The Garden Path 
Five Summer Landscaping Projects


By:  Miles Campbell
Campbell & Ferrara Outdoor Living

Paved Walk

Do you sometimes wish that you could comfortably enjoy your outdoor living spaces this summer? Or is your family may be growing, and you need to make the backyard more functional for birthday parties and getting together with friends?

Alternately, you may have poor yard drainage in one part of your property, but you don’t want to put in a French drain and a swale. Instead, you want something more rustic like a babbling brook when it rains.

Whatever the reason, right now is the best time to expand your patio space, add an outdoor kitchen, add a water feature, put in outdoor lighting, and build a dry creek bed before the next big rainstorm.

Here are five backyard designs that will meet your outdoor living needs this summer:

Dry Creek Beds: If you have poor drainage areas around your home or in one spot of your property, then a dry creek bed may be the answer for you. A dry creek bed moves the water that ponds in your yard to a collection point, such as a rain garden.

The dry creek bed includes river rocks, boulders, and stones. You can plant native flowers, such as garden phlox, coneflowers, hostas, ornamental grasses, and shrubs. Add mulch to protect plant roots and add a touch of tidiness.

You can add a rain garden to the water collection area where water can percolate through the soil. Include perennials in your rain garden, such as wild blue indigo, coneflowers, hardy hibiscus, black-eyed Susans, Joe Pye weed, hardy geraniums, and sedges.

Water Features: Does the sound of water relax you? Then, you need a water feature. Your water feature can be a pondless waterfall, pond with a waterfall, fountains, basalt water features, and many other types of waterscapes.

If you love to sit outside and watch colorful koi swimming or a frog leap off a lily pad, you need an outdoor pond. You can include landscape lighting to watch the koi at night too.

For a unique fountain idea, try Basalt columns. The columns stand together in black or bronze as the water trickles up and out. You can add light to basalt columns for a focal point that you can enjoy from inside of your home as well.

Still, you may prefer the look of natural stone, including river rocks and boulders that look more primitive in a backyard design.

Patios & Walkways: If you’re in a newly built home, your existing patio is probably tiny. You may be able to fit a patio table and four chairs, and that’s it.

Why not expand your patio to include more room to add an outdoor kitchen area or a fireplace?

Your new patio doesn’t have to be right outside your house either. If there’s a space that you love to spend time in, consider adding a patio to that place.

For example, you may want a patio near the wooded area of your Alexandria property. Add a fire pit to roast marshmallows, to quietly relax, or to gather with family and friends.

Connect your patio and the other parts of your property with walkways. You can connect your entire outdoor living space with walkways that guide your guests from the front of the house to your backyard.

Your can help you design a patio and walkways that complement your home’s architecture. You have a choice of materials for your new patio and walkways, including pavers and flagstone that come in various styles, colors, and cuts.

Outdoor Lighting: Light up your nights with landscape lighting. You can place lights on steps, flowerbeds, and walkways, so people are able to see and safely walk after dark.

Put outdoor lighting in your pool, pond, or pondless waterfall for some whimsy and practicality. You can also use landscape lighting to draw the eye to a focal point, such as a favorite tree, the front of your home, or a basalt water feature.

Set up landscape lighting for those dark corners of your deck or patio. You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to outdoor lighting.

Outdoor Kitchens: If you love dining alfresco, you might want to add an outdoor kitchen to your backyard design. Outdoor kitchens come in a wide variety of designs, from a simple grill to a kitchen that rivals the one inside your home.

You can add a bar area to socialize while cooking or cleaning up. Include a small refrigerator to hold wine, beer, and sodas to keep them cold. You can also add cabinets to conveniently store plates, cups, wine glasses, and other alfresco dining accouterments.

The landscapers at Campbell Ferrara will help you design the outdoor kitchen that best serves you and your entertainment needs. For example, your designer may suggest a pavilion roof to keep you and your guests dry and away from the sun while enjoying outdoor dining.

You have a wide variety of choices for flooring, too, from flagstones, pavers, and even luxury vinyl to match your indoor flooring. Add outdoor lighting and ceiling fans to enjoy your outdoor kitchen well into the night.

Campbell & Ferrara
8351 Richmond Highway,
Alexandria, VA 22309
(703) 354-6724 

Campbell and Ferrara provides landscape design/build services and a retail garden center for homeowners living in Northern Virginia.

The ENDEAVOR News Magazine

Reproduction of this story and photographs, in part or in whole, requires the written permission of the ENDEAVOR NEWS MAGAZINE.  Copyright © 2011 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.

(Photographs, on this page, and on this website, are the sole property of the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, and are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, web or social media sites.


Garden wall and waterfall.

Water feature and stone pool

Outdoor KitchenOutdoor Kitchen

Reproduction of this story and photographs, in part or in whole, requires the written permission of the The ENDEAVOR News Magazine.  Copyright © 2011 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.

(Photographs, on this page, and on this website, are  not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, web or social media sites.)



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