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opinions wanted for landscaping corner lot front yard

12 years ago


I moved into my 1946 house on a corner lot 3 years ago in Toronto (Canadian hardiness zone 6, US hardiness zone 5) and between renovating the inside and outside, I've slowly managed to move forward with gutting the front yard and starting from scratch. I've posted some progress photos and included a crude painting attempt at for trying to communicate things. I understand that I'll eventually want to do a plan that is to scale.

This is spring 2009 before Mulberry tree was taken down:




Right after Mulberry tree was taken down:


Here are some spring 2010 before and after photos of hedge and fence removal, and stump grinding:



















These wouldn't be my first choice of plantings but they were here when I moved so I decided to reuse them elsewhere:


Earlier this spring I decided to try something and move an emerald green arborvitae that previous owners planted too close to the fence in the backyard:




Later in the season I did this:






After seeing the photos, you can see that the first thing I did was take down the huge Mulberry tree. I then removed all the perimeter hedging, the two gate posts at the NW corner of the lot at the end of the front walkway, and chain link fence at the side of the driveway. After that, what I chose to relocate some plantings and keep some where the were.

Now that it's getting cold here, things have pretty much come to a halt. For next spring, here's a crude photo editing attempt I made of what my mind sees as a potential way of cleaning up the front yard, but notice all the ?s:


The photos don't show that I've now removed the front concrete walkway that went from my front stairs, straight to the NW corner of the lot, with plans to replace it in the spring with a curved tumbled paver walkway that goes somewhere to the west side of the lot. My plan is to have three walkways; the main one from the west sidewalk to my front stairs, and then mulch walkways flanking each side of the main walkway at the stairs. One secondary mulch walkway will allow pedestrian access to/from the driveway/backyard gate, and to the other walkway to/from the backyard gate on the other side of the house.

Since this is a corner lot which is exposed from quite a few angles, I find it fun and challenging to brainstorm potential ideas. I would like to ask for opinions on what to do with the areas that are marked with question marks. I would like to achieve some kind of privacy but at the same time not barricade the front of my house. A big negative is the fact there is an ugly power line post nearby the NW corner. The fact that the removed pin-straight concrete walkway doesn’t go directly to the NW corner anymore, I think it opens up the possibility for something a lot nicer there. I’m trying to minimize lawn too so I’m trying to devise a natural looking landscape in my front yard that will look appealing (to me anyway :p) year round with mainly rocks, grasses, conifers, maybe some small deciduous shrubs/trees with maybe some grade differences to add some interest too. I think the flat soded boulevards add a good amount of “lawn” by the street but I’m not completely opposed to a small bit of sod here or there on my property if it turns out to flow nicely with whatever ideas someone might come up with. By the way, I have to mention that my neighbour with the blue house is going to be removing the spruce close to the property line because the top part is touching his roof. All along the property line there I’d like to put grouping and mixture of tall narrowish conifers.

Additional Information:

I am just going to elaborate a little bit on what the future plans are for the front of the house to give a better vision of what the structure itself will look like. What the pictures that I posted don’t show are that all the brown fascias and eavestroughs on the house have been replaced by new white ones. The roads have been completely resurfaced and so has my driveway. Broken curbs have been repaired and all the boulevards have been resodded. A new garage door was installed. The wrought iron posts at the front of the house will be replaced by either 4” x 4” or 6” x 6” cedar posts and the railings and balusters will be replaced by horizontal cedar slats. Previous owners actually covered one of the windows in the south side of the house (grrrrr). I will be eventually removing the cover and replacing the old window with a new one to match the existing ones.

I was just messing around last night and did this:


Please feel free to ask any questions at all or comment (negatively or positively) on anything at all. I’d like to get some feedback from people other than my neighbours.

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