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updated: 5/5/2013 2:36 PM

Outdoor makeover week 1: Can blank canvas be a masterpiece?

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  • The Kendall family would like to enhance their yard with a small pond, a fireplace to gather around in cooler weather and a lovely garden to brighten the otherwise empty space.

      The Kendall family would like to enhance their yard with a small pond, a fireplace to gather around in cooler weather and a lovely garden to brighten the otherwise empty space.
    Courtesy of Jenny Kendall

  • RYCO Design Group would add a patio space with seatwall using Belgard pavers, a firepit, small water feature and colorful plantings.

      RYCO Design Group would add a patio space with seatwall using Belgard pavers, a firepit, small water feature and colorful plantings.
    Courtesy of RYCO Design Group

  • RYCO Design Group would add a patio space with seatwall using Belgard pavers, a firepit, small water feature and colorful plantings.

      RYCO Design Group would add a patio space with seatwall using Belgard pavers, a firepit, small water feature and colorful plantings.
    Courtesy of RYCO Design Group

  • RYCO Design Group would add a patio space with seatwall using Belgard pavers, a firepit, small water feature and colorful plantings.

      RYCO Design Group would add a patio space with seatwall using Belgard pavers, a firepit, small water feature and colorful plantings.
    Courtesy of RYCO Design Group

 
By Jenny Kendall of Palatine

Two years ago in late June, my family moved into our new home. Our previous home was on a creek and in a flood plain that often wiped out my modest attempts at gardening. I was excited that our new backyard was clearly a blank canvas waiting to be enhanced by a small pond, a fireplace to gather around in cooler weather and a lovely garden to brighten the otherwise empty space. After a 100-year storm flooded many of the homes in the area, the first summer in our new home was spent cleaning up and repairing our basement. The following year I helped to care for my terminally ill sister who sadly passed away in October. Now we are preparing for our third summer in our home and my desire for a beautiful, functional space in which to entertain and just hang out and relax this summer is even greater still. I saw the yards that were beautifully transformed in your contest last year and realize my ambitious plan may be out of my realm of thinking. I would love the opportunity for an expert eye to take this blank canvas and make it into a masterpiece that can be enjoyed by many -- at family gatherings, cookouts with friends, book club meetings, or my teenagers just hanging out with their friends. Whether or not our yard is selected, I look forward to seeing and being inspired by the beautiful designs your team creates. Thank you for your consideration.

Transformation by RYCO Design Group

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Budget: $10,000+

This started out as a blank canvas. The homeowners had a sad concrete patio, a few trees and some patchy lawn. They are looking for a space to entertain, enjoy a water feature and colorful plants.

Recommendations:

• New patio spaces and seatwall for extra seating using Belgard pavers. Also the addition of a firepit to enjoy the landscape into the evening.

• Small water feature next to patio area to listen and watch the soothing sound of water after a hard day of work.

• Colorful plantings to soften the new hardscape areas. Plants chosen should give four seasons of color to enjoy something different all year round.

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