Category: Outdoor Lighting

Custom Landscaping Project: Before & After

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.

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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.12



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!

Outdoor Landscape Lighting Ideas

Landscape Lighting Ideas to Enhance your Outdoor Space

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.

  • Mix Up The Styles: By varying not only the type of lighting you use, but also the fixtures you can avoid everything looking too uniform.
  • Be Mindful Of Placement: Less is usually better. By carefully choosing the placement of your lighting you can often decrease the number of lights needed.
  • Don’t Forget To Highlight Texture And Color: Pathway lights and spotlights can allow you to highlight or emphasize different colors and textures in plants you have chosen in your landscape design.
  • Recreating Moon Lighting: Placing lights high up in large trees can give you a natural and indirect light that replicates moonlight.
  • Choose Your Hue: Depending on the application you may want to go for cool or warm toned lighting. Moonlight is on the cooler end of the spectrum and has a blue tone to it. The opposite end of the spectrum would be yellow toned candlelight.
  • Creating Shadows: You don’t want stark bright light in your yard, so that means you are going to end up with some shadows. But, this isn’t a bad thing! Interesting and intricate shadow patterns can add to the lighting effect in your yard. Just be mindful of the shadows and you can be purposeful with the placement of them. Placing your landscape lighting at night is a great way to see how the shadows will be cast and to make sure you are pleased with the effects created by the shadows.


Paver Lighting

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.

Pond Lighting

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.


Backyard Design Ideas

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.

Outdoor Entertaining Space

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!

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Family Friendly Outdoor Living

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.

Backyard Garden Design Ideas

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.

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Light the Way With Outdoor Light Fixtures

Many homeowners work very hard on building and designing their outdoor living space, but one of the most important parts of enjoying the space is being able to see it. With construction going on during the daylight hours, considering lighting when the sun goes down is commonly an afterthought for many homeowners. Outdoor light fixtures will play a big part in how your living space is perceived at night. To help light the way, here are our tips on choosing outdoor light fixtures.

outdoor light fixtures

Start With Pathways

If you are unsure of where to start adding outdoor light fixtures, begin with pathways. Not only does lighting pathways make it easier to see where you are going, it also presents a warm and inviting look. Try mixing different styles of stake and bush lighting along pathways and add recessed lighting along stairs.

Mix Warm and Cool Lighting

Warm lighting is always wonderful for your outdoor living space. It not only illuminates but also invites people to relax in the space. Yet cool lighting can make your outdoor living space a little more natural and mystical. The latest trend is to add cool lighting, or artificial moonlighting, to your living space. This is commonly added high up in trees to create an illusion of moonlight and highlight some of your beautiful landscaping. Mixing the tree moonlight with warm ground lighting creates a lovely movie-like atmosphere.

Add Both Decorative and Functional Lighting

Start with the functional and practical lighting to perform the basic illumination on your outdoor living space. From there, you can really have fun with your lighting options. Try adding string lighting in trees or a decorative outdoor chandelier over a table. This helps create mood lighting as well as you can turn off the functional lights when you simply want to relax and enjoy your decorative lighting.

Consider Adding Dimmers

If you have bright task lighting in your outdoor kitchen to help with food prep, consider adding dimmer options. Once task work is complete and you are relaxing in your space, you can dim the lights to create a softer glow.

Avoid Outdoor Light Fixtures Overkill

You don’t need to illuminate every square inch of your outdoor living space – that is what daylight is for! Use night time as an opportunity to create a certain mood in your space. Use the tips above and be sure to carefully select the areas you want to highlight. Stick to lighting extra beautiful spots of your landscape, talking areas, and distance landscape.