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A Small Backyard Gets a Transformation!

Backyard Haven 1

Can you turn a regular, rectangular city backyard without a feature to its name into a joyous place for celebration, tranquility, relaxation, and peace? Cold you make the same area do double duty as a great party place as well as a retreat for quiet introspection? And can you let the kids run riot in it without worrying?

Let’s see how one homeowner in suburban Toronto turned her relatively small plot of weed-filled scrub into a charming oasis full of interesting areas and features to explore.

What elements would you include?

Backyard Haven 2

A pretty patio, for sure. This one has charming furniture, a hit of glamour and color in the cushions, a lamp for night time interest. It has old fashioned charm. It works a treat.

A shady spot so that you can dream a little with a glass of lemonade and a great book. (This summer try, “I am Pilgrim.” It’s a terrific thriller and will keep you rooted (pardon the pun) in your garden for many enjoyable hours.)

Where is that shade tree? Ah yes. She ticked that box beautifully. Let’s stretch out on a lounger and lie here for hours while she brings us an ice cold gin and tonic and we sip on it while our hearts beat faster to the frenzied beat of the spy hero in our book.

A water feature? Well, that would be lovely, but it can’t be anything too big in this garden. This one is perfect. Located at the end of the garden. Protected by stone walls, deep enough for the fish and for the kids to gather around. Lovely.

A pergola for some added architectural interest? Here it is. Sheltering its own domain, adding architectural interest and charm to the water feature that already has a lot going for it.

A stone path? We all love stones. They come with such history. If you strike lucky you may find one with a fossil in it as I once did in my own backyard. This stone path winds like the river bed it is intended to emulate. Perfect.

Lawn? Yes, with all the other features, our host still found room to include some soft, welcoming green grass. This green lawn is shapely and curved in all the right places – just like me!

Some beautiful perennials that will provide promises of things to come? Glory in the summer, radiant color in the fall and winter interest when the snow sits atop their branches for month after month n Toronto’s long winter. How about this Rhodendron, just about to burst into voluptuous bloom?

Annuals to give that easy burst of radiant color.

So, that’s our leisurely stroll through one homeowner’s creation.

What features have you included in your garden to turn it into a lovely retreat? Comments anyone? Tell us about your most unusual and successful garden feature!