ONE ROOM CHALLENGE, REVEAL | Ta-Da! Our Backyard Cutting Garden And Flower Studio



We did it.

After eight weeks that spanned two seasons, tumultuous world events and new ways of living, we have completed our first #OneRoomChallenge and our backyard is blooming despite it all. Having a positive, productive focus in our house-bound household has been good for all of us. We are so happy with the results, but it has been the journey together that has made this do-over so meaningful. I so appreciate you following along and sharing your encouragement.


I want to give a special shout out to my family for helping me with the endless list of projects and for patiently putting up with my perfectionist tendencies. They know by now, being finished is only a moment in time. So, before we go on to the next, or reimagine what's already been done, I'll take Graham's advice and relish in what we've achieved and enjoy the moment.


In its seventeenth season, the One Room Challenge™, takes place in April and October. Each round, twenty design influencers take the challenge as Featured Designers. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process over six weekly posts (bumped to eight weeks this season due to the pandemic). Better Homes and Gardens is the official media sponsor.


In addition to following along, everyone with a blog or Instagram account, is welcome to join the fun as a Guest Participant by linking their own room transformations up each Thursday, flooding the internet and social media with interior design inspiration, ideas, and encouragement.


This is our first One Room Challenge and the first project in our new house. Follow along as we transform our forgotten garden into a blooming flower studio and botanical backyard. We are #LovingLeuty.


We've Come Along Way


Let's take a moment to think back to early spring when the air was cool, the sky was grey and our backyard was a sad afterthought.


Ohh, but the potential was there. We had a solid shed and a great-sized city yard. And a vision to make a pretty garden floral studio with a cutting garden to scratch my botanical itch.


But first, the hard work.


We took out old decks, dug up scraggly grass, built raised garden beds and filled them with soil, made garden paths, pea gravelled a sitting area, painted and then painted some more, DIYed a workbench, assembled storage sheds and shelves, planted, weeded, moved stuff out of the shed and then moved stuff in.


And, finally, it's all done.


In the beginning. Actually, this is already after we removed the grass and all the junk in the shed. Our clean slate is ready.


A cedar mulch path takes you from the cutting garden to the flower studio which is surrounded by a pea gravel sitting area. Our last garden studio was white, so we decided to switch things up and go with a darker, enchanting colour palette of smokey grey and jet black.


The cutting garden was just planted weeks ago and look at her grow. Mother Nature amazes.


A garland made with leaves from a huge magnolia tree in our yard drapes the front door to the garden studio.


Come on in.


Graham's home-made workbench takes centre stage in the studio. Already, it's getting lots of use. The flowers aren't from our garden yet - just wait until next year.


Pink peonies mingle with snapdragons, roses and coral bells.


Our newly painted black door is a perfect backdrop for dramatic stills.


I can't believe we got everything to fit. One side of the shed is taken up with a white wall-shelf and is a clean backdrop for all our bits to shine. Our vases and styling objects are on full display and within easy reach.


Art. Or, the vessel for art? Deep thoughts.


The other side of the shed has a warm, rustic vibe. My current desk is an antique baker's bin that's travelled with us from home to home. It's been used as a kitchen hutch and a baby change table.


Not a prop. My dream husband brought me a fine cuppa while I was styling the shed. Well, in the end, it was too lovely not to be a prop. Tasted good too.


I'm mostly self-taught, so I learn so much from my collection of floral and gardening books. The old teapot from Graham's mum holds, among other things, butter knives which are excellent for weeding and planting seedlings.


It's so important to me to design with things of meaning, things that tell a story, things older than me. Look at the gorgeous weathering on my dad's old wood tool kit.