199 Photos - Apr 5, 2015
Photo: Golden Hops and a John Cabot Rose are so hardy they can survive in this rooftop planter.Photo: Drought tolerant gardens, also known as Xeriscapes, save money and effort BUT they need more care during the first year of establishment.Photo: Clary Sage and Blanket flower go well together. Combining plants to create vignettes ensure there's always something to look at in the garden.Photo: Willow-leaf Bluestar has great fall colour and contrasts the Concord Barberry beautifully.Photo: The plants in this garden tolerate growing in sand. Knowing what plants tolerate what soil is key.Photo: Every year, we create a garden at the Canadian National Exibition. We use these opportunities to educate the public. This garden uses all native plants and cultivars of native plants.Photo: Most folks think planting in clay is challenging. All these plants LOVE clay - Coneflower, Blue-mist Spirea, Roses, Potentilla...and so much more!Photo: Dry creeks can be used to hold and infiltrate rainwater and channel flooding through the landscape in an ornamental way. Challenges in the garden should ALWAYS be dealt with in an ornamental fashion.Photo: Having trouble growing grass in shade? Don't fight it. Plant groundcovers! Less work and more beauty.Photo: Do people cut across your corner lot? Strategic plantings can stop that problem and add beauty to your landscape.Photo: It doesn't take much! Tiny details can make a garden.Photo: Permeable pathways, natural stone, stunning gardens and remarkable woodwork all come together in this landscape.Photo: The home were I grew up. This delicate bridge leads over a pond to the front door.Photo: Pots add season-long colour and compliment the garden. Francis Williams Hosta looks great and adds that all-important bold texture to the landscape.Photo: Storm water is guided around the house, under the bridge and through lovely plantings.Photo: Perfect maintenance makes a perfect landscape. Tight-clipped hedges, weed-free gravel and lilacs for spring colour and fragrance...Photo: Everything in this garden tolerates pure sand soil. The winter interest is fantastic too.Photo: Clara Curtis Chrysanthemum with Anise-Hyssop - great for butterflies and drough tolerant.Photo: Nativar (a cultivar of a native plant) Purple Dome Aster compliments Clara Curtis Chrysanthemum.Photo: Details! Emilia Plater Italian Clematis softens this arbor and pulls the garden up into the air making better use of space.Photo: Another one of our gardens at the CNE, created to show the visitors the beauty of landscaping. Note the carved stone bowls.Photo: Flowers come and go but TEXTURE will make or break your landscape!Photo: Mega-flag and natural limestone boulders are softened and complimented by lush plantings.Photo: Great texture and blooms throughout the season make this garden a delight to spend time in.Photo: Snow Queen Siberian Iris and Francee Hosta - flowers come and go but Texture will make or break your landscape. Also, the white flowers compliment the white variegations.Photo: Peonies, Giant Flowering Onions and Veronica go well together.Photo: A rain garden, perennial plantings and mega-flag. Heuchera and Golden Pennycress highlight each other.Photo: This lovely old home deserved a beautiful garden. Hosta, Monkshood, Chinese Flowering Lilac and Heuchera each give interest at different times.Photo: Many landscapes focus too much on hardscaping - paths and patios - but we like to balance plants and stone to make them each look their best.Photo: Clay tolerant plantings and mostly native plants surround this rainwater feature. (This is one of our most famous landscapes since it's been featured in many rain garden manuals produced by local conservation authorities.)Photo: This drought-tolerant landscape hides three rain gardens!Photo: Coneflowers, grasses and more work together to provide interest year-round AND promote biodiversity!Photo: On just a few inches of soil, Russian Sage, Prickly Pear Cactus and different varieties of Stonecrop hide the septic tank and look great all year.Photo: SONY DSCPhoto: Cottage-style gardens aren't for everyone but they have a whimsey that some customers love.Photo: Grass wouldn't grow in this wooded lot so we installed a gazebo,  a path and shade tolerant plantings.Photo: This dry creek is just for show most of the time, but during heavy rain events, it guides water through the property.Photo: SONY DSCPhoto: At the customer's request, all the grass was removed and native