So, let’s be honest: I don’t necessarily give off of the look of a landscape designer. People take one look at my heels and chiffon blouse, and all the sudden I’m a Southern trophy wife who can’t get her hands dirty. But folks, that couldn’t be farther from the truth,
Outside of my faith and family, my core joy in life comes from creating beautiful patios for people (and of course the rest of the yard, but the patio is my favorite part). It’s almost like being a psychic. For example, when I met with Jan and Garry Perrish a few weeks ago, they had no idea what they wanted in terms of landscape design. They had both agreed on curves over sharp edges and brick over cobblestone, but past that, they were at a loss.
Fortunately, this is where I come in.
I painted a picture for them using the magazine pages they had cut out from Better Homes and Gardens. I could tell they were interested in succulent-focused foliage, as well as a brick-centered outdoor kitchen. As for the hardscape, I showed them a way to separate the unique parts of their garden without running up installment costs.
The patio was their biggest conundrum. They loved whiter washes of wood, but they also knew lighter patios could be blinding to the naked eye on sunny California days. However, a darker wash of wood didn’t fit the overall airy feel of the landscape, so it would look obviously out of place. In order to rectify this, we decided on a lighter wash cherry wood. Since the patio is juxtaposed with the bricks, the reds of both surfaces will complement each other. And since the wood is middle-toned, it won’t throw off the feel of their backyard.
But my personal favorite aspect of the yard was the pizza oven. I’ve found that so many outdoor ovens include the double oven for absolutely no reason. People enjoy the “completeness” that it gives the area, but much like a fancy bookshelf full of unread books, it ultimately serves no practical purpose. I’m a huge fan of making sure everything I put into someone’s yard has both aesthetic and practical value. There’s a big difference between an outdoor pizza oven you could use and an outdoor pizza oven you will use.
Long story short, I turned what would’ve been the upper oven into a shadow box for hanging terrariums, one of Jan’s decor favorites. It added a feminine touch on the largely masculine feel of the BBQ/kitchen area.
Once we had the blueprints confirmed, I hired licensed landscape contractors to finish the job. The entire renovation only took four weeks. Considering the total revamp of the entire yard, including the outdoor kitchen, and patio, they ended up completing a six-week job within a month. Although Jan and Garry were originally skeptical about the potential of the finished project, they were undoubtedly impressed, and now they are all set for a summer full of hosting cookouts for family and friends.