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In Garden/ My House/ Renovations

Building a mini boardwalk

The walkway connecting the side of our house to our garden has been wrought with issues – grass wouldn’t grow there, and in the winter months it would pool with water and turn into an ice rink. In Summer  it is just a muddy mess. We decided therefore, while we were adding wood cladding to the pool that we would keep the momentum going and build a mini walkway by the gate. A mini boardwalk, which seemed fitting also as we live close to the Beach.

It started with us digging out the ground, in order to place some rocks for better drainage. We were originally going to just make a straight walkway and end it parallel to the stairs – however I decided at the last minute, much to some annoyance of Aubrey, to connect the walkway with the staircase, in order to make the whole area seem as one, and create a “pond” of our grasses.

It ended up making it a bigger project than we originally assumed, as now we were tying in the walkway with the stairs. But as it started to come together, it was clear that the extra effort was indeed worth it.


I am so ridiculously happy with how it turned out!

In Garden

Fireplaces (Wood + Propane) in the Garden

We have a mid century wood burning fireplace in our garden, a Craigslist score from a few years ago. It has added so much fun to our garden and is the centre of countless memories with friends and family. We’ve used it every season, each season bringing it’s own unique experience. (eg. Winter is especially memorable!) Our garden has definite “zones” and this wood burning fireplace is at the back of our property, closest to our studio. We find that the adults sit around the fireplace as the kids play in the lane, or, board games in the studio and pop over to join us and of course they come by to roast marshmallows. It really works as our cottage in the city and it’s perfect because it’s not too close to our house.

We get so many questions about this fireplace, my recommendation is to check out eBay and other second hand sites and search things like “Retro Fireplace“, Cone Fireplace, or Mid Century Freestanding Fireplace. I had been searching for years, with no great idea of where one would go, and a random evening of searching (I tend to obsess over hunting for certain things) led me to a Toronto store selling one off in a moving sale.

Now, with our new deck off our house (I’ve yet to fully reveal but you can see it in most photos), and it being our first full Summer having use of it, we’ve been playing around with furniture placement and, how we’ll utilize the deck. As the weather warmed up, we started to think about adding a propane fireplace on our upper deck, so that we could get some less-work-fire going to enjoy, and, with less woodsy smell that the wood burning fire generates. I also didn’t want a wood burning fireplace on our deck for obvious reasons, but also because of the smoke that would be so close to our neighbours. A propane / gas hookup firepit is a great solution. I had fallen for this one shown at Surfrider Malibu, which I had posted before…

I searched and searched, and with Spring comes great sales. I spotted a sale at Rona for some fire pits and one in particular that (I liked was on sale. I did a reverse image search of the fire pit and discovered it was sold at a TON of different retailers and is called the Real Flame Baltic Square Propane Table Glacier Grey. Costco came in at the least expensive. Apart from the cost being less at Costco, their return policy is amazing. The staff are amazing, and I knew that with such a big purchase, should something go wrong, I wanted to deal with a company that I knew I could get a hold of, and, stood behind their products. Costco checks those boxes. Plus free delivery, so yeah. There’s that!

 Now, the reviews of the table were awful on Costco’s website, but searching the same product on other sites, the reviews were more favourable. The main problem seems to be the finish coming off over seasons. I’m hoping that with that knowledge we can maintain this piece for as long as possible with the right care. It comes with a cover, which stays on the table when it is not in use…

I apparently like to take pictures of my feet.

Anyhow, so far, so good. The propane tank for us sits tucked away between chairs on the deck and we purchased a propane cover from Lowes as it was by far the least expensive of all as it’s metal and not a concrete look like the table.

Other stores you can find this table: Costco / Lowes / Home Depot (USA) / Home Depot (CAN) / /

In Garden

Back Garden Updates

We’ve started the process to demolish and rebuild our back deck. Here’s the stat of it, and you can see the rotten wood planks that were just getting worse and worse.

The deck is gone (above) and you can see I’m starting the process to stain the fence black and remove some of the garden. I’m trying to save my hydrangea bushes that you see right in the middle, and they will eventually go by the stairs of the new deck. Along the black fence I’m planting some tall linear trees to add some height and, some eventual privacy. I ended up picking a golden dawyck beech tree. 

Next stage is to get fence posts put in, and we’ll be putting up a fence with the neighbours that we love. It’s tempting to keep the fence down because it looks so beautiful so big, and we love them – but it will be lovely for everyone to have some extra privacy. Stay tuned for some more updates! xo Linds