plantings were created in an English Cottage style.Photo: It's amazing how many plants tolerate pure sand but those areas of knowledge are what set Fern Ridge apart.Photo: Native grasses and Turtlehead tolerate sand AND periodic flooding. They also look great in the winter together.Photo: Cardinal Flower and New York Ironweed flower for a long period and are great for #rainscapes.Photo: Mixed Scots and Irish Moss soften this walkway and blend it into the landscape.Photo: Having a destination in the garden is important. Move patios away from the house.Photo: There's a bubbling rock in front of these chairs so folks can enjoy the sights and sounds of water along with the gardens.Photo: Some plants surprise us! Flowering Raspberry is great for deep, dry shade but who would've thought that these Chrysanthemums would thrive so well.Photo: This is our office/home garden in the fall, with all it's fall colour. The dark purple is a Maries Viburnum and the gold tree in the background is a Frisia Golden Black Locust.Photo: We designed and built this garden at Chris Hadfield Park in Milton. It tolerates the local clay soil and drought.Photo: One of our favorite gardens, The Milton Millenium Garden looks great all year AND supports #biodiversity.Photo: A garden should never have a 'down time' - each season should be equally beautiful! Our Millennium Garden in Fall.Photo: Never forget about fall colour! There are better shrubs than Burning Bush which offer more interest throughout the season.Photo: Having a destination in the garden is important to draw folks out into the landscape. Note the bridge across the dry creek.Photo: This dry creek holds and infiltrates rain water as well as being ornamental.Photo: Russian Sage, New England Asters, Cosmopolitan Miscanthus, and Canaert Junipers look great surrounded by this golden privet hedge which add a touch of formality to this cottage-influenced garden.Photo: Scree gardens are built with gravel instead of soil and are wonderful for creating drought tolerant landscapes that need very little maintenance. Scree gardens also allow very interesting plants to be planted.Photo: Our office/home garden looks great all year and offers inspiration for our designers.Photo: This shrub rose MAKES our front boulevard garden for the weeks that it's in bloom.Photo: Sean, the President of Fern Ridge Landscaping is fond of saying, "I'm not looking forward to getting old but I AM looking forward to being 80, driving around in my hover-car and looking at all the trees we've planted!" Grace Anglican Church in Milton is a great example. You should see the trees today! (time for a new picture!)Photo: This garden at Green Glade School was created, in partnership with Credit Valley Conservation and Aquafor Beech to show the public how lovely a #rainscape (actually, an engineered bioretention cell to be precise) could be.  It worked.Photo: Our first bog! This garden was created to hold rainwater AND clean the water from the pond. The beautiful bright yellow grass is Bowels Golden Sedge.Photo: We don't mind collaborating with our customers. This garden owner is a gardener herself and we just add our brushstrokes when she requests it. It's a partnership that works for everyone!Photo: The folks at Fern Ridge Landscaping don't mind working with other contractors and designers. Another company built the patio and installed the shrub plantings based on the plans of another designer, then we came in and created the perennial plantings the pond, and the nightlighting.Photo: Golden flowers of Moonlight Yarrow highlight the water garden and surrounding plantings.Photo: This remarkable landscape, built around the amazing stone walls, was designed to fit into the natural feel of the surrounding neighbourhood and to highlight the amazing architecture of the residence.Photo: How one designs plants, using them to compliment and contrast each other, is one of the subtleties that makes Fern Ridge, well,  Fern Ridge!Photo: Details are key. This copper arbor was fashioned by an artist in Guelph and the Harlequin Honeysuckle sets it off beautifully. The copper dowels in the fence pull the art of the arbor down into the landscape.Photo: One of our favorite native grasses - Deer's Tongue Grass looks JUST like bamboo and compliments this Japanese-influenced garden.Photo: This was our garden created at Canada Blooms to teach the public about eco-friendly elements such as #rainscapes, benefits of planting natives and more.Photo: Existing shrubs and