Mary Ann’s Ontario Garden – FineGardening



Mary Ann Van Berlo has been gardening on this 2.4-acre riverfront lot since fall 2012. The yard was still a construction site when she moved in, so all the gardens were installed after that.

The sunny front garden has an English cottage garden feel, and the back garden is a relaxing shady oasis. There is also a large shrub border, a vegetable garden, and a treed area with some interesting specimens.

Mary Ann is the sole gardener, so except for hardscaping (interlock and stonewalls), she does all the design, maintenance, and planting. She enjoys growing the unusual, but she also has many native plants and garden standards.

Mary Ann relies heavily on mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture, and the mulch also feeds the soil as it decomposes. Refreshing the mulch is a major job but is definitely worth the effort.

The garden is in AG CDA Hardiness Zone 5B (USDA 4B) and is located along the St. Lawrence River, near Maitland, Ontario.

Aerial view of the gardenAerial view of the garden

shade garden with hostas and other foliage plantsThe back garden is full of shade-loving plants.

small planting of tropicals and two containers with succulentsThis section of the back garden has some tropical vibes in the ground and in containers, and a view down to the St. Lawrence River.

back yard garden along a riverWide view of the back garden

orange and white flowers in the gardenA huge mass of white clematis (looks like Clematis terniflora Zones 5–9, or possibly Clematis virginiana, Zones 3–9) with yarrow (Achillea hybrid, Zones 4–8) and coreopsis (Coreopsis hybrid, Zones 5–9) blooming in front

mulched garden bed with clumps of daffodils in springSpring in the garden means clouds of daffodils (Narcissus hybrids, Zones 3–8) and a pile of mulch in the background ready to be spread.

densely planted front yard garden with lots of flowersThe front garden in summer

wide view of flower-filled front gardenThe front garden is full of flowers.

another view of flower-filled gardenDaylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids, Zones 4–9) are a mainstay of this garden.

view of stone path from densely planted flower gardenThanks for visiting this beautiful garden!


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here