No matter how spacious — or how compact — your back yard may be, it can be immeasurably brightened with the right landscaping touches, clever use of color in plantings, and soothing water features, such as those in this sampling of ideas from Lewis Aquatech. In the midst of vivid pink flower beds and bright yellow umbrellas, a native stone-edged pool and spa are a peaceful blue; when you add an outdoor kitchen on one side and a waterfall on the other, you’ve got instant entertaining ambience. Waterfalls and streams add a peaceful note to any patio, as seen through a blue-painted porch with white French doors; a dignified redbrick home is well-matched with pink lilacs, massive beds of fuchsia-toned petunias, and planters spilling out pale-pink to white phlox.
Sometimes, the best color for your landscape is understated green; a velvety lawn edged with narrow stone walkways leading to a white pool house or outbuilding gets an added elegance with up-lighting of the trees that edge the way. A splash of color can be added, if you like, with stone planters that hold easy-care petunias or other annuals. For more elaborate settings, a blue-roofed gazebo plays off a multi-level cascading pond, meandering brook, and stone footbridge — a perfect spot for your guests to amble along of an evening, gazing at the stars. Punctuated by mature trees and lit up by masses of white flowers, this is a woodland oasis you can access anytime. Depending on whether you like colorful casual or a rustic, natural look, use these ideas to help make your own back yard a truly special place.