trees should be maintained when possible. This garden wouldn't be the same if we'd removed the original plants such as the Japanese Maple and Yews!Photo: Heuchera and 4 O'clocks - two great plants that look great together!Photo: Silver foliage with differing texture - they compliment and contrast each other at the same time!Photo: Art in the garden is sooo important. This iron medallion in the gate at our Fern Ridge office/home has real amethyst crystals.Photo: Yep! We created this Asian-influenced gardenPhoto: Photo: Do you have a challenging area, baking in the sun? Don't fight it. Scree gardens are composed entirely of gravel and rocks - no soil at all, other than what comes with the plants to be planted) and they're a great opportunity to plant alpines, prairie plants and even hardy cacti!Photo: Because plants in a scree garden grow 'lean' with few nutrients and less water, they rarely suffer from disease. It's even pretty unusual to get weeds since they can't tolerate the drought!Photo: How we blend stone and plants together, complimenting and contrasting is the difference between success and failure.Photo: We leave Bull Thistles in our garden because the goldfinches LOVE them. Bringing birds to the garden controls pests.Photo: Red Oak, Bigroot Geranium, Blue Atlas Cedar and more combine to make this simple landscape beautiful but low maintenance. Reducing the use of lawn in the landscape is great for the environment and reduces water use. In the traditional landscape, North Americans use 60% of our potable water (expensive!!!) in the landscape.Photo: Peonies, Barberry and, yep, that's lettuce lookin' lovely. Edible have a place in the ornamental garden and, by mixing them in with ornamentals, you'll have a better predator/prey relantionship and less problems.Photo: Public gardens should be as beautiful as any home garden. Spacing plants properly during the design phase saves money and ensures there won't be crowding when the garden matures.Photo: Our Fern Ridge Garden with it's Pink Poodle Purple Coneflower, Balloon Flower, Purple Weeping Beech and more has texture and colour all year. Leave the garden standing through the winter to promote bird life and protect predator insects, both of which control pest populations.Photo: Fern Ridge Landscaping has created several gardens to educate the public about eco-friendly gardening, such as this #bioretention garden at Green Glade School which takes rain from the roof, sidewalk and parking area and soaks them into the ground, cleaning and cooling the water, protecting the nearby Rattray Marsh.Photo: Anderson Parkette was created in collaboration with Oakville Horticulture Society and the Town of Oakville to show folks how stunning a #biodiversity garden could be. All plants are Ontario natives or nativars and are chosen for their ability to support #pollinator and bird life.Photo: Anderson Parkette was created in collaboration with Oakville Horticulture Society and the Town of Oakville to show folks how stunning a #biodiversity garden could be. All plants are Ontario natives or nativars and are chosen for their ability to support #pollinator and bird life. It's important to have sitting areas where folks can relax and enjoy the beauty.Photo: Anderson Parkette was created in collaboration with Oakville Horticulture Society and the Town of Oakville to show folks how stunning a #biodiversity garden could be. All plants are Ontario natives or nativars and are chosen for their ability to support #pollinator and bird life. Educational signage is important so people understand that what they're seeing is not just beautiful, it's eco-friendly.Photo: Anderson Parkette was created in collaboration with Oakville Horticulture Society and the Town of Oakville to show folks how stunning a #biodiversity garden could be. All plants are Ontario natives or nativars and are chosen for their ability to support #pollinator and bird life. Wild strawberries and Blanket Flower are prominent.Photo: Anderson Parkette was created in collaboration with Oakville Horticulture Society and the Town of Oakville to show folks how stunning a #biodiversity garden could be. All plants are Ontario natives or nativars and are chosen for their ability to support #pollinator and bird life. Anise-hyssop and Sneezeweed are featured here.Photo: Permeable paving and almost entirely edible plantings are just two of the things that make this landscape eco-friendly while maintaining exceptional beauty.Photo: Some towns still