Starting with a defined budget and a 22’ x 33’ lot, Klondike’s Landscape Designer, Thomas Kyle, set out to develop a design solution which met the clients’ price point and lifestyle.

A graduate of Landscape Architecture from UBC, Thomas has 15 years experience designing award winning gardens. He has collaborated with people from New York to Seattle and from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Thomas heads Klondike Contracting’s Landscape Design Division and personally oversees the installation of all our landscape projects.

This garden presented several wonderful design challenges. Fully-exposed on three sides, without screening or shade, it needed to be child-friendly and secure. The clients also required a space which functioned equally well for large gatherings or for small family dinners. It also needed to be low maintenance and environmentally responsible, and the downstairs tenant needed a separate entry.

The design solution, loosely borrowed from the Bohemian design principles found in European courtyards, starts with a layer of tall evergreen hedges and strategically placed tall trees. This tall layer creates the necessary shade and screening for the children to play safely and further creates the framework for a useable interior space.

The second layer unfolds with colorful perennials, climbing vines and wild grasses.

Finally, the playful grid pattern creates a sense of whimsy and interest. Constructed from artificial turf, the green grid requires no maintenance, water or chemicals for upkeep, thus addressing the clients’ requirement of environmental responsibility.

A sculptured water feature rests under a new Katsura tree, functioning as the courtyard’s focal point.

In combination, the layered plants, water feature and grid pattern creates a courtyard which appears much larger than its 122’ x 33’ size, and it also embraces the Bohemian nature of East Vancouver.

After delivering the garden on budget and within a two week construction time, the clients expressed their pleasure when they noted, “Thank you so much for designing a beautiful courtyard – we have received a lot of rave reviews. You have transformed a small space into an eye-catching courtyard.”

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