Front Beauty*


I recently took out some plants that were blocking the view to my house and was looking to replace them with plants and small trees that are specimen like and flower or show interesting characteristics at different times of the year. Or that bloom most of the summer or at different time. I love the cercis canadensis and japanese maple because they are very beautiful and subtle. Anything in that style or humble-like plants of Asian descent are appreciated. Please, any suggestions are welcome. As long as they will survive in North York, Toronto.


What a nice project to design a new front garden. Fall is a good season for planting shrubs and perennials.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) is amazing in bloom in spring; it grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 25 to 35 feet diameter. This tree performs well in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade (part shade is best in hot summer).

Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple) is available in different leaves shapes and colors. It grows 10 to 25 feet tall and the same diameter. This tree performs well in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Before choosing plants for your front garden, you must know

  • Exposition or the light quality (how many hours of sunlight the area receives),
  • Wind direction in winter and summer (strong or cold winds can damage plants)
  • Soil composition and pH
  • Water availability in the soil

There are many wonderful options for you to consider. Below are links to good articles from the Savvy Gardening web site on shrubs for both shade and sun as well as a response on our site for recommendations for small trees:

There are some excellent Toronto Master Gardener Garden Guides available with ideas on perennials and good advice on planting and caring for your plants:

Good luck