don't allow boulevard plantings but they're more eco-friendly than turf since they need less water and  don't require mowers that spew pollution. The fact is, that most municipalities will overlook these initiatives even if they're against policyPhoto: It's surprising how many plants are edible or medicinal including Purple Coneflower and, yes, Hosta!Photo: This drought-tolerant garden is built on pure sand and looks great, even in winter.Photo: Lamb's Ears, Coneflower, Peony, Switchgrass, Yucca and Summer Phlox all thrive in drought!Photo: Don't cut gardens down until the spring. Mother Nature will take care of most of the organic matter. Never cut evergreen perennials and grasses down. It could kill them.Photo: Photo: This garden is home to drought-tolerant plantings AND a lovely #rainscape, all on Milton clay. Choose plants to suit soil.Photo: Stake trees with denim instead of hose and wire so that the fabric will rot off in a couple of years, avoiding girdling of the trees when wire is forgotten about and left on.Photo: Photo: Texture and foliage colour are first considerations but flowers don't hurt either - Siberian Iris, Coral Bells and 4 O'clocks with purple Husker Red Beardstongue for contrast.Photo: Japanese Maple, Spirea, and Japanese Anemone.Photo: Tall Bearded Iris, Poppies and Columbine are showy in early springPhoto: A super-low maintenance garden with river rock as a groundcover and dwarf, low-growing plants.Photo: Photo: Most of these trees were planted by Fern Ridge decades ago and are a constant reminder of how landscape design must be considered over a long time line.Photo: In shady gardens, it's necessary to rely on texture and foliage colour more than flowers.Photo: Details - different types of Sedum (Stonecrop) filling the gaps in some natural stairs.Photo: Sedums, lavendar and Chocolate Chip Bugleweed blend stonework into the gardens.Photo: Designed to blend into an old neighbourhood, this garden relies on shrubs and groundcovers to produce a low-maintenance, beautiful garden.Photo: Don't fight to keep grass alive in the shade. Replace it instead with drifts of groundcover. It's easier and lower maintenance.Photo: Water has a place in any garden, offering sound and motion to the landscape, as well as helping out #biodiversity by supporting #birds and #pollinators. Practically any vessel can be made into a water feature.Photo: We never thought we'd see a day when customers would come ASKING for grassless native landscapes with #rainscape features...but here we are.Photo: This shady garden offers resting places, texture and low maintenance.Photo: Built in the 90's, it's been lovely watching this garden grow and mature. You should see the Himalayan Birch today!Photo: Patriot Hosta and Cosmopolitan Miscanthus Grass - contrasting texture and complimentary variegations.Photo: Evergreen Bergenia, Ferns and Miscanthus grass look great ALL THE TIME while plants like Astilbe and Weeping Peashrub come in and out of bloom throughout the season.Photo: Zebra Miscanthus grass looks stunning with Princess Margaret Chrysanthemum.Photo: Native Ironweed (Vernonia) is a butterfly MAGNATE and anything to support the #Monarch butterfly (and pollinators in general) is a good thing!Photo: This is our Fern Ridge Garden featuring permeable paths, #rainscape features and #xeriscape (drought-tolerant) plantings. The only bit of grass is on the boulevard.Photo: Our Fern Ridge home/office garden in June.Photo: Our own garden isn't for everyone but it's inspiring to us.Photo: Our Fern Ridge landscape has pathways leading THROUGH the garden everywhere - a much more interactive experience than most gardens.Photo: Our own gardens in the fall. They've evolved quite a bit over the years!Photo: Plantings should soften pathways for a more welcoming feel.Photo: Our home/office garden has been described as 'English Cottage on steroides'...and we're ok with that.Photo: Texture and flowers blend seamlessly.Photo: Briggs Moonlight Daphne looks great with golden Hostas and Persian Onion.Photo: Purple-leafed 'Desdemona' Ligularia, golden Briggs Moonlight Daphne and Persian Onion with red poppies and yellow California Poppy.Photo: The waterfall by our front door. It even features edible Watercress!Photo: Catmint blooms from April to December and never needs watering. It looks great with Autumn Joy Stonecrop, even in winter.Photo: Plants don't need to be exotic - 4 O'Clocks and Rose Campion.Photo: Planting gardens thickly helps keep maintenance