Minnesota Outdoor Living Spaces

Relaxing is the Only Rule


Number 1 on most everyone's landscape wish list is a place to entertain family and friends. For this busy Minneapolis homeowner, who owns her own business and spends a portion of each week on the road, her #1 wish was a place to relax. What she had was not ideal. Less than half of her back yard was relaxing space.

Disconnected Spaces - Not Relaxing

The gardens just looked like work rather than a beautiful accessory in the landscape it should have been.

Overgrown and Unmanageable

After spending some time with the homeowner, the designer could see the outdoor spaces offered no respite for the weary. The 3-season porch was already in place and, other than a change in the position of the door, it had to stay where it was. Any other spot would have blocked the view of the lake from inside the house. The grade change between the 3-season porch and the patio area was addressed by using modular block retaining walls but also provided the opportunity to add hydrangea beds around the outside. Fire and water features also topped the list. A gas fire pit was a must. For someone who just wants to relax after a hectic week on the road, the flip of a switch and >poof< instant fire seemed the best way to go. There is a beautiful view of the lake but the homeowner wanted to be able to hear the sounds of water from inside her home. Basalt column bubblers were installed as close to the home as possible. Now, there are several outdoor living spaces - gazebo, fire pit area, dining area, and a beautiful garden. At night, outdoor lighting highlights the water feature, perennials and shrubs. Standing in this urban back yard, you wouldn't know this home is located on a busy street.

Hardscapes: Paver patio - Anchor Kingston, Northwoods; Modular Retaining Wall Block - Anchor Highland, Sand; Gas Fire Pit Stone - Chilton with Indiana Limestone Cap

Softscapes: Hydrangea, Daylilies, Hosta, Iris, Nepeta, Barberry, Pine, Yew, Birch...and a garden-full of the homeowner's perennials and shrubs.

Looking for your own Shangri-la? Southview Design can help.