The redesigned front and rear gardens at this Markham Street residence create modern outdoor spaces that complement the recent home renovations. The tough, minimalist materiality is balanced with lush, textural planting: in the front, battered Corten (weathering steel) and board-formed concrete walls frame a large maple tree, carefully protecting the soil volume necessary for healthy roots. Swaths of coniferous hedging and flowing grasses surround the trunk and shape an area for sculpture display. A weathered steel bridge paves the way towards the front entrance and a new multi-stem birch tree provides a counterpoint to the front elder maple.
The rear of the house has large windows framing the tableau of the backyard, where an expanded metal stainless steel wall forms a trellis for vines to grow. Black brick, local limestone and acid-etched concrete add to the industrial tones of the built material, contrasted by undulating layers of textural planting.