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Bloggers Give Back: Clean Up Day!

by - Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Yesterday was clean-up day for our Bloggers Give Back charity project! A few of us bloggers, one awesome blog reader, and some very cute little helpers got together to clean up the yard at George Herman House.

I started the day heading over to the Home Depot Leaside location with Vanessa to use the generous donation we received from the Home Depot Canada Foundation. We were lucky to get assistance at the store from Borka (certified gardener and all-around gardening guru!) to help pick some plants. Lindsay had already given us some guidance to get six of these fab looking planters - but what to fill them with?

We had some very specific needs. The women of George Herman House are focused on healing themselves, so taking care of a garden could not be too onerous on them. We were looking for plants that would "thrive on neglect". Borka steered us towards these hanging baskets. Not only did they fit nicely into the planters (requiring no repotting on our part!) but they would do well in the shady conditions found in the garden.

They contained a mix of impatiens, million bells, and other lovely variegated plants I can't remember the names of. To add a bit more colour, Vanessa had a great idea to add these hanging baskets of Million Bells. All these plants will start to trail, creating very full looking planters. Finally, to create some height, we selected these tall ferns. Vanessa and I originally thought of getting some ornamental grasses, but Borka convinced us these ferns were sturdy, low maintenance, and would look great in the planters (which they did!). If you need some gardening help - go see Borka at Home Depot Leaside - she will have your garden looking lovely in no time!

With our cars packed, Vanessa and I headed to the House. Lindsay, Lisa, Victoria, Sarah, Jen, and Melanie were already there, trimming overgrown bushes and cleaning up the yard. And by the end of the day, the yard which looked like this a few months ago...

was looking like this...

Ahhh! Can we say relaxing retreat? The furniture donated by Ikea Canada looks fantastic and gives the residents a variety of sitting areas. I am lusting for that FALSTER dining set. It looks great on its own, but take a look at it with the cushions and pillows kindly donated by Tonic Living...

How gorgeous is that?! We had asked for your suggestions on which fabric to use and based on those, I asked Tonic Living to make bench cushions using Slick - Mink, and pillows in Cool Stripe - Sorbet and Sunnyside - Coral.  The graphic bench cushion really makes the garden come to life, and the pillow colours work great with the plants. I can't think of a nicer spot to enjoy a sunny day!

So now the women of George Herman House have a relaxing garden to enjoy for the summer. Come September, we will be working with our celebrity garden designer Frank Ferragine to do a more complete garden overhaul. If you'd like to be involved in Bloggers Give Back, let Lindsay know. We can always use more helping hands.

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