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A Modern Home Gets an Ordered Yard to Match

This urban composition by Plant Architect contrasts structural minimalism with French-inspired topiary

By Amrit Phull
Photography by Peter Legris

Inspired by 17th-century French topiary form and layering, the spiralling arrangements of evergreens and perennials in this Queen West yard by Plant Architect contrast with a neat composition of concrete and steel planters, walls and platforms. The graphite-grey brick home (designed by the late Paul Syme) provides a perfectly uncomplicated backdrop to the textured garden, which uses several techniques to create privacy in the context of this bustling neighbourhood.

In the front yard, a deep planting bed holding a towering ailanthus tree is edged with weathered steel and exposed fasteners, keeping curious passersby (and their pups) at bay. The Corten steel, which matches the building’s cedar window frames, forms the adjacent “bridge,” which is gently sloped to create separation from the sidewalk edge. Textured with raised patterning to prevent slippage, this bridge spans the root system of a multi-stem birch tree that gently screens the inside of the home from outside views.

Originally published in our Small Spaces 2019 issue as Plant Architect.

Categories: Spaces
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