An urbane urban garden

Urbane, suave, sophisticated, refined, curated, cosmopolitan. If I had to start all over again with my own garden, I might go more in this direction. People might start to think I was all of those things, being the least suave person I know, I could use the PR bump. Of all the gardens we saw during the Garden Bloggers Fling in Toronto earlier in the month, this is the garden looked as though it would fit me well, being suave and all that.

Don't get me wrong – we saw tiny urban gardens (much like many of Buffalo's gardens), historical landscapes, woodland savannahs being restored, plant collector's gardens, a roof garden, a peony garden in a park, a garden geared toward wildlife, gardens in a reclaimed industrial site, and a jewel of a botanical garden – all great gardens – but this garden on a good-sized city lot in the Forest Hills neighborhood fed the designer inside of me.

The first thing to strike me was the clever rebar "fence" in the very front of the garden – enough to not hide a single plant – but enough to keep dogs out of the fern-heavy woodland garden that had birch trees set back a bit, and a stand of pines, providing privacy to the living portion of the garden – which is actually the front yard of the home.

The rusted corten steel-framed beds
looked great with the plant choices.
This garden also had a horizontal fence that I actively coveted. I've been considering a new fence in my backyard and am looking into doing something with horizontal slats. It seemed as though nearly every garden we went into in Toronto that weekend had horizontally-oriented fences. it's either very trendy, or it was a sign from God that I should be doing one too. I'm going with a sign from God.

The garden made great use of industrial materials like the rebar, corten steel (or rusted cold rolled steel, as my BFF Susan pointed out) and wherever the materials appeared – in sculpture, or garden borders, or fences – it was allowed to rust and had this great ruddy patina that mirrored the color of some of the plants throughout the garden. Yummy. 

Rather than write more, I'll show the photos from this garden.

It was a pretty bright day – sorry for the harsh contrast in some of the photos. I was also working with a new camera I was not yet too familiar with. And there were so many bloggers around, it was hard (for all of us) to get many quiet, contemplative photos. That's the end of my disclaimers.
The divider for the garden was a grass-framed are with bulbs - mostly (at this time of year anyway) great big balls of allium. The limited-color of the plant palette shows way more restraint than I could ever muster. There's a corten sculpture at the back of this bed with a nice rust patina.
Focal point artwork at end of first alley-way leading to the sitting areas.
The fence makes the perfect backdrop for this sculpture.
The central grass strip had a very graphic-looking carex grass – no mowing! My kinda' lawn.

Loved the horizontal-slat fence.
Orange was the standout color throughout the space.
Loved the fact that even the upper deck – and a rooftop planter – were made of the same horizontal slats.

The actual back yard of teh house was VERY narrow and didn't have much more room than for these two seats.

Nice feature _ seeing the edge of the fence, giving the impression that the fence had a great thickness to it...

...but actually, it was an "L" shape and the back structure was basically 2x4s and solid plywood.

Fro the street the fence, birch and pines intrigued at the same time blocked the fairly busy car and pedestrian road/sidewalk.
They had a few great sculpture pieces.


  1. Love this garden, too, and was thrilled we could include it on the Fling.

  2. One of my very favorites of the Toronto Fling!

  3. I loved this garden, too. But don't you need TWO "BFF Susan's?

    1. One can never have enough BFF Susans. That's my sister's name too!

  4. It was definitely on of my favorites. Simple, casual and a perfect backdrop for the art pieces.

    1. The art was very well done/selected. It felt a little like a gallery.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. A great garden, loved the sedge sea.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts