your backyard ideas and help you create deck landscaping or landscape design ideas and plans!
Many people may not be familiar with a pergola, but they can be an excellent addition to any backyard design. A pergola is a garden feature that has vertical posts, or pillars, that support cross beams or open lattice. Some people choose to leave their pergolas plain, where others may choose to add to theirs with woody vines, which can provide further shade.
Pergolas can be used to create shaded walkways or sitting areas. They can be useful as an extension your house or as cover for an open terrace or patio.
Benefits to adding a pergola to your backyard landscaping plan include,
Let’s discuss some of the excellent ways you can incorporate a pergola into your backyard design, we have included some examples of the many pergolas we have built at Second Nature.
A pergola can be an excellent addition to your pool and hot tub landscaping. With a pergola over your hot tub, you can enjoy your hot tub in the shade and at the cooler temperatures that a shaded area can afford.
With the addition of a pergola around your hot tub you also gain privacy that allows you to enjoy your hot tub in peace!
With storage benches built into your pergola you not only add valuable seating space but can also gain storage that can be used for towel storage or hot tub maintenance supplies, such as necessary chemicals or tools.
A freestanding pergola can be an excellent way to define a space in your outdoor living area. For example, a pergola can be used for a sitting area or an outdoor kitchen. These areas are not always right next to your house but may be removed from the house in a separate part of your yard or on a part of the patio or deck not directly adjacent to the house.
A pergola does not have to be a physically large in order to be a focal piece in your backyard design. A small pergola can provide a large impact without requiring a large footprint. A small pergola can give you a lot of bang for you buck when upgrading or revamping your backyard landscaping.
A pergola can be a great way to provide some cover for the chef as they do some backyard grilling! A pergola can also provide additional storage and create a defined area for your grill.
The addition of a pergola on your patio can greatly increase the usability of your patio by providing shade during the sunniest, and often hottest, part of the day. In addition to bringing additional function to you patio, a pergola can add a specific design element to the patio and your entire backyard and landscaping plan.
A patio pergola can be used to extend your living space with a dining area, seating area, and/or outdoor kitchen.
Wood is the most common material used for pergolas. While you might see metal pergolas available in some of the big box stores you’ll find that they are not as sturdy and permanent as a wood pergola. A wooden pergola can be completely customizable; you are not limited to the size or design elements of the manufacturer. Wooden pergolas are often made from cedar or redwood, which both make a great choice for outdoor application and require minimal upkeep while maintaining a beautiful look.
With a custom build pergola you can choose any design you can think of! We can even help you come up with a new design of your own. For example, you may be drawn to the design elements of both a gazebo and a pergola. While a pergola is typically square in shape with cross beams instead of a roof and a gazebo has a round or octagon shape with a complete roof, we can build a gazebo pergola that combines elements from both of these backyard landscaping features.
Maybe you have decided you want to have more than a simple deck on the back of your house. If you are looking for a backyard landscaping plan with more visual interest you may want to go with a deck pergola. A deck pergola can help keep you cool on your deck by providing additional shade. Whether you have an outdoor living area that you don’t utilize due to the sun or if your small children would benefit from the shade provided by a pergola so that they can play, a deck pergola can increase the usability of your deck.
A pergola does not have to be a freestanding structure in the middle of your yard or patio. There are multiple reasons why you may decide you want a pergola attached to your house. An attached pergola can be more cost efficient. Because it attaches to your house there is likely less material needed for construction. A small yard could also be another reason; an attached pergola can be a great use of the space available. Also, an attached pergola can also provide shade inside the home, as well as outside.
If you are dreaming of an outdoor kitchen, an outdoor kitchen pergola is an excellent addition to your backyard landscaping. With a pergola you can define the space of the outdoor kitchen, provide shelter for both the outdoor kitchen elements and whoever is doing the cooking in the outdoor kitchen, and the vertical support beams can be used for additional storage!
Convinced that it’s time to add a pergola to your outdoor living space? Second Nature Outdoor Living can help with everything from deciding which type of pergola is right for your outdoor space, to design and build. Give Second Nature a call today to get started! 816-844-7733
People often spend considerable time and money completing the landscaping in their yard, but when night falls that beautiful landscaping basically disappears. There are many landscape lighting ideas you can use to highlight different landscaping features, make dark areas of your yard useable at night, and increase security around your home. When you begin making a plan for landscape or garden lighting you need to begin by thinking about the purpose for your different landscape lighting aspects so that you are haphazardly throwing lights into your yard.
Here are some general tips to think of when creating your landscape lighting plan.
With paver lighting you can use outdoor light fixtures to highlight the edges of a stone patio or walkway. Paver lights are flush with the stone, which gives you the benefit of not having to worry about damaging or tripping over traditional solar lights along the edge of a walkway or patio. Paver lights are also available as led landscape lighting options. LED landscape lights are beneficial because they last much longer than traditional halogen lights and are more durable in their ability to withstand shock, vibrations, and all types of inclement weather. They also give you more flexibility in the lighting effects you create; they can be set up with a dimmer.
Soft lighting around the edge of your pond or water feature not only can serve to accent the design aspect, but can also be a safety feature so than guests don’t end up taking an unintended dip in your pond after dark!
Swimming Pool Lighting
If you have a swimming pool then swimming pool lighting can add to the atmosphere in your backyard and is also beneficial in nighttime swimming.
Water Featuring Lighting
If you have a water feature, such as a fountain or spillway using outdoor light fixtures will allow you to highlight your water feature and you can use lighting from within the water or external lighting to create different effects.
Deck Lighting and Patio Lighting
It is a good idea to ensure that your patio lights illuminate the edges of your patio or deck so that it is easy to discern where the edges are located. Using indirect lighting for your seating areas are helpful, this cuts back on harsh direct lights at eye level, nobody wants to be squinting into the light as you are trying to enjoy a relaxing evening on your deck or patio. Another lighting option for your hardscapes such as patios or decks are strands of led lights that can be affixed to the underside of your deck railing or other hardscape items.
As you can see there are a number of things to consider when it comes to landscape lighting. Second Nature is experienced in all aspects of landscape lighting, from design to implementation. Call us today to speak with a design expert about the landscape lighting plan you have in mind.
We all have been getting a bit antsy for the great weather that comes with spring and early summer! That time is finally here and we can celebrate this weather in May with National BBQ Month!
As the weather gets nicer many people love to entertain and spend time in their yard. Today we want to discuss some ways to establish or improve an outdoor kitchen, on a budget.
One of the first outdoor kitchen ideas on a budget to address is your cooking apparatus. Rather than a fixed grill with gas lines run to it, consider a portable charcoal or gas grill. A portable grill helps to keep costs lower because it doesn’t require a contractor for installation, it also provides the benefit of being able to take the grill with you if you were ever to move.
An island or an all weather kitchen cart can provide the needed storage as a way to update your outdoor kitchen on a budget. If you have wall space to work with you can add cabinets or a ledge at cabinet level.
Outdoor Drink Service
An outdoor kitchen idea on a budget for enhancing your drink service starts with a portable bar area. Again, this gives you the flexibility of taking it with you were ever to move, and it also is a lower budget item than having a contractor install a fixed bar. A portable bar can be something purchased or as simple as a metal tub on a stand where you can ice down some beverages.
When dreaming about outdoor kitchen ideas on a budget don’t forget to include where you will be eating this food you’re making in your new outdoor kitchen. Make sure you have a dining area that will provide seating for you and your guests. You can find outdoor dining sets at many local retailers and a number of online dealers.
Location Location Location!
If your outdoor kitchen ideas on a budget do include using a plumber or electrician you can reduce costs by positioning your outdoor kitchen as close as possible to a water source and existing electrical elements. It is even better for your budget if you can forgo hard wiring or plumbing, which would involve the added expense of an electrician or a plumber. For example, if you position your outdoor kitchen close to an entrance or a water hose you can handle clean up in that manner, rather dealing with the added expense of adding plumbing.
Everybody has a different idea of what they want in a backyard. As you begin to plan and design your backyard think about what your perfect yard would look like in order for you to truly enjoy spending time in your backyard. It is a good idea to start with the overall design you are striving to achieve and then move to the smaller details that will really make your backyard design stand out.
If entertaining is a big part of how you want to spend time in your backyard some backyard design ideas you may want to incorporate might include an area for al fresco dining, an outdoor kitchen and backyard bar, an outdoor living room, a built in fire pit, or a dedicated area for games such as washers or cornhole. When choosing furniture for your outdoor dining and lounge areas make sure you are keeping comfort in mind. Even the best-looking sets won’t be utilized fully if they are not comfortable!
If you are more focused on how your family, and small children, are going to use your backyard you will be interested in a different set of backyard design ideas. If you have small children some elements you might want to be sure to include would be a dedicated play structure area, an area for sand/dirt play, lots of open space for running or playing ball, and a paved track around the exterior edge of your backyard can be great for riding bikes or other wheeled toys. Children’s play areas can be traditional with a cedar play structure, or you can think outside the box with an old canoe filled with sand or dirt, rather than a traditional sandbox.
While some people desire entertaining or recreation space some people dream about a beautiful and lush backyard filled with ornamental and flowering plants to soothe their senses. For these people, backyard design ideas may include a wide variety of organic and ornamental flowers, meandering pathways they can use for wandering through the garden, and water features. When planning the types of plants you will want to take into consideration the mature height of the plants, you want to make sure to use plants of varying heights so everything is not on the same level. It is also a good idea to use plants of varying colors and that flower and bloom at different times throughout the growing season. Using plants that are native to your local area will make it easier to grow the plants because they are already adapted to the temperatures and rainfall that your area typically receives. A water feature or fountain not only makes a great focal point, but can also add a musical note into your garden.
Not everybody has the space available for a lush and sprawling lawn and garden. Even with a small space there are a number of ways to incorporate beautiful ornamental flowers or useful vegetable plants into a garden plan.
A great small garden idea is a raised planter; with a raised planter you can maximize space but still have a supply of vegetables throughout the growing season. Raised planters can be purchased or easily made yourself.
If you are looking for a small garden idea be sure to think outside the box of plants that you typically see in gardens and yards. For example, colonnade apple trees grow upright and are extremely narrow. This gives you the benefit of having an apple tree that doesn’t take up massive amounts of your small yard.
Square foot gardening has gained a lot of popularity recently as a small garden idea. They are typically a bit larger than a raised planter and gives you more flexibility in the variety of garden plants you can grow.
A trellis can be a stand-alone element in your small garden or it can be attached to the side of the house to even further maximize the space available. Ornamental flowers that grow up the trellis can make any vertical space in your yard more beautiful.
Small garden ideas can be as simple as a couple of stacked pots. Depending on the size of the pots they could be set on the edge or corner of a patio, or even on your front step to add a splash of greenery as a greeting to all visitors. Herbs grow especially well in stacked pots like this and have the added benefit of being useful in the kitchen as well as ornamental!
If you do have room in your yard or garden space an arbor is a great small garden idea that allows you to take advantage of more of the vertical space in your yard. You can grow squashes or melons on an arbor, as the melons grow in size you will need to reinforce them with nylon strips to support the weight of the melons. Or, you can stick with ornamental flowers on your arbor.
Many people think if they have a small garden or lawn area there isn’t room for trees, but a small garden idea can absolutely include trees! There are a number of varieties that don’t take up a lot of real estate and still provide ample shade and added beauty to your garden. Crepe Myrtle, citrus trees, and Japanese Maples are just a few examples.
For further guidance on specific plants, trees, or more small garden ideas contact your local landscape design company. They can assist you with a design plan and implementation of that plan in your yard.
Gardening is an extremely rewarding endeavor. In many cases homeowners have great ideas about the various elements of a landscape design, but aren’t sure how to implement them. Planning a landscape for optimum use and ease of maintenance is a specialized skill. Hiring a pro to design your landscape can save you time and money in the long run. We’ll go over a few avoidable mistakes in landscape design to help you get the best out of your home landscape.
Professional landscape designers have expertise on tap to make your yard maintenance tasks easier, year after year. They will know how to choose the right plants, soil amendments and materials for your climate and site, and provide a cohesive design with functionality, focal points, and low maintenance. Professional landscape design is a worthwhile investment in your home’s value and curb appeal and will pay for itself over the years by saving you the expense and labor of replanting if things don’t work out.
Garden centers sell a lot of impatiens, geraniums and marigolds, but not necessarily because they are the best choice for the landscape. Often it’s because they are an easy choice for the grower, with quick propagation, reliable shipping and “shelf life” in small flats. Do use these easy-to-flower annuals for the summer splash of color, but look beyond them at native perennials for that touch of the unusual.
If you plan to grow edibles here, you won’t be limited to a plain-Jane apple tree. There are a large number of heirloom apple trees, and new varieties such as Honeycrisp apples and Asian pears are now available. Cherries, pecans, almonds and filberts will also grow well in our area. Concord grapes, berries of many varieties, and strawberries can be integrated into a landscape design with lovely results. The Chicago Hardy fig tree is productive and easy to grow, and bears fruit on new growth, which means that a bitter winter die-back won’t affect yield so thankfully there are many options here in the greater Kansas City area.
Make sure that your fruit trees are self-pollinating, or choose several varieties to pollinate your edible landscape.
A well-designed landscape will give your home beauty and increase your property value. Careful preliminary planning will ensure visual integration of your home and yard as a whole. Before you get out the shovel and trowel this spring, consider calling the landscape design professionals at Second Nature Outdoor Living and Landscaping. We will give you a free quote for landscape design, landscape maintenance, and the mundane yard chores that keep you from having the time to enjoy your yard, such as mowing, trimming, fertilizing and pruning. We know you have limited time, so why spend it mowing the grass?
Our goal is to provide you with long-term enjoyment of your home landscape. We have hundreds of happy customers in the greater Kansas City metro area who will confirm the effectiveness of that claim!
Are you one of the many people out there that is overwhelmed by the concept of taking care of and maintaining your landscape design? Rest assured that you are not alone! The good news is that there are a number of ways to plan a landscape design that is low maintenance to help minimize what you have to handle on a regular basis.
