Windward Oaks – South Oak Bay, Victoria, British Columbia – 2009 to 2010
Windward Oaks is a dramatic waterfront property that provides expansive views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. The strong winds and sea spray of this rugged site makes planting and surface finishes a challenge. The cool ocean breezes and hot summer sun provide additional challenges in creating outdoor living areas for the variety of weather conditions typically found in Victoria – on the same day!
The rugged rock outcrops of the waterfront are features of the garden while providing structure and shelter to the different garden areas. The ‘Upper Patio’ off of the kitchen, at the peak of the rock outcrop, overlooks a ‘rock/gravel garden’ with deer-proof, wind & salt tolerant plantings.
A pathway over the rock and down a set of basalt slab stairs leads to the ‘Middle Patio’. It is this patio that is nestled in behind the rock and provides a warm pocket of sunshine on a cool day.
An outdoor fireplace set into the rock and surrounded by low seat walls makes this patio very inviting for small and large gatherings. The lower garden areas flow into the native Garry Oak stands where combinations of native and ornamental plantings keep the deer at bay while providing spectacular seasonal displays.
The entrance courtyard provides a level entry into the house. Large rocks were placed to create a feature rockery at the front of the property while providing some privacy/separation from the street. The granite cobble driveway rolls down into the entrance court with a reinforced lawn area provided for temporary parking.
Mature large Rhododendrons and a Japanese Maple along with a Katsura Tree, Ironwood, Portuguese Laurel, Arbutus undedo, etc. were brought in to take on the scale of the house and create the look of an established garden.