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posted: 5/13/2012 6:00 AM

Backyard makeover contest Week 2: Blank slate

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  • A 6-by-10-foot raised porch is the only amenity in this Elgin backyard, but if the homeowner's follow the advice of Lurvey Garden Center, a paved patio surrounded by a host of new plantings including trees, shrubs and perennials

      A 6-by-10-foot raised porch is the only amenity in this Elgin backyard, but if the homeowner's follow the advice of Lurvey Garden Center, a paved patio surrounded by a host of new plantings including trees, shrubs and perennials

  • A patio constructed with pavers and a seated wall will help define the backyard and provide much-needed space for entertaining.

      A patio constructed with pavers and a seated wall will help define the backyard and provide much-needed space for entertaining.

  • A combination of shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses will provide a low-maintenance backdrop for a new paver patio.

      A combination of shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses will provide a low-maintenance backdrop for a new paver patio.

  • A combination of shrubs, roses perennials and ornamental grasses will provide a low-maintenance backdrop for a new paver patio.

      A combination of shrubs, roses perennials and ornamental grasses will provide a low-maintenance backdrop for a new paver patio.

  • Patio furniture from Oxford Garden allows for entertaining in comfort.

      Patio furniture from Oxford Garden allows for entertaining in comfort.

  • Patio furniture from Oxford Garden allows for entertaining in comfort.

      Patio furniture from Oxford Garden allows for entertaining in comfort.

  • Landscape lighting will help the owners enjoy their backyard into the evening hours.

      Landscape lighting will help the owners enjoy their backyard into the evening hours.

  • Landscape lighting will help the owners enjoy their backyard into the evening hours.

      Landscape lighting will help the owners enjoy their backyard into the evening hours.

  • Lurvey Garden Center in Des Plaines.

       Lurvey Garden Center in Des Plaines.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Lurvey Garden Center in Des Plaines.

       Lurvey Garden Center in Des Plaines.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Lurvey Garden Center designed a patio area made of Hollandstone pavers, with a wall providing seating. Surrounding the patio are several trees, some ornamental grasses, boxwood and other shrubs, as well as a variety of perennials, reachable by a flagstone pathway.

      Lurvey Garden Center designed a patio area made of Hollandstone pavers, with a wall providing seating. Surrounding the patio are several trees, some ornamental grasses, boxwood and other shrubs, as well as a variety of perennials, reachable by a flagstone pathway.

 
By Rosemarie Kahn of Elgin

We've been here for five years and really don't use our backyard. We'd like to have a patio to put our outdoor furniture on, but just don't know what we want and haven't had the funds to try to figure it out. Our neighbors both have beautiful patios and porches ... and all we have is the 6-by-10-foot porch that the house came with, and under it is a patch of poorly growing grass and dirt! It's just plain ugly.

We would LOVE to be able to eat outside and enjoy the view from our backyard. We are open to just about anything! We'd love to have a backyard we can enjoy and to be able to have people over to enjoy our backyard as well.

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What the Lurvey Garden Center experts recommend, with a budget of $10,000:

Because this backyard essentially is a clean slate, a new patio, furniture and landscaping will offer a wonderful retreat. Patio furniture from Oxford Garden would complement a new a paver patio with raised seating wall. A mixed landscape planting of trees, shrubs, perennials, roses and ornamental grasses would provide shade while creating an outdoor retreat, and the planting beds would be finished with shredded mulch. Landscape lighting and garden art complete the transformation.

From May 6 through June 3, the Daily Herald will publish finalists in our Get Your Summer On backyard makeover contest. Two winners will be chosen and they will receive prize packages valued at about $15,000. Winners will be featured in Home & Garden on June 10. To see more backyard makeover ideas, special Web page at www.dailyherald.com/entlife/homegarden/summer.

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