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28 Feb 2017

How to Transform a Messy Backyard Into a Dream Oasis

We all have dreams… Some are realized… Some are not.

This family was frustrated with their backyard…

What you are about to read is a case study about the issues these homeowners had with their yard prior to finding a solution…

This picture was taken prior to any work being done


These homeowners had lived in this home for 12 years and never used their backyard. The deck was small, trees were close to the home, and the yard was very uneven. Several trees had to be removed before the raised paver patio could be built. It was messy!


Working with our designer, they invested in a Master Plan that gave them the “Big Picture”. By working in phases they did not have to invest in the whole project all at once, yet it all flows together as if it were built at the same time.


Phase #1

Since they really wanted a larger area to sit outdoors, and since it would be more efficient to do first, we built their paver patio and raised planter. It was laid out in a fashion to allow for the future addition of a deck.

This is the Conceptual Plan created for the project.
This 3D Image was based on the original Master Plan to help them visualize it better.

Phase #2

Several months passed before they were ready to resurface the old deck…add on a new section…plus a pergola for shade.

Phase #3

The most recent phase included extending their driveway with pavers, and adding stepping stones to lead from there to the back patio area.


As for this Lake Wylie family, the dream of a backyard place to hangout with friends has become a reality! They now have an outdoor living area that has become the talk of the neighborhood – PLUS a destination for many of the neighbors. They now have exciting parties with their family and friends all the time.


…Even their teenagers want to stay home more…


…and bring their friends over to hangout!



If you have a similar situation you’d like to have addressed, or if you’d simply like to speak with someone about possibilities…

Just call us at 704-604-2813 to schedule a No Obligation “Needs Analysis Telephone Call” with one of our Outdoor Design Experts.

14 Feb 2017

Valentine’s Day – Give Your Landscape Some LOVE?


Here are some important tips for you to apply THIS week, so you can give some love to your lawn and landscaping.


Please be sure to leave a comment below… or even a question.



What happened to winter?

Looks like spring is coming a few weeks early with all of the blooms I’m starting to see! In fact, seeing the forsythia shrubs blooming in their vivid yellow colors reminds me to blow the whistle on weeds!!!

See… this shrub tends to bloom within certain temperature ranges that are also conducive to what makes that irritating crabgrass sprout up from seeds that have just been lying around since last summer.

You need to call your lawn fertilization company to come out and apply the first treatment of crabgrass preventer.  In fact, I hope it isn’t too late already!

While we at Benton Outdoor Living do not offer lawn maintenance, I personally worked in Lawn & Landscape Management for over 4 years. So I’m able to offer tips on improving your lawn as well as starting a new one.


If you are applying your own chemicals, you MUST READ and FOLLOW ALL LABEL INSTRUCTIONS along with the SAFETY PRECAUTIONS!!!!

This post in no way offers chemical recommendations, nor do we recommend applications to be done by anyone other than a licensed pesticide applicator. Contact your lawn care specialist for step-by-step recommendations and programs for lawn improvement.

Sun, shade, soil type, moisture, drainage, soil pH, proximity to trees & shrubs, etc., are all factors that affect the overall health and performance of your lawn areas.

For more detailed information on lawn care and establishment, see Clemson University’s Home & Garden Information Center website:



February tends to be the best month to prune many of your fruit trees, as well as other trees and shrubs.

You need to know what time of the year your flowering shrubs bloom if you wish to enjoy their beauty. Many of the spring blooming azaleas and hydrangeas should be pruned after they finish blooming. Otherwise, you risk cutting off potential blooms if you prune them now.

For more information about pruning trees, see Clemson University’s Home & Garden Information Center website:

And for information about pruning shrubbery, see:



If you are wanting to improve the overall quality of life in your outdoor areas, visit us at to discuss your outdoor improvement interests.

If you are simply looking for ideas at this time…

Download a FREE copy of “The Ultimate Homeowner’s Patio & Deck Planner” at Once you request this eBook, you will be entered into a mini e-course for outdoor living.

