A contemporary hedge with panache

Now this is a bold way to turn tradition on its ear – or at least turn it 90˚ – when it comes to a hedge that will complement contemporary architecture. Seen at Through the Garden Gate in Lawrence Park, June 2015.

I sincerely appreciate all the work that goes into the planning and delivery of Through the Garden Gate, Toronto’s garden tour of garden tours. It’s hosted by the Toronto Botanical Garden, and is one of the Garden’s main fundraisers. The volunteers at the Toronto Master Gardeners also deserve big props for helping to scout the gardens, write the program, provide plant ID and gentle policing in the gardens on the tour days. (TTGG will be in The Kingsway, June 11 & 12, 2016.)

Thanks for this cool idea, which followed me home from Lawrence Park in 2015. An excellent play on the linear architecture, the hedge is broken into rectangular blocks, turned perpendicular to the building. While it does a great job of buffering the home from the street, it’s perforated – effectively de-massing that long wall into smaller, human-scale chunks. Imagine the different effect if it had simply run parallel. Yet the yew (Taxus) is a nod to the more traditional surrounding homes. I like it!

Here’s a view of the perforations, and staggered heights and placement. Love this effect. (My only wee criticism is that they’ve trimmed the hedges slightly wider at the tops and narrower at the bottoms. You should do it the opposite way – narrower on top; wider at the bottom – so that the bottom of the hedge doesn’t die back from lack of sunlight. As these hedge fragments are pointing more or less south, perhaps this is less of an issue? Let me know if I’m wrong.)



  1. I'm glad you highlighted this great hedge – the yews are so well behaved once they're shaped, there's no reason why we shouldn't think of them as something to add-to-the-architecture rather than just hiding basement windows. And, kudos too to the wonderful TBG & and their tour – it's an annual must-do for me and my friend Peggy too.

    1. "…rather than just hiding basement windows" — Barbara, I like that you're funny, even when writing comments. I agree about the Taxus. My sister and I often joke, "I love yew," to which the only natural reply is, "I love yew, too!"

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