A few months ago my editor mentioned the Horticult (a.k.a. Chantal Aida Gordon and Ryan Benoit) and thought it would be a good idea to reach out to them. I was all in. Their blog documents their garden-immersed lifestyle, their hands-on approach to making their garden their own, and the amazing d.i.y. creations that earned them Better Homes & Gardens Best Gardening Blog status.
My first conversation with Ryan raised a few questions:
- How can a house’s architecture engage the garden more deeply and bring the garden into the house?
- Isn’t it a good idea to create customized containers that are meant to work with specific plants?
- Shouldn’t renters live in their gardens with the same full-hearted joie de vivre as homeowners?
Basically, and it goes without saying, I immediately knew that Ryan and Chantal are kindred spirits. The frosting: Ryan shot new photos of their entire garden.
There’s so much to see in this garden–so many rooms, and while it’s off the charts on outdoor living, the garden is totally plant-centric.
One of the couple’s fortés is getting really creative with containers (look at the ammunition cans-turned-planters). They figure, “we’re renting and we’ll need to take all this with us someday, so put as much as possible in pots.” When you need that many containers to house all your beloved plant collections, it naturally breeds ingenuity.
Another thing I love about their garden is that they use all their space. They make room for everything they want (cooking, growing, dining, sitting, watching) by just wedging it in where it makes sense. I don’t mean to diminish their design genius, I’m just saying they manage to make the unthinkable work, sometimes by insisting that it work.
It’s impressive in the moment as you take it all in, but you can’t get used to it because just when you feel like you’ve gotten to know their garden (through their blog or if you’re lucky to be a personal friend), it changes. Ryan and Chantal are forever rethinking each element of the garden, from the raised veggie beds, which were once concrete block and are now like this…
…To the fireplace room, where portable cedar fence pieces disguise the unattractive fencing behind it. Like the containers they found and made to grow their plants in, the fence can be taken along with them someday when they move because it’s mobile.
This is just a taste. There’s so much more. Satiate yourself by becoming a dedicated reader of their blog.