My Great Outdoors: Suzanne's Shady Chicago Backyard

My Great Outdoors: Suzanne's Shady Chicago Backyard

Janel Laban
Jun 5, 2009

Name: Suzanne, Michael and Max

Location: Chicago

Type of space: Backyard deck and garden

When Suzanne, her husband Michael and son Max moved in to their home the backyard was essentially a sandlot - just bare dirt, no plantings at all. Suzanne took it from barren to lush in the years they've been there, adding trees, grass, flowers and a wonderful deck that acts as a whole other room to enjoy during the warm weather.

How did you create it?:
She designed the deck to replace an earlier not-so-great room addition onto the back of the house which they removed. Her gardening has been a labor of love which has really flourished over the years- the trees are so large and healthy that they've turned the once-sun baked stretch of dirt into a shady oasis in the city.

Some of the trees and plants shown in the photos which are all thriving this year: a Newport Plum, a Beech, Japanese Maple, Japanese Juniper, a Globus, a Weeping Spruce, Hostas and, of course, the beautiful blooming Irises.

Recommended store, site, product or resource?
Suzanne loves Gethsemane Garden Center - it's her go-to spot for all of her garden needs - from the trees and plants to the rocks, pavers and decorative accents. She says that in addition to healthy plants, she's gotten great advice from the staff there.

Thanks, Suzanne, Michael and Max!

Images: Janel Laban

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