Coastal living: funky fences, tiny gardens, a breezy bunkie

What is it about coastal living that can bring out the zaniness in a homeowner? I thought I’d seen my share of mermaid garden sculptures and porches studded with seashells but I wasn’t prepared for the kind of no-holds-barred exuberance of Grimsby Beach, Ontario (one destination on a recent garden tour hosted by Frank Kershaw featuring gardening with extraordinary DIY creativity). Perched along the shore of Lake Ontario, the homes referred to as the “Painted Ladies” couldn’t be missed with their eye-popping trims and funky fences that are sculptures unto themselves. The tiny gardens were a lesson in making the most of what you got…and then adding a bit more. And, at one comparatively traditional home overlooking the lake, a breezy bunkie offered a stylish twist on beach life, just steps from the back door. Here are my favourite highlights.

A small beach town redefines curb appeal

Funky fences

Making the most of tiny garden spaces

Small in size, big on drama

This very personal garden was crammed with shrubs, trees, annuals and perennials, a water feature and even a stage-like seating area. Surprising objects recycled into plant containers and sculptures sprang up at every turn. The result was the garden seemed limitless–a real feat given that the actual space was quite small.

A breezy bunkie to get away from it all (even when you’re just steps from home).

In contrast, this garden may have appeared more traditionally styled but it still had a big surprise. The cliff-top patio seating area and large swimming pool was surrounded by a fence sporting its own brand of funk–a moosehead made of twigs.

Walking past the pool, the vista opened up with a steep incline to the lake’s shore. Halfway down the slope was a second, small patio and a stylish bunkie built to capture the lake’s breezes and transport you a million miles away.

It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of coastal living (even if you’re far, far away from lake or sea) and funky fences, tiny gardens or even a breezy bunkie can be all it takes to romance your own version of it.

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