The transformation of a weekend hobby farm into and elegant permanent residence on a 5 acre property.

This small estate was a charming old Irish farm with a house and barn built in 1862 by the Junkin family settlers.

Over the past 40 years it became a weekend retreat. The house located in the middle of the 5 acres has been well maintained but the grounds, sadly, had been abandoned. The gardens and pioneer forest was hosting the unwanted and invasive Buckthorn trees and all was in dire need of restoration.
Concept-Plan-Braeside Estate-DrawingbyModernLandscape-Designers
Preliminary/Partial Concept Plan Braeside

Many Manitoba Maple trees had broken branches hanging too close over the roof of the house. Major work by qualified arborists was urgently required. Another important issue was the grading around the house and the inadequate eavestroughs which weren’t draining the water properly.

Lastly, the owners’ needs of a weekend home versus the needs of a primary residence are quite different. As an example, having closer access to the house when you are coming back with the grocery during the long Kawartha winters is nicely appreciated. So one of the multiple challenges was to redesign an elegant and practical driveway.

What do most people want from a Landscape Designer?

  1. Their needs must be heard and smart design solutions must be provided and understood.
  2. Everybody has a budget that must be respected and with a realistic contingency in place.
  3. Everyone enjoys a low maintenance landscape and a well managed project that allows construction to take place with the least amount of disruption possible as well as maintaining a realistic time-line.

The following pictures are showing the BEFORE and AFTER of the West, East and North garden areas of the property. We have also included a few construction pictures with additional comments to help you understand the scope of this big project.

BEFORE – The farm look of the West Garden View


AFTER – The estate look of the West Garden View



BEFORE – The West Garden View


AFTER – The West Garden View


BEFORE – West Garden: notice branches hanging (top left), narrow flag stone path and grade towards the house. Eavestroughs are new on this picture but the drains are unfinished.


AFTER – North West Corner: Big trees have been pruned, wide and welcoming path (Techo-Bloc), proper grade, healthy sod, framed boxwood garden (Techo-Bloc Borealis ), lighting (Coastal Source) and spacious patio (Techo-Bloc).


BEFORE- North West Corner: Temporary shelter and old fence.


AFTER – North West Corner: Luxury of space, modern Techo-Bloc walls and patio with the proper grade. Smart design solution which offers smooth transition from one area to another.


BEFORE – Driveway Entrance: Parking very far from the house, overgrown vegetation, long narrow path  with deteriorated old flag stone making it a tripping hazard and a true nightmare in the winter.


AFTER – Driveway Entrance: Wide circular driveway which is much more convenient, focal point with a water feature sculpture by Bruno Cantieni, low maintenance perennial garden surrounded by a hedge of yews and spacious walkway leading up to the front door.


BEFORE- South West Sidewalk


AFTER- Driveway Entrance


BEFORE – West Garden Fire Pit and toxic railway ties.


AFTER – West Garden Fire Pit and Patio: luxury of space is always beautiful, even in the rain.


After – West Garden View: Low maintenance boxwood garden, smooth garden zone transition, distant focal point and new BC Greenhouse (8×12).


AFTER – Evening Winter View: How delightful! Four season interests and nice view from the house.


BEFORE – East Garden: poor grade, no stairs, bad eavestrough drains, broken plastic basement window covers.


AFTER – East Garden: Utilitarian space, improved grade, new eavestroughs and relocated downspouts which are now connected to French drains, Techo-Bloc stairs, clean and low maintenance European gravel,


BEFORE – Greenhouse Area


AFTER – BC Greenhouse mounted on concrete Techo-Bloc Borealis which look like real wood. Pollinator garden with the Famous Miss Kawartha sculpture as a focal point. We have relocated the old entrance arbor (restored and will be painted forest green) opening up to a path that leads to the century log barn which has been transformed into an artist studio. This greenhouse area will be enhanced with additional gardens in the spring 2019. It is in fact the reconstruction of our Midnight in Paris Show Garden.


Construction – Greenhouse


Construction – Greenhouse


Construction – Greenhouse


AFTER – Greenhouse


West Greenhousegarden2018-ModernlandscapeDesigners
AFTER – Greenhouse area: Freshly planted “Knockout” yellow roses, yews and perennials garden.


BEFORE – Farm North East Garden: Bad grade and slope, dilapidated old fence, overgrown vegetation and rusted wheelbarrow ditched in the woods.


Construction – North Garden: fence removed, opening up the space and the view and correcting the grade.


Construction-North Garden: French Drain installation, vegetation pruned.


Construction – North Garden: Improved Grade.


BEFORE – North East Garden: bad grade, no stairs, bad eaves trough drains, plastic window covers and messy lawn


Let’s fix it!


Construction – Old flag stone path removed. Vegetation pruning process started to take place.


Construction – West Garden: widening the walkway to offer luxury of space and improving grade. Eavestroughs are now going to French drains.


Construction – West Garden grading



Construction-West Garden Path Grading


Construction-WestGardenNewTecho-Bloc PathModernLandscapeDesigners
Construction-West Garden New Techo-Bloc Path


After all this, the South Garden to be continued next year…


The designer for this project is Julie Moore-Cantieni. She is the founder and visionary of Modern Landscape Designers. Julie received the “Tony Di Giovanni Award – Judges Choice Garden of the Year 2018” and “The S.G. Ulbright Award – Outstanding Medium Size Garden 2018” with the spectacular Midnight in Paris sponsored by Techo-Bloc. Previously, her “Stingray” show garden won the award of “Outstanding Use of Innovative Elements in a Garden 2016” at Canada Blooms that year. You deserve the best, so talk to us and book your professional landscape consultation Today!

Julie Moore-Cantieni

Julie Moore-Cantieni

Brilliant Landscape Designer