The Sooke Garden Club will discuss garden rooms at its next meet on May 25.

Outdoors rooms: blending purpose and self expression

Sooke Garden clubs discuss outdoors room at its May 25 meeting

  • May. 16, 2016 8:00 a.m.

By Loretta Fritz

As the days grow warmer and longer, it is increasingly hard to stay indoors.

What could be nicer than enjoying morning coffee on the deck, afternoon tea (and maybe a nap) in the garden, supper on the patio, evening conversation around the pond?

These are fairly routine activities for many of us.

However, the notion of having outdoor “rooms” designed for these and other specified purposes has only recently come back into vogue, albeit in a big way. Such purposes include cooking and eating, meditating, reading, conversing, entertaining, spotlighting garden features and plants … and the list goes on.

Outdoor rooms work not only at a functional level, by extending indoor living and recreation space, but also at a design level, by tying the home’s interior space to its exterior surroundings.

Many of the great houses of Europe initiated ‘garden room’ style on a grand scale, and we need travel no farther than Butchart Gardens to find splendid examples of this tradition.

Today, however, outdoor (or garden) rooms come in all shapes and sizes and span the range of formality. They may be on a deck or patio, under a tree, in the middle of the garden, or next to an outbuilding or pond.

Larger yards may contain several rooms, each notably different the others. They may incorporate flooring (gravel, flagstone, etc.), furniture (table, chairs, etc.), and special features (fountain, fire pit, plants, etc.). Their potential is limited only by imagination.

So what, precisely, is meant by the term garden room?  A room has a sense of spatial enclosure; but it is primarily the identity and intended function of an outdoor space that makes it a garden room.

Creating Outdoor Rooms is the topic of Pam Day’s presentation at this month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club.

Using the analogy of the rooms in our more modest homes and their connection to our outdoor living areas, Day will lead us on an exploration of ways to create interesting and defined spaces in our gardens.

She will consider the use of plants, forms, furnishings and such to generate a particular mood or highlight special features, to define the function of the space, and to provide a sense of enclosure or privacy or surprise.

Drawing from her expertise as a florist, Day applies the same design principles to the creation of outdoor rooms.

The goal of a garden room, she says, is to enhance the visual and emotional responses we wish to enjoy in our own outdoor spaces.

Bring your plans and ideas along. There will be time for discussion.

The Sooke Garden Club meets May 25, 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. Also on the agenda: the annual rose trophy competition and the May parlour show. New members welcome. Questions? Go to here or email sookegc@gmail.com.

 

Just Posted

Sooke’s under-14 girls squad ready for playoff tests

Sooke team has perfect record so far

Sooke’s Santa Run joined with Otter Point to fill the food bank

Dozens of volunteers took to the streets to gather food and cash donations

Saanich swimmer has ribs removed, posts them on social media

Jill Yoneda makes light of rare surgery for ‘slipping rib syndrome’

Transplant caregiver starts website for financial, mental health support

Beth Campbell-Duke started Transplant Rouges after her husband’s double lung transplant

Victoria ranked as one of B.C.’s worst cities to work in

High living costs and low average incomes drop Victoria from the top 10

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read