From a recommendation from a neighbor, we enlisted the help of Scott Tuzzolino of Gardenmakers NW. He had a flair for native plants and a vision for making the backyard into an 'outdoor living room.' How do you make an outdoor living room? First eliminate all the riff-raff and start with a clean slate. This amounted to ripping out 95% of what was back there. Ken and I often surmise that the previous owners would hurl the stones at us from their crazy rock sculptures if they saw what we did to their herb garden & raspberries. But notice the Bay Leaf Tree and the Japanese Maple did make the cut.Second rip out the lawn but make use of all the rocks present in the garden already. We wanted the space to be usable for entertaining so we installed in a flagstone patio. The whole area had to be leveled and the gravel/sand packed down with a machine. Third, make sure you have four walls. A cedar fence was installed on the north side to provide some privacy and add visual interest.
Scott says this is called 'hardscaping'. Tomorrow I'll show you the plants part. We asked for low maintenance--the opposite of me. Did we get our wish? You'll see.
(All photos by Scott Tuzzolino)