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Inside & Out Garden Design

416-534-3691

Serving: Residential & Municipal clients

Scope of projects include: Small, Medium & Large

Areas of operation: Gta & Toronto

Areas of service: Container Gardening, Decks & Fences - All Products, Interlocking Paving, Landscape Contractors, Landscape Designer, Organic Ponds & Water Features

Company summary:
We are a full service garden design and installation company with our own planting, stonework, and woodwork crews, and with a unique focus on quality of design, and integration of inside and outside living space.
The education and training of the principles of Inside and Out Garden Design clearly reflect the emphasis we put on art, design and craftsmanship. To us, a garden isn't planting alone, it is an environment that can be transformed into a delightful and inviting living space- a glimpse of nature in a work of art.

Project Descriptions

Front Courtyard Garden
This front garden is surrounded by a tall existing cedar hedge that we saw as an excellent landscape backdrop for an intimate Japanese garden alongside an elegant square cut terrace. We built a carefully scaled porch with an open front made possible partly by a wide set of steps, and partly by a glass panel railing. The garden is a stage set for beautiful artifacts that have been collected by the clients on trips to the Far East.

Landscape with Pool
The front garden of this Rosedale home included a large paved parking area. We broke up this single large area with a circular panel of square cut flagstone, surrounded by curved lines of perennials of varied foliage, texture and colour and a sculptural accent piece by Paul Portelli.

In order for a pool to be installed in the rear garden and still have ample entertainment area, dining, play space, cabana and spa, we designed an unusual pool, with a deep dive basin and shallow children�s pool and spa connected with a lap lane, arranging these around square cut flagstone lounge areas and a poolside cabana.

Beaches Transformation
Although this property is in an established neighbourhood of Toronto, it had the challenges of a new subdivision, since the house was newly built on a bulldozed lot, filled with builder’s rubble and crying out for landscaping. There was a small unusable builder’s deck off the back walk-out, and a bleak set of concrete stairs going down to the basement door.

In their landscape brief to us, the clients described privacy, functionality, and instant greenery as their priorities, and in terms of character, wanted to combine the often opposing polarities of charming/romantic with simple/modern. 

Our strategy was to create an instant forest by bringing in large River Birch and Dawyck Purple Beech to create a “grove” along the west fence. In order to improve the view back to the house and, with the landscape, create a transition from house to garden that had a sense of openness and simplicity, while lush and alive, we built a multi-level deck with a series of planter boxes that angle out into the garden, acting both as railings, and as “window boxes” which soften a stark concrete stairwell down to the basement. A built in storage cupboard was added under one of the planter boxes. These boxes also gave the owner an opportunity to “play” with seasonal plantings.

Outdoor living
Multi-level decks cascade down to a garden of flowering shrubs, perennials and decorative trees with random flagstone sitting area and walkways.

City Modern
This long narrow city centre lot had been divided into a large parking area and a bleak lawn. The heavily compacted soil had to be removed before landscaping could begin. The family, with young children, asked us to create landscaped rooms for play, entertainment, and rest and relaxation.

We divided the long lot into three zones. The zone closest to the house is a quiet sitting area, with a flagstone path set in a gravel bed, and a small flagstone patio. A playful trellis of cedar and copper provides a sense of place, while allowing visual contact with the indoors. Japanese Maples and Purple Beech add to the sense of privacy here, with low grasses and perennials lining the path and the ‘banks’ of a dry river bed. This pretend river bed is a technique borrowed from Japanese gardens. It runs under a small bridge that steps up onto a deck. One end of the ‘river’ disappears under an arched wood screen that screens the barbecue area. The other end runs into an arched mirror, seemingly into a tunnel, on the opposite fence.

The deck, large enough for dining, is framed by a pergola that also frames the views from each end of the garden. It is unusual to locate a deck like this, in the middle of the lot, spanning from one side to the other (although set at an angle) but it has several advantages. It brings the ends of the long lot closer together, creates a private room near the house and a raised platform for parents to watch the children play in the back lawn area. The deck has been even used as a performance stage, by visiting musician friends from Nashville.

A Deck in the Forest
This extensive wooded property is located on top of the Scarborough Bluffs, on the eastern edge of Toronto. The clients wanted a large deck that would extend out and around some of the trees. We designed it so that the trees divide the deck area into ‘rooms’. The rear of the house included a large angled sunroom. We based the deck design on carrying this geometry out into the landscape, wrapping around a flagstone patio with a copper fire bowl, and edged with rock gardens (one including an ancient stone lantern that the clients had acquired on a trip to Japan), and berms planted with flowering shrubs.

Country Estate
This large landscaped property is near Stouffville, adjacent to a conservation area. The client wanted a big free-form swimming pool, which, on the heavily sloped site, required construction of boulder retaining walls and terraced planting beds. Our aim in landscaping the pool was to make it seem like it had always been there.

We used the warm red tones of Kingston boulders, slab steps and random flagstone for walkways and patios in order to naturalize the pool and to create a beautiful view even from below. Trees were selected to complement and lighten the surrounding pine forest. The pool is landscaped with a fringe of grasses and perennials, and walkways throughout the property are lined with a variety of flowering shrubs.