Posts Tagged ‘backyard’

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!


April 13, 2013 8:30 am

5 unique (and weird) lawn sculptures

I love individuality as much as the next design enthusiast, but I think I draw the line at grass-covered couches in the backyard. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you will in just a second. I’m always browsing Pinterest and my favorite blogs for backyard decor inspiration, and recently came across 5 unique – and quite weird – lawn sculptures I knew I had to share with you here on The Blog.

Now, I’ve seen plenty of gnomes and a handful of stone rabbits, dogs, and glass orbs – but I had never seen anything like these before. Some of them I love, some of them I’d rather keep away from my own backyard. Consider whether or not you’d be brave enough to decorate with these sculptures and leave us a comment at the end with your thoughts!



Click to see the image!

First up is this adorable hippo lawn sculpture. At first glance, it looks like a hippo is shimmying his way across your lawn! With closer inspection, you’ll see it’s actually just a stone sculpture of the top half of a hippo – perfect for a little bit of fun lawn decor. If I had a pool, I’d place this in the grass nearby to make it look like he’s headed for a dip!


Click to see the image!

Second, we have this interesting tentacle sculpture. Is it an octopus? Is it an upside down squid? I’m not entirely sure. All I know is it’s a little too intense for my liking, and I think it might terrify the neighborhood children just a teensy bit too much. This might be fun decor for a cottage or seaside home, but I think it’s best skipped by the majority of home decorators.


Click to see the image!

This little guy falls into the same category as the hippo in the lawn for me – absolutely adorable. He’s small enough to not demand all the attention, but a fun surprise for the eye at the same time! I like him the most out of the bunch because of the realistic coloring and the detail of the sculpture. I’d put him in the front garden to give the mail man a chuckle on his daily delivery.


Click to see the image!

These stone garden rams would make for a clever display in a Southwestern home, but I don’t know how they’d work in a more urban setting. I love how they’ve been placed in this particular garden, as it looks as if the one on the left is preparing to push some rocks or challenge the one on the right to a duel. They’re fun and fit the setting in this photo!


Click to see the image!

Lastly, we have the couch made of grass. Sure, it’s a fun idea and looks cool in a picture – but I don’t think it’s very practical at all. This particular grass couch was made by encasing an old couch in concrete and then placing sod overtop. It seems like quite a bit of work, plus I think it would be a little damp to actually sit on most of the time – let alone the bugs! Like I said earlier, the grass couch is where I draw the line. I can envision using the other 4 sculptures in the right settings and for the right home owners, but I can’t see the grass couch being a practical or work-able option for anyone.

What do you think of these 5 sculptures? Let me know in a comment, especially if you’re a fan of the last one!