It’s fascinating to have a Perennial garden designed like mine. There’s always something that takes turns blooming, so finally when my white Shasta daisies along with my white hydrangeas were looking their best, I had my photographer Tracey Ayton come out to take photos.
She also photographed a summer house I’ve been working on for a client and when I received all the images, they were so beautiful, I got a teeny bit depressed.
I never want to take another photo, on my own, ever again.
If you don’t have a photographer that shoots entirely without lighting and ONLY using aperture, you should find one. The days of lights blazing in the middle of the day along with additional lights added by the photographer during a photo shoot are OVER.
It’s no wonder her work is featured in every issue of Style at Home, including my house here, this past April.
So, you’re in for a treat, because almost exactly one year and three months ago, our front and back yard full of concrete and ugly shrubs was entirely demolished. This is what it looked like with two bobcats at work.
I don’t think I’ve ever written a post showing you the entire before and after of everything. So here it is. Designed by MaryAnne White entirely long distance from New York.
First, there are a few hits of yellow in my garden. When I bought these succulents in May for my concrete urn, they were yellow and green. The raspberry came later and I thought it was pretty fun that the colour scheme of my living room (below) got accidentally repeated inside the urn right outside that window.
My living room
So here’s what our house looked like April 2012 when we took possession. That’s my nephew William, excited that we have moved to live nearby!
Here’s what it looks like now. We are having all kinds of problems with our grass. We have had 7 or 8 grass experts out to look at it and the final conclusion is that there’s too much sand in our dirt. The other day I was pulling weeds and they came out super easy, roots and all : ( obviously a sign that there’s not enough dirt.
A close up of my white petunias.
Love the Annabelle Hydrangeas! They last a long time in a vase as well.
Here’s the sand freshly installed waiting for the flagstones.
My favourite part of the transformation of our front yard was that MaryAnne designed an extension to our portico. Then she told me to get our lonely 2×4 column beefed up, in addition to removing the downspout from such a huge focal point at the entry to our house.
The gutters clearly needed to be replaced anyway so then it was easy to move the downspout to the side of the house instead.
Our Wooly Thyme is coming along and I think I’ve mastered keeping the Lambs Ear under control and looking like ground cover.
Such a pretty picture of my Cosmos Daisies around the decorative fence.
Here’s another shot of my succulents. How often do they need watering? I still haven’t figured that out. Aren’t they a little like a Cactus?
This is the obscene amount of concrete that was in our back yard!
And here’s’ the after photo.
This is what my design studio looked like before for those of you who haven’t seen this picture.
I have since replaced these painted Muskoka chairs that peeled and cracked instantly with white vinyl ones with a 40 year guarantee that I can leave sitting out all winter long.
The white umbrella I had from another house so I installed it here. I leave it open even when it’s pouring rain. I think a closed umbrella just looks lonely and sad and I like the resort feel of having it out and open even though we actually rarely use this area.
Before photo of my design studio
My studio – After
Vegetable garden Before
Vegetable Garden After
I had the Tutears made this past winter.
Garden Shed Before
The first year we lived here, Terreeia and I were raking and raking the leaves that fell from this purple tree in the Fall.
One day I emailed MaryAnne and said “Should we just get rid of this big ridiculous tree in the middle of our yard?” She emailed me back “Off with her head”.
The big Rhododendron beside it we moved in front of the cedar hedge on the left side of the vegetable garden to cover up the bare spot in the cedar after we removed a storage shed during the renovation.
Garden Shed After
Since we can’t replace our deck until the siding gets replaced and that is NOT in our current plan, I decided to decorate our deck instead this Spring.
This is my favourite corner this summer. Our deck is so big, now that we have this kind of seating and outdoor dining, it’s extended our living space by 1/3.
I chose brown from the Restoration Hardware Provence collection because it coordinates with our house. The coffee table is from Wayfair. So many other sectionals I saw had individual seats you’d buy and attach to form a sectional. I liked that this one was only three pieces because of the bench seat on both sides.
Anyway, back to the colour choice, our roof is brown and the siding is a pale taupe. Cream was not an option because all the trim and windows on the house are screaming white and charcoal was obviously from out of no-where.
Their light grey colour (below) is gold and taupe combined to achieve the read of a lighter grey and since I would always look at that furniture and think “Gold and Taupe”, brown was what I ended up with.
And I repeated the brown in the Chatham Collection dining set that I bought from the Pottery Barn.
Photography by Tracey Ayton
And you saw a sneak peek of this vignette here. The x ottomans I picked up from Target when they were on sale for $59.99. Could not resist even though they are not outdoor.
You can see that the light teak colour was repeated here. Does anyone know how to keep teak this colour or do I have no choice but to apply a wax turning it orange?
Hope you enjoyed the full tour! We are having a hot and fabulous summer here in the West Coast, how about you!
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