Lane Residence

Pictures 1 through 3

Winner in the Private Residential Design, Under 2500 sq. ft. Category

The intent of this project was to create a dynamic, updated entrance and to address a series of planting issues.

The existing entrance steps had become unsafe due to uneven settlement. The fact that they were due to be either re-built or replaced inspired this client to consider a complete re-design of the space. She also wanted to take the opportunity to address what had become persistent difficulties with the garden due to the shade and dry growing conditions under the existing maple and blue spruce that dominated the yard.

The walk has been re-designed, with the top landing being extended to allow chairs to be set out on occasion and a small secondary set of steps were added to allow better access to the frequently used shortcut through the garden. The main entrance walk has been entirely re-shaped to create a more structured, flowing feel that also allows for the placement of pots at the perimeter of the steps without interfering with the line of travel from the driveway to the front door.

Due to the fact that the spruce was beginning to thin out because of competition from the maple, and that it was poorly located, with it’s base extending well over the property line, it was selected to be the tree to be removed. This allowed for the garden to be continued across the front of the house and for more perennials and blooming shrubs to be incorporated to extend the blooming season.

A persistently problematic area was the existing bed between the walk and the house, which, because it was set almost entirely under the eaves, received very little rain. The bed has been extended, both to allow for a larger planting area beyond the eaves line and to provide an appropriate location for the lamp post to be moved to from its awkward location within in the existing walk.

The planting layout has included the plants from the site that the client whished to retain, as well as a selection of perennials from the back gardens that were becoming over crowded and new perennials and shrubs that will extend the season of interest and fill in gaps in blooming seasons.

The final result is an updated entrance set into gardens that will provide a long season of interest and colour.

Marshall / McDonald Residence

Pictures 4 through 8

Winner in the Private Residential Design, 5000 sq. ft. or More Category

The overall intent of this project was to create an outdoor space for living and entertaining.

The front entrance is designed to welcome guests and to draw the eye toward the door, which is set quite far from the driveway. The raised garden at the front of the porch helps to visually bring the house down toward the yard, and the continuous sweep of the walk into the driveway softens the impact of the asphalt without incurring the expense of converting the entire driveway to paving stones.

The existing trees were retained as they provide shade in the afternoon and they frame the house. The young Oak that had been planted at the front was deemed to be an inappropriate selection for the location and has been moved to the back yard where it will have space to develop to its full potential.

The backyard is divided into a series of rooms for cooking, dining, and relaxing. The back entrance is set well above grade and a series of sweeping steps have been included to draw the house and yard together.

The plantings are selected to provide interest through four seasons with a variety of foliage textures and colours, a range of blooming times, and persistent winter fruit on the crabapple.

Some special details of this project are the flagstone flower inset in the patio, depicting a blue poppy, the favorite flower of one of the clients, and an outdoor fireplace that both acts as a focal point and allows the use of the outdoor spaces to extend into the cooler weather of early Spring and late Autumn.

The overall effect is that of a yard made up of living spaces which flow out from the house as a continuation of the kitchen, dining and living areas that overlook it.


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