Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Little Inspiration

Private Garden in Forest Hill, Ontario

It is always nice to incorporate a spot in your garden where you can sip a drink or eat a meal. Here is a little inspiration to help you get started in creating that perfect place to sit and relax.

Private Garden in Mississauga, Ontario

Not everybody has a large yard, so here and in the next shot are two smaller gardens.

Private Garden in Forest Hill, Ontario

1. Raised flowerbeds surround this bistro-style table and chairs and frame 
the courtyard patio beautifully.

Private Garden in Forest Hill, Ontario

Glass is a table option that does not block to the view of the surrounding flowerbeds.

Private Garden in Rosedale, ON

2. A found object, in this case an old church steeple, gives this space a romantic feel. 

You probably won't want to go this grand, but even on a smaller scale a unique object or garden ornament can really help to set the mood.

Private Garden in Mississauga, Ontario

3. If you are thinking about adding a water feature this spring, why not place it right off the deck area where you will be sitting? 

That way you can watch the fish darting around and listen to the symphony of water noises, frogs and insects.

Private Garden in Mississauga, Ontario

4. If your backyard gets lots of sun, it might be an idea to incorporate a little manmade shade cover.

Private Garden in Forest Hill, Ontario

5. In this and the next shot we have a modern take on a courtyard seating area. A dining table and pair of casual chairs means this area does double duty.

Private Garden in Forest Hill, Ontario

Private Garden in Rosedale, ON

This more formal space also has a clean, contemporary feel to it.

Private Garden in Rosedale, ON

6. If you are lucky enough to have a large garden, you may want to create several different zones for a myriad of possible purposes: entertaining, outdoor meals or perhaps just sitting and reading the newspaper.

In this traditional garden a gravel pathway leads around the house to a raised terrace.


In the same garden, there is a second seating area overlooking a ravine.

Private Garden in Rosedale, ON

And at the front of the house, there is a set of chairs right outside a set of french doors.


A pond opposite the chairs adds some water music.

Private Garden in Forest Hill, Ontario

7. Wouldn't this fireplace be nice on a chilly evening?

This is my own very casual spot to unwind. 

8. A place to de-stress need not be fancy. 

All it needs to be is a space that makes you feel comfortable and at ease.

33 comments:

  1. Beautiful. All of them, but the fireplace is gorgeous. And the pond ... I wish I could have something like this in my garden ...

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  2. Jennifer, these are lovely. Thanks. They make me realize how I can hardly wait for local Spring Garden Tours to start again!

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  3. Jennifer, I love your casual spot to relax, it is perfect! My biggest problem is every time I think about sitting down to relax, I see another weed. I have to learn to appreciate progress and not stress about perfection, right?

    That church steeple is amazing, I wonder how they were able to reclaim such a monumental structure? Now I want one.

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    1. Hi Karen, Learning to relax and ignore the weeds (and the mosquitoes) is a bit of an art isn't it?
      I believe that the church steeple was taken apart and reconstructed on the sight by a professional stone mason (and perhaps his team of helpers? I am sure those stones weighed quite a bit). For sure this was no small undertaking. It's certainly statement making though!

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  4. Oh I just love your spot!!! It is so beautiful!!! And these shots on this ridiculously cold day just got my imagination moving! That church steeple is amazing! Every single one of these gardens are beautiful! I have to bookmark some of these...we have a lower level patio that needs to be addressed and there is so much inspiration in those raised stone beds! WOW! Thanks for sharing friend! Nicole

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  5. I loved number three and the courtyard. And of course your special place is delightful too. Some beautiful areas to rest here.xxx

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  6. Oh, how we need to be reminded that we will be sitting enjoying the relief of the shade on a hot summer's day. With the weather we're having, this is just what the doctor ordered.

    My personal favourite is actually your little retreat - approachable, not to fussy and just oh so perfect.

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  7. I love looking at ideas for space to rest and relax...I created our patio area just for that with the pond right off it (so was happy to see the picture of a similar idea). That steeple was cool...and the most relaxed was yours Jennifer!!

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  8. What a glorious bevy of images. Would kill for that steeple in my backyard, maybe? You have to be working on a book, aren't you??

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    1. I certainly have enough images to make several books Patrick! So far however, there is no book in the works.

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  9. I think your special place is my favorite of all of these, Jennifer, followed very closely by the one with the little pond. Both of them look like the perfect places to just sit and "be" for a little bit.

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  10. I read many years ago that when sitting outdoors or indoors people prefer to have a wall at their backs. Protection from surprise? When I renovated my backyard one of the details was to make sure that the patio area was not a wide open space and planted shrubs to act as a wall (protection?) for comfort.

