This summer, Apt613 launched Ottawa’s Best Home Garden, a grassroots contest aimed at showcasing Ottawa’s green thumb and the fine folks who are augmenting the beauty of our city.
And with what success! We only announced the contest in late May and folks sent in 94 nominations of beautiful gardens in Vars, Kanata, Orleans, and anywhere and everywhere in between. It might have something to do with the top prize being a $250 gift card to Robert Plante Greenhouses, generously donated by friends of the blog at Edelman.
We discovered that Ottawa’s gardens are a diverse ecosystem ranging from yards that consisted of every type of plant and flower imaginable (in these parts) to those gardens that primarily consisted of well placed rocks. This competition recognized the diverse approaches to gardening in Ottawa.
Ottawa gardeners clearly put a lot of work into their art. In fact, many of them spend their entire summers adjusting their landscapes here and there. On several occasions, when dropping off these green tickets, we were invited for private tours of the gardens—these gardeners were clearly very pleased with the opportunity to showcase their work—and the competition offered them a unique opportunity to share their art city-wide.
Typically, gardeners were nominated based on their front yard, the part visible to our Apt613 volunteers who hung up the nomination door hangers. Unbeknownst to many of us, the REAL gardens are in the backyard—hidden from plain view. Those with nice gardens in the front usually had REALLY nice gardens in the back. This photo competition enabled the public to view ‘garden art’ that’s usually hidden away.
In July, we announced a shortlist of the top 20 most beautiful, creative, and diverse gardens. You, our valued readers, were then invited to vote for your favourite garden by voting in our google form ballot and by “liking” the Instagram posts on our new dedicated page @bestgarden613. The winner was determined by adding up the ballot votes with Instagram likes.
Without further ado… Let’s see who raked in the prizes. (Pun intended.)
With 20.5 per cent of the popular vote, this year’s grand prize winner is @GouletGardens in Orléans. Congratulations!
Following up with 16.7 per cent and 15.8 per cent, respectively, here are this year’s runners-up, Judy F. in The Glebe and Emily G. in Vars:
We had a blast producing this year’s inaugural contest—we think we’ll do this again! Feel free to sign up for an email notification if you would like to hear about the contest when registration opens in 2022.