An Ordinary Urban Yard, Re-imagined

These southwest Minneapolis homeowners were looking for a private place to entertain and garden. Their typical urban lot was a modest 1728 square feet (27’ wide x 64’ deep). The design features a new dining paver patio and a wide Bluestone walkway that doubles as a spot to catch the sun.

This project won a 2011 Contractor of the Year (CotY) award in the Outdoor Living category from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and a 2011 MNLA Landscape Design Award for its sleek and understated renovation.

Before: Open to a busy alleyway, this urban backyard wasn't ideal for entertaining.

After: A cedar fence, water feature, dining patio and an edible garden make this small backyard an urban oasis.

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Small Retaining Wall Creates Level Space

Creating living spaces posed a few challenges. The yard sloped down and away from the house making it difficult to create an entertainment space. The designer talked the homeowners out of putting in a deck which would have made a small yard seem even smaller. Instead, a small New York Bluestone retaining wall solved the problem by leveling a space for the paver patio to give them the entertainment and dining space they wanted.

Edible Garden Minneapolis Mn Landscape Design

Located Mid-Yard, this Plant Bed has Perennials, Annuals, and a few Edibles

New York Bluestone Water Pondless Waterfall Feature  in Minneapolis MN

A Pondless Water Feature Using Stacked New York Bluestone Steppers Offsets the Sound of Traffic in the Alley Beyond the Fence

Landscape Elements Tie into the Home's Architecture

Stucco Fence Columns Tie into the House and Indiana Limestone Caps Match the Upper Terrace Caps

Details add comfort, unify the design

Nighttime illumination enhances the serenity of the back yard. Bronze-colored light fixtures, used indoors, were repeated in the landscape. Since the backyard is at the end of a short alley, the privacy fence is essential to completing the coziness factor. One advantage of this small yard: little maintenance is required.

Materials: New York Bluestone retaining wall and walkway
Paver patio: Anchor Afton, walnut color

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