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Backyard Escapes with Jennifer Hayman Design Group

June 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Home Decor


Jennifer HaymanGreater Toronto Area homeowners know that every square foot holds great value. With limited residential space and a 9 to 5-plus work life that can often confine you to an overcast cubicle, there’s never been more of an incentive to make use of your sunny backyard space. This is where gardening guru Jennifer Hayman comes in. “In Toronto, space is at such a premium that rather than having neglected, unused lawns and gardens, why not make it a series of outdoor rooms that flow and connect and allow you and your family the opportunity to relax and really maximize your time outside.” Hayman is the founder of Toronto’s award-winning landscape design-build firm Jennifer Hayman Design Group.

While Hayman’s firm fulfills a diverse array of landscaping dreams, she says that a rising trend in outdoor space solutions is to take existing abandoned garages and transform them into functional escapes. One of her most recent projects was retrofitting an unused double garage by creating an L-shaped storage area with French doors, an elevated cathedral ceiling with a chandelier and a stone patio with sectional seating. “We essentially created a true outdoor structure or room using what was already on their property,” says Hayman, who has a garden design degree from the Oxford College of Garden Design.

Since it’s the season of patio furniture purchases, Hayman has a few wise words. “It’s like a wardrobe: you have your staples and then you have your fun, hot trend pieces. You certainly normally don’t invest in those trend pieces – you want to invest in the staples.” So take the time this summer to stop and smell the roses – in your own backyard.

Q: What are your favourite plants and flowers to work with?

I love textural plants. I love a lot of the ornamental grasses and the sedges. I like to use a strong palate of greens and whites – I find that very calming. Green and white tends to stand out and brighten up a dark garden. Hydrangeas are one of my favourites; it’s the sedges and really creating that combination of textures and colours that will give you interest throughout the year.



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