Garden Photo of the Day

Kevin’s Shady Oasis in Virginia

Today’s photos are from Kevin Kaiser in Norfolk, Virginia.

He says,“My little 50’X50′ backyard oasis is located in Norfolk’s Ocean View, two and a half blocks from the Chesapeake Bay. I’m a graphic designer by trade, but gardening and landscaping come second nature to me. 

I began my home remodel in 2005, which included my backyard. Originally the yellow shed was in the center of the yard, but with help from Googling “how to move a shed”  and a couple friends, I was able to move the shed to the backside of the yard, opening up the entire space. 

However, a cement slab still resided in the middle of the yard.  I used it to my advantage and built the deck in the center of the yard using the slab as a base. I added a two-tiered deck, with the pond at the end of the lower deck giving it a sense of being on a dock. It’s my oasis. 

The yard has various plants for sun and shade. The pond is approximately 21 feet long, 4 to 6 feet wide, and 4 feet deep, and it’s filled with goldfish. It’s a great place to entertain and just relax with a glass of wine.”



I LOVE this garden, Kevin! The pond is just dreamy, and I see some awesomely interesting plants in there. Thanks do much for sharing your oasis with us!

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/24/2014

    What a captivatingly serene and beautiful garden you have, Kevin. I adore the dock concept and it looks popular with your "pup" also. Your Japanese maples add such a note of grace to your special oasis...everything is perfection.

  2. perenniallycrazy 07/24/2014

    Such a tranquil and private sanctuary Kevin! Ingenius planning and execution too.

  3. grannieannie1 07/24/2014

    To my way of thinking, you've created what all gardens need somewhere: cozy privacy and some water. And reusing the concrete slab was clever. Great job, Kevin!

  4. VikkiVA 07/24/2014

    Hi neighbor ~ I'm in Chesapeake! Do you give tours? :) Your yard is beautiful! Looks so lush and inviting. Your water feature is so pretty. Love how you have a small tree in a pot to give that portion of your deck some height and shade and what is the "blue" blooming plant on the other side of the water in the 6th picture? I also like that you shared your "puppy" with us. Vikki in VA

  5. greengenes 07/24/2014

    Kevin, this is such an inviting and serenely private place! All the foliage and all the green color is my favorite with gardening. You have done an excellent job at moving and designing this little oasis! Iam sure the wine tastes very well there! Enjoy the summer!

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/24/2014

    This is really awesome. So lush, private and tranquil. Great job!

  7. GrannyMay 07/24/2014

    Echoing all the previous comments - Kevin you have hit it spot-on! Stone, water, shade, comfortable seating, tranquility, privacy, the weathered-been-here-forever-look, and last but far from least - beautiful, interesting plants!

  8. sheila_schultz 07/24/2014

    I completely understand why you call the backyard you created your oasis. It has a quietness about it that is quite beautiful. I bet you have trouble keeping your lab out of the pond!

  9. NCYarden 07/24/2014

    Now that is a sweet garden refuge. I bet it's the only place you can think of being during the course of a day, and feels great when you finally get out there. The dock idea is clever, and very fitting. And as I've commented before in other posts, I love the Japanese maples, always my favorites. But it all looks so good, and full. Well done, Kevin.

  10. annek 07/24/2014

    Lusciously full and beautiful. The wicker chairs give just the right touch of inviting warmth and the greenery beckons you to sit and enjoy. It is apparent that you are an artist in many ways, from your designing vision to the hands-on building of that fascinating deck. Dreamy, sweet, quiet, tranquil, serene, cozy...all the gpod-er descriptors fit your oasis well!

  11. thevioletfern 07/24/2014

    I'll be right over with some wine! I have extreme pond envy. What a dream garden oasis. Inspired!

    1. greengenes 07/24/2014

      me too!

  12. thevioletfern 07/24/2014

    Oh my gosh and your dog is beautiful, too! Is it problematic keeping him/her out of the pond?

  13. wittyone 07/24/2014

    What a transformation! I wish you had some "before" pictures to show. Was there any plant material that you were able to reuse or did you bring in all that is there now? It makes for a very cosy, inviting space and a wonderful use for such a small area.

  14. janetsfolly 07/24/2014

    This. Is. Perfect! All that green is so soothing. I really like that whimsical elephant, and your pretty Lab is so sweet. Thanks for sharing!
    Would love to see your garden in Fall, hint, hint.

  15. Meelianthus 07/24/2014

    Hello Kevin ~ Your very private-shady-lush-seemingly secret hidden oasis is just beautiful. What a masterful job you have done creating it, I know it must have been enjoyable along with a lot of work. It all looks so natural and NOT like a small space at all. Wonderful pond area you created, how you must love being out there! Thanks for sharing all.

  16. user-1020932 07/24/2014

    Kevin, i love everything about your garden. lush/full/protective and the pond is the icing on the cake. i do, however, think i would call it my sanctuary more than oasis. i can't imagine feeling anything other than complete serenity there. GREAT job you've done there

  17. user-653169 07/24/2014

    I have a courtyard in a shady area with about the same dimensions. Also, I have a pond about the size of yours. Have you thought about Lotus in addition to the water lilies. Actually, all lotuses are water lilies, but not all water lilies are lotuses. I love your dog -- he looks like a happy pup who enjoys his yard as well as his people.

  18. lesliefarrelldelongpre 07/25/2014

    Lush is the word that comes to mind when I see your pictures. So many textures, shapes and green.. I love the cozyness of the deck, and I could sit for hours by the pond. Job well done.

  19. Cenepk10 07/25/2014

    Whoa !! Quit your day job, Kev... Time for a new career designing exquisite oases ... Truly breathtaking !

    1. user-7007092 07/25/2014

      Thanks I appreciate the comments :-)

  20. granitestategardener 07/25/2014

    Kevin, I love your garden! It is very lush and private. I really like how the pond accentuates the the deck. Great seating spaces too! Nice job for such a young garden.

  21. user-7007098 07/28/2014

    Fantastic pictures of a beautiful backyard retreat! Who needs to go anywhere for vacation when your backyard looks like this?!

  22. user-6807720 07/29/2014

    I love this place!

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