What a scorcher of a summer! Make your 2

7 Sep

What a scorcher of a summer! Make your 2013 garden pop with these ‘Beat the Heat’ favourites. http://ow.ly/dxSJ6 http://ow.ly/dxSNf


New Site Launches!

26 Mar

Awaken to the arrival of Spring with the launch of Verkade Garden & Style, an e-magazine resource for classic, current and cutting-edge style trends in garden design.

We believe that good design is an integral part of real life. By combining form and function, we demonstrate how the outdoors can be transformed into unique spaces for entertaining family and friends, relaxing in your private sanctuary and simply enjoying the beauty of nature.

From profiling new products to providing design ideas and inspiration, Verkade Garden & Style delivers the best in garden and style ideas, straight to the homes of Canadians.

We explore the world of garden design through three simple themes.

  1. Design: Discover design solutions and learn the principles of stunning landscape design.
  2. Decor: From furniture to lighting, discover how to accessorize your outdoor space with style.
  3. Flora: Get up close and indulge in the unique aesthetic value of your favourite plants.

Get some Spring garden inspiration now!

Stop the presses!

1 Mar

Ok… let’s be honest… there hasn’t been any activity here since Christmas BUT there is good reason!

Verkade Landscape Design is getting a facelift just- in-time for Spring!

As aspiring style editor to the gardening world, I LOVE to share my view on landscape design, garden decor and stunning plants.
So… I’m launching Verkade Garden & Style,  a new garden design
e-magazine that will showcase fresh and gorgeous garden design inspiration.

Stay tuned…

Your garden stylist,


Should’a put a wreath on it! Wuh Uh Oh Uh Uh Oh

9 Dec

Ok, I know… a cheesy title for this post but I’m feeling a little cheeky this morning as I watch the first gorgeous snow flurries while listening to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies/Put a ring on it.”  It is  as much-needed pause from Holiday music I’ve been enjoying a bit too much lately!
I’ve already showed you how to turn a wreath into the perfect centerpiece, now it’s time for part 3 in my Holiday Wreath decorating series, it’s time to add holiday glamour to your front door.  Watch this short video on how to make your own custom wreath!

Another wreath idea, is to use a grapevine base (available at any craft store such as Michael’s).  Grapevine is the perfect base for any wreath as it can be re-used to create  a Fall or Spring wreath given the neutrality of the material and unlike evergreen wreaths, this is the only natural material that won’t fall apart so you can re-use the same wreath year after year.  The wreath shown here was made in under 15 minutes using the following materials:

– 3′ diameter grapevine wreath
– Christmas Ball garland (red colour to match our Christmas tree)
– Winterberry (red berries) garland
– Red Pine cone ornaments & 3 birds borrowed from the Christmas tree decorations

Red ornaments and winter-berry garland plus red pine cones

No hot glue gun needed! (which is great because I always burn myself!) Simply wrap the ball ornament and winterberry garland around the wreath and affix with fishing line, floral wire or strong sewing thread.  Then add some theme ornaments borrowed from your Christmas tree (in my case, red birds and pine cones) and your done! A unique custom wreath that directly ties into your existing Holiday decor theme!  Once the Holiday season is over, simply remove the Christmas elements and you can redecorate the grapevine wreath once Spring/Easter rolls around.

Red birds borrowed from Christmas Tree

St.James 48 hr makeover!

8 Dec

From Protest-drab, to central-park chic, St. James has been transformed over the past 48 hours by a fleet of volunteers from Landscape Ontario and the Ontario Sod Growers Association.  You may recall that St.James Park was home to the Occupy Toronto group for 5 weeks which trampled the gardens and lawn, leaving behind a muddy-mess.

With $60,000, over 100 volunteers (+35 Toronto Staff) and 11, 000 square feet of sod, St.James park has never looked more beautiful! As a resident of a condo overlooking this park, I created a short time-lapse video that shows the transformation of St.James Park as OccupyTO grew and the leaves fell throughout November. Check it out!

Thank you volunteers for revitalizing this important city green space!

Fab Holiday Centrepiece

7 Dec

Are you hosting a holiday party and thinking your decor might need that extra touch of Christmas sparkle?  Or perhaps your overly critical in-laws are coming over and you want your house so full of holiday cheer they can’t help be polite (here’s hoping!).  Either way, I’ve  got the solution. Pick up a plain wreath from your local grocer or big box store, borrow some ornaments from your gorgeous Christmas tree and follow the simple steps in my video to create a center-piece that will make your guests think you’re Martha’s second cousin.  Happy Holidays!

To learn more about making holiday wreaths, watch this video!

Show your spirit with a wreath!

7 Dec

Before the constant barrage of holiday music and commercials gets you saying “Bah, humbug!”,  harness your festive spirit and creativity by decorating your own Holiday Wreath.  In this 3 part Holiday Wreath video series, I give you the low-down on

1. Different Wreath Materials… you mean there isn’t just one type of evergreen?
2. Creating a table Center-piece  (in case you mess up the turkey, you will have something else to focus your guests attention on!)
3.  Adding glamour to your front door (your neighbour’s will be green with envy… not really festive spirit but com’on, we don’t decorate just for the in-laws)

First, let’s explore the different types of base materials that can be used to create your wreath.

In Flanders Fields… the stoic poppy grows

11 Nov

Poppies (the plastic version) are everywhere today in support  of our fallen heroes and stoic veterans.  These lipstick colour badges are in fact inspired by a gorgeous, though short-blooming,  flower which you can enjoy in your garden.  NOW is actually the best time to plant them and this one is easier than 1-2-3!

But it’s November… how is that possible??? Well, the Remembrance Day poppy, Papaver rhoeas, is an annual flower whose seeds need a cold period to germinate.  So simply sprinkle the coffee-ground-like seeds  right on top of the soil.  Then, amazingly, they’ll just sit there patiently all winter and burst into a swathe of uplifting and bold red in early July.

Add a patch to your garden so you can provide yourself and your neighbours and uplifting sign of hope and reminder of the hardships endured by those before us.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
~ Lieutenant Colonel John McCraie, May 3 1915

Fresh Fall Plants (Part III): Fillers and Spillers

11 Nov

What a gorgeous Fall season we are having! Crisp, cool and sunny mornings have often turned into breezy warm afternoons with the sweet scent of fallen leaves and wood burning fireplaces.  Believe it or not, your garden is still not done for the year.  The latest installment of my Fresh Fall Plant video series highlights some great Fall plants to add to your Fall containers or garden bed.

Like always, I’ve showcased care-free, easy-growing yet striking accompaniments to your Fall garden. Enjoy!

– Sedum
– Ornamental Peppers
– English Ivy
– Heather
– Dusty Miller

Gotta love accessories!

9 Nov

When the seasons change, its time to shop!!!

Get in on last-minute sales at Garden centres and decor stores near you so you can add that extra ‘bling’ to your outdoor space. I picked up these fab-finds at Fresh Home & Garden with savings between 20-40%!
Outdoor decor items such as mirrors, pillows and rugs will transform your outdoor living space from generic garden to spectacular party-hosting space!

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