Bland yard can become a Mexican oasis

  • Elizabeth Gama of Rolling Meadows envisions a Mexican-inspired oasis in her backyard where her multiethnic family can gather and celebrate life's milestones.

    Elizabeth Gama of Rolling Meadows envisions a Mexican-inspired oasis in her backyard where her multiethnic family can gather and celebrate life's milestones.

  • A colorful chiminea would be perfect for gathering around with friends and family.

    A colorful chiminea would be perfect for gathering around with friends and family. Photos Courtesy of Lurvey Garden Center

  • Color was designer Kate Green's first thought when a Mexican-inspired oasis was requested.

    Color was designer Kate Green's first thought when a Mexican-inspired oasis was requested.

  • Some patio material options to consider would be Mexican pond pebbles paired with irregular flagstone.

    Some patio material options to consider would be Mexican pond pebbles paired with irregular flagstone.

  • A colorful table runner on outdoor dining set can add to the atmosphere you want to create.

    A colorful table runner on outdoor dining set can add to the atmosphere you want to create.

  • Tropical plants in containers can help create a vibe the Gama's desire for the yard.

    Tropical plants in containers can help create a vibe the Gama's desire for the yard.

 
By Elizabeth Gama of Rolling Meadows
Posted6/23/2019 6:00 AM

We want to win this Daily Herald backyard spruce-up contest because our outdoor space just does not fit our family's personality! We are a busy, multiethnic family who loves to share good times with our families, neighbors and friends year round. Whether it be for an upcoming graduation party for our son, kids having a summer snack with friends, dinner on the deck or enjoy a summer night fire, we love entertaining but the flow just seems off. The outdoor space is blah and lacks function.

We would love to work with the wonderful sponsors to create a contemporary, Mexican-inspired oasis we once envisioned but became overwhelmed, leaving it now looking more like an overgrown, deserted landscape. We would love some help. We crave a vibrant space for our vibrant life!

 

Design by Lurvey Garden Center

Expert: Kate Green, www.lurveys.com

The Gama family's outdoor space looks overgrown and deserted. Their landscape is blah and lacks function.

Budget: $10,000

Suggestions

• Removing that old pine tree will make a big impact on improving the flow of the yard, especially as you come off the deck stairs into the rest of the space.

• In order for your yard to function as an outdoor entertaining space, I recommend a patio with a fire feature, like a chiminea or fire bowl, which are great for gathering around with friends and family. Plants can also serve to add function to the space, especially with plants like an apple serviceberry, which provides delicious edible berries in addition to it's spring blooms and great fall color.

• Color was my first thought when a Mexican-inspired oasis was requested. Besides some vibrant decor for pops of color, the plant choices will add vibrancy and patio material choices will help create the feel of a picturesque Mexican vista.

• Some patio material options to consider would be Mexican pond pebbles or another decorative gravel paired the warm, sandy color, irregular flagstone.

• A few colorful containers filled with lush tropicals placed around the patio will be the true finishing touch to fulfill the vision of an oasis.

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