2015 | Great Backyards

Raise the Patio

Download PDF Article

"Goodbye high-maintenance deck. An eye-catching two-tier patio serves the same function and can withstand everything Minnesota throws at it – wind, rain, multiple feet of snow; wet, sandy feet; and sultry summer days."

This suburban family loves the outdoors so the space had to work with their lifestyle. In the backyard, they were looking for dining spaces, a fire pit, and enough yard space for their children, friends, and dogs to enjoy. It seemed simple enough until Mr. Homeowner said "no deck." He disliked the enclosed feeling, the deck railing at eye level, and the cluttered look of storage under the deck. He also wanted visual appeal on the lake side so he insisted no deck. The drop from the sliding glass doors to the ground is about 8 feet! This required thinking outside the box.

Read the article

Thinking Outside the "Deck"

When Mr. Homeowner says "no deck, please," designers get creative with tiered retaining walls and paver patios.

Learn More

A Video Story

"Why would we want a cabin?"

This Apple Valley project won top honors in 2012 from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association for transforming a steep and useless backyard into an "amazing" outdoor living space.

More Video Stories

Recent Press Articles

Gather around the fire

Gather around the fire

Here are some tips from leading landscape contractors for creating safe, timeless fire features that provide resort-like experiences for customers.

Green Home of the Year

10th Annual Green Home of the Year Award Winner: Ohm Sweet Ohm

2,400 square foot single family home in Roseville MN is net-zero, and then some... The home produces its own energy, with enough leftover to power two electric cars. Sustainable landscaping by Southview Design.

MNLA Member Profile: Southview Design

An interview with President Chris Clifton on what makes Southview Design thrive.