Monthly Archives: Dec 2015


Making The Most Of Your Small Patio


Just because you don’t have a yard, doesn’t mean you have to go without a garden. There are many ways to incorporate plants into your small patio.

  • Mount canning jars on your wall to build an herb garden.
  • Use repurposed wooden pallets to house herbs and cascading plants.
  • Incorporate vines and cascading plants into the structure of your patio.
  • Buy hanging planters to create a vertical garden.
  • Use repurposed items like cement blocks, wooden crates, birdcages, pails, and whatever else the flea market has to offer to create quirky planters.
  • Build shelves or frames on the walls to house your potted plants, or use a shelving unit.

When building your patio garden, always think vertically to maximize the space. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little creativity.

Patio Furniture

The amount of patio furniture you can have depends on the size of your patio, and what you’d like to use it for. Benches are a good idea because they can be built against the wall and create a more open space in the middle. Here are a few other ideas for compact patio furniture:

  • Multi-tasking furniture: Having a bench or ottoman double as storage for gardening supplies, and other things, is a great way economize your space.
  • Collapsible furniture: If your patio is usually used by just one or two people, all you may want is a bench or nook to sit in. But if you have company, you may need more. Collapsible furniture is useful for those occasions because once you’re done, you can just put it away and enjoy having more space!

Stores that sell patio furniture usually have lots of options for smaller spaces. Do research online and in-store to find what suits your aesthetic and comfort!


Don’t sacrifice decorating just because you have a small space! Like gardens, thinking vertically and using wall space is the key to maximizing your patio’s potential.

  • Repurposed items: Using antiques, or other “junk” items, is a great way to recycle and give your space a unique look.
  • Hanging items: If you have any sort of ceiling—perhaps lattice or canopy—items like birdcages or wind chimes will hardly take up any space.
  • Mirrors: Incorporating a mirror into your patio will make the space appear larger.

The key to getting the most out of your small patio is creativity and experimentation! Just because your patio is small, doesn’t mean it can’t be the patio of your dreams!

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Brighten up your Garden With These Winter Flowers

Fresh flowers are some of the best parts of spring and summer, so why stop now that winter’s here? Don’t let the cold weather keep you from having a bright and vibrant garden that’s sure to lift anyone’s mood. We’ve listed some plants that thrive all throughout the year, so let’s get started!

Winter Flower

Rhododendron Barbatum
The barbatum blooms much like other rhododendrons, which is in small clusters formed by even smaller flowers all pointing outwards as if they were arranged carefully by a florist.

A common colour for the barbatum bloom is red, making it just right for the Valentine season amid the white snow. This plant is a bit harder to find, although it’s not so exotic to be banned by law, so take the time to look out for it in stores, or consider asking your local nursery to have it shipped to your location.

Be careful where you plant it though, because it can only take as much as -15℃ of the cold, so if you’re far up North, this plant is better kept indoors.

Cornus Mas or Cornelian Cherry
The cornus mas is a perennial plant that can withstand temperatures of -25℃, making it a hardy choice for many Canadian gardens. It flowers even when the leaves have fallen off most deciduous trees, causing its bright yellow, trumpet-shaped blooms to stand out in the garden. By the time summer rolls around, the plant will produce clusters of cherries, which actually resemble grapes more, although the taste is still sour like a cherry.

Galanthus Nivalis or Snowdrop
The common snowdrop cultivar probably wouldn’t be considered a perennial because it’s a plant that grows from bulbs. As such, the average height of the plant doesn’t usually grow to be very tall, but instead it’s a delicate flower that can be hard to spot individually. In nature, many bulbs are found in close proximity of each other, carpeting the ground in this lovely flower with an orchid-like bloom: three petals form an outer ring and the centre forms another shape with the inner petals.

Other plants which bloom throughout the cold winter months include:

  • Erica carnea
  • Edgeworthia chrysantha
  • Prunus mume

These are just some of the plants that we’ve seen in bloom outside of summer and in Canada, although there are more to be found. Keep nature and its beauty near you year-round in your garden and in your home with fresh cut flowers and potted plants!

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Home Improvement

Amazing Patio Makeover Ideas

When flipping through your favourite interior design magazine, you’ll find great inspiration for your home. What the stack of lovely magazines on your coffee table can’t help you with is turning that inspiration into a complete transformation of your space. In this article, we’ll discuss affordable makeovers that will upgrade the look of your back yard in simple, do-able steps!

Patio Makeover

Gazebos for beauty and function
Gazebos can cost anywhere from under $100 to a few thousand dollars, which gives you a wide range of options when it comes to accommodating your budget. Gazebos are made in a variety of styles:

  • large or small
  • wooden, metal, or plastic structure
  • glass or fabric roofs
  • foldable or permanent

They not only add visual interest to your yard, it helps you enjoy the outdoors in rain or shine.

Tip: the key to making the most of a gazebo is ensuring that it’s not too small or too large for your patio.

Night lighting for ambience
Being outdoors shouldn’t be restricted to when the sun is up, which makes porch lighting a priority over some other decorations in your yard. There are even more options when it comes to setting up lighting!

Using string lights suitable for the outdoors gives an ad hoc, quirky but romantic feeling to your patio, whereas professionally installed in-ground or ensconced lighting makes it more permanent and less susceptible to damage in bad weather. Outdoor lighting ranges from less than $50 to several hundreds of dollars, with a large selection at your local home hardware store.

Tip: opt for lights with solar panels to reduce energy use.

Barefoot on the patio
There is nothing like feeling organic materials on your skin, so if your patio is not safe or comfortable enough to walk on barefoot, you might consider renovating the flooring. The most affordable options are clay tile or leftover concrete and brick. If your budget allows, the better the quality of the flooring, the more luxurious your patio will seem. An expensive stone isn’t everyone’s style — in fact, reclaimed wood is another amazing option that will give a perfectly rustic charm to the area.

There are endless creative ways to make your patio a favourite spot for you and your friends. Regardless of how much effort you put into your patio, it won’t be half as enjoyable if the yard is lackluster. Gardening is a very easy and rewarding hobby to get into, so contact our experts if you have any questions about lawn care or a garden makeovers!

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