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Winners' Garden Gallery - Residential

Winners' Garden Gallery

Welcome to our photo gallery of every year's winning residential gardens. We hope they will inspire you.

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  • To locate garden, please click on the address
Traditional Large Gardens Class

1st Place - Liz Malicki
858 Bexhill Road
Winner: Garden of the Year Award
This beautiful garden took second place in 2011 and is, if possible, even better this year. A real "gardener's garden" it displays a stunning variety of plant materials, with a spectacular colour range of foliage alone. The owner's collection of heucheras and hostas fit beautifully with other plants, without dominating or seeming "busy". The small woodland garden, shaded by the mature trees, looks as if it has sprung up naturally. Almost the whole frontage is planted, leaving just enough grass to enable the viewer to explore all areas from different perspectives. Apart from the summer plants in bloom now, it is evident that this is a year-round garden, offering interest in all seasons, including winter. Bright planters against the garage help to minimize the wide driveway, and lead the eye to the other side, with plantings that complement the main garden.

2nd Place - Lucy Amaro
1453 Skyline Drive
The challenge of landscaping a very wide lot, in almost total shade, has not daunted this owner, who bravely chose to go bold. The garden curves and sweeps across the space in a continuous line, showcasing ferns, hostas and other shade lovers, fronted by hot red fibrous begonias that add an unexpected dynamic punch of colour. Moving deeper into the garden, a flagstone path leading to the backyard opens onto a cool, restful "Zen" garden, offering seating for meditation and presided over by a very contented Buddah. Fern planters and edging trim on the brick face of the house provide depth to a very flat surface, and a small sunny area at the garden entrance, with complementary planting, welcomes the viewer in. Small touches such as these, combined with meticulous maintenance, complete this serene garden.

3rd Place - Luiza & Leszek Gubernat
1186 Barnswallow Court
The difficulty facing these garden owners was being situated adjacent to a natural area, contained by an unattractive chain link fence, that left a long, narrow triangle of land as part of their garden. The measure of their success is that the fence has all but disappeared behind the plantings. The garden contains a lovely balance of evergreens, shrubs, vines, grasses and perennials resulting in a mix of shapes, textures and colours, offering year-round interest. Three mature blue spruce trees stand guard at the curb, giving privacy to the house, without blocking the light, and are enhanced by a low fence and garden at their feet. A grass path has been left between the fence and the garden beds, which allows for easier maintenance and adds visual depth to a shallow frontage. Crisply edged beds and excellent maintenance add the finishing touches to this lovely garden.

Traditional Small Gardens Class

1st Place - Laura Heaslip
14 Joseph Street
Winner: Best Display of Colour Award
The "WOW" factor might have been invented to describe this exuberant small garden. Using a traditional design, curving around the front of the house and along the side of the driveway, it is the colours that capture the viewer from way down the street. Anyone who believes that you can't have colour without flowers, needs to visit this garden.
With a fresh and adventurous eye, the owner has combined green and white dogwood, pink and purple barberries, and dark heucheras with gold and chartreuse grasses and sumac. Touches of blues and greens soothe the eye and ground the garden, highlighted with luscious blood-red geraniums. Meticulous maintenance and restrained use of whimsical accents - a metal sculpture of allium and a brass tap, "dripping" crystal water drops - make this garden a visual delight.

2nd Place - Maria Zacharjasz
82 Troy Street
This small cottage-style house and its garden are perfectly matched. The gingerbread trim on the house and the dainty garden, bursting with colour, seem to have been plucked from the pages of a storybook. Visual interest has been created with a sunken lawn, surrounded by raised beds, full of flowers. The chain link fence, separating the garden from a steep ditch, has been softened by a grape vine twined around the top rail. Hanging baskets provide height and a welcome at the front porch, while a planter under a side window reflects the garden. Favourite ornaments and pottery pieces are placed throughout the space and contribute to this very personal garden.

3rd Place - Teresa Ierullo & Andrew Rzeszutek
3292 Greenbelt Crescent
This garden demonstrates what can be achieved in a narrow lot, if you're willing to think big! The plantings cover most of the frontage with a well-thought-out balance of shrubs and perennials, including hydrangeas, lavender, barberry, day lilies, delphiniums and grasses. A sliver of land on the other side of the driveway, too narrow to plant, has been set with white gravel, showcasing a row of pots planted with tall grasses, turning a liability into a feature. Tomatoes, lettuce and herbs are planted in a small bed against the garage wall and thrive in the sunny, sheltered location. A child's chair is home to a pot of succulents and pots of annuals can be moved around to add colour as needed.

Traditional Townhouse Gardens Class

Winners: Bonnie Adams & Carol Hill
1100 Queen Street West, Unit # 37
The removal of a dying Scots pine brought light and ground space to this slender garden, running alongside a driveway against a wall, which inspired two neighbours to undertake a total transformation. Bright and colourful, this garden is a delight. Starting at the entrance, large rocks are contrasted beautifully by the movement and whisper of grasses. Shrubs like burning bush, rhododendrons and spirea provide a cool background for a lovely mix of annuals and perennials, while partially hiding a few surprises like tomatoes and rhubarb. A white chair, without a seat, cradles a flowering planter and pots of annuals are tucked into spaces that need colour. The mix of colours is punctuated by white flowers throughout the space, bringing continuity and luminescence to this pretty garden.

Living Green Ecogardens Class

1st Place - Gail & Douglas Markoff
934 Melton Drive
This ecogarden is a horticultural smorgasbord – so much to see and explore, you just don't know where to start. An interesting mix of shrubs and trees provide mini – ecosystems – pockets of sun and shade, which allow for use of a wide range of herbaceous perennials, including native plants, with wonderful colour variety. To add even more interest, unusual specimens of greenhouse – grown tropicals have been added here and there as small features. Mulch is used liberally around the plants and to create pathways for working or wandering. This garden is a great "fit" with its house, which seems to nestle in its surroundings, and is further enhanced by inviting seating at the front door. This garden is proof positive that an ecogarden can be just as beautiful and intriguing as any traditional garden.

2nd Place - Mary Simpson
61 Wesley Avenue
No weed would dare show its face in this tiny garden - there simply isn't room. Every inch of space is used here, with a lovely selection of drought tolerant plants providing contrasting colours and textures. The garden profile is low, with a burning bush and yucca adding height and visual interest. Plantings are tightly packed and bursting with health, further aided by clever use of a downspout, angled towards the garden. The choice of nectar-rich plants is evident from the amount of bee and butterfly activity, and the flamboyant colours of annual portulaca give that "Look at me!" factor that every garden needs. This garden placed third in our 2012 contest - will it be our first garden to achieve a hat trick? Stay tuned!

3rd Place - Lynne & Greg Sereda
2582 Inlake Court
Controversy persists around this simple ecogarden because of the use of goutweed (classified as a noxious plant) as ground cover. On closer inspection, however, it has a lot to recommend it. The owners wanted a low maintenance garden and, where most people would choose grass, which requires watering, feeding and mowing, they chose goutweed as an attractive alternative. This plant needs no care and thrives in the harshest conditions. As for its invasive nature, here it is bordered on all four sides by hard surfaces, so it has nowhere to go. The owners even remove the flowers before they go to seed. Add in the water conservation features (mulch and drip irrigation), native plants and a nesting shelf for birds, this garden scores high on originality and environmental responsibility.

The Glorious Gardens Golden Gnome Award
Winners: Ward 1, Councillor Jim Tovey
This award is given annually to the City ward with the most winning gardens.