Some people say the kitchen is the center of the home, but as a landscape designer who specializes in backyards, I say it’s the backyard. The backyard is a place just for you and your family. It’s a private outdoor sanctuary in which to reflect and commune with nature. Also, for your dog, it’s a giant toilet. Here’s what you should keep in mind about designing a beautiful backyard landscape for your dog to poop all over.
A Good Centerpiece Is A Must
The centerpiece of your lawn if so important. In one of the homes I recently designed, I installed a beautiful teenage willow tree surrounded by Anthony Milgram solid gold benches; a Jaques Bermunde–inspired reflecting pool; and four strategically placed, genetically modified golden rose bushes. Just to the left of that is the area where my client’s dog will pinch out its turds.
I’m sure it gives my client special comfort knowing that the rose bushes I spent $5,000 bribing a Burmese customs agent to rush through the shipping process will be dancing in front of her poodle’s eyes as it works its grain-free dog food out of its colon. We created such a beautiful, elegant centerpiece for her dog to look at while it shits. I couldn’t be prouder.
Make Your Backyard Feel Like Home
One thing I tell people all the time is that your backyard is essentially an outdoor room, especially if you add an outdoor architectural element like a pavilion or a gazebo. I recently installed a gorgeous reclaimed wood pergola in a celebrity client’s backyard. Of course, I can’t tell you their name, but it rhymes with Bzealia Anks.
We surrounded the pergola with some simple white cotton canopy patches to keep the sunlight out during the daytime, in case Ms. Anks wants to do outdoor activities like cutting the heads off of chickens or set things on fire without the sun getting in her eyes. Then we added some 18th-century patio furniture originally owned by a French duke and a gorgeous fountain centerpiece. Unfortunately, when we were finished, we realized we had not left very much space for my clients dog to pinch out its turds, so we tore down the whole thing and made it into a mud pit instead. My client was thrilled.
This incident really drove home for me that I am a toilet-maker. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—I just thought I went to school for three years, learning how to check the pH balance of soil and water drainage conditions, so that I could make the world a more beautiful place. Now, I make the would a more beautiful place for dogs to shit on.
Just Add Everything. Nothing Matters. We’re All Going To Die.
On my next yard, I’m going to go all out. I’m thinking a red brick fire pit big enough to seat six, hand-built by Brooklyn-based fire pit artist/dog-walker Atticus Von Smite. A three-story waterfall that flows into a man-made creek, which will be the centerpiece of the zen garden brought over pebble by pebble from a real Buddhist monastery. Palms tress, throw pillows, lawn gnomes, performance artists, a life-size statue of John Waters sneezing, picnic tables, string lights. A single, symbolic bug zapper.
This will be my masterpiece. This will be the one that will get me into the backyard history books, and on the far outskirts of the backyard, so far away as to almost be invisible, will be a spot for a dog to pinch out its turds.