If you would like a workbook to get additional ideas and take notes in for maximizing your outdoor spaces, go to for a FREE copy of “5 Steps To Your Dream Backyard”.


I hope you’ve gained new insights for your landscape and outdoor living areas. If you’ve enjoyed reading this…

Would you forward this along to a friend who would enjoy it too?



Seth Hudson, Outdoor Design Specialist



30 Jan 2017

Artistic Patio Design Tips

In today’s blog post I’m going to give you a few style tips for your patio area.

In our area, there seems to be a general thought that all paver patios have to be curvy – or some type of organic shape. It seems that many people think of squares and rectangles as being “formal” in appearance.

While geometric shapes like these are common in “formal” gardens, there are many benefits to patios having more of a square layout. And, the landscaping can take on more of an informal appearance. (more on this in a couple of weeks)

Think about the rooms in your home… What are they shaped like?

Look at your furniture… How is it laid out?

If you are planning on having a lot of furniture on your patio, it is a good idea to consider the furniture style when planning the patio.

Some sofa sets are completely round. These would fit perfectly in a more curved patio layout. However, if this type does not suit your taste, then look at more traditional layouts and plan your patio accordingly.

Square or Rectangular Patio Layouts:

  • · Provide more of a “room” feeling
  • · Make planning furniture and walking space layout easier (when well proportioned)
  • · Can be less expensive to build due to lower material & labor costs on simple layouts
  • · Do not have to be “bland” – Color and pattern options are available
  • · Integrate well with structures and outdoor kitchen areas
  • · Can have more than one level and/or pattern to change up the feel of a space
  • · Landscape beds can be made “curvy” to soften the edges of the area

Curved or Circular Patio Layouts:

  • · Create a sense of excitement in the garden
  • · Work nicely with round firepits so people can gather around the fire
  • · Can be costlier to build due to higher material & labor costs
  • · Color and pattern options are available for these too!
  • · Can look more artistic
  • · Work well with circular furniture styles
  • · Can have lots of wasted space if not planned properly (remember Wendy’s “We don’t cut corners”?) A square foot cut is a square foot lost!

Some of the more popular patio styles include a mix of circular or curved layouts along with square or rectangular ones.

Be on the lookout for a chance to see some of these mixed layout patio designs.

Many patio pavers are either square or rectangular in shape, but come in different sizes. Lots of interest can be added to your space if you mix two or three varying patterns and/or colors.

A very popular design element is the Circle Kit. This looks like a large medallion placed on your patio, and can make a stunning accent to the pavers.

Paver colors should contrast with or complement the colors of your house. Using pavers that are too similar in color can make the patio look bland. You can also try using a different colored border around (or through) the main patio surface. This can provide a “picture frame” effect – an elegant touch!

Your designer can help with color and style selections for your patio. As long as the finished patio looks like it belongs with your home.

Don’t hesitate to email me at if you have any questions about patio style and layout.

Have a great day!


Already know what you want? … Ready to GET things done?

Call us at 704-604-2813 or visit our website

10 Jan 2017

Outdoor Living Design Tips…

Is Your Patio Too Small?

Would you like to invite your family and friends over for cookouts on a regular basis? A properly planned patio will provide the room you need for your dining table, sofa set and lounge chairs.

Don't forget about that fire pit area to keep warm by on chilly evenings with that special someone. How about the sounds of rippling water?

How about a nice covered area where you can watch the Carolina Panthers, the Clemson Tigers, or any of your favorite sports teams with your friends?

Is your current patio too small to have more than two people at a time on it? Does half of your patio furniture have to sit in the lawn? Are you sick and tired of getting your shoes dirty every time you need to get a chair from the stack?

Need Professional Guidance with Planning Your Patio?

Get "The Ultimate Homeowner's Patio & Deck Planner" when you visit .

This eBook contains some of our best advice for planning a patio and deck area. Use this tool to get the size and layout of your patio JUST RIGHT!

Have no idea where to start?

Get this free eBook which teaches you a simple 5-Step system for getting the backyard (and other areas of your property) the way you want them -

Get "5 Steps To Your Dream Backyard" at

Already know what you want? ... Ready to GET things done?

