When the owner of this Richmond Hill property built her new home, she wanted to fit in with a well-established neighbourhood filled with character homes. The owner chose a cottage-y house in the craftsman style, the most common characteristics of which are: a covered front porch, tapered columns that support the roof and deep, overhanging roof eaves.
In the same vein, Craftsman-style gardens typically include lush, textured foliage with mature trees. The owner was fortunate enough to have found a large, deep lot in which mature trees had been well maintained. (The only trees that needed to be taken down — at the time of building the new house — were to allow for construction of the house or invasive-species ones.)
When Aldershot arrived to redevelop the garden in 2014, they planted a lush perennial and flowering shrub garden in the front. There is a generous walkway and gathering area coming up to the house with a brick landscape walls to match the architecture of the building.
In the back garden, Aldershot created a strong statement with an elliptical lawn area reinforced with stone banding. A portion of the ellipse is ringed with a beech tree hedge to delineate the space. Going into the back of the portion of the garden, there is a canopy of older mature trees planted with shade tolerant including ferns, hellebores, hostas, flowering dogwoods, native redbud and witch hazel. This back portion of the property forms a sort of “secret garden” including a play house built by previous owners, which has been retained.
“It’s a casual and informal garden,” says Aldershot partner Iain Souter. “The owner wanted a beautiful garden and she wanted it to reflect the cottage nature of the house. She was very open to our suggestions.” The overall concept was generated quite early and came to fruition after 6 months of development with a team of 12. “The house is really well detailed – and this owner really appreciates good design.”