Feature Friday: Buck’s Backyard Paradise

I’m back today with a really FUN Feature Friday. By now, you all have been introduced to my new friend, Buck, when I featured his charming in-town Atlanta bungalow earlier this year, his Abbeville historic home, and the Flip house he is working on at the moment.

backyard paradise 002_20150723

Buck is a talented guy who has a great eye for design. He’s a busy professional who travels around the country as a consultant and speaker, but I’d say he could definitely be a designer if he chose that profession.

backyard paradise front before_20150723

He sent me some Before shots of his house and I think you’ll agree that this is a pretty amazing renovation.  Buck has been in his home for 9 years and the backyard, with fireplace, just got completed last year.  I didn’t have this shot of his house Before when I did the feature, but now you can get a good look at how far this bungalow has come.

You can see the entire inside of the house on the Bungalow link above.

backyard paradise 035_20150723

Isn’t this a WOW now?  With everything in bloom right now, it’s a gorgeous sight.

backyard paradise 034_20150723

He’s got limelight hydrangeas all around and they are stunning.  Note to self, plant more limelights.  They are the best growing hydrangeas and I had them when I was in Birmingham.

backyard paradise 033_20150723

Buck’s house is so charming now, inside and out.

backyard paradise 032_20150723

He added this side yard gate and it’s so quaint and fits the house perfectly.

backyard paradise 030_20150723

With sod and stepping stones, it’s the perfect pathway to the backyard.

Last I left you, I showed this view of his backyard, with the promise of coming back later to photograph it during the summer.  I had no idea the treat that was in store for me when I came back this month and saw it in its full glory.  You are going to be wowed at this backyard that Buck has created behind his house.  It’s one of the best outdoor renovations I’ve ever seen!  


He covers the furniture during winter months and this is how I saw it in January.  But, the big story is how this backyard started when he bought the house.  There was nothing back here when he bought the house and he and his cousin, a landscape designer, designed and built the back yard.

backyard paradise back of house before_20150723

Here’s the back of the house before he added the deck and the bump-out for his cozy and cute breakfast nook.  You’ll have to click on the inside link to see that cute space, but this shows his vision on bumping out this area to create the nook.  And look at the difference in the side yard too.  From Dismal to beautiful!

backyard paradise Backyard patio plan_20150723

Here’s the back of the house after the nook was done, but before the deck was built.  Note the HUGE oak tree up there on the left.  What do you do with a tree like this when you want a deck added on the back?  You’ll see in a minute.

backyard paradise bucks backyard stone wall_20150723

Another view of the backyard with the stone wall that Buck built, tiering the back yard into two areas.

backyard paradise bucks backyard before 2_20150723

And here’s the top side of the tier looking all the way down to the back yard, which you’ll see in a minute.

backyard paradise bucks backyard before_20150723

It was a pretty sad backyard, as I think you’ll agree.  Needed some TLC and vision and Buck had both.

backyard before with grass

Here’s the beginning of landscaping, with sod and shrubs going in around the perimeter.  But, the big focal point was missing.  You can see this shot was taken from the new deck.  He built those columns below to look old and the stone wall looks old too.

backyard paradise 078_20150723

The grand finale of a fireplace at the bottom of the hill.  Isn’t this just gorgeous??   The fireplace was just completed last year and I’d say this is one beautiful backyard entertaining space.  Notice the string of outdoor lights that are attached to the fireplace all the way to the deck, creating such a nice atmosphere.  I can imagine this at night.  With all those plantings, its such an enclosed and private space now.  Buck’s own little paradise!

backyard paradise 072_20150723

Back to the deck, the deck was added and amazingly, the tree was spared.  He built the deck around the tree and it feels and looks like a treehouse.  Clever, isn’t it?

backyard paradise 019_20150723

This is not a tiny tree and it creates a lot of shade and I’m sure it also is a mess to clean up. You know how it is with hardwoods, they drop a lot of leaves.

backyard paradise 014_20150723

But wow, at the beauty it creates on this deck.  I love the seating area here, with 2 storage cabinets behind it for entertaining.  I’m sure his carpenter guy built these and I love them.

