Robert Couturier’s Garden

Boxwood, cobblestone, Formal Garden, Robert Couturier

This garden belongs to Designer Robert Couturier and his partner, architectural historian Jeffrey Morgan. The classic house rests within a equally classic garden of formal terraces and boxwoods.  The whole garden is design with structure in mind, but my favorite portion is the front entrance with the cobblestones, gravel, turf and stone walls. The mixture of surfaces add texture and interest to front entry way to the home. Also boxwoods in planters are used as “art.”

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Planning a trip to Niagara Falls

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Over the Fourth holiday we are traveling to Niagara Falls and Toronto with some friends. Even though I have lived with in 6 hours driving from the falls the majority of my life, I have never been. Of course we plan ride Maid of the Mist and enjoy all the standard tourist attractions, but we also plan a visit to the Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens. I have  feeling there will too much for us to do on our short trip, we will need to plan another visit. I will share my photos after the trip but here are some I found while planning the trip. Also if you have any recommendations for activities etc, please let me know!

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Summer Entertaining – Outdoor Dining Rooms

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Summer is the time for outdoor dinning. We eat most of our meals outside during the summer, except on the hottest days. There are a few standards for making sure you are ready for ourdoor dining (table and chairs), but endless options for the materials and layout.

Using tall hedges surrounding the dining area allows you to feel like separate room and shields you from neighbors.
The rough stone floor with wide joints can be tricky wobbly surfaces for chairs, but beautiful none the less. Something more like a rustic bench could be easier for this surface.
Image from Martha Stewart Living – March 2007

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Brick paving is coming for our area of Ohio, and makes for a even surface for dining table and chairs. Also placing your patio under a large tree provides shade and a place to hang lights or lanterns when it gets darker.
Image from Veranda Magazine – September 2009
Designer Kathy Ireland
Even if you live in the city, you can still add greenery and walls to your patio create a room. Also using herbs in pots are a great on a table for using in cooking and for adding additional fragrance during your meal..
Image from Veranda Magazine September 2009

Adding an arbor also helps to provide shade and allows you to define the dining space. Adding climbing plants (like Wisteria and  Hydrangea) will provide color and additional shade. Also fireplaces are wonderful addition for chilly nights and making desert.
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Another example of a table under an arbor. The spacing of the slats alters the amount of shade, and the use of white columns makes it look more traditional. Also blue stone paving is a nice smooth surface for setting heavy teak dining chairs.
Image from House and Garden Magazine – Year  unknown

Another example of using trees (this case olive trees) to define the boundaries of the dining area. This space uses crushed granite for the surface and can be a cheaper option to natural stone paving.
Image from Elle Decor July/August 2008

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using an awning for shade is another alternative to arbors for shade and allow you to add some additional color to the patio space. This patio shows the flow for keeping the dining area close to a lounge for easy transition for after dinner converstation .
Image from Martha Stewart Living – Year unknown

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Porches are excellent places for outdoor dining. The rustic benches would be perfect on the rough natural stone pavers in the first image as well as seen hear.
Image from Elle Decor June 2009