Backyard Retreat Garden Oasis

Stonework and planting make a Burlington garden designed by David Lammers of Garden Grove Landscaping seem cozy and inviting. With mature trees providing protective privacy, the garden is a calm oasis.

The outdoor fireplace would look equally at home in an indoor living room, while soft thick cushions on the lounge furniture make the circular patio feel very much like an inside living room.

The award winning design that Lammers created for this Burlington family was a conscious move to bring the indoors outdoors.

“This was an intimate backyard, small in scale, and the intent was to make this into highly useable space that would be a haven for the owners. Humans have a natural affinity with nature. The outdoors is a natural draw – we are not meant to be stuck in boxes. So the enhancement of the backyard as a place to spend time is a very understandable trend.”

The small and square-ish backyard was softened and made more compelling by the fireplace installation. “It is intended as a lounge area and focal point for the garden. The actual fireplace is very traditional and looks much like one you might find inside,” explains Lammers, “but the stone used makes it seem natural. We used both natural stone and manufactured stone in this custom designed fireplace, with natural stone as surround and as capping and trim and man made stones to build the structure. The fireplace itself is gas but has the appearance of a wood burning unit.”

“We surrounded the fireplace area with a circular boundary of natural flagstone, which acts as almost an area rug to define but not cut off the area from the rest of the garden. It also softens the space.”

To landscape the rest of the garden, we used plantings to soften and create the surround of nature to achieve a relaxing atmosphere. We established privacy with a wood screen, and used naturalized plantings, a carefully chosen mix of nursery stock that is traditional, warm and inviting.”

The new plantings, like the hemlock and Japanese maple, so vibrant with its burgundy leaves, added colour and texture. “The owners are bird lovers so we selected plants that would attract the birds, like the Canadian serviceberry clumps, a native species that flowers gorgeously in the spring and then produces berries that birds love.”

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