Archive | Outside

Virtual tours of gardens and grounds of homes we own or admire.

Fernando Caruncho Minimalist Gardens

fernando caruncho - an autumn garden with brillant maple leaf color behind the hedges - house & garden via atticmag

Reflecting pools, clipped hedges, olive trees and cypress are typical of the Fernando Caruncho style.

About five years ago I clipped a garden with exquisite fall color from a magazine and scanned the pages for reference. The only notes I made was the name of the landscape architect: Fernando Caruncho. Spain’s premier “gardener,” as Caruncho has referred to himself, is a “minimalist” whose landscapes are rooted in geometry. Reflecting pools, clipped hedges, olive trees and cypress are typical of the Fernando Caruncho style. Caruncho’s gardens are serene and ordered. Even when they are flamboyant maples blazing with color [top] behind a stepped, squared off hedge, the color is balanced by water and space.  … Continue Reading


One Stunning Garden Bench

garden bench - Lutyens Thakeham teak bench - Kinglsey Bates via Atticmag

Large or small, modern or antique, a stunning garden bench enhances even the most beautiful outdoor space.

How wonderful it is to sit on a garden bench and enjoy being surrounded by the natural vegetation and blooms. Even the fabulous Scampston Hall Walled Garden in northern England was designed with special garden seating. A landscape architect knows which furniture is needed for a garden but, for the rest of us,  finding the right garden bench is akin to shopping for a living room sofa. Size, color, style and the overall look of a bench needs to align with the garden’s mood.… Continue Reading


7 Outdoor Home Décor Ideas

outdoor home décor ideas - whitewashed swinging Porch bed - Southern Living via Atticmag

Summer’s here — prime time for outdoor home décor projects to do yourself or hire out.

This year my outdoor home décor projects have been very modest because two long cold winters created so much work in the flowerbeds. But the rotting doors on our shed were replaced. Plus I found an hour to refresh my antique iron porch chair and umbrella stand with spray paint. But I’ve been busy looking around to see what else might be feasible. Apart from the bbq, our patio is bare.

#1 Swinging Porch Bed. My front porch is, unfortunately, not deep enough for a swinging porch bed like the whitewashed one [top] installed in the Southern Living Idea House.… Continue Reading


Scampston Hall Walled Garden

walled gardens - oval fountain in the Perennial meadow of the Scampston Estate Walled Garden - Undated Handout Photo of a Scampston Walled Garden - Photo Phil Tatler/

The Scampston Estate Walled Garden was designed in a modern style with woodland plants and ornamental grasses.

The walled garden at Scampston Hall is one of two must-see gardens in northern England. On the grounds of a Regency country house in Yorkshire, the house and garden has been in the hands of the same family for more than 300 years. Like many stately British homes, public tours of Scampston’s walled garden, as well as the house with its own formal gardens, are available to anyone planning summer travel in England. The house and gardens are open to the public from April to November (Tuesday through Sunday).… Continue Reading


Basic Outdoor Shower

basic outdoor shower with Riobel head and hand shower mounted on a tree - House&Home via Atticmag

A basic outdoor shower is easy to rig up and the look opens up a natural world of creativity.

Two years ago, while visiting our daughter in Michigan, we watched the contractors install a basic outdoor shower on the back deck that leads to the pool. The entire project took most of the morning and by afternoon the little ones were rinsing themselves off after a swim. Adding a basic outdoor shower isn’t as complicated as it looks and it isn’t necessarily expensive either.

Apart from the irony of a working shower attached to a tree [top], showers don’t get more basic than this one.… Continue Reading


Backyard Shed Crazy

backyard shed - Ann Voskamp’s furnished she-shed mini-barn at the edge of a cornfield - A Holy via Atticmag

The lowly backyard shed goes by many names but having a small, quirky out building is a plus for any home.

Small backyard sheds are trending. These may be called she-sheds, bar sheds, she-caves, he-caves, or a writing cabin like the one at the edge of an Ontario, Canada cornfield where author and blogger Ann Voskamp [top] types out her best selling books. Furnished with rugs, a sofa, and a desk, the cabin allows Mrs. Voskamp, who describes herself as a “farmer’s wife,” to work at a remove from her six children.

Sheds are may be art studios, potting sheds, garden sheds, cabin sheds, mini barns and back houses.… Continue Reading