The American novelist Kathleen Norris had a particularly evocative way of describing where we live. “Peace — that is the other name for home,” she liked to say.
Her sentiment was shared by the owners of this property in Oakville who wanted their house renovated and their garden to be more of a contemporary retreat. Originally built in the 1980s — with the pool installed and the garden created at the same time — the whole development was very dated. Yards of plain concrete, a tightly planted garden that had overgrown its bounds and a number of large trees — some of them diseased — all gave the appearance of a back yard that was out of control. Even worse, the landscape architecture didn’t appear to relate to the house.
Starting work in October 2017, Aldershot Landscape Contractors began by removing shrubby material that had started to encroach on the house. Instead of keeping the screening close to the house, the Design/Build team moved it a significant distance, to give the owners greater sightlines. With this goal in mind, they removed a number of non-native, partially diseased trees and replaced them with a wall of Hemlock trees at the back of the property.
Then, instead of ripping out the existing pool — which had some awkward angles that didn’t relate to the house — Aldershot found a greener and less expensive design solution, which involved building a new pool inside the older one. The result was only marginally smaller (about a foot on each side) but it eliminated the need to excavate. They also created new terrace areas and used architectural concrete walls to create the grade differential required.