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Large Whimsical Garden for Entertaining

Over the last 50 years, the owners of this garden have DIYed every aspect of their spacious, half-acre property. From the front, this house seems unassuming, but as you enter the backyard, your breath is taken away by a beautiful landscape that stretches 300 feet to the back fence.

Note: any bulleted, italicized comments you see come from our in-house landscape designer!

See this landscape design in Simplyscapes.

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When you walk into the backyard, via a brick path, you first arrive at a smaller section of the yard. This space may be closer to the size that many people have to work with, and it shows that you can still include many features in a small space. This spaces next to the house includes an inviting patio and grill, several planters, a small grassy open space, and a pond. The ivy on the far wall helps to make the space feel secluded and natural.

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  • Some featured plants: hostas, allium, ash tree, ferns

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This is pond is the ultimate cozy nook, complete with an ivy backdrop, a lantern with a warm glow, sprawling plants, and a pretty pitcher plant in the forefront.

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  • The perfect place to forget about the worries of the world.

  • This vine-y backdrop is composed of ivy and Virginia creeper

A brick path takes you up above a rock retaining wall to a much larger grassy space that is entirely shaded by mature ash trees.

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  • The shaded pathway is whimsical and lush, featuring allium, hostas, and Virginia creeper

The owners made use of this area as another social space by adding in several tables and chairs. Because of the open layout and impressive design, this backyard is used for wedding receptions each summer.

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  • The open space showcases the pretty buildings behind it

On both sides of the grassy space, you can find some pretty amazing shaded planters, like the ones pictured below. They primarily use shrubs with interesting textures and foliage colors to create long lasting visual interest.

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  • Ferns and allium are the stars of this hedge-type planter bed

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  • Featured plants: ferns, hosta, impatiens

Just above these planters, you can relax on a quaint swinging bench. This swing is the perfect spot to sit back and take in the garden around you. Flanked by bamboo on one side and a shade garden with hostas and mayapple on the other.

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Once the path reaches a short picket fence, the wow factor really kicks in. On the near side, a gorgeous planting bed includes seasonal blooms. On the other side of the fence, you're invited in by a series of unique elements which make this space feel like much more than your average garden.

Even though most of the garden feels like an English cottage, on the south side of the lot, you are transported across the world into a Japanese garden. This space features a working waterfall and stream, several smaller fountains, and well contained bamboo.

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The red oriental bench provides a pop of color and a comfortable place to sit and listen to the water flow down the waterfall.

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Opposing the Japanese garden, you're invited to stroll through the centerpiece of the landscape, a flourishing, sunny garden.

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  • Another whimsical part of the yard--a garden path that beckons the viewer to come in and stay awhile

When their children were younger, the owners used all of the garden space for growing food, but now they have mixed in seasonal blooms through the space.

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  • The landscape and the garden become one in this area, just bursting with life!

The red mulch path was recently changed from a less colorful stone one, and the color perfectly offsets the sea of green.

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  • The red mulch plays off the bright yellows, oranges, reds, and purples of the flowers above

  • A wide variety of plants here forms an exciting landscape, with something new to look at everywhere you turn.

This landscape is held together with the caring hands of its owners and certain areas of the yard make that easier.

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  • A behind-the-scenes look at the functional part of the yard, hidden in part by a picket fence, and nicely plotted out and organized

Just above the prepping area, you'll be amazed again. One of the other show-stopping elements is the working, miniature train set that wraps around a pond in a large section of the north east yard.

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The track spans a large distance and is surrounded with miniature houses and plants to make it feel more realistic.

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Some of the other features of the yard include a detached dwelling, a pickle ball court, and a pool. The court and pool are hidden by fences covered in Virginia creeper, so they don't take away from the naturalist feel of the garden. Red brick paths and charming trellises help to separate the spaces and carry you from one delightful space to the next.

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Though all of these features and spaces may seem like a daunting undertaking in your own yard, you can still find inspiration for whatever speaks to you. Use this garden as a reminder that over time, you can create the yard of your dreams.

The owners favorite thing about his garden: Sharing it with family, friends, and even strangers!

See this design in Simplyscapes.