Price of gas got you down? Planning on canceling or cutting back on travel plans? Try taking a vacation in your own backyard. Here are some books that can inspire you to makeover your yard for your own private retreat.

Backyard Design by Jean Breskend. Covering all types of backyards – city, suburban, country – Backyard Design will give you lots of ideas and tips on handling many different situations – swimming pools, fences, driveways, retaining walls, recreation areas, patios and decks. Both inspirational and instructional, this is a good place to start.

Deckscaping by Barbara Ellis. Already have a deck, but it’s less than inviting? This book is filled with ideas for decorating decks of all shapes and sizes. As well as including ideas on choosing plants and containers, there are sections on outdoor furniture, how to build trellises and arbors and how to create beautiful container gardens for your deck.

In Your Own Backyard by A. Cort Sinnes. Illustrated with charming line drawings and whimsical paintings, here is a book that encourages you to create a backyard retreat that fits your personality and needs, not what will impress the neighbors (or Martha Stewart) Whether it’s a hammock or a gazing globe or a croquet court, this delightful book encourages you to follow your dreams.

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