The 53' × 56' garden flanks a 1920s corner lot house by Eden Smith originally designed for Lawren Harris. The owner had laid a foundation for the garden with eight fruit trees with the aim of starting a tiny urban orchard. This soon grew into a desire for a productive food garden that would both enhance the arts and crafts house, provide home grown sustenance, and satisfy a desire for an intense pastime. The challenge was to do all of this in a garden with significant shade from mature street trees. The solution is a series of raised stone-framed vegetable beds tilted toward the south to maximize their access to the sun in a playful arrangement scooting around the existing fruit trees and porch.
The vegetable list was carefully developed to flourish in the light shade conditions. The beds are separated into manageable chunks allowing the owner to farm some, and leave others to go fallow to allow for crop rotations and to allow the development of a series of ornamental ensembles in each bed. Surrounding and between the beds are perennial vegetables and fruit shrubs to complete the edible ensemble. The ground was resurfaced with black crushed granite making the open areas with trees feel like a courtyard. The custom benches and stone table are the centrepieces of this new dining area nestled in the vegetable garden.
After redesigning the main garden, PLANT transformed a narrow utility area adjacent to the garage into a brick-lined courtyard patio. Mullioned mirrors set into the new brick fence between this residence and the house next door were positioned to expand the perceived width of the courtyard by providing reflections of greenery. The courtyard’s new gate and brick walls extend the simple but refined architectural vocabulary of the Arts and Crafts residence to the edge of the property.
< Before : View plans >
View from the porch
The Dining Retreat
Raised planting beds tilt towards the sun
Multi-level beds divide perennials and annuals
Dining nestled in the “agricultural” space
The dining area surrounded by the young orchard
The breakfast table and garden wall
The courtyard looking east
The Barbeque area and entry stair
The courtyard gate
project credits >