The McLaughlin residence is a beautifully renovated home just outside of Tillsonburg, Ontario. They have been faithful clients for many years of Courtland PPM and so when it came time to update the exterior we were happy when they asked us to come up with a design. As we have worked with them for years both with residential and commercial projects we had an idea of their style and so we designed according to that context.
The front entrance was to be formal with evergreens and mass plantings. An extended concrete walkway and steps to the front door is lined with hicks yew to draw the eye to the front door. Armourstone edging along the front garden adds height to the front and creates contrast between the dark green of the plantings and the light grey of the natural stone. Flowering shrubs and perennials add colour throughout the growing season within the evergreen border of boxwoods and yews.
- Date: May 2015
- Category: Full Property
- Location: Tillsonburg, ON
- Type: Residential
- Value: $35,000 – $50,000
Because the house is built into a hill it appears to be a bungalow from the front but from the back is a mounting 3 storey building reminiscent of a villa. A winding natural stone staircase was built along the side to take guests from the driveway down to the ground level patio. Garden areas and planting pockets were created between the steps and the house to soften all of the stone used. An informal flagstone pathway in the turf was added which leads from the steps to the concrete patio. Since there is so much natural stone required along the steps and garden areas the green turf area is a nice alternative to break up the hard surfaces of the natural stone, the stone veneer of the house and concrete patio.
A similar armourstone staircase was previously installed along the opposite side but was finished off this year with the armourstone retaining walls along the garden and one also stretching into the lawn area and curling around a paper birch tree planted in the hill. By bringing the natural stone out further into the yard it allows for a more gradual slope in the turf. It also helps to keep the landscape in scale with the size of the house.
A common mistake of do-it-yourselfers is creating a garden that is too small for the size of the house because they are trying to reduce maintenance and it ends up looking unbalanced. Gardens don’t have to be packed to have an impact, these gardens use a lot of mass planting for pops of colour and evergreen shrubs for formality, however mulch between each mass is visible and this negative space can be just as important to create emphasis. Accent shrubs and trees such as Japanese maples and paper birch are placed throughout the design to add height interest and create focal points in the garden.