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    1. Interesting observation! I think walls or shrubs make a space feel like a cocoon: comfortable, private, and yes, safe from intrusion. I agree that incorporating some privacy seems like a great design choice for any patio area Patty.

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  11. When creating the garden here I made sure that I incorporated a few seating areas, the only problem is that we hardly ever use them, we are always too busy gardening! I agree with Patty's comment, I always like to have something at my back, I think this goes back thousands of years to when we were all hunters!

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  12. Lots of lovely ideas here, Jennifer--that steeple is amazing! I don't foresee any big patio projects getting done here in the near future, so my favorite is yours--simple, but peaceful and perfect!

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  13. I really like the look of the raised beds with dry rocks along the edge ... something I've been dreaming of for my own garden. These are such nice seating areas, and I like the less formal spots the best. My little patio is right off the kitchen, but I've been thinking of adding a little oasis along the back fence ... just need to add some more privacy features. Your red chairs & umbrella give a nice shot of colour in that shady spot :) Wendy x

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  14. I adore your bright and beautiful area to unwind.....and as soon as I get a chance and the ice melts, I'm going to see if I can find one of those church steeples - can you imagine how expensive it was to have it transported to the garden? As pricey as many of those gardens were, you've shown that if you have good design and colour, it really doesn't have to be expensive.

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    1. The church steeple is more than a bit out of reach for most of us, but a "found object" need not be grand. I agree Barbara: good design and colour doesn't have to be expensive!

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  15. Hi Jennifer, just what I needed on a winter afternoon, an injection of inspiration. So lovely to see what other people have done. All the sitting - out spots in your photos are lovely, and make me long for the good weather. Love yours - those bold red chairs have so much impact!

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  16. Awesome Post and just what I needed as the temperatures start going back down again. Winter's back . . . :)

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  17. Oh lovely pictures to inspire us on grey rainy days - roll on summer.

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  18. Now that's a found object!
    "Holy Gargoyle Batman, I've just stumbled upon a discarded steeple!"
    Ms. Jen, I may be biased, but I love your red corner-of-calm best. It's real.
    I wonder if anyone actually ever uses (and gets dirty) in those ubergardens? ;-)

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    1. The church steeple is certainly one of the biggest "found objects" I have ever seen incorporated into a garden. As a matter of fact, there is a team of landscape professionals that keep this steeple garden looking pristine. The homeowner's hands were dirtied in the making of this particular garden! All they have to do is to enjoy it.

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  19. I'd love to have an outdoor fireplace. All of these gardens and sitting areas are gorgeous.

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  20. I think I like yours the best, though the sitting area overlooking the ravine is an extremely close second! The church steeple is a bit overwhelming, but certainly a conversation starter!

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  21. I'm going to be drooling over these gardens for a while. They are gorgeous.

    Jen

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  22. I love this small waterfall in Rosedale garden. You write - water music, yes it's music of falling drops! Nice ideas of arches with flowers!

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  23. I really love your resting spot. :o) We wanted to add a pond but just couldn't make it work so we decided to finally let go of the idea. My birdbaths are as close as I'll get and that's ok. These gardens are beautiful! I'm always impressed by how many public and private gardens there are in Canada. There are so few private gardens here. It's really frustrating.

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  24. Hello Jennifer girl !
    I love the variety of looks to all of these gardens .. except ... I have to say ... the "steeple" was way too much .. it killed the garden.That is just my opinion but there has to be not only a balance but a flow that envelopes plants and garden art and that ? ... way over the top ! haha literally!
    I had to show my husband and he couldn't believe it either .. but we both loved the ponds .. and your focal point with the red chairs was perfect !
    Joy : )

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  25. Hi Jennifer
    Inspirational! I love them all but I have a fondness for your own very casual spot.

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  26. Great detailed information, I ll be visiting you more frequently, here is very interesting information.

    Garden Design in Norwich & Garden Design in Norfolk

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  27. Would you provide a reference for this fireplace? Was it constructed from a kit, or did you use a particular firebox insert thing? would like to duplicate something similar. Thanks so much. I love your gardens! Private Garden in Forest Hill, Ontario
    7. Wouldn't this fireplace be nice on a chilly evening?

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    1. Yes, this fireplace would be wonderful on a chilly evening! I looked up what information I have on this garden and I am sorry there is no reference as to who constructed the fireplace or how it was made. My materials do mention that the patio floor is heated, so I would assume from that no money was spared in creating this lovely backyard retreat.

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