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Creating An Oasis - Empty Nester Adventures | Empty Nester Adventures

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Creating An Oasis

Creating An Oasis

Jun 1, 2012

We have always had a tiny back yard.  Our lot butts up against the neighbors with only 25 feet separating our homes.  We had some mature trees and bushes which helped to provide some privacy and shade, but only a small concrete walkway and a 10′ x10′ brink patio we put in when the kids were little. The rest of the ground was covered with small river rock.  We really could not entertain and certainly did not spend any real time out back unless I was using the grill.

About a year after our last son left for college, Linda and I were lamenting not having an outside retreat to enjoy and to entertain friends.  After attending the Colorado Garden & Home Show in February, we began working on our “master plan.”  We decided that we wanted a few key improvements for the backyard.

  • Expanded patio space to allow for entertaining
  • Space for a large outdoor dining table for future extended family
  • Fire Pit with seating area
  • Area for a man-size BBQ
  • Location to hang my hammock
We engaged a landscape architect to help sketch out a design.  With that in hand, and after a number of changes, we decided to play the role of general contractor (easy right?).
The best decision we made was to have a textured concrete patio poured to emulate flagstone.  This has proven to be both beautiful as well as easy to maintain. The concrete contractor did a great job tying into existing sidewalks and reinforcing every square foot with rebar.  After that was installed, we had a landscaper build earth berms and place large boulders to provide some height and dimension.  Perennial plants, a drip irrigation system and mulch completed the installation. Then it was off to Costco for patio furniture.  After several returns until we go it right, we completed with a large dining table, several overflowing planted pots and the much anticipated propane fire pit.
The outcome was nothing less than stunning.  We took a very small space and turned it into a wonderful sanctuary that we can enjoy for five months out of the year.  Our retuning family, friends and neighbors love to come over.  It offers both privacy and function.  I even occasionally get to enjoy the hammock!
Send us YOUR home makeover stories and don’t forget to include the photos.  You never know where your next inspiration will come from.  That’s the whole idea behind Empty Nester Adventures.


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