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Garden #18: Rita.

Announcing the shortlist for Ottawa’s Best Home Garden 2022! Cast your vote by Sept. 14

By Apartment613 on September 7, 2022

The shortlist is here! Voting for Ottawa’s Best Home Garden has opened. Please cast your votes by September 14.

The winners of the second-ever Ottawa’s Best Home Garden contest will each receive a $250 gift card for Robert Plante Greenhouses, in the two respective categories of House and Apartment gardens. Plus, five raffle winners will receive gift cards to Ritchie Feed & Seed

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 Ottawa homes, inviting folks to participate in our second-ever gardening contest. Many neighbours generously nominated people in their ‘hoods, 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 from Robert Plante Greenhouses. for the two grand prize winners in two categories and five $50 gift cards to Ritchie Feed & Seed raffled off to random lucky participants. We also had the pleasure of collaborating with local organizations such as Gardens Ottawa, which is doing a lot of work around the Year of the Garden in Canada, and local businesses such as The Urban Botanist.

To enter our contest, folks were asked to send recent photos of their house or apartment garden taken in 2022. Apt613 fielded many registrations, from which we’ve selected two shortlists of contenders for the two big final prizes. Below, you’ll find photos from each garden that made our shortlists. Note that this year we placed a big focus on biodiversity and sustainability! We were SO pleased to hear how many gardeners in Ottawa gently care for their flowers, plants, AND wildlife when gardening. We included a small description from each gardener about their biodiversity efforts. Save the bees!

Voting Rules

Here is how to vote:

  • View the photos of the gardens below. You can click on a photo for a closer look, then click the “back arrow” in your browser to return to the post.
  • Vote for your single favourite garden in each category with this Google form. One vote per person.

The Shortlist

In no particular order:

House Gardens

Name: AdaG.
Neighbourhood: Stittsville

“I have some native species. I use crushed eggshells and Miracle-gro and Epsom salt and rainwater. We have a lot of birds here. For the lawn we do not use anything at all. We just cut the grass and plant seeds.”

Vote for Garden #1

Name: John P.
Neighbourhood: Blackburn Hamlet

“Butterflies and bees are attracted to the Joe Pye weed (eutrochium) and the canna lilies and roses. The bird bath gives wildlife a chance to cool off and get a drink. The birdhouse attracts a friendly nuthatch family every spring. The salvia, bee balm, and roses, along with the hummingbird feeder, attract many hummingbirds. We use Earth Blend products to control the Japanese beetle population.”

Vote for Garden #2

Name: Foehn
Neighbourhood: Bridlewood

“Responsible gardening is important to me. I meticulously researched the species I selected for my property so that I wouldn’t be introducing invasive plants, and painstakingly removed many invasives that were present when we moved here. I’ve included at least 15 different native species in my design, and some multiples of the same native species. I continue to add and propagate more natives each year as I can acquire them. The non-native plants I use are either non-spreading and/or contained from the surrounding environment. I made sure to include a variety of perennial flowering species that bloom at different times of the year. This is beneficial in that pollinators can access flowers for the entire growing season. Choosing perennials ensures less waste replacing the plants each year. I also grow food on my property, and some of it is blended in with the ornamental plants. I provide a mason bee house, nesting materials for birds, nectar for hummingbirds, and water. I let some flowers go to seed so that birds can eat them. I pull weeds by hand and don’t use herbicide. I use nematodes and other natural pest control. I use natural mulch and make my own compost out of clippings, vegetable scraps, and debris from my own yard. My property is small but I do my best to do my part!”

Vote for Garden #3

Name: Dawn D.
Neighbourhood: Carson Grove – Carson Meadows

“Lots of native species—perhaps 15. A sanctuary for birds with many bird feeders, bird baths, pollinator plants that attract bees, and also many hummingbird-attracting plants. Our pond is all natural and we avoid pesticides to a large extent.”

Vote for Garden #4

Name: Susan O.
Neighbourhood: Elmvale Acres

“Our garden includes native species echinacea, rudbeckia, liatris, trillium, campanula americana and dogwood. These attract pollinators, as do numerous sedums, wild clematis, fragrant hostas and fruit trees. Spring bulbs including crocus, squill, puschkinia, and tulips provide for bees in the early spring. Our garden is completely herbicide- and pesticide-free. There are two bird feeders, two bird baths, and a pond that attract a wide variety of birds.”

Vote for Garden #5

Name: Yves L.
Neighbourhood: Golden Triangle

“I have a bird feeder and grow a lot of plants that attract bees. I don’t use pesticides.”

Vote for Garden #6

Name: Lynn
Neighbourhood: Greenboro

“I attract many different types of birds. I have bird baths, fountains, and finch and hummingbird feeders. I would estimate that I have approximately six+ native birds in my garden. I avoid using pesticides because I value the safety of the wildlife in my garden.”

Vote for Garden #7

Name: Tim and Mimi
Neighbourhood: Hintonburg

Our garden is more than 50% made up of native species.

