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One of the first projects the Langes tackled was installing decking. Because the backyard is on a septic system with leach fields running through the yard, they couldn't do a lot of digging. Instead, they added 1,200 square feet of redwood decking.
The Langes' tiki bar is one of the most eye-catching elements of the backyard. Featuring a thatched roof and margarita maker, it's a perfect place for entertaining guests. The Langes got their inspiration from a tropical resort. Look for a locale you enjoy for ideas to style your personal retreat.
Test Garden Tip: Save money and go green with solar-powered lights. New models cast a glow for a much longer period than old types.
Test Garden Tip: Pay attention to plants when planning your backyard. Big, bold tropicals create one look; select lavender, sage, and other silvery-leaf plants for a Mediterranean feel.
Tucked beneath a canopy of 300-year-old oaks, the Langes enjoy plenty of shade. But all the foliage, including bird of paradise, ferns, and Japanese maples, add to the cooling effect, making the backyard feel cool, even on the hottest days.
A large pond, fed by a 15-foot-tall waterfall, sits next to the deck. The moving water provides the perfect background sound, making the backyard feel even more private and secluded.
The drawers of the armoire offered a perfect water feature. The Langes used a fiberglass resin to seal the drawers. Then they changed the knobs to a pull and drilled a hole underneath each one. A small piece of tubing in each hole pushes water out, and a pump in the bottom drawer recirculates water to the top.
FULL YEAR just $5.99