We did consider a pool a few years back and a custom hot tub for the spot behind our garage but when that project climbed to well over $150,000.00 so we decided it didn't make sense to persue that...our seasons are short and our kids are older and really how often would a pool be used...not enough.
So we stuck with reasonable improvements...here is what we started with a blank slate a good sized sideyard between the house and detached garage.
I struggle keeping potted plants alive back here as it gets direct sun all day...this year I tried lavender....I am undecided on it, some of the plants did well and others not so much.
We connected the patios with a generous walkway which is great and used year round as I head to my shop daily.
We have enjoyed many sunsets this summer from our fire pit patio...this fire pit is attached to a gas line from our house under ground so no hoses or tanks to deal with.
We wanted a simple concrete fire pit, I found this one at Lowes online...its harder to find a gas version than propane. I added some smoked cracked glass to add a little sparkle to the fire...its quite pretty.
cedar steps with white composite wrapped risers
It for sure isn't a cottage but it is a lovely space now that it is done....it is a great investment in our home and for our family...I hope you like it.