Client: Harvard Ave Family
Project Completed: Oct 2023
Project Goals: Having spent a couple years meticulously renovating the interior of their beautiful character home on Harvard Ave., our clients approached our design team looking for a complementary solution for the exterior. As one might imagine, the yard had been damaged by machinery throughout the restoration process and was in serious need of professional help.
The first step of any successful project is data collection! Although not the most exciting aspect of project management, data collection is integral to planning and design, as it forms the basis for everything that comes after. Our Architectural Technician, in collaboration with the Project Coordinator, conducts comprehensive site measurements and maps out the property. This allows us to create an accurate 3D model of the yard, including grades and exterior house details. We also ask our clients to provide images of features they want to see in their outdoor living space. The Project Coordinator will review these in a meeting with the clients, gaining insight into their preferences and identifying key aspects that must be included as well as other potential options and upgrades. For this project, it was very important to our clients that we keep the aesthetic in character with the house and neighbourhood. They wanted a new driveway, new front landing, new sod throughout, and a large rock garden area with some trees and LOTS of plants. Once we have the first draft of the landscape design plan, we create a 3D rendering of the project using Structure Studios VizTerra. This program allows us to present a vivid, detailed master plan of the property to our clients, giving them a realistic visualization of what their finished project will look like. At this meeting we will discuss the various features of the design, as well as highlight strategic components such as soil retention, drainage, and exposure to sunlight. One of the great features of VizTerra is that it uses GIS data to accurately model the angle of the sun throughout the daytime, meaning we can confidently determine where sun-loving and shade-tolerant plants will thrive. This is also helpful when deciding where to place things like seating, shade structures, and vegetable gardens. A video of the rendering is posted to our YouTube channel, where the client can access it at any time for reference. See the Harvard Avenue project Design Video here. The initial stages of this seven-week journey involved the installation of the new driveway, steps, landing, and retention wall. The front yard was meticulously regraded and shaped to ensure proper drainage and build up the upper garden area. Limestone boulders were placed throughout to highlight the natural stone façade of the house. Irrigation and lighting systems were installed in the ground. The rock gardens, featuring a Roman paver soldier course to match the driveway, were filled with crushed black granite and a wide variety of beautiful trees, shrubs, and perennials. The rest of the yard received lush, new mineral sod. Our team had the privilege of witnessing the incredible transformation of this once mundane corner lot into a stunning masterpiece. We shared in our client’s anticipation as each step of the project unfolded, and in their awe of the finished product. This corner lot has become the talk of River Heights, drawing admiration from neighbours and the wider community alike. It is truly a testament to the transformative power of professional landscape design. Below are images showcasing the initial final site photos of our project. While the perennials and trees are still in their early growth stages, one can envision the vibrant and flourishing beauty that will unfold over the coming years.