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Kylee here! When we bought our new home, it was after months of searching in a grueling market. As we went into it hoping to get everything we wanted, we received many rejections on the houses we offered and quickly realized that we had to prioritize and sacrifice some things. An established yard was one of those things we compromised on when we finally found our cute little cape style home in Portland.
Here are some photos taken shortly after moving in. We had just dropped off our things and made a paved path from the house to the detached garage. We were happy to just have a yard, but as you can see it needed a little help and was really just a blank slate! So many possibilities. To be honest, I feel a lot more confident in my abilities when designing interior spaces, but not so much exteriors. I really wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to landscaping or what plants work well in our climate. I had a rough idea in my head of what I might want, but no idea how to execute it, so when we had the opportunity to work with Yardzen to help us design our yard and create renderings , we were so excited to have experts who could help us realize our vision!
What is Yardzen?
The whole concept of Yardzen is amazing – it’s an online landscaping company that creates custom designs for your garden based on your style preferences, climate and budget.
How it works?
First I chose a package. I chose the backyard one, but there are several options, including ones that help with the exterior of your home, landscaping, and painting! Then the process simply involved sharing our budget, taking a style quiz, sharing preferences and photos for inspiration, and sending photos and videos of my yard from different angles. Then they provided me with the initial designs, at which point I was able to provide feedback for a final review. At the end of the Yardzen design process, you will receive your final design, a list of plants, a list of furniture and detailed construction documents, called CAD plans. Then they connect you with a professional network of licensed, licensed and insured landscape contractors in your area who will quickly schedule time to visit your property to provide an estimate. You can then choose to do the work yourself or hire a contractor!
My experience / The result
I was really curious how a virtual consultation would achieve accurate renderings and a true display of my vision virtually, but I was blown away by the end result! It was my yard, but totally beautified! I am beyond impressed with how they were able to bring my vision to life. To think that our garden could one day look like this gives me so much hope!
Last fall we added a paved path from the patio to the garage since we park in the garage and needed a non-muddy path to and from the car. Now I can see the vision of this whole area blossoming with all these beautiful flowers, including the hydrangeas, which are one of the only specific plants I asked for. I wanted low maintenance English cottage garden vibes and I love the slightly wild, but still classic look we achieved in the renders. So lush and not too neat, I don’t have to spend my life keeping it perfect.
On this side of the yard I currently have an ugly temporary fence between the house and the detached garage to contain my dogs, but I’ve been dreaming of a lovely white picket fence and love seeing it come to life! We have already done some quotes for this project and hopefully it is something we will do this year. We even thought about taking care of it ourselves (famous last words…).
One of the issues I wanted Yardzen’s help with was a solution to the visual pollution that is the towering blue house behind us. Not only does it overlook us from the outside, but it is also the main view from our kitchen. I love how they created a line of lush plants to help create a sense of privacy and added a magnolia (with a lovely bench underneath!) that would be in the eye line of my kitchen sink, which would provide something a bit more charming looks while doing the dishes 🙂
Privacy at the side of the house was also an issue, which was remedied with trees and a privacy wall. Also, I’ll happily put a planter on every window I have, thank you very much.
One of my goals was to have a cozy retreat space outside to relax and I love how the pergola and privacy wall create a space tucked away on our patio, almost like an outdoor room ! I can just imagine sitting here with a glass of lemonade and a good book.
So what’s the next step?
Once you have your Yardzen designs and shopping list, you are free to do the work yourself or use one of their contractors. I love that they connect you with landscapers and contractors who can help bring the plans to life! I plan to work on the site over time in phases and will probably do some of the work myself (I’ve already started planting!) and we’ll hire help over time for larger projects , if our budget allows it.
I’m so pleased with how our renders came out as well as how easy the whole process was. I would highly recommend using Yardzen’s services. They have several package options to choose from, depending on your needs. If I didn’t have this design to work from, I have a feeling the result wouldn’t be wonderful. I’d probably go about it haphazardly and make a lot of mistakes along the way, but having this expertly designed plan gives me peace of mind that it’s going to turn out great!
If you love cottage gardens too, I’ve created a Cottage Garden Pinterest board where I’ll pin my dream gardens! I’m also on Instagram stories and will update you as we add new plants over the summer 🙂