Expert advice needed to create a cozy space

 
By Susan Kopania of Libertyville
Posted6/3/2018 6:00 AM
hello
  • Susan Kopania of Libertyville says her backyard is small, shady and has no character.

    Susan Kopania of Libertyville says her backyard is small, shady and has no character.

  • Gas & Charcoal Combo Grill & Smoker

    Gas & Charcoal Combo Grill & Smoker Photos Courtesy of Blain's Farm and Fleet

  • Some patio furniture with an umbrella will do the trick.

    Some patio furniture with an umbrella will do the trick.

  • Ferns are shade-loving plants that don't need much light to grow.

    Ferns are shade-loving plants that don't need much light to grow. Courtesy of Blain's farm and Fleet

Our backyard is awful. It is very small and has no character at all. While the fence is only a few years old, it has turned to that ugly gray. The deck is too big and falling apart after years of repairs.

We are limited with sunshine in the area so it is difficult to grow plants, which means very little color. Most of all, it lacks any sense of coziness. We would like to have a space where we can sit outside and relax, as well as entertain our friends and family. I am hoping one of your experts can help us change this tiny area into something wonderful.

Design by Blain's Farm and Fleet

Expert: Jillian Boris, farmandfleet.com.

Susan's backyard is lacking in color and uninviting. Because her backyard is covered in shade, it is difficult to grow plants, which leaves it dull with very little color. The fence has turned an ugly gray and she wonders if there's anything she can do.

Budget: $2,000

Suggestions

• Stain: Give your deck and fence a refreshed look by removing old paint, adding a wood brightener and re-staining with a fresh wood stain.

• Patio furniture: Make an inviting space by adding a patio dinning set. And if you're going to be spending more time in your backyard, treat yourself to a gas grill, which is perfect for burgers and ribs.

• Lawn ornaments: Now you'll be spending more time outside, into the evening, so you'll need light! An outdoor string light set will be perfect for hanging from above. Add a little more character to your space by adding fun garden stakes and beautiful wind chimes that draw you into your backyard.

• Shade plants: Even though you might not get a lot of sun in your backyard, you can still grow beautiful, shade-tolerant plants such as hostas and ferns. Border them around your fence and deck. If you're looking for more color in your garden, begonias love shade, are colorful and come up year after year.

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