Making their backyard feel more secluded without completely closing off views was a priority for the owners of this residence in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood. They also wanted a modest refresh of a yard they already loved, as opposed to an extensive redesign. By retaining a raised planting bed and walkway along one side and scattering new, irregularly shaped planting beds at grade amid new pavers, we created the effect of clearings opening up in a woodland. Seating nooks of varying size occupy several parts of the yard.
Board fencing close to the house was retained – and extended with translucent fiberglass panels layered over chain link. The light-suffused fiberglass panels soften the look of the chain link; the new green fence posts tie in with the board fence’s posts and are irregularly spaced to generate a forced perspective that extends the apparent length of the yard. The deck and back of house were renovated to take advantage of the renewed garden.
Native plantings for this shaded yard with sandy soil include ferns, grasses, shrubs, and a hemlock tree. Vines have been planted to climb the new fence.