low by crowding out weeds.Photo: Purple Coneflowers, Summer Phlox and Yucca have long seasons of interest.Photo: A bubbling rock adds sound and motion to the landscape without having to worry about mosquitoes.Photo: Hardy (in fact NATIVE!) Ontario Prickly Pear Cactus, Evergreen Oat Grass, perennial Geraniums and Colewort make for the most drought tolerant garden.Photo: Deer's Tongue Grass (Dicanthelium clandestinum) is one of our favorite native grasses. Shade and drought tolerant, it also looks JUST like dwarf bamboo.Photo: Weeping Ponderosa Pine, various sedges and grasses, and statuary give this garden a Japanese feel.Photo: One of our most fun indoor show garden at the CNE (and our first and largest - 1900 sq. ft!). Many folk were fooled by the manequin worker. :-)Photo: Were ever we are, we try to educate the public, here, showing them all about drought tolerant scree gardens.Photo: This interesting arbor was created just for the CNE's garden show and featured  planting pockets filled with hens and chicks and gravel.Photo: This simple cottagy garden features #rainscape elements as well as being a #xeriscape (drought-tolerant garden)Photo: One of our favorite and most lush gardens, pulling the patio away from the house makes experiencing the garden a more intimate affair. Fragrant plantPhoto: Heuchera, Bugleweed, Golden Pennycress, Hosta and various grasses.Photo: Interesting ironwork makes a great entrance for this richly planted landscape.Photo: Smooth curves and lots of texture make a garden visually appealing.Photo: Photo: This challenging site in Toronto was beset with compacted clay soil. Toronto's most notable landscape architect had designed and installed plantings here which failed miserably. We installed this very successful and beautiful garden to replace it.Photo: Not everyone has the room for an arboretum but this customer did! Many rare trees and nifty groundcovers.Photo: Foliage colour and texture make this garden stunning all year.Photo: Japanese Blood Grass and Hosta - great texture and foliage colour.Photo: Coral Bells and May Night Salvia - drought-tolerant and colourful.Photo: Lady's Mantle has velvety leaves that hold water like diamonds and chartreuse flowers - a standout plant for English Cottage-style gardens and #xeriscapes.Photo: Eco-friendly can and SHOULD be beautiful! Grassless gardens mean less pollution and gravel driveways help rain infiltrate.Photo: Soloman's Seal, Awl-leafed Sedum and Big-root Geranium make for a lovely garden throughout the summer and made for a great replacement to the turfgrass which wasn't thriving anyway.Photo: Plantings surrounded by stone need to be carefully chosen since it will be much warmer - Paul's Scarlet Hawthorn is bulletproof and lovely.Photo: Many people think gardening in dry shade is difficult. It's justPhoto: Shade gardens may have flowers on and off (there are a few players that flower all year like Golden Corydalis) but texture and foliage colour are much more important.Photo: See the Purple Robe Black Locust peaking out from the upper left? Stunning tree! Europa Gold Cedar looks great with phlox and more as well.Photo: Why not have a sitting area in the front yard? More and more North Americans are choosing to spend time in their front yards!Photo: All our landscapes are extraordinarily drought-tolerant, saving money, time and effort BUT they need extra care in watering for the first year!Photo: All our landscapes are extraordinarily drought-tolerant, saving money, time and effort BUT they need extra care in watering for the first year!Photo: A well-established Fern Ridge landscape in Oakville clay - it's just continued to grow in beauty over the 15 years that it's been planted.Photo: Clay isn't a challenge! It's just a question of knowing your plants.Photo: All the neighbours had raised their yards, resulting in flooding on this property. A drainage swale was planted to tolerate that flooding.Photo: All the neighbours had raised their yards, resulting in flooding on this property. A drainage swale was planted to tolerate that flooding and this amazing raw-wood gazebo was built on stilts to make the yard usable all the time.Photo: Scree gardens, using gravel instead of soil as a growing medium, give the opportunity to grow a fascinating palette of plants.Photo: Indian Grass has great architecture and tolerates light shade. See how it softens the front of the house?Photo: Plantings soften hardscapes.Photo: The difficult-to-handle shady, moist areas