Northridge Avenue – Before

Our work at this home on Northridge Avenue, Toronto begun in the spring of 2017. The owner had the old concrete retaining wall that surrounded the whole front lawn taken away and the ground leveled, then added a layer of new sandy topsoil and had the driveway and walkways redone. We created a drainage trench along the street edge and filled it with riverstone to catch rain and soil runoff. The owner also dug up his tulips before construction and replanted them afterward in empty spots.

The design was by landscape architect John Woodside, MLA.

Northridge Avenue plantings in spring 2017

  • Red osier dogwood Cornus sericea ‘Kelsey’
  • Little bluestem Schizachryum scoparium
  • Dense blazing star Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’
  • Crocosmia ‘lucifer’
  • Canada anemone Anemone canadensis
  • Bowles golden sedge Carex elata ‘Bowles Golden’
  • Foxglove beardtongue Penstemon digitalis
  • Prairie smoke Geum triflorum
  • White oak Quercus alba
  • Blue-eyed grass Sisyrinchium montanum
  • Tufted hairgrass Deschampsia caespitosa
  • Hairy beardtongue Penstemon hirsutus
  • Blue chip juniper Juniperus horizontalis ‘blue chip’
  • Summersweet Clethra alnifolia ‘hummingbird’

Additional plantings in Spring 2019

  • Hoary vervain Verbena stricta
  • Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata
  • Silverweed Argentina (=Potentilla) anserina
  • Creeping phlox Phlox sublata (red and blue)
  • Upland white aster Solidago ptarmicoides
This is how it looked at the beginning of the season in May 2020. Phlox, prairie smoke and the salvaged tulips are in bloom.

2020 is the first year that the garden has ‘matured’, with the plants filling in most of the empty spaces and the plants reaching a good size, despite the extremely dry conditions. A few weeds have come up between the plants but it only takes about a half hour a month to keep it looking good. The owner puts on the sprinkler occasionally to water it.

Photos from a visit in August, 2020

The look changes every few weeks through the year. We’ll post some fall pictures later this year.