Though spring got off to a somber start, the fresh green grass, budding trees and bright blooms have both brightened our spirits and set us happily to work on our own outdoor spaces. We asked local landscape pros to share their favorite recent backyard projects to help you plan and create your own perfect place for lounging, grilling and entertaining.

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Photo by Westhauser Photography

Ginkgo Leaf Studio

This backyard was a blank slate, which gave James Drzewiecki, APLD, design principal at Ginkgo Leaf Studio, the perfect opportunity to custom design a multifaceted outdoor living space with separate areas for dining and lounging. Infusing a combination of Asian and “California modern” designs, Drzewiecki chose concrete for the patio surface for a clean and modern feel, adding trenches of beach pebbles to create both a design element and a sense of separation for the individual spaces. Hardy plants native to Wisconsin add oomph and color, while a cast concrete fire bowl and built-in grill make the area truly multiseason and multifunctional.

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Photo courtesy of Ground Affects Landscaping, Inc.

Ground Affects Landscaping, Inc.

These homeowners requested a space that could be used throughout all four seasons, so Ground Affects Landscaping, Inc. designer Bryan Clark, NALP, went to work creating their dream backyard. This space — which earned a Best Outdoor Living Space award in Unilock’s Awards of Excellence — features an outdoor kitchen with easy access to the indoor kitchen for maximum convenience, and a year-round fireplace to warm cool summer nights, brisk fall evenings and picturesque snowy winter days that call for cocoa and toasted marshmallows. Plantings are carefully curated to offer color and interest year-round with minimal maintenance.

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Photo by Charlton Photos, Courtesy of LandCrafters, LLC

LandCrafters, LLC

Complementing the colors of the classic brick home, this Wauwatosa backyard — created by David Guthery, landscape designer with LandCrafters, LLC — delivers multiple spaces for relaxation and entertaining, beckoning guests to savor time outdoors throughout the seasons. A bar and grill station serve the bluestone dining patio, but it is the pavilion that anchors the space, ready for entertainment at all times with its soothing linear fire pit and lush green spaces. MKE

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