Greening up a 6 by 10 foot patch of yard in Toronto


Hi, We have a contained 8.5 x by 16 foot patch of South facing front yard in mid Toronto, awaiting plants. Below it is a 2.5 x 8.5 foot patch (also contained.) photo attached.
Both “containers” have 3 feet of good topsoil, drain well and get lots of sun. I’d like to plant native species and would also like to soften the fortress like retaining walls with something cascading that works all seasons (eg crawling Juniper?) Any suggestions? Do you know where I might find wild (or close to it) seeds for daisies and brown eyes Susan’s?

Many thanks, M Romaniuk toronto


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

I’m delighted to hear that you’re planting native species. The bees, butterflies and other pollinators will thank you. Although I was not able to access your photos, your two garden “containers” sound ideal for growing sun-loving native plants. A great resource I recommend is linked below:

Gardening with Native Shrubs – A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

This guide has a wealth of information that will be useful to you including:  getting started with a native plant garden, site assessment, making a plan, choosing the plants, etc.

Creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) is a great choice for a four-season native that loves full sun. Although non-native, Cotoneaster spp. is another four-season interest plant (blooms in the spring, berries in the summer/fall/winter, fall colour, and winter interest), that I’ve frequently seen cascading effectively along retaining walls – Cotoneaster dammier and cotoneaster adpressus are known for cascading.

A handy chart listing natives that are particularly beneficial for providing food and habitat is found at:

Native Plants for Habitat – Native Plants of Interest – A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Two other helpful links to find a supplier in order to purchase seeds for native plants are:

Canadian Wildlife Federation – Native Plant Suppliers

Credit Valley Conservation – Guide to Native Plant Nurseries   (includes a chart showing suppliers who sell seeds)

Good luck with your front garden.  I’m sure in no time your garden will be the envy of your neighbours.