backyard paradise 013_20150723

This big storage piece is right against the house with a walkway in between it and the tree trunk.

backyard paradise 004_20150723

Sectional sofa and seating for several on the deck.  Love the colors and textures out here. Notice the slatted wall with candles attached behind the sofa.  Clever way to add a barrier and ambience.

backyard paradise 009_20150723

Overhead, Buck made this light fixture by winding an outdoor string of lights on a basket and suspending it from above.

backyard paradise 010_20150723

More of the sectional seating area, with pops of green, orange and red.

backyard paradise 012_20150723

Just lovely.  Notice the pullout drawer on the end table for drinks.

backyard paradise 081_20150723

And I love these huge lanterns, they sure make a statement.

backyard paradise 082_20150723

Plants in outdoor planters add a lot of texture too.

backyard paradise 076_20150723

It’s a beautiful seating area and I know enjoyed by Buck and his friends.

backyard paradise 066_20150723

The outdoor table is pretty cool too with those metal chairs.

backyard paradise 071_20150723

He may have told me this table was handmade too, I’ll have to find out, but it’s gorgeous.

backyard paradise 083_20150723

Pretty red geraniums on a planter in the middle of the table add lots of color.

backyard paradise 008_20150723

Another pretty planter on the column of the porch adds a lot of texture too.

backyard paradise 074_20150723

Peeking at the beauty in the backyard below.

backyard paradise 026_20150723

Right beneath the deck is another seating area of red and gray Adirondack chairs on flagstone.

backyard paradise 029_20150723

Surrounded by shade plants, it’s a cool seating space.

backyard paradise 064_20150723

Love those ferns.

backyard paradise 065_20150723

A few more lights on a shrub add interest.

backyard paradise 039_20150723

Here’s a peek at the stone wall and the first tier of the backyard all planted with beautiful blooming lace cap hydrangeas.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

backyard paradise 027_20150723

Lacecap hydrangeas and stepping stones.

backyard paradise 028_20150723

I love that he used vintage elements to make this garden look old and established, like these columns and concrete balls.  backyard paradise 022_20150723

Another shot down the stairs, past the first tier to the amazing fireplace.

backyard paradise 037_20150723

What a treat to have this in your backyard.

backyard paradise 040_20150723

A cozy seating area sets the tone for the fireplace.

backyard paradise 042_20150723

All weather furniture can take the heat and summer showers.

backyard paradise 043_20150723

Another gorgeous table is down here by the fireplace.

backyard paradise 045_20150723

Is your jaw hanging open yet?  I know mine was!

backyard paradise 061_20150723

I love the fireplace and the string of lights, that adds so much.

backyard paradise 052_20150723

He can build a real fire in here for Fall and winter months.

backyard paradise 060_20150723

Love the ledge on top for planters.

backyard paradise 049_20150723

Buck’s dad worked for the railroad so he added a few railroad spikes to hang things on the fireplace.  Nice touch!

backyard paradise 046_20150723

Fresh blooming Limelight hydrangeas cut from Buck’s yard beautify the table.

backyard paradise 054_20150723

This looks amazing, doesn’t it.  Buck’s backyard was just photographed by This Old House magazine and will be in there sometime, we don’t know a date yet, but I’m really excited for Buck. This backyard needs to be shown off and I’m secretly glad I got the first scoop. 🙂

backyard paradise 050_20150723

Red geraniums on the coffee table.

backyard paradise 059_20150723

A paradise for sure!

backyard paradise 042_20150723

I can imagine beautiful evenings spent out here by the fireplace, during many months of the year.

I’m so happy that I got to photograph Buck’s backyard and house to share with you all. It’s one of the most amazing transformations I’ve ever seen and I knew you all would enjoy it too.  Making a house a home is near and dear to my heart and I know it is for all of you too. Buck has created for himself an amazing space, both inside and out!

Here’s what Buck had to say about his backyard transformation:

I tried to take the best of what mother nature offered me (which wasn’t much) and go from there. With a lot of thought and hard work that tree and fireplace have become the backdrop for some of the best times of my life. That yard has provided a place for my friends and I to laugh until our sides hurt. I’ve seen couples meet on that lawn and I’ve had someone stop by for a glass of wine hours after he buried his sister.  I could feel his spirit lift, if only a bit. That backyard may be something great to look at, but the most beautiful part is the experience my friends, family and I have in the shade of that tree or in the glow of that fireplace.  Now that, is pure happiness.