Vote for Garden #8

Name: Amanda
Neighbourhood: Kanata

“I have numerous native plants, a bird feeder, birds bathe in my pond, bees love my plants, and I don’t use pesticides. There are many types of birds in my yard, along with squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits. Goldfish, snails, waterbugs, dragonflies and numerous insects live in and around the pond.”

Vote for Garden #9

Name: Linda
Neighbourhood: Kanata

“I have bird feeders and baths. No pesticides are used. I take care of multiple native plants.”

Vote for Garden #10

Name: Erika
Neighbourhood: Manotick

“I have lots of native species and have gotten rid of invasive species over the years.”

Vote for Garden #11

Name: Cassie
Neighbourhood: Old Ottawa East

“We have approximately six native species and many pollinator plants (Jacob’s ladder, hostas, bleeding heart, hellebores, etc.), one bird bath, only natural lawn care, no pesticides, and the shed has a green roof!”

Vote for Garden #12

Name: Rudy
Neighbourhood: Old Ottawa East

“Six native species, bird feeders, bird baths and pollinator plants to attract and butterflies. We only use natural lawn and garden care products.”

Vote for Garden #13

Name: Paula B.
Neighbourhood: Orléans

“I do have native species in my garden. Pretty much everything is meant to overwinter in Ottawa except, of course, the annuals. Definitely a sanctuary for wildlife! We have a natural program with Nutrilawn for the first time this year and no pesticides are used.”

Vote for Garden #14

Name: Hanh D.
Neighbourhood: Orléans

“I plant popular plants and flowers from a garden centre. We have many bees. I think my flowers attract bees. I only use compost.”

Vote for Garden #15

Name: Karen
Neighbourhood: Orléans

“I have about a dozen native species or pollinators in the garden. Also, there is a birdhouse, bird feeder, and fountain. We have removed all grass and avoid pesticides.”

Vote for Garden #16

Name: Susan
Neighbourhood: Orléans

“There are six varieties of birds who regularly feed, plus migratory birds that stop over. I have three bird feeders and three bird baths as well as many pollinator plants and three blossoming trees.”

Vote for Garden #17

Name: Rita R.
Neighbourhood: Orléans

“I have native species of foamflower, Jacks-in-the-Pulpit, trilliums, coltsfoot, and trout lilies transplanted decades ago from our nearby forest. Bee balm beloved by bees, a birdbath, and no pesticides.”

Vote for Garden #18

Name: Phil R.
Neighbourhood: Rural Ottawa between Carp and Kinburn

“About 75 varieties of trees, shrubs, and a pond are found on our property. Our property is certified as Backyard Habitat by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. We also are registered as a Monarch Way Station. We have 35 ornamental garden beds, a half-dozen vegetable beds, and a variety of fruiting trees and shrubs on our one-acre property. I am trained as an ecologist and plant physiologist; I do not use pesticides nor known products that negatively impact soil microrganisms and the wide range of insects and other life forms that visit our property. Over the 49 years that we have lived and gardened on our property, we have planted close to 2,000 varieties/cultivars of plants in our beds. (Of course, not all have survived for many reasons!) A unique item is an espaliered combination of four dwarf apples and four grape varieties on the same structure. We also have a small high tunnel for extended seasonal vegetable production.”

Vote for Garden #19

Name: Cecilia T.
Neighbourhood: Stittsville

“I have native species in my garden. Not sure how many, maybe six to 10. I have a bird house, bird feeders, and bird baths. I don’t currently use any lawn care and don’t have much of a problem with pests.”

Vote for Garden #20

Name: Marilyn
Neighbourhood: Vanier

“I have several bird baths and pollinator plants.”

Vote for Garden #21

Name: Karen & Adrian
Neighbourhood: Westboro

“There are over 22 varieties of native plant species. There is a bird bath, a bird feeder, and many pollinator native species. Early fall, each year, there is a massive collection of robins that settle in the backyard for the day during their migration passage through Ottawa. There are also at least seven or eight bird species that frequent the garden, as well as hummingbirds and a multitude of chipmunks and rabbits. We self-compost and never use pesticides. The garden was entirely designed and all stonework laid by the homeowners themselves, including pathways, walls, perennials, trees and shrubs.”

Vote for Garden #22

Name: Tom M.
Neighbourhood: Woodpark

“Organic food garden… about 1lb per sqare foot production. Interesting page Tom manages that might be nice to share:

Vote for Garden #23

Apartment Gardens

Name: Kira
Neighbourhood: Centretown

“Vegetables are all grown from seed. Flowers acquired from Ritchie’s. Dirt is acquired from my in-laws. No pesticides are used.”

Vote for Apartment Garden #1

Name: Lorra
Neighbourhood: Byward Market

“Yes to native species and no pesticides.”

Vote for Apartment Garden #2

Name: Suzy
Neighbourhood: Nepean

Vote for Apartment Garden #3

Voting for Ottawa’s Best Home Garden opens September 7th and goes until September 14th, 2022. The grand prize winner will be announced on on September 15, 2022. Visit for more contest details.