Bianca Bodley of Biophilia Design rendered a landscape that rises and flows around the curves and corners of this five-acre property, to capitalize on the modern farmhouse’s 180-degree view of the forest, ocean, and Gulf Islands beyond. Bodley was tasked with converting the Salt Spring Island property’s barren, predominantly clay, topography into a naturalized meadow that would blend seamlessly with the surrounding forest.
To elevate the home’s intimacy upon approach, Bodley’s team added a number of native trees and monochromatic plantings to soften and frame the view of the residence. Her meadow design includes a careful selection of native plants, pollinating perennials, and ornamental grasses to create drifts of colour and texture that repeat throughout the site. Bodley adds that she seeded the majority of the landscape with native grass seed and perennials to reclaim the naturalized areas beyond the gardens directly surrounding the house.
A fine gravel pathway, punctuated by local stone steps, leads down to the landscape’s central feature, a tranquil lap pool. Bodley was responsible for designing a landscape of mass plantings to highlight the pool’s reflective surface. “Using the surrounding earth to produce an undulating topography was key to creating this layered vista,” says Bodley. A tiered amphitheatre of plantings around the pool creates a sense of privacy while gathering spaces connect along meandering pathways.
The relationship between inside and outside is maximized on the waterfront side of the custom-built home with two flagstone patios that generously stretch from one side of the residence to the other to form a common exterior connection between the master bedroom and the guest wing, as well as the extended living room and dining room space. Bodley adds that the lower flagstone patio is separated by a generous stairway and custom corten steel planters to form a planted retention and distinction between the two spaces.
Offering an outdoor dining space with ocean views on one end, the lower patio also boasts a casual gathering area with comfortable seating around a corten steel fire bowl from Paloform.
Adding to the home’s West Coast appeal is the owner’s unique and locally made outdoor sauna. Bodley nestled the custom wood structure into the forest in a position that would make the most of forest views on one side and ocean vistas on the other.
“Perhaps the most unusual feature our build team enjoyed navigating was the creation of a bocce court with stunning views over the residence and down to the ocean. Oyster shells were sourced locally from Fanny Bay Oyster Farm and then crushed and sorted on site to create this playful and engaging landscape feature that welcomes you on the descent toward the house.
From a dusty, barren construction site to a verdant sanctuary of livable space, Bodley’s landscape design underscores the home’s modern approach to embrace its idyllic location and create a dialogue with both forest and ocean vistas.