Home owners are turning to the outdoors for more living space, transforming plain, grassy yards into intricate sanctuaries.

Jim Graeler, Chesterfield Valley Nursery

Enjoy the great outdoors. Put your outdoor space to good use with a covered patio or pergola. Outdoor kitchens, with built-in grills and fire pits, make summer barbecues easier and more enjoyable.

Pop of color. Pots add texture and softness to landscapes. Use bright colors and a variety of sizes to accent your space.

Have a plan. Heading to the nursery or garden center without a plan will lead to an unrefined space. Having goals and plans, as well as samples or photos, will help professionals guide you in the right direction.

John Jacobsen, Liquid Assets Pools

Not just a pool. More and more customers want outdoor living spaces, not just pools. By adding hot tubs, stone walls, water fountains and sitting areas, the area is transformed into an additional ‘room’ of the house and acts as an extra entertaining space.

Eco is in. Salt is replacing traditional chlorine tablets to keep pool water sanitary. Using the chloride from salt is better for the environment, and easier on skin and eyes. Energy-efficient pumps, which can be programmed to pump at different speeds, also are gaining popularity.

Act fast. With so much snow and rain in the coming months, it’s best to dive into the process now if you want a backyard oasis come summer.

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