This Spring I partnered with Lowes Canada when I planted annuals for my white-on-white garden that I installed 3 years ago. See the post I wrote for them here.
Here are 3 lessons I learned along the way:
Before the garden was installed. Go here to learn how to choose the right flagstone colour.
When the stone steps were first installed in front of my studio, my nephews liked to play there.
Here you can see the cheap lanterns I purchased that lasted one season sitting outside in the rain.
The new ones don’t move in the wind and can handle the constant rain we get where we live.
I did the same thing with the adirondack chairs around my fire pit. They also lasted one season. The new white ones have a 40 year warranty.
Lesson #1: Buy the Best and You’ll Only Cry Once
Then I needed a bench for this spot in my front yard beside the decorative fence (not installed in this picture). After debating how long it should be, I decided it should be at least 5 or 6 feet because I had the space for it, so that’s what I ordered.
I knew the moment I assembled it that I hated it.
I sent MaryAnne a picture and she agreed. The eye went straight to this ginormous bench in my front yard and distracted from everything else.
So back it went.
Then I found this one which was NOT expensive, but I wasn’t sure what would look good at this point so I brought it home. Two people can barely sit on it because it’s not that sturdy but it’s more decorative than anything else anyway.
This one virtually blended into the landscape which I liked much better.
This was our garden, one year later (Photo by Tracey Ayton) It took our grass a little while to grow in, that’s another story.
Lesson #2: Not everything has to yell “look at me, look at me”.
Because we had so much concrete in addition to a second gravel driveway for an RV in our front yard, we simply demolished the entire front and back yard that year.
That left us with the deck, which wasn’t that old but it was so ugly (below). And replacing the deck with the roof that is much needed in the summer was not in the budget.
I asked our contractor if he could at least replace the skinny white posts with thicker columns but he said our deck could not support them.
So, when all else fails, decorate.
The new landscaping certainly worked miracles as well as new furniture.
Lesson #3: If you can’t do anything with the structure itself, distract the eye with decor. I have done this many times when decorating.
When I talk about our ugly deck now, my guests look startled, like they missed something.
And that’s the response I like ; )
This Spring I partnered with Lowes Canada when I planted annuals for my white-on-white garden, see the post I wrote for them here.
Become a True Colour Expert this Fall in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Charlotte, Tampa and New Jersey here.
If you would like help creating a beautiful and classic exterior, we have exterior consultation packages available here.
First Rule of Design: Boring Now Equals Classic Later (a lesson on outdoor classic design)
The Two Kings of Muck Mountain on Elizabeth Avenue (the demolition of our yard)