Before: Abandoned to PlayJon and Shawn Morehead bought their tiny Brooklyn apartment several years ago, but since then they've had two children. Space is at a premium: The backyard is a wilderness of kids' toys, and there's no place for the adults to hang out. Host Matt James sets about turning the space into a green garden fit for both adults and children.
The neighborhood is a dream, but the yard is far from idyllic. Plastic toys are scattered about, the lawn is history and the whole space is neglected. It's an unwelcoming place for both kids and adults. Shawn and Jon want an outdoor room where Maddie and Mina can have fun while Mom and Dad relax, thus helping to expand their living space.
After: A Place for the GrownupsMatt divided the backyard into two sections. In the back half, luscious turf provides a new soft play area for the kids. A raised bed holds colorful perennials. Best of all, a swing-for-two nestled in the backyard and surrounded by newly planted shrubs and perennials will be Jon and Shawn's relaxing getaway. Evergreens give the yard's frame the necessary year-round bulk. Ilex crenata and cherry laurel provide the foil for showier plants like Michelmas daisies and sedums. Matt used muted tones in the landscaping and repeated colors around the garden to give it a calming, harmonious feel.
After: A Comfortable, Practical HavenCloser to the house, the area is now a beautiful combination patio and play area. Jon and Shawn attacked the clutter by getting rid of toys that the girls hadn't used in the last month or so. The new sand pit — made out of natural railway ties — is a treasure for Maddie and Mina. A new wooden storage bin stores toys out of sight. Children and adults can now coexist peacefully.
Before: Kid Clutter RulesIf there's a theme here, it's colorful plastic. Jon and Shawn desperately need a functional patio — on a level and uncracked surface — where the family can gather, eat, relax and play.
After: A Beautiful PatioA lovely bluestone patio with picnic table awaits family gatherings. Probably the hardest job: Shawn and John had to carry all the gravel, sand and cement for the patio through the house to the backyard.
After: Inviting the ButterfliesShawn and Jon wanted plants and flowers that will attract butterflies to the garden, and sedum will help do the trick. The plant palette includes blues, whites and pinks — plus big chunks of purples from plants like the purple sand cherry — to contrast with all the greenery.
Tip: Protecting the TurfThe beautiful new turf helps seal the transformation from barren, cluttered yard to family retreat. Tip: When laying down new sod, always work on a board. Otherwise, your feet can create divots that are difficult to get rid of.
formal pattern bluestone - Stone and Garden
natural railroad ties - Bissett Nursery
Teal moonstone planters - Yardiac.com
Harvest 60' table and bench set, cypress adirondack swing and cedar support swing (Great American Woodies) - Teak Wicker and More