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Project Highlight: Creating Relaxed Outdoor Living in a Woodsy Yard

Relaxing Outdoor Living | Kitchen

A couple in Carmel wanted an outdoor living space perfect for themselves and their family to relax in. Their large, lush backyard offered the space to create three stages of relaxation: enjoying a meal, sitting around a fire, and soaking in a hot tub. Their woodsy backyard had a lot of natural beauty, but was overgrown with honeysuckle and ground cover plants that made it look more wild than beautiful. Our clients wanted to keep the feeling of being out in the woods in their new landscape and patio; we tailored our design to match that vision.

We began by creating three different areas for their outdoor living space, a kitchen/dining space, a fire pit and a hot tub.

Relaxing Outdoor Living | patio

The kitchen station situates the grill and granite countertops, which double as a buffet-style serving area and a place to put grill utensils and dishes while cooking.

Relaxing Outdoor Living | Kitchen


We installed a fire pit ring our clients found themselves, edged with a seating wall.

Relaxing Outdoor Living | Fire pit

The hot tub sits at the end of the deck, a great landing spot to wind down in after dinner and a fireside chat.

Relaxing Outdoor Living | hot tub

This bubbling rock is a touch of water in their forested backyard.

Relaxing Outdoor Living |


Our client wanted to fill the patio with color and life during summer using planters. She happens to be a pottery artist, and we advised her to use what she loves! We also suggested that she vary sizes and shapes so in winter, when the plants are gone, art and interest will still be on the patio. She ended up buying larger pots since she does not make pieces of that scale, and paired them with some of her own smaller pieces.

Relaxing Outdoor Living | Pottery

Next we tackled the overgrown woods. To bring out their natural beauty, we took out a good chunk of the ground cover and replaced it with plants that aren’t normally found among trees, but still look natural next to them. Our clients have a taste for color, so we planted a variety of variegated hosta, coneflowers, azalea, rhododendron, bleeding heart, wild ginger and natural fern. We also added hemlock, which was special to our clients—they take vacations at the boundary waters of Minnesota where hemlock is plentiful.

Relaxing Outdoor Living | landscape

The woods are shady, so we brightened the area with sandstone boulders, and sandstone steps for the patio to match. Did you know that fresh cut sandstone starts out bright yellow and dulls to a more natural color over time? Sometimes we are asked “why use newly cut sandstone and not the weathered variety?” The answer is cost-effectiveness: already-weathered stone costs far more, whereas the sturdy and good-quality new sandstone is very affordable and will acquire patina relatively quickly.

Relaxing Outdoor Living | water feature

Our clients enjoy their backyard and outdoor living space. The expansive patio could host quite the party if they ever wanted to throw one, but for now they are enjoying multi-layered relaxation on their own.

Eagleson Landscape Company provides landscape and hardscape services in the Greater Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Fishers and Geist.

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