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Suzie and Evan Williams loved their southeast Portland home, but they weren't thrilled with the yard. Evan and Suzie liked that their back garden was a nice-sized square lot with room to entertain, without being too large to manage. It also had easy flow into the house. However, it wasn't the welcoming destination they desired. The patio was too small and was pushed up against the house, and the remainder of the yard was mostly patchy grass overshadowed by a large and dense myrtlewood tree. It didn't offer much in the way of visual appeal or comfortable spaces for entertaining.

When the time came to renovate the back garden they decided to invest in an expert designer who could take their criteria and think outside the box to something beautiful and comfortable for their entire family. Suzie knew exactly who she wanted to hire: Darcy Daniels of Bloomtown Gardens. Both her sister and her mother used Darcy to renovate their gardens with fabulous results. Even though Darcy dealt with similar issues, each garden was a unique and personal expression of its owner.

Darcy was asked to create a design that would allow them to use their back garden year around. They were tired of the lawn and wanted to move the patio out into the garden. Darcy designed the garden around a central geometric patio, featuring a striking wood structure. A cozy sectional couch and gas fire pit are protected by the asymmetrical structure. Two dining tables share the patio, providing places for the family to entertain and play games. The tone of the garden is warm and inviting all year around, with shades of bronze, gold, purple, orange, gray, and green featured in the plant material and the d├ęcor.

The entire family enjoys spending time in the backyard. Their nine-year-old son plays imagination games on the patio and among the shrubbery, and their teenage daughter loves to hang out around the fire pit with her friends. Suzie likes to step out in the evening and read by the fire, and Evan always enjoys a quiet nap in the calm setting. Their friends and neighbors also enjoy their garden. It's often the chosen destination for gatherings, and their neighbors have been known to bring their friends over just to show how wonderful it looks.

Suzie commented that maintenance has become much easier now. It's not such a chore to work out in the garden. The plants are so interesting that it's fun to work around them. Most of the work is light pruning and general clean-up.

Both Evan and Suzie said they loved working with Darcy. They could have their hopes, wants and preferences all wrapped up in a beautiful design that fit their lifestyle. Suzie said it was an education to watch Darcy work through the design process, considering the visual appeal, color, mood, and use of the space as well as the horticultural needs of the plants. The result is a family that loves being outside enjoying their new garden.