Our first goal for this newly-built home in South Oak Bay was to provide enclosure and privacy. Sitting on a corner lot, with an alley running across the back and along one side of the property, and with many windows, the house and yard were extremely exposed.Yew hedging was chosen to enclose the side and back yards – the planting areas for the hedging were narrow so yew was a good choice because it can be kept tightly sheared to keep it in bounds, and it will regrow from old wood if ever it has to be cut back hard. The rich green foliage also makes an excellent backdrop for brightly planted borders.

All the planting beds were edged in boxwood to bring an element of formality and definition to the curving, irregularly-shaped beds. Colour, colour, colour is the mantra here – flowering shrubs and trees provide structure and year-round interest, while pockets planted with perennials and annuals provide strong floral displays from April through October.