landscaping techniques to solve property problems

landscaping techniques to solve property problems

An Everyday Escape -- How To Design Your Own Relaxing Backyard Nook

Mitchell Ray

If you're looking for a way to add a refreshing spark to your backyard, a relaxation nook can be just what the doctor ordered. Often thought of as a "reading nook," this spot can be about relaxing in any way that you prefer while enjoying the outdoors. Designing and placing one in your yard can take as little as a weekend. Here are the 3 steps to get you there.

Location, Location, Location

Finding the right spot to build your nook is one of the most important aspects. It should be a spot away from the main use of the yard (such as where the kids or pets play, or the main entertaining area). Many homeowners like to convert a little-used corner of the yard since it will impact the yard the least and also tends to be a quiet, out-of-the-way spot. Overhanging trees or a shady corner can be a good location if you live in a warm climate. The side yard may also be a quiet location in which to relax. Keep in mind that the current view at any spot can often be changed by accessorizing and adding hardscape or greenery.

Lay Down a Base

If your chosen nook location doesn't already come with a solid base, you'll want to add one. Having a sturdy foundation is one of the best ways to ensure it gets used and requires little maintenance. You can lay down a simple paver stone floor in as little as a day depending on the size of the nook. Here's how you do it:

  • Mark the outlines of the paver floor. You can use string wrapped around wooden stakes or spray paint directly on the ground.
  • Dig out the existing grass or other landscaping. Dig down about 9 or 10 inches to allow enough room for the gravel base and the stones.
  • Edge the outside borders with your preferred edging material to help keep the stones in place and keep things clean.
  • Place a layer of about 6 inches of gravel, then compact it with a hand tamper or a larger powered version.
  • Add an inch or two of sand to help level the stones when you place them.
  • Lay down your stones in a design that appeals to you. The design will help set the mood for your nook, so feel free to be creative and unique. Leave gaps of only about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.
  • Make sure the pavers are level using a carpenter's level and a piece of 2x4 wood. Leave the stones a little higher than the surrounding ground so that water doesn't puddle. 
  • Use a filler such as rock dust to fill in the gaps and help keep the stones in place. Wet the filler material and secure the stones again as they settle. 

Accessorize It

Now that your nook has been placed and has a solid footing, it's time to decorate it. What you add to the spot and how you decorate it is as personal as you are, so go with what appeals to you. You should at least include seating of some kind as well as a table to place drinks, books or snacks. Your seating could be anything you wish -- a table and chairs, a bench, bean bags or a hammock. Add some relaxing touches like a fire pit, bubbling fountain or colorful flower pots. 

If the location isn't very scenic, surround it with a new view. Use bushes and dwarf trees to create privacy and block unwanted views. Large leafed and fast growing plants such as banana plants or Elephant ear can offer a lush background quickly. Use arbors or lattice with climbing vines to cover bare walls, a fence line or an unattractive view. 

Designing and installing your personalized relaxation nook is a fun project that you can accomplish with even a minimum of skill, but if you face unexpected obstacles, you can also hire some professional help from a qualified landscaper. Whether you go it alone or get help, you will create a space in your yard that you can enjoy and escape to for years to come. 

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landscaping techniques to solve property problems

The landscaping in your yard can do much more than make everything look pretty. Do you have areas of your property that remain soggy long after the rains have passed? Are there areas that get washed out during storms? Are there some places that simply aren't usable when you want to use them? Our blog will provide you with several ideas for using landscape design to make areas of your property that aren't currently usable into areas that are enjoyable, beautiful and maybe even increase the value of your property. We hope that you find the solution to whatever problems you are having right here.