This Alameda home in NE Portland had a small yard with little appeal. The homeowners wanted to be able to entertain in their back yard, and also to have more curb appeal in the front yard.

In the front yard, we replaced an old piece of lawn with a new variegated bluestone patio with a dark clinker brink edging. Now the homeowners enjoy sitting out front on warm summer evenings and greeting their neighbors.

The homeowners love a variety of plants, so we re-did the existing front rockeries with lots of fun seasonal color: purple-flowering aubretia in the spring, followed by hot pink lewisias, yellow sedums, and red roses. Red and gold barberries add foliage color, along with some olive-toned 'James Stirling' Hebes and orange sedge.

In the back yard, we removed all of the sod and replaced it with another bluestone and brick patio. We created a new stoop from the back door with 2" bluestone treads that are attractive and easy to navigate. The patio has a "bump out" area to accommodate the barbecue, and some pretty trellises create vertical interest with star jasmine, clematis, and creeping hydrangea. The new back yard now has plenty of room for entertaining and dining outdoors.