I think you'll have to add a background call to a CSS element, or completely rethink how the CSS is done, as opposed to use the current ZenGarden CSS file as a template. Probably a body background.
Sometimes exercises like these are stupid, because the HTML is a limiter. Anybody that thinks "everything" can be done is CSS is a moron. Acknowledging this, it might mean you have to re-think your design to fit the limits of the HTML, as opposed to creating a design in your head, and then trying to force it into the limited HTML coding.
It would be easier to help if I saw a Photoshop mockup, combined with code attempted thus far. Start a new thread in the Premium Member forum, so that your instructor can't find out who you are, should he/she look online (unless he/she pays $20 to join). I'm not going to help you "cheat" or anything, but I don't see any harm in teaching you how to overcome one tiny hurdle on a project. You could spend 30 hours on this, and 10 on the rest -- but you may not have 40 hours to dedicate. Not a good use of your time. If nothing else, I can tell you if the design is feasible to do within the HTML limits. Maybe give a nudge on the right place to put some CSS.
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