Use What You Have:
One of the first keys for a low maintenance landscaping idea is to take advantage of design elements that are already present in your yard, but modifying them to be simple and easy to care for.
If you have foliage or plant life growing on your existing hardscape structures, like mailboxes, pergolas, or arbors, you should remove it. This foliage requires continual care and trimming to keep them looking neat and can quickly become an eyesore if you are not caring for them properly. Once the plant life is removed you can repaint or stain the hardscape items to give them a new, clean, and more stream-lined look.
Clean Up Your Beds
For a low maintenance landscaping idea you want to make sure that the flowerbeds in your yard are requiring minimal upkeep. Typically flowerbeds require extensive work and continual weeding, especially if they have natural groundcover, like mulch. By replacing mulch with stone or gravel and eliminating plants that spread quickly or require constant trimming you can minimize the amount of time you spend in your yard to keep your flowerbeds from looking unruly. When you install stone or gravel groundcover but sure to use an underlayment of weed barrier to further inhibit weed growth in the flowerbed. Creating a crisp border on the edge of the flowerbed by installing timbers or other hardscape edging materials can help to prevent weed growth and create a definite line between the lawn and the bed.
When choosing plants for the flowerbeds choose non-fussy flowers. Also, choosing perennials means that you aren’t replanting flowers each spring.
Your Path Is Clear
A low maintenance landscaping idea also extends to the walkways in your yard. An overgrown pathway can quickly have your lawn looking messy and unkempt. Replacing stepping stones with either concrete squares or flagstone laid in concrete helps you avoid weeds and unwanted grass growth between steps or on the pathway. By eliminating weeds you eliminate the time needed to battle them!
Match Your Design With Your Home
The final point of our low maintenance landscaping ideas is to make sure the style of your landscaping matches that of your home. If your home is more traditional you can create structure in your yard with symmetrical plantings of low-maintenance plants. A more contemporary or modern styled home can more easily go further minimalistic and use concrete, wood, and metal elements. These create cleaner lines and fewer headaches and upkeep for you!
If the thought of designing your yard with these low maintenance landscaping ideas is still overwhelming for you, contact your Second Nature Outdoor Living and Landscaping for assistance in both design and execution.
We understand that not everybody has a large and sprawling backyard that allows for some of the picture perfect backyards you might see on Pinterest or design magazines. But the good news is that there are plenty of small backyard landscaping ideas that can help overcome a lack of space. Today we are going to talk about some of our favorite small backyard landscaping elements to imitate some of the sprawling designer magazine aesthetics.
By choosing items that have dual functions, you can maximize the use of your space. For example, a small backyard landscaping solution would be a deck design that has a bench built in around the exterior edge of the deck. That way you are able to maximize the seating you have in your backyard while still maintaining open spaces for mingling during a BBQ or giving your children space to play.
If your backyard space is limited by a slope, a built in terrace can be a great small backyard landscaping solution. If a steep slope is rendering part of your yard useless terraces can turn that area into a space for seating, play, or a garden bed.
Many people with small backyards are frustrated with the lack of space for an edible garden. Most people envision a vegetable garden as a large plot with plants laid out in rows, this just isn’t a feasible option if your space is limited. By thinking outside of the box your small backyard landscaping can be based off of edible plants instead of the more commonplace ornamental plants. You still gain the variety of texture and height that can be achieved with ornamental plants, but also have the benefit of growing your own food. Edible plants can also be planted in containers, which do not require as much space as a traditionally laid out vegetable garden.
When you have a small backyard, you may want to maximize the useable space by filling the yard with pavers and/or landscaping stone. This small backyard landscaping idea can increase your livable space by opening up the yard for a dining area, an outdoor living area, or ensure that you have space for a great fire pit. You can soften the look with planters along the outside edge of the yard.
If maximizing space isn’t your main goal when designing your small backyard landscaping, you could focus on increasing the amount of plants and greenery in your yard. Filling your space with flowering plants of various sizes and heights and installing pavers to create meandering paths through the yard can create a strong visual impact. Care should be taken to choose plants that are appropriate for the space you have and that won’t grow too large and overwhelm the small space.
An alternative to filling your backyard with plants is to minimize the plants and defined spaces in the yard. This small backyard landscaping idea is that by keeping your yard minimalistic, you are able to use the space in multiple ways. You can have plenty of space when you have friends over for a party or plenty of room for the kids to play.
If you don’t want to close in your yard with a tall and imposing fence, a great idea for small backyard landscaping is to utilize plants to define the space. They also can provide a screen and allow you privacy in your backyard sanctuary, while still allowing for an openness that isn’t possible with a full fence.
Once you decide on your basic idea of how you want to use you backyard there are plenty of ways to see your design come to life, regardless of the space you have available to you.