A before and after shot of a backyard makover

Follow along as a landscape design professional shares her design principles, common mistakes homeowners make, and tips you can borrow to add that special something to your own backyard redesign.

Imagine, if you will, a perfectly fine yard, yet no one is out there enjoying it. That was the problem that Elida Rivera, Designer at All Oregon Landscaping Inc. was faced with when she started her backyard makeover for one of her clients. This busy family in Lake Oswego wanted their entire family to take full advantage of their outdoor space that was not being used at all at the time.

garden supplies

Planting in your backyard garden is easy. Dig a hole, plant some seeds, and make sure the seedlings get water and sun. However, making sure your plants develop into a beautiful and productive garden requires a little bit more effort.

Healthy plants need more than just soil and sun. Garden centers are fond of telling customers that a plant's health is affected by seven factors:

Colorful Swiss chard growing in a garden bed

This one goes out to all you new gardeners, as well as some of those “fair-weathered” gardeners cleaning out your vegetable beds and putting away your tools for the season. Is that you? Are you enjoying your tomatoes? Have you been sharing your bounty with your neighbors, whether they want it or not? Good! These are the gifts of summer. Enjoy this moment.

In 2005 Al's Garden and Home opened our Sherwood store, a 10.5-acre state-of-the-art garden center filled with annuals, perennials, nursery stock, fountains, pottery, garden supplies, and a high-end gift department.

Bamboo growing in a yard

Sometimes your backyard makeover needs a makeover. Maybe your tastes have changed over time, or something isn’t quite working with the space. Maybe, as in the case of Aaron Rivera - Al’s tree and shrub buyer - you notice the bamboo that you planted five years ago has become an escape artist when you weren’t looking, and has migrated into areas of the yard where they’re not supposed to be.

plant nursery

More people than ever have started investing in gardens and houseplants, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged us to practice social distancing. While caring for plants rarely requires emotional or psychological toil (unless you want it to), it involves a lot of the same responsibilities that pet parents have.

People are buying plants online or at a plant nursery (sometimes both) and caring for them in record numbers. The market was slated to reach $10 billion by 2018 according to official projections, and has now most likely surpassed that.

Here's what you should know about picking out the perfect plants for your home.

before and after photos of a backyard makeover

Finding Sanctuary In the Garden

Meet Yvonne. She is all about mindfulness, which is why she loves being in the garden. She has been able to find that ever elusive perspective by making time to walk and touch and feel and breathe in the garden. She finds healing through nature, and a reawakening of the senses that often get lost in today’s world of distraction.

home garden center

The process of transforming your backyard into a blooming landscape starts at the right home garden center. New and experienced gardeners alike rely on garden stores for guidance on successful gardening. In 2017, over 117.6 million Americans participated in some form of gardening in their homes. With numerous plant nurseries available in your locality, how do you select the right garden center? Follow these seven tips to find the right partner for your gardening journey.

Patio with tropical style houseplants

Turn your patio into a tropical retreat.

When you think of a tropical oasis you may picture exotic plants with brightly colored flowers, or colossal leaves from another age eclipsing the sun and providing shady relief from the heat, and the birds’ unceasing trills, chatter and chirping, mixed with the sound of trickling water in the distance.

A raised garden bed with carrots

Back in April, we revisited the Victory Gardens of the past in Plant a Victory Garden to Nurture Body & Soul, and recommended starting one your own during lockdown. Wow, did we garden! There was immense interest in vegetable gardening as seen in the more than 17,000 people who signed up for the Oregon State University Master Gardener's online Introduction to Vegetable Gardening course.