Design is not making beauty. Beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love.

~ Louis Kahn, Architect

Town of Mono

Building architecture will strongly shape the outcome of a landscape design. This project involved creating an entrance garden for a new addition to the Municipal Office, and I was favoured to have two important pre-existing features on an otherwise clean slate: an architecturally strong and tasteful building addition, and a long approach walk with a gentle slope from the parking area to the entrance.

The size of the space encouraged mass planting of a relatively small number of plant species, and weathered boulders from the site on the Niagara Escarpment were effectively used to punctuate the jogs in the approach walk. There is something interesting going on in this landscape all seasons of the year.

We receive regular compliments from our residents and visitors regarding the front gardens.

Meaford Museum

The new addition to this wonderful museum presented some design challenges and opportunities. The bare patch of post-construction ground, with exposure to all-day sun and strong winds off the bay, and reliance on volunteers for maintenance, was not the site for anything delicate or fussy.

An adjacent driveway to the marina was used frequently by heavy equipment, so a gently-sloping thirsty lawn was out of the question on all counts. Blocks of limestone strata were used to create a sitting-height wall that strongly defines the space. Reflecting the harbour location, river stone was used as a ground cover, with tough native grasses and salvia popping through.

Mr. Dean has taken a space which was awkward, ugly and required constant maintenance to a beautiful, low maintenance space that many people comment positively upon to staff. He listened to our needs and provided the perfect solution for the space.

Lakeview Memorial Garden

This two-stage project is a co-initiative of the Rotary Club of Meaford and the Municipality. It will eventually have over 120 memorial niches on a beautiful site adjacent to the existing chapel.

Achieving the proper scale was a challenge, as the granite niche monument and walls could easily overpower the relatively small area available. The design approach was to make the limited space feel larger than it is in two ways: by utilizing circuitous pathways within the garden to extend the experience of the journey, and by extending the features and plant materials used in the memorial garden into the adjacent area of the cemetery.

Bench seating within the intimate, walled garden space will include a spectacular pond overlook, complete with resident swans and fountain.


Thomas Dean ~ Landscape Design | 416.457.8621 |

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