We are heading into the hottest part of the summer and if ever there was a time to take a break, relax, and enjoy the garden, this would be it!
A comfortable seating area where you can entertain friends or just unwind is just what you need on hot afternoon or a sultry summer evening.
Today I have two rustic styled seating areas to inspire you to create your own perfect place to relax.
In this first space in Brampton, ON the path leads you to a little foot bridge that crosses a dry stream bed.
Here is a closer look at the dry stream bed.
Adirondack chairs are grouped around a small outdoor fireplace (it is a good idea to check local by-laws before purchasing an outdoor fireplace).
The next garden in Toronto, ON is small.
Now, I know I have gotten in hot water over my definition of "small" in the past, but I think I am on solid ground here when I say that this backyard is "small". I am sure that the long, rectangular space would not measure much more than 12 or 15 feet across.
As you walk down the narrow flagstone walkway at the side of the house you catch sight of a distressed blue chair at the end of the path.
See, what did I tell you. Tiny! A rustic arbor marks the entrance to the space.
Here is the view looking back to the blue chair.
Before we go on, I want to stop to admire the pretty white Snowball Viburnum, Viburnum macrocephalum which you can see peaking into the shot on the right.
I don't have a Snowball Viburnum in my garden, but I understand that they have a rounded shape and can reach as much as 20 feet high by 15 ft wide in the southern states.
Snowball Viburnum perform best in moist soil and a shady setting. In more northern climates like Canada, shelter from cold, dry winds is recommended.
Other plantings like this Japanese Maple play off the colors of the brick house.
What makes both these spaces rustic and inviting? Surrounded by walls and greenery, they feel private and secluded.
The chairs in both gardens have been left unpainted. They don't stand out from the landscape, they blend in. The goal here is to connect with nature, rather than to stand apart from it.
Emphasis has been placed on rough materials like stone, brick and wood. Together the mix of contrasting textures and plant materials demands your attention and focuses your thoughts away from everyday concerns.
For me, one of the most charming details in this space was the "rock garden" in between the two adirondack chairs.
The planting is kept minimal with much of the sensual appeal going to the smooth, rounded pebbles. I love the contrast of these grey pebbles and the bright chartreuse of the fern fronds and Creeping Jenny.
I hope you are find a few spare moments to sit and enjoy your own garden this month.