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Judy's garden in The Glebe was #12 on our shortlist in 2021.

Announcing the shortlist for Ottawa’s Best Home Garden 2021—Cast your vote by Aug. 13

By Apartment613 on July 24, 2021

The shortlist is here! Voting for Ottawa’s Best Home Garden has opened. Please cast your votes by August 13.

The winner of the very first Ottawa’s Best Home Garden contest will receive a $250 gift card prize for Robert Plante Greenhouses garden centre.

Late this spring, Apartment613 asked readers to look around and notice beautiful gardens in their neighbourhoods. A small batch of green door hangers were left at homes from Cumberland to Kanata, inviting folks to participate in our first-ever gardening contest. Many neighbours generously nominated people in their hood, and some amateur gardeners nominated themselves too after learning about the contest.

Ottawa’s Best Home Garden is a citywide grassroots prize organized by the volunteers of Apartment613. A generous donation by fans of the blog at Edelman meant we could purchase gift card prizes from local garden centres: $250 for the grand prize winner and five $50 gift cards raffled off to random lucky participants.

To enter into our contest, folks were asked to send recent photos of their home garden, taken in 2021. Apt613 fielded a total of 94 (!) registrations, from which we’ve selected a Top 20 list of contenders for the big final prize, a $250 gift card for Robert Plante Greenhouses.

Below, you’ll find one photo from each garden that made our Top 20 shortlist and a short description of each masterpiece of landscaping and flower tending. When voting opens on July 31, we’ll have updated this post for you to see multiple angles of each garden so you can make an informed decision.

Voting Rules

There are two ways to vote:

  1. Vote for your single favourite garden with this google form = 1 vote per person.
  2. Follow @bestgarden613 on Instagram to see multiple angles and close-up photos. Every post you *like* = 1 vote. There’s a photo gallery for each garden on our shortlist.

The Shortlist

In order of Ottawa neighbourhoods from East to West:

Name: Danielle B.
Neighbourhood: Cumberland

We’re loving the woodwork and garden path at Danielle’s spacious backyard in Cumberland. Of all the gardens in this top 20, here’s where we’d most like to throw a garden party! Danielle, if you are reading this, please know we’d love to visit anytime.

Vote for Garden #1

Name: Emily G.
Neighbourhood: Vars

We had to look that up, but Emily’s garden in Vars is indeed eligible! Today we learned the small community of about 1,500 people is part of the City of Ottawa (Cumberland Ward). We love how organized Emily’s garden is and the radiating sunshine just makes it a perfect contender.

Vote for Garden #2

Name: Maria H.
Neighbourhood: Navan

Your eye will be drawn to the old-style windmill weather vane—but look closely so you don’t miss the chickens roaming Maria’s vegetable garden in Navan!

Vote for Garden #3

Name: Henry L.
Neighbourhood: Bilberry Creek

Loving this custom wooden path built through Henry’s back garden near Bilberry Creek. There is so much variety between the trees, lush grasses, and sculptures too.

Vote for Garden #4

Name: Edith T.
Neighbourhood: Crestview

Edith’s east-end garden has everything from planters and beds, to built features and beautiful stonework. We think Edith has done a great job of designing this around the tall spruce tree in their front yard.

Vote for Garden #5

Name: Leslee
Neighbourhood: Queenswood Heights

Leslee’s garden is somewhere we’d love to sip morning coffee, waving to the neighbours. It’s one of the smaller gardens on our shortlist—so cozy!

Vote for Garden #6

Name: @GouletGardens
Neighbourhood: Orléans

Of all the gardens which made the top 20, we believe this is the only one with its own Instagram account. Love the touch of LED lights strewn about the planters, very atmospheric.

Vote for Garden #7

Name: Patricia M.
Neighbourhood: Orléans

That cat is living. the. life. in Patricia’s backyard flower and vegetable garden. We love the vibrancy of this wonderful space (including the bright orange feline).

