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Kylee here to talk about our backyard design with Yardzen! When we bought our new home, it was after months of searching in a grueling market. While we went into it hoping to get everything we ever wanted, we experienced many rejections on the homes we offered on. We quickly realized we would have to prioritize and sacrifice some things. An established yard was one of those things that we compromised on when we finally found our cute little cape style house in Portland.
Here are some photos from shortly after move in day. We had just plopped down our things and made a flagstone path from the house to the detached garage. We were happy to simply have a yard at all, but as you can see, it needs a little help. It was really just a blank slate! So many possibilities.
To be honest, I feel much more confident in my abilities when designing interior spaces, but not so much outdoor ones. I really wouldn’t know where to start as far as landscaping or what plants work well in our climate. I had a rough idea in my head of what I might want, but no idea how to execute it, so, when we got the opportunity to work with Yardzen to help us design our yard and create some renderings, we were so excited about having experts that could help us bring our vision to life!
What is Yardzen?
The whole concept of Yardzen is amazing–they are an online landscaping company who creates custom designs for your yard based on your style preferences, climate, and budget.
How does Yardzen work?
First I picked a package. I chose the Backyard one, but there are several options, including ones that help with the exterior of your home, hardscaping, and painting! Then the process just involved things like sharing our budget, taking a style quiz, sharing preferences and inspiration photos, and sending in some photos and videos of my yard from different angles. Next they provided me with the initial designs, at which point I was able to to provide feedback for a final revision. At the end of the Yardzen design process, you’ll receive your final design, a plant list, a furniture list, and detailed construction documents, called CAD plans. Then they hook you up with a Pro Network of vetted, licensed, and insured landscape contractor from your area who will quickly schedule time to visit your property to provide a quote. You can then choose to do the work yourself or hire a contractor!
My Experience/ The Result
I was really curious about how a virtual consultation would be able to achieve accurate renderings and a true display of my vision virtually, but I was blown away by the final result! It was my yard, but totally beautified! I am beyond impressed with how they were able to bring my vision to life. To think our yard could someday look like this gives me so much hope!
Last fall we added a flagstone path from the patio to the garage since we park in the garage and needed a non-muddy pathway to and from the car. Now I can see the vision for this whole area to flourish with all these beautiful flowers, including hydrangeas, which is one of the only specific plants I requested. I wanted fairly low maintenance English cottage garden vibes and I’m loving the slightly wild, but still classic look we ended up with in the renderings. So lush and not too manicured so I don’t have to spend my life keeping it perfect.
On this side of the yard, I currently have an ugly temporary fence between the house and detached garage to keep my dogs contained. But I have dreamed of a charming white picket fence so I love seeing it come to life! We’ve already had a few quotes done for this project and I’m hoping it’s something we get done this year. We’ve even been thinking about tackling it ourselves (famous last words…).
One of the problems I wanted Yardzen’s help with was a solution to the eyesore that is the towering blue house behind us. Not only does it loom over us from outside, but also is the main view from our kitchen. I love how they created a lush line of plants to help create a sense of privacy and added a magnolia tree (with a cute bench underneath it!) that would be in eye line of my kitchen sink which would provide something a bit more lovely to look at while doing the dishes 🙂
Privacy on the side of the house was an issue as well, which was remedied with trees and a privacy wall. Also, I will happily put a window box on every window I have, thank you very much.
One of my goals was to have a cozy retreat space outside to relax and I love how the pergola and privacy wall creates a nestled in space on our patio, almost like an outdoor room! I can just envision sitting out here with a glass of lemonade and a good book.
So what’s next with our backyard plans?
Once you have your Yardzen designs and shopping list you are free to carry out the work on your own or use one of their contractors. I love that they connect you to landscapers and contractors that can help you bring the plans to life! I’m planning to work on the yard over time in phases and will probably do some of the work myself (I’ve already started some planting!) and we will hire help over time for the bigger projects as our budget allows.
Final thoughts on our Yardzen Design
I am so pleased with how our renderings came out as well as the ease of the whole process. I would highly recommend using Yardzen’s services. They have several package options to choose from, depending on your needs. If I didn’t have this design to work from I have a feeling the outcome wouldn’t be wonderful. I would probably go about it haphazardly and make many mistakes along the way, but having this expertly crafted plan gives me peace of mind that it’s going to turn out beautifully!
If you love cottage gardens, too, I created a Cottage Garden Pinterest board where I will be pinning the gardens of my dreams! I’m also over on Instagram stories and will keep you posted there as we add new plants over the summer 🙂