A pool with its own rain maker, a veggie patch on wheels, complete with pinwheel, and strings of Christmas tree bulbs carefully chosen to match the posies in a June-blooming front garden…. Yup, these can only mean one thing–the annual Cabbagetown garden tour in downtown Toronto. Yesterday, I did this annual walkabout with one of my best friends. The two of us have been meeting up to take part in this self-guided tour for years now and we still can’t decide whether it’s the jaw-dropping gardens (some of them so small you can barely swing a glass of chardonnay), the gardeners (all passionate about their very personal paradises), or getting to sneak peaks into the windows of some of the most crazy-stylish homes in town. Here’s a taste of what we discovered this year. All of these ideas reflect their very urban environment yet they can all inspire ways to personalize a suburban yard, too. Click on any image to start the slideshow.
What do you do when your carport takes up most of your backyard? Make it a garden feature. Cleverly, these garden owners used slats to create walls around the parking area so there’s still a sense of space and light. The slatted walls even give the garden, which wraps around two sides of the garage an Asian-inspired garden setting.
This backyard pool took up almost all the space in the owner’s back yard. A fountain in the form of a metal arch, spanning the middle of the pool, created a curtain of dripping water which neatly drowned out city noises.
In the dark inner courtyard of a multi-storey co-op, a newly installed garden features a small pond, a place to sit, and this wonderful dog sculpture, perfectly positioned under the fire escape.
Who said a sidewalk has to be boring? Not this gardener, who claimed the foot-width of space between fence and sidewalk, installing a raised garden using long strips of metal which have nicely aged to a rusty finish.
When your little home is pressed up against a multi-storey cement block wall, make it work for you.
This trio of planted containers hovers above your head and catches your eye just as you walk out of the building from below street level. With their pales leaves strikingly veined in pink, you can’t help but stare at them, rather than the parked cars lining the adjacent sidewalk.
I want to come back here at night to see this tiny front garden lit up with coral coloured flowers and matching lights.
On a roof of a co-op, a garden flourishes with built-in beds and several rolling containers for individual veggie harvests.