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April 13, 2014 / patrickbelhon

Landscaping your Backyard – Ideas for Creating your Own Private Oasis

It may be a slight exaggeration when they say that it never rains in Southern California, but it is true that the area is blessed with great year-round weather. Life is pretty great if you live in a home near the beach in San Diego. Is there anything better than taking off your shoes, getting sand between your toes, and then rinsing them off in the surf?

Private Oasis in Southern California Photo taken by Patrick Belhon in San Diego - 2014 all rights reserved
When you are not at the beach, you can soak in the sun, sip an ice tea, and relax in your own backyard. Landscape your backyard so it becomes an inviting place to be. You can create a private oasis by carefully designing features and selecting the right mix of plants that create the desired effect.

Going beyond level one

Want to transform a boring backyard into one that you will be proud to show-off to your guests? Step up the look of your backyard by creating several tiers or terraces. If you have a natural slope to your property, it is very easy to create a visually appealing step-effect in your garden. Use various building materials such as bricks, natural stones, or even big rocks to create each tier. Once you build those retaining walls, you can choose ground cover, shrubs, flowering plants or other materials of your preference to create your personal oasis.

Use native plants By Patrick Belhon All Rights Reserved 2014Use native plants

Southern California has gone through periods of drought in the past, is experiencing water issues today, and will likely have to worry about water in the future. Plants that are not native to the region may not do well. Ornamental grasses can provide ground cover and blend in well with other plants. In this area, flowering stalks of California fescue, blue-gray blue oat grass, and fragrant purple lavender plants, are good choices.

The marigold bush grows to about six feet and produces colorful yellow flowers when it blooms in the winter and spring. Plant a Christmas berry bush and the delicate white flowers and clusters of bright red berries will attract birds looking for a meal.

Environmental issues and sustainability are taken seriously in California. By using plants that do not require much water, you can do your part to reduce the impact your landscaping has on the environment.

Paths By Patrick Belhon All Rights Reserved 2014Paths

A long and winding road is a great way to break up the monotony of your outdoor space. Pavers that are available in a variety of colors and styles at any home and garden center are inexpensive. You can also use walking stones or gravel to create pathways. Pay attention to both color and patterns when laying out a path.

Water featuresWater features

All of the stress in your life will magically disappear when you lie back in your lounge chair and let the calming sounds of gently flowing water lull you to sleep. While a store-bought fountain is okay, it is much nicer to have a water feature that runs over rocks and is part of the natural landscape.

Fire pit By Patrick Belhon All Rights Reserved 2014Fire pit

It is something of a California thing to have fire pits incorporated into a patio area in your back yard. Not only do they keep you warm on a chilly winter night, but they are also great when you have guests over to the house. Be sure to set up some cozy seating around the fire pit.


If you live close to your neighbor and would like some privacy, a fence is a must. Fences are also good if you have a dog or you want to be able to keep an eye on your young children. Think about adding some foliage against the fence to soften the appearance and also add a level of privacy.

Arbors & trellises 2014Arbors & trellises

Install an arbor or trellis and then buy some vines or ivy that will quickly twist around them. Arbors can lead you into a garden and trellises add interest to otherwise boring spaces.

These are only a few suggestions for landscaping your backyard. Patios, wood decks, and outdoor lighting may be something to consider. Don’t forget to spread mulch around your trees and shrubs. You could add some potted plants and a concrete statue of an angel might be a nice added touch. Use your own vision to create your backyard oasis. Do it yourself or hire a professional landscaper.

Article Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Patrick Belhon (

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