- Rhoda


  1. Absolutely AMAZING!

  2. What an amazing transformation! Smaller “yardscapes” can be tricky; it’s easy to sort of over-do them. But yours is done to perfection, Buck…. balanced, nuanced, and interesting enough to keep the eye gently moving to its next resting point. A shaded oasis you’ve created, and it is simply beautiful.

  3. I am so in love with this house and now I am drooling over the backyard! I am so glad you added the before picture of the house. It shows what an astounding transformation this really was. The yard is perfect. I love the three separate areas that can be used depending on the crowd, occasion and season! Buck did a phenomenal job and I am so glad that you were able to share this with us. He definitely deserves a feature in Old House! You have done such a great job showing us all of the details of this house, the yard and his house in Abbeville. I have enjoyed all of these posts. Can’t wait for some updates on the Flip House. I am sure it will be awesome!

  4. Rhoda, since I do not have you on one side and Buck on the other, my yard will remain ugh! Do me a big favor, sneak over to Buck’s house after dark and take a picture with those lights on. Bet they are stunning. As usual, I love your blog.

  5. Rhoda, I’m back again to look again at Buck’s garden, and no doubt when I visit your blog tomorrow I’ll take another look at this post….ha ha!! Buck really does have the magic touch when it comes to turning the ugly into amazing. I get so much more from the transformation of a small space as opposed to a large home with acres. You should be so proud of yourself Buck, and thank you again for kindly allowing us to have a peep!
    Chris xx
    West Sussex

  6. Amazing! Nice to have shade in a sitting area in the yard. Will Buck share the name of the cousin’s landscape business or where he works? Also, the name of the carpenter?

  7. This is amazing….just lovely! I don’t know what Buck does for a living, but if his occupation doesn’t include landscape and/or interior design he missed his calling!! I clicked over to view the inside and I have a few questions regarding his kitchen…..what are the dimensions of his kitchen? What are the dimensions of the island? How much space did he allow between cabinets/stove and island? His kitchen appears to be similar in size to mine. Thank you for a very inspirational post!

    • HI Wendy, thanks for your kind words. The kitchen is approximately 9′ x 11′ wide.
      The island is right around 39″ x 50″
      There’s 3′ 2″ on the sides closest to the frig and the sink. There’s 32″ between the island and the mirror.
      Does that help?

      Good luck with your space.

    • Buck, thank you for your response. My kitchen is 10’x13′ and I was having a hard time determining if an island would work in the space…….thrills me to visually see how it worked for you. You have just motivated me to get started with my kitchen renovation….I’m so excited! Can’t wait to see the completion of your “flip house” transformation. Thanks again for generously sharing your renovation info! 😉

  8. Thanks for sharing! What awesome ideas and a perfectly designed backyard for gathering. I would dream to have such a garden. Besides a swing set tucked away in the back corner, our yard is a blank slate in need of some inspiration. Our large family needs a nature filled place to gather. Would Buck be willing to travel up to Alpharetta to have his brain picked? Seriously… 😉 Email me. Ha!

  9. His bungalow is absolutely beautiful. Please tell him that this Belton girl is very impressed.

  10. This is absolutely incredible! I love that rather than remove the nature to get it ‘out of the way,’ he embraced it and built his landscaping around it. So many people are so quick to remove the beautiful plants and trees already in their yard, not seeing their full potential. Such a shame! I also love its demonstration that you don’t need a huge, sprawling yard to create a masterpiece. Love, love, love it!

  11. Absolutely beautiful and I love what he had to say about it! I love his projects! What a great eye for design with functionality in mind. Love love love!

  12. Buck has brought out the VERY BEST of this house and property. I love all the attention to detail and the yard is a show stopper for sure! Thank you for sharing his amazing home.

  13. Blown Away!!! It does not get any better as far as backyard’s go!!!! WOW!!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.