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Forest Fantasy – 2014 Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence

Forest Fantasy – 2014

Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence

A beautiful house set in the midst of the forest; it sounded perfect and yet it wasn’t. In this case the house needed a landscape to make the transition from the built environment to the natural environment.


Click Here To Read More About the Forest Fantasy Residence Project

The existing driveway ran right up to the house on two sides. The clients wanted to emphasize the natural setting, but also wanted to create an attractive entrance to the house. We decided to completely forget about ‘attractive’ and go directly to ‘dramatic’ with a large water feature serving as the focal point of the front entrance.

A large upper pond beside the side door and the front porch is filled with koi and goldfish and many varieties of water plants. A bubbling rock provides interest, aeration and white noise. The upper pond has an outflow to a fast-flowing river that tumbles around carefully placed rocks and waterfalls into the lower pond. The river is bisected by the oversize Owen Sound flagstone walkway that leads to the front door of the house. Everyone walking into the house has an opportunity to see the water feature.

The lower pond lies against the edge of the adjacent forest. Native plantings lie right up against the pond’s edge, with lots of shade and water loving plants. More fish keep company with new residents of the amphibious and reptile varieties; they began moving in even before the project finished. (This meant many screams as the horticulture crew came face to face with the creatures as planting took place!)The lower pool is accessed by a set of Manitoulin stone stairs, with a small flagstone patio set at the edge of the pond. It is just the right size for a father and his small son to hang out and feed the fish at the end of a busy work day.

The ponds, river and natural stone walkway/bridge provide a dramatic entrance to the home. The native and ornamental plantings have quickly filled in and allowed the house in the woods to seamlessly fit in with the natural surroundings in a way that has made the homeowners very happy with their house in the forest.