Call us at 704-604-2813 or visit our website

Schedule a consultation with one of our experts, and we will bring your yard to life the way YOU want it! #charlottelandscaping #landscaping#landscapingideas #ilovecharlotte #panthers #gopanthers #luxurylife#luxurylifestyle #luxuryrealestate #outdoorliving #outdoorlivingspace#outdoorlivingroom #backyardlife #backyardliving #pergola #patio#patiofurniture #patiodesign #patios #backyardretreat #myoasis #privatejet#clemson #clemsonhorticulture #trees #hibiscus #perennials #backyardgarden

29 Dec 2016

Planning Your Patio & Deck Area for Maximum Enjoyment

Your Patio & Deck Area…

An extension of your home that is almost like adding an extra room to your house.

When you start thinking about extending your deck or patio, there are a few things worth considering. Just think about the living room inside your home.

What types of furniture do you want for seating? How many coffee tables? How many end tables? Do you have a recliner? Will you want a chaise lounge or more? What about lighting?

This depends on how many people you plan on entertaining at one time, and how much furniture you want.

Using the list to the left, you will want to obtain the dimensions of each item you’ve selected for your patio or deck.

Then add an extra 3’ to each measurement to allow walking room.

[For example, an Adirondack chair can measure 4’ x 5’. Be sure to add an extra 3 feet to each dimension.]

This means you need a minimum space of 7’ x 8’ for ONE of these if you want to walk comfortably around it. 45 square feet suddenly becomes 56 square feet when you want walking room around your furniture.

NOTE: A typical 42 inch round patio table with 4 chairs needs a minimum space of 10 feet by 10 feet (100 square feet). This will allow for a fairly snug sitting space around the table with limited walking room.

Your patio or deck with one of these table sets will feel more open if you plan on a 13 feet by 13 feet (169 square foot) area.

[This excerpt taken from the eBook “Ultimate Homeowner’s Patio & Deck Planner”

To Get the Complete Guide for Planning Your Patio…

Download your own copy of the complete “Ultimate Homeowner’s Patio & Deck Planner” here absolutely FREE!

23 Oct 2015

How to Make YOUR Backyard Look Like the Ones You See In Magazines

The sounds of a rippling waterfall, a bubbling urn, a crackling fire pit or fireplace, leaves rustling in the breeze… The smell of roses, tea olives, spice bushes, or even the aroma of freshly tilled soil with plenty of mushroom compost…

The sight of soft grasses swaying in the wind, the colored flowers and leaves of other plants, dappled light beneath a pergola or shade tree…laughter and conversation going on among family and friends waiting for those steaks to come off the grill while enjoying a cold beverage! …

Ahhh… This just makes me long for springtime!


There are a number of things that can be done to make your backyard look like ones in magazines. However, there are some critical things that affect what CAN be done versus what WILL be or SHOULD be done.

Here they are:

  1. Your personal gripes about your land
  2. Your Goals for entertaining, relaxing or working outdoors
  3. Your current Lifestyle and how you wish to change it
  4. The size of your yard and what elements can be incorporated
  5. The problems that currently exist and any threats to other things on the property
  6. Presence of Sun or Shade
  7. Whether or not the property is level or hilly
  8. Homeowners Association (HOA) /Architectural Review Committee Covenants for your neighborhood
  9. Building codes, permitting and proximity to large bodies of water
  10. What part of the world you live in
  11. Ultimately, the size of your budget and getting back some of the investment if you ever sell.

Some of these may resonate with you, while others may not.

Either way, if you are just getting started, you should ask yourself how each of these applies to you and the existing conditions of your yard.

In the next article, I will share with you various suggestions for improving your property based on actual complaints I have received from other new clients about the land surrounding their homes.

If you would like to get started with ideas for your backyard… visit for my eBook “5 Steps To Your Dream Backyard”. A $47.00 Value – Yours FREE when you download TODAY!


Contact me at 704-604-2813 if you’d like to discuss your outdoor dream!