between two homes doesn't need to be a wasteland. Limestone flag, copper lighting and shade-tolerant plantings including Ice Dance Sedge, Marginal Shield Fern, Dead Nettle (terrible name!) and, of course, Hosta are perfect.Photo: Planters built into decks allow for annuals and season-long bright colour to enhance a landscape.Photo: Rich fall golds from Brown-eyed Susan and Golden Black Locust - ALL seasons should be lovely!Photo: A simple elegant home garden.Photo: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto: Any opportunity to remove impervious asphalt is a good thing. This horrible property was made beautiful and soaked in rain water when it was finished. Look for the Working Women's Support Centre to see the finished product. This was done for HGTV's Green Force. You can see episodes at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLPRiOHoClwH2i8bXU5vIbAPhoto: The Working Woman's Support Centre, designed by Carson Arthur and installed by Fern Ridge for HGTV's Green ForcePhoto: The Working Woman's Support Centre, designed by Carson Arthur and installed by Fern Ridge for HGTV's Green ForcePhoto: Drought-tolerant ornamental grasses and perennial sunflowers - perfect for sandy OR clay soils and lovely in the winter too!Photo: Rolling curves and gentle slopes - a soothing landscape to spend time in.Photo: Flowering shrubs soften the amazing architecture of this home in an old neighbourhood of Toronto. We even have experts in our circle of colleagues who can do green roofing!Photo: Not many companies have the horticultural knowledge to prune a Wisteria like this one we've looked after for years at Milton's Town Hall Garden.Photo: Milton's Town Hall Garden has Fern Ridge's brushstrokes all over it - Golden Chain Tree and Wisteria look stunning together.Photo: Landscapes aren't 'disposable'. Folks have gotten used to redoing their gardens every few years but it isn't necessary. It should last for decades or more!Photo: Knowing how to design successfully for shade is important since the urban canopy is getting thicker and thicker.Photo: This landscape flooded every spring so, instead of just filling it in (illegal and mean to the neighbours) we created flood-tolerant plantings.Photo: Details such as this antique iron gate can take a landscape from average to exceptional!Photo: Opuntia humifusa and Helianthemum (we only use botanical names on our plans but every customer gets a list of all the plants, complete with common names, sizes and a brief description)Photo: A woodsy garden in the heart of Toronto makes an oasis to spend time in after a long day at work.Photo: Batik Tall Bearded Iris - they're a high-maintenance perennial, since they need division.Photo: The golden evergreen in the centre is a stunning Skylands Oriental Spruce. The Huge grass is a Giant Miscanthus. Great 'bones' are important to the landscape since it ensures the garden will look good all year!Photo: This garden is 100% edible! ANY style of gardening can and SHOULD be beautiful!Photo: Blue Flag Iris is a great #native plant for #rainscapes.Photo: Narrow plants such as these columnar Scots Pines are valuable in today's smaller yards for creating a privacy screen without using up too much space.Photo: 'Colour Echo' is the technique of using different shades of related colours to tie art together.Photo: Gardening is art as much as science. Painting with plants!Photo: Where possible, we like to save existing plants and work them into the new design. It preserves a sense of history and also, they succeed better since they're already established.Photo: Plants can be used as screens to create 'garden rooms'.Photo: These fantastic new Envirolok walls are created with engineered bags, filled with soil from on-site, they're rated for 150 years and are more eco-friendly since its not necessary to blast material out of the escarpment and haul it around with big diesel engines...AND we plant them up with interesting plants creating a vertical gardenPhoto: These fantastic new Envirolok walls are created with engineered bags, filled with soil from on-site, they're rated for 150 years and are more eco-friendly since its not necessary to blast material out of the escarpment and haul it around with big diesel engines...AND we plant them up with interesting plants creating a vertical gardenPhoto: Gold foliage in a variety of texture - Golden Tiera Hosta, 'Ghost' Weigela and Palm Sedge.Photo: Endless Summer Hydrangeas and Bloomerang Lilac look lovely for long period!