Stumps to Striking - Downtown Backyard Transformed

 |  Blake Patterson

Stumps to Striking - Downtown Backyard Transformed

Visiting Toronto always comes with its surprises and challenges and this project was no exception. Before the project started, we were faced with the smallest gate I have seen in my years of landscaping. Due to the shape of the lot the gates on both sides of the property were a mere 28” wide, this meant no chance of using equipment and we even had to choose our narrowest wheelbarrows to bring material to the back. Our next challenge was developing a garden design that could be built around the existing stumps as no machines could be brought in to remove the stumps.

We elected to go with Moss Phlox for our ground cover as they only require a shallow root system and would eventually cover the stumps. Our focal point was a Blue Point Juniper which can add a great addition of colour and height to your garden and provides lots of options for customizable shapes. In my opinion, the highlight of this garden is the Strawberry Vanilla Standard Hydrangeas, we can see in the after pictures an abundance of pink conical flowers that fades to a light white. To add some privacy to the backyard we elected to go with 5ft white cedars that will form a dense hedge in 3 years and obstruct the view of the neighbouring house. When deciding the type of hedge for a project it’s important to consider the amount of privacy you are trying to achieve, how much maintenance you’re willing to do, and the surrounding environment. If you are trying to achieve the most privacy possible the best option is a hedging cedar such as a white cedar that can grow into a dense uniform hedge. However, the downfall to hedging cedars is their high growth rates which can allow them to grow to 40ft tall and 20ft wide. This means any homeowner that installs a white cedar hedge must be committed to trimming and maintaining the hedge to ensure the appropriate height and shape for the space. Comparatively, emerald cedars require little to no maintenance due to their slower growth rate and columnar shape. In this case, we had an existing hedge that we were trying to match on the right side of the property and elected to install white cedars. With an extended natural flagstone patio and new sod, the transformation of this Toronto backyard was complete.