Vote for Garden #8

Name: Melter
Neighbourhood: Orléans

There’s so much going on in Melter’s frontyard garden. From the birdhouse to stone sculptures and other unique decorations… it shouldn’t work as well as it does! And is that a painting?!

Vote for Garden #9

Name: Judy K. and Claudio S.
Neighbourhood: Orléans

If you could pick one thing from this garden to have for your own… Would it be the birdbath? The pergola? The wrought iron patio set? Or the rose bushes? We have so much garden envy for Judy and Claudio’s romantic place—it would be hard to choose.

Vote for Garden #10

Name: Leonor
Neighbourhood: Heron Park

Leonor’s showpiece is this quaint pond surrounded by flowers, stone, and sculptures. On a quiet evening, just picture yourself sitting nearby listening to the water and crickets in the distance.

Vote for Garden #11

Name: Judy F.
Neighbourhood: The Glebe

It can be difficult to distinguish between a beautiful house and a beautiful garden—but we feel Judy’s place in The Glebe has both elements going for it! So picturesque.

Vote for Garden #12

Name: Vic
Neighbourhood: The Glebe

Vic has carved out a beautiful area in their backyard. Some of the finer details that earned their garden a place in the Top 20 are the birdbath and a pair of birdhouses in the photo below.

Vote for Garden #13

Name: Anonymous
Neighbourhood: Westboro

We’re transported to the lavender fields of southern France at the sight and smell of this beautiful patch in their garden. Bonus points (but not really) for solar power panels on the roof!

Vote for Garden #14

Name: Debbie L.
Neighbourhood: Westboro

We’re not publishing any addresses, but presume that folks who know Debbie’s garden will recognize this immediately. If you’re not sure what the hubbub is all about… zoom in for a closer look. The objects at the base of Debbie’s garden are fossils in display jars. Beside each is a descriptive text. This garden is basically a Museum of Nature exhibit!

Vote for Garden #15

Name: Anjie T.
Neighbourhood: Kanata

“This is my momma’s garden,” wrote the nominator of garden #16, who asked Apt613 to credit the work to Anjie. What a beautiful sentiment.

Vote for Garden #16

Name: Arty S.
Neighbourhood: Kanata

Take a moment to look away and look back at this photo. You need to forget everything you know about gardens. Now you’re ready to see Arty’s front-yard garden in Kanata. That’s a stainless steel sculpture of an artist at the grand piano, handmade by Arty from leftovers of steel used for a music video. It’s lit by a beautiful range of LED lights and there are multiple speakers in the garden playing music too, located right beside the fountain in these grey “stones”. And the fountain is programmed to dance to the music playing (!).

Vote for Garden #17

Name: Jana H.
Neighbourhood: Kanata

We’re in awe of the colours popping out from this photo of Jana’s garden. Her backyard garden in the city’s west end looks like the work of a seasoned gardener. We think, Jana, that this is not your first rodeo. You are definitely ready to compete in Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight.

Vote for Garden #18

Name: CH-JRJ
Neighbourhood: Kanata

Boulders. That’s a power move! CH-JRJ’s garden in Kanata has a great aesthetic. It really feels like the gardening of somebody with a vision—who knows exactly what they’re going for and nailed it. Key visual elements like the hanging planters, ferns, a clock, and bird sculptures draw your eye up and all around the space.

Vote for Garden #19

Name: Phil R.
Neighbourhood: Kinburn

Phil in Kinburn may be a professional landscaper for all we know! Their home garden is an instant classic in our books. This “roundabout” pathway seems so inviting for a stroll and slow pacing around its centrepiece, a stone pineapple fountain.  It’s only at #20 because we’ve ordered this shortlist from east to west.

Vote for Garden #20

Voting for Ottawa’s Best Home Garden will begin on July 31, 2021. The grand prize winner will be announced on on August 14, 2021. Visit for more contest details.