Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bloggers Give Back: Garden Design

As mentioned in my post last week, I'm part of a great charity project "Bloggers Give Back".  Thanks to the wonder women in the group, we now have Ikea sponsoring all outdoor furniture and Tonic Living for outdoor fabrics.  I also found 101 Trees to sponsor us for some plant materials!  

A big Thank You to all our sponsors for their generosity: we wouldn't be able to transform this garden without them! 

This week's task is to design a relaxing, serene garden for chatting, reading, and dining.  We need to make sure there's room for up to 10 for dining and this garden needs NO maintenance.  You can have an overall of our mood boards at Bloggers Give Back.  As for my plan, all the plants selected are native plants and will look great with no maintenance: YES, you don't even need to prune them!  I decided to divide the garden into "Living Zone" and "Dining Zone".   Here is my plan for the garden:

First off, my plan is to cover most of the floor space with pea gravels and wood tiles mainly to avoid grass cutting.   I will also re-use the existing flag stones to replace the concrete slaps next to the house. Creeping Thyme and Irish Moss are my picks for plant materials to go between the flag stones:

Up next: Living Zone

I've selected the ARHOLMA sectional for maximum seating and the cushion cover will be in this durable light blue fabric with a gray undertone and lime green/white strip as pipping at back of the cushions.  To add extra seating, a settee with cushions cover in lime green/white strip fabric.  A coffee table, a couple of garden stools, pillows, and toss cushions complete the task.  A easy to care flatwoven rug creates interest and provides extra softness underfoot.

With less grown trees in this zone, I've chosen sun loving plants including Lavenders, Delphinium, Jasmine, and wild roses for their heights, colors, and scents.

Lets talk about Dining:

I've decided to place the dining zone under the mature tree for shades during those hot summer days.  The wooden floor tiles from Ikea would make leaves clearing a breeze in the Fall.  One of our goals in the dining area is to allow for maximum seating for 10.  To achieve this objective, I selected the rectangular table (the wood top echos the floor tiles), a couple of benches with cushions done in a grey/white geometric print from Tonic Living, and two single chairs for additional/flexible seating.

For added lighting in those warm summer evening, string lights will be hung from the tree above.

Plant materials for this area need to love the shades.  For that, I've picked Bloodroot, Trillium, Jack in the Pulpit, Mayapple, Lily of the Valley, Toad Lily, Bleeding Heart, and Hostas.  

Even though all these furniture, cushions, and pillows are meant to stay outdoor, it's still a better idea to cover or put them in storage during those harsh Winter months.  Since we have a spot in the garden that backs onto the neighbour's garage, I decided to put a garden shed with double doors for maximum storage.

To add a touch of serenity and the calming sound of drizzling water, a Japanese inspired water fountain will be placed between the living and dining zones. 

Cold hardy bamboo and "blue flowers" will complete the look.

Outdoor solar lighting will also be installed throughout the garden.

Hope you enjoy my garden design for the George Herman House and if you would like to support the "Bloggers Give Back" project and turn this garden into a reality, you could support us by sending a cheque directly to George Herman House (mark on the cheque that it's for the garden project) or sponsor this garden project through paypal.


  1. Fantastic plan Tim! So well thought out and meticulous. I like the blue and white tones of all the plantings you've chosen.

  2. Excellent plan! It's all very calm and soothing.

  3. Thanks Ladies! It looks like many of us got similar ideas and we could probably combine the common theme into our final designs! I definitely love the plants segment of this project!

  4. Love your plans, Tim! Especially the flowers, and the whole mood is so beautiful. I love the water feature!

  5. Wow Tim, this is so good - you have put so much thought into it and it shows. I love your ideas!

  6. good picks on the flowers! good taste Tim!!

  7. Great ideas, Tim!! I'm checking out all of the designs over the next few days and I'll be voting soon ;-)

  8. I forgot to mention in my other post that the water feature really is a lovely feature. Very peaceful to sit out and read a book with the sound of water in the background. I echo the sentiments above - a lot of thought, detail, time and creative energy clearly went into your plan. Any aspect of your garden plan would look beautiful in the backyard.