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The Right Garden Design Transforms Odd-Shaped, Multi-Level Garden in Oakville 

Client Wanted:


Our Oakville, Ontario, clients wanted a front yard with curb appeal. The couple wanted a garden design that would showcase the house, for which they had spent considerable sums renovating. 

Currently, the front garden is low-maintenance, but consists of three mature fir threes under-planted with Virginia Creeper and English Ivy. The vines help to keep the soil intact, but are completely unremarkable. Right now, the house has no curb appeal. 

The clients also wanted landscaping that would "sit" the house on the property. In other words, landscaping that would enhance the architecture of the bungalow. 

In the backyard, our clients wanted a spacious area to entertain, that would accommodate a BBQ, a large table, and additional seating.  

Having a young son, the couple wanted both a play area, with a jungle gym and a sandbox as well as a ball throwing area.

Low maintenence was high on the homeowners' list. The owners wanted to spend time with their son, not do garden maintenance. Neither spouse was a gardener. 

Design Challenges:

  • The property has almost no frontage. The house is on a property that is triangle-shaped. This creates opportunities to create interesting, defined garden areas. Design My Garden takes great pride in turning awkward and irregular shaped spaces and making them really work for homeowners. Irregular-shaped properties can create unique, one-of-a-kind gardens that become the envy of the neighbourhood. 

  • There was a huge opportunity to add an impressive set of stone steps leading up to the front door.

  • Both the property front and back yard have grade changes. This makes the property more interesting visually, but usually means that steps will need to be installed at various points in the garden.

  • The front yard has three mature fir trees. The two fir trees closest to the house will need to be taken down, as their roots are interfering with the house's foundations.

  • In the back yard, the house has drainage issues. The patio will need to have weeping tiles installed first, to ensure that rainwater drains from the house quickly when it rains. 

  • The soil is sandy, not clay. Sandy soil has two drawbacks: 1) it drains moisture quickly and 2) lacks nutrients. Lots of organic matter needs to be added to sandy soil; this helps it to retain moisture. 

  • Because of the sandy soil, our garden design would need to rely on drought-tolerant, native perennials. 


The Garden Design:

Our garden design for this triangle-shaped, multi-graded, and large property that features 7 distinct areas:

  1. A front garden

  2. A spacious patio off the kitchen

  3. A rock garden

  4. A child's play area, with a jungle gym and a sandbox

  5. A ball throwing area

  6. A second patio, outside the family room

  7. A yoga area

Through a wide, stone pathway to the front door, we gave the house am impressive, welcoming entrance. This more expansive path to the house is more gracious and grand. Intrinsically, stone is more impressive than interlock pavers. We gave the front garden two strong verticals: a juniper on either side of the new path. The junipers act as living sentries, of sorts. These two junipers will be very important because two mature fir tress will need to be cut down. 

The garden design calls for a large patio just off the kitchen. Here, the couple can entertain friends and family. The patio can have large, engineered stone pavers, to save some costs.

On the far side of the patio will be a rock garden that takes advantage of the natural slope of the property. A selection of perennials will be planted in the rock garden, reducing maintenance.

The child's play area and sandbox will be below the patio. With this garden design, it will be easy to keep an eye on the young son.

On the narrow part of the garden, behind the house, we designed a ball throwing area:  baseball, football, and soccer. 

We also designed a second, more intimate patio just outside the family room. When you're enteraining, it is nice to have more than one seating area.

Finally, we created a yoga area for the lady of the house. 

Garden design and landscaping consulting in Oakville, Milton, Burlington, Mississauga, Etobicoke, and Toronto.

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