5 Ways a Backyard Renovation Can Result Into A Sanctuary

Several years ago, my mother was on a mission to purge her home of everything unnecessary. She wanted less clutter and more importantly, less chores.


She had been suffering from a chronic condition which caused her a lot of pain and fatigue and she just couldn’t do everything she had once done. Or rather, she could, but at the price of the things, she really wanted to do. Which was mainly spending time with her family and travel.

My parents were avid gardeners and even though they had a gardening service come in and take care of the yard, there were still many more things to take care off. There were fruit trees and flower beds, herbs and a vegetable patch.

Their backyard was once their refuge from the busyness of their lives, but now much older, it was more than they could handle. I had suggested finding a landscape company which could transform their yard into a relaxing place. She jumped at the opportunity and made an appointment with several companies including Terra Nova Landscaping.

When she finally settled on the landscape company she was going to hire, she had a long conversation with the owner. They toured the large, lush backyard and discussed the must-haves, the nice-to-haves, and what had to go.

The landscaper came back a week later with a plan which my parents absolutely loved. It was simple yet retained everything about the garden that my parents loved. My parents kept us from their home for 2 months until everything was perfect. When they invited us over for the reveal it was spectacular.

Here are the 5 things which turned their backyard into a haven:

1. Make your large space seem smaller


The backyard was large and had big expanses of grass dividing the different sections of the garden.

While they couldn’t make the yard smaller physically, their landscaper created beds of easy to maintain perennials and paved walkways which led to the areas which were most important to them. The meandering walkways broke the space up and gave the yard an intimate, cozy feeling.

2. Eliminating areas that require too much maintenance


There were several high-maintenance areas which my parents no longer wanted to keep maintaining. One of these was the vegetable garden.

My father insisted on keeping an area for tomatoes and they had a raised bed built which made it easy to access and maintain. Herbs were planted in pots and other containers and placed around the patio.

3. Replacing high-maintenance plants with easy care alternatives


The finely sculpted and impeccably landscaped backyard that my parents had meticulously cared for over the years, gave way to a free-form garden where the plant life was allowed to grow as it wished.

Gone were the carefully constructed flower beds of annuals which had to be replanted every year and replaced with some other flower or plant while they were dormant. Gone was the rose garden which required so much attention.

They were replaced by wildflowers which needed very little tending. The landscaper was very helpful in supplying a list of plants which fit my parents’ needs.

4. Use design elements that aren’t "alive"


A pergola with a canopy created a lovely place to sit and enjoy the garden. A small water feature was added which was easy to operate and required little maintenance.

Rocks were added to create visual interest and didn’t require any upkeep. All of these elements eliminated the need for additional plants or shrubs which kept the overall maintenance at a manageable level.

5. Lighting


The landscaper recommended adding lights in key spots to highlight the best features of the yard. Solar powered lights were placed along the walkways to provide illumination during evenings spent outside.

It was amazing to see the difference that strategically placed lighting made. It was subtle but made a big difference in the overall enjoyment of the space.


The garden has now become the favorite gathering spot for all of us. No longer a source of chores and a reminder of tasks that my parents could no longer physically handle, it has become a beautiful, relaxing place where they can enjoy peace and quiet.

Starting with a plan in mind, your backyard garden can be designed in a way which feeds your soul but doesn’t consume your free time with chores.

Knowing which features are most important and looking for practical, easy to care solutions will ensure that you can have a garden which is your personal sanctuary.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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