Michelle Place Garden – North Gordon Head, Victoria, British Columbia – 2001
Michelle Place Garden, located in North Gordon Head is a great example of maximizing the potential of a conventional residential property by creating beautiful, functional outdoor living spaces.
The hillside setting of the house allowed us to take advantage of the property’s topography to create spectacular outdoor spaces and gardens.
The linear back garden along the eastern length of the house retains much of the mortared rock wall that existed. Different sections of the wall were removed and large boulders were inset to create a naturalistic look. The two sets of French doors opening up from the back of the house provided the opportunity for a feature pond and raised planting bed to be placed as features for the patios created outside these entrances.
An existing garden shed was given a place on the site along with a small patio for garden projects. Large rocks create a lovely naturalistic stairway up the slope on the south end of the garden providing safe access to the upper level of the garden and wonderful planting opportunities. Stamped concrete in a warm brown tone runs the length of the back garden. Saw-cut in large rectangles, the concrete gives the impression that the back patio is paved with stone.
Attractive fences and gates around the back and side yards keep the deer out and provide the opportunity to add some lushness and variety to the garden. The Pensylannia Bluestone pathway along the south side of the house moves through a gorgeous combination of textures and colours. From hostas, daylilies, hebes and grasses to the espaliered Cotoneaster bulata, this garden provides continual interest from the kitchen nook and dining room windows.
The front of the property, originally a slope of unimpressive lawn, has become a showcase for the cul-de sac. 30 tons of large rock we placed to ‘lift ‘ up the front garden, giving the house a place to sit and the opportunity to nestle the house in a west coast cottage garden. A mature hornbeam tree along with viburnum davidii, deciduous azaleas, a heather collection, ornamental grasses, euphorbia, lavender, hebe and numerous feature perennials and shrubs make a spectacular display year round despite the ever present deer.