North Of The City Garden- DIY Article March 2009


Published on

Mary\'s DIY Garden Design

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

North Of The City Garden- DIY Article March 2009

  1. 1. I outdoor living Stouffville property inspires DIYers to make the most of great outdoors GOING ALL OUT by Lee Ann Waterman When Mary Attwell and Robert Bowman walked removed some of the boards to open it up, and later onto the one-and-a-half-acre property in Whitchurch- replaced the entire structure with one featuring large Stouffville three years ago, they knew they had come glass panels held in place by sleek metal frames. The home. The 2,200-square-foot, 20-year-old bungalow boards of the deck were given new life with a coat of was nothing special, but the land was spectacular. black paint. “We were just blown away,” says Ms Attwell. “The A large evergreen was causing similar obstruction property was so breathtaking.” of the view from the sunroom. Mr. Bowman trimmed The husband and wife are committed DIYers. “My up the lower branches, and Ms Attwell prettied up the passion is decorating,” says Ms Attwell, who is also a area beneath with a variety of perennials – shasta smart, seasoned shopper. Mr Bowman is a pretty daisies, phlox, hydrangea and Veronica spicata – all accomplished home handyman, who can build a with white flowers, she says, stand out even in the custom wall unit, lay a stone patio and wire an moonlight. outdoor chandelier on a dimmer. Any work they have They’ve added furniture in strategic locations for done to the outside of their home – and in some cases enjoying the pond: a pair of Muskoka chairs here, a the inside as well – has been done with an eye to bench there, and a lovely wrought iron gazebo. It sits enhancing and enjoying the view. on a circle of interlocking bricks, features a round Ms Attwell’s favourite feature of the property is the table and four chairs, and is lit by a sparkly chandelier. pond, which is surrounded by majestic willows and Planting boxwoods and miniature coral and yellow attracts wildlife such as geese, beavers, muskrats and roses around the gazebo gives the area a formal feel. blue herons. Large black urns are filled with annuals – for time- “As soon as I get up in the morning, I can’t wait to saving and instantly-lush arrangements, Ms Attwell look out the window,” she says. buys premade hanging baskets to fill the urns, adding Unfortunately, the view to the backyard from the a spiky plant for some height – and the entrance is family room off the kitchen was obscured by the deck guarded by two large stone gargoyles. railing – wide boards painted white. They immediately Scale, says Ms Attwell, is important: anything but 36 north of the city
  2. 2. A pond lined with willow trees is one of the main attractions of the one-and-a-half-acre property. A round brick patio provides the base for an iron wrought gazebo – an ideal spot to enjoy morning coffee or light lunch and a view of the pond. n o r t h of the c i t y 43
  3. 3. very large planters and statues would have been overwhelmed by the wide open space. They put the most work however into their outdoor entertaining area – a large, interlocking stone patio that has been divided into two “rooms” – one for eating, one for lounging. Each area is covered by a 10- by-12-foot gazebo of dark brown metal with a resin roof; purchased assembly-required from Rona, each one took 10 hours for Mr. SURE SLIM Bowman to erect. Chocolate brown curtains are tied back with large tassels that Ms Attwell found at the Stouffville Flea Market for $2 apiece. The living room is dominated by an outdoor sectional, chair and ottoman (purchased at Canadian Tire) in chocolate brown with fresh green cushions. Ms Attwell added down-filled throw pillows for texture and comfort. A brick knee wall planted with tall grasses provides a sense of privacy. Accessories and a chandelier on a dimmer – a heavy, wrought iron garage-sale find painted black – complete the space. For the dining room, the pair decided to go custom. They love to entertain and Ms Attwell wanted a table that could sit 10 people. At Century Lumber in Stouffville, they purchased 10-foot lengths of African padauk. The pieces were glued together seamlessly, with a rough bark edge left on either side, to create a large, rustic table. Mr. Bowman oiled and varnished the wood to protect it from the elements. Over time the colour has deepened, its lighter red tones replaced by a deeper brown, the bark leaving a lighter stripe on the edges. A candle chandelier to which Ms Attwell affixed two sets of deer antlers and spray-painted gloss black hangs above the table. Resin wicker- look armchairs in chocolate brown (also LIANOS from Canadian Tire) offer comfortable seating and are stackable for easy storage. A wrought iron sofa table provides serving space. Above it, Ms Attwell has placed a stylized sun mirror and two candle scones with scroll details mirroring that of the candle chandelier. Although the sprawling backyard is clearly the focus of their efforts, Ms Attwell and Mr. Bowman have also worked to give the front of their property some needed curb appeal. They removed two overgrown lilac bushes and created large curving beds that can be seen from the road. In them, they north of the city 39
  4. 4. Top, left: For Robert Bowman and Mary Attwell, taking their back entertaining area from bare to beautiful required vision, time and getting their hands dirty. The end result is stunning and includes separate dining and living areas. Top, right: To enhance the view from their kitchen, the white railing on the existing deck was replaced with large glass panels held in place by sleek metal frames. Above: A custom table made from African padauk wood bought at Century Lumber in Stouffville provides comfortable outdoor seating for 10. Left: This shaded sectional offers lots of room for friends and family to relax outdoors. Details like the chandelier, down- filled pillows and artwork give the space a real “living room” feel. 44 n o r t h of the c i t y
  5. 5. Overgrown lilac bushes were replaced with small-scale shrubs and perennials in the front garden. HAIR COMPANY planted smaller evergreens – dwarf Alberta of these gardens is a two-tiered birdbath that spruce, blue star juniper, boxwoods, yucca – Ms Attwell assembled from two smaller and perennials chosen for their contrasting birdbaths and topped with a pineapple garden colours – palace purple coral bells with their ornament. On the bottom tier is a large purple to bronze leaves; autumn joy sedum; grapevine wreath in which Ms Attwell plants beacon silver lamium, a ground cover with succulents (that are watered every other day). metallic-green leaves and pink flowers. Garden The result is a one-of-a-kind addition to the art includes a pagoda and two Chinese foo dog space. statues. Black urns, which last year were The outdoor space is still a work in planted with fuchsia geraniums, flank the front progress – Ms Attwell can list a dozen projects doors. she would like to accomplish in the coming Other gardens to the side of the house months and years – but she and Mr. Bowman feature Japanese maples, corkscrew hazel, are able to balance their time between spiral Alberta spruce, ferns, Frances William improving their home and enjoying it. hostas, double-blooming purple clematis and “We just love it,” says Ms Attwell. “We are hot pink carpet roses. A unique feature of one so lucky to be living here.” n A self-described “very good summer. And she brings her outdoor SHOPPING TIPS shopper,” Ms Attwell offers these table into her finished basement to tips to readers looking to add some use when she hosts large dinner style to their home – inside or out. parties in the winter. HILTON • Fashionably late: Shop at the • Don’t discount the discount end of the season for deals. Buy stores: Ms Attwell has her favourites perennials in the fall and holiday among higher-end stores (Brampton items at the end of December, etc. Galleries and The Queensbridge Mill And don’t be afraid to ask for a are two), but she’s also a big fan of better price than what is advertised. HomeSense and Winners, • Double duty: Look for items consignment shops, flea markets that you can use from one season and warehouse sales. to the next. For example, in • Trust your instincts: When you December Ms Attwell bought find a piece you love and fits your Christmas balls in a celadon green – style, pick it up – even if you’re not one of the main colours in her exactly sure how you’ll use it. “If I outdoor space – and is certain she think it’s a good price and it speaks can find a use for them this to me, I buy it,” says Ms Attwell. 40 north of the city