Messy Backyard Makeover
Faded flowers, pathetic patios and weeds running wild! Landscape designer Nicholas Walker turned a messy backyard into an outdoor oasis!

Makeover Your Own Backyard
  • Remove any dead trees or branches.
  • Trim the trees and hedges. Most importantly, weed!
  • If you want privacy but don't want a fence, plant tall trees around the perimeter of your yard.
  • If you already have a fence but want a new look, don't paint it—cover it with vines.
  • Try to incorporate different elements into your design: fire (tiki torches); water (a fountain); earth (a stone path); wind (a swing).
  • Think of your backyard as an outdoor living space. Divide the backyard into rooms: a space for eating, sitting, playing and entertaining.
  • Wherever you live, tie in local elements that are easily accessible, like dry river rocks or indigenous flowers.
  • Personalize your backyard with family projects such as making a cement bench with your handprints.
  • Try companion planting to keep pests away. Plant marigolds around onions, peppers, tomatoes or garlic around roses.

Special Thanks
  • Smith and Hawken, Monrovia Nursery, All-Oregon Landscaping, and Lowe's supplied labor and makeover materials.
  • Hannah's Playhouse was donated by Barbara Butler designs. Visit


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