No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.

~ Frank Lloyd Wright

St. Vincent Residence

Collaboration was key in this spectacular transformation from a dated brown brick country house with tired foundation plantings, to a sleek, modern residence with an edge. It was the owners’ vision, strong sense of style and willingness to consider suggestions that made this so successful, and their daring choice of the black brick treatment set the tone for this design.

A front entrance approach of square-cut Eramosa limestone leads through a fragrant viburnum allée, opening up to a small private terrace overlooking a field of English Lavender set in washed black granite gravel . Considering the southern exposure and heat storage capacity of the dark brick, the low stone wall along the front elevation of the home was planted in drought-tolerant native grasses and salvia. A jardin potager close to the kitchen includes a variety of herbs set in their pots in black gravel, and two strong metal tuteurs punctuate this delightful space.

"Thomas made our vision become reality with his knowledge and exceptional design sense. We appreciate the beauty and detail of his work every time we drive up to our house. Thomas listens, gently suggests, and executes in a very professional way. He was very hands-on throughout the process and very thorough in follow-up."

Hockley Estate

A restorative pond-side sitting area on this remarkable estate features a host of native plants; a veritable playground for bees and butterflies. The grading was done so that there is a step down to the patio surface: you are sitting “in” the space rather than “on” it.

The feeling of intimacy is reinforced by a perimeter ring of sitting height stones punctuated by up-lit ornamental grasses set in beach stone. Catmint, bee-balm, globe thistle, Joe Pye Weed, lavender, elderberry and coneflower were planted to provide food and habitat for our tireless pollinators from spring through fall. Links on this site will allow you to consider ways to attract, support and enjoy wildlife in your own garden.

"Thom provides remarkable service - understanding our objectives, developing an exciting but practical design of both the hardscape and plantings and taking a very hands-on approach to the execution. His thoughtful attention to even the tiniest details has made the results a delight from Day 1."

Rosemont Water Feature

A bare, dry slope at the back of this rural residence became a verdant, natural space with the installation of this water feature: a series of small waterfall shelves and intermediate rills, flowing to a larger pool at the base. The design challenge was to somehow strongly link this new feature to both the house and the landscape, so that one could be part of it, rather than just look at it.

Limestone slabs were used to link a deck and gazebo at the upper level, and wide stone steps follow the watercourse to a limestone bridge spanning the lower pool to access the intimate lower deck.

To achieve a natural look, plant material was carefully selected to feature foliage and texture rather than flower display, and after just a few years, this all looks - and sounds - like it has been there forever.


Thomas Dean ~ Landscape Design | 416.457.8621 |

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