Garden Photo of the Day

Belinda’s garden in Ontario, revisited

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Belinda Mayer

We visited Belinda Mayer’s garden in Ontario waaaaaaay back in March of 2012 (refresh your memory HERE), so it was an unexpected but happy surprise to get more photos from her recently. Man, you guys stick around! (and I’m grateful!)

Belinda says, “We live on four acres in Kinburn, Ontario, near Ottawa. Our property is mostly hardwood forest, perfect for maple syrup. (One of the pictures has our sugar shack in it that my husband built and uses to make his own maple syrup.)

“We don’t have any grass in the front yard–the forest ends at my garden edge with a front pathway. I garden with mostly native plants, especially shrubs that provide berries for the birds and wildlife.

“My favourite plants are the native blackeyed Susans I dug up from a construction site that self-seed readily and I transplant every year to any bare spots.”

Still beautiful, Belinda, and that’s a very handsome sugar shack! ****You can read more about Belinda and her garden on her blog:

——Winter is the perfect time to take a photographic stroll through the photos you took in your garden this year……and then send some in to me at [email protected]!

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View Comments


  1. flowerladydi 01/17/2014

    It is charming Belinda!,,,, I love how it all just blends right into the forest,, so naturally,,,, love your large rock borders!,,,, those are some pretty large rocks!,,,
    And,,, I really like your Sumac in the bed by your patio! It is so perfectly shaped!,,,,and I'll bet so pretty in Fall!, and of course your use of the the natives.,, looks like you have a nice veggie garden as well!
    Your front porch is darling,, as is the sugar shack in back! Charming natural getaway is what it looks like to me!!!

  2. wGardens 01/17/2014

    Very inviting... love the pop of color that the Black-eyed Susan's provide... a great bonus that they reseed so readily. Love the backdrop for your gardens of the mature trees... makes the property seem like a cozy, beautiful and private get-away. And that is the cutest sugar-shack I've seen!

  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/17/2014

    I'm really drawn to the rock garden and what looks like salvia in your cobalt-blue containers. I'm thinking of popping that standard red salvia in all over the place for the humming birds this year.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/17/2014

    All those blue planters look so good with the white railing and light siding of your house. Your sugar shack is so handsome...what an awesome job your husband did. Looks like a wonderful destination point as a garden feature although, since he actively makes maple sugar in there, it is highly functional. I love the bright, colorful heading on your blog...delightful picture of one of Mother Nature's miracle creations at work. I'm off to read there and learn more.

  5. tractor1 01/17/2014

    Gardening with the natural native plants is my kind of gardening, and I also move blackeyed susans and daisys on my property to more conspicuous spots where I can enjoy them, I place them around the border of my vegetable garden and at the base of trees I've planted... I like how they return each spring bigger and better and the deer don't eat them. I didn't have any sugar maples so I planted one. Thank you for sharing your lovely garden, Belinda, more photos please!

  6. quinquek 01/17/2014

    This is really lovely, and I appreciate the use of native plants. I like the stone-outlined beds and the balance of formality and cultivation against the wild of the natural setting. Especially like seeing the treatment of a garden nestled right up to the woods, which is what I have and was tharn by for the first 10 years we were here.Still am. LOVE the sugar shack - wanting pancakes.

  7. GrannyMay 01/17/2014

    Belinda you have shown that it is possible to create a beautiful and functional garden and yet blend right in to the existing habitat. I love your use of the native plants in your borders, then adding grasses and other natural looking perennials to continue the harmonious theme - a paradise for the birds and other critters to enjoy undisturbed. Please send fall pictures too. It must look amazing when the forest is briefly aflame with colour!

  8. greengenes 01/17/2014

    Very nice, Belinda! So so green! Your use of the rock around your bed is nice. Are they from your property, too? How wonderful to have those sugar maples and be able to make syrup from them! We buy the stuff and didn't realize just how much it takes to make one small container of it. We saw something on tv about it. Well it must be nice to not have the deer ruining everything! Iam sure it is nice and quiet there as well. Thanks for sharing and have a great new year in gardening!

  9. janetsfolly 01/17/2014

    I, too, must commend you on your artful use of natives! Using the local stone and plants makes your garden look so relaxed and inviting, though I know much hard work went into producing this result. The arched trellis is charming-what do you have growing there? And really, what a delightful sugar house! I'd be tempted to use it as a garden shed if I didn't know the bulk of the equipment inside and NO DIRT ALLOWED!!! Maybe your obviously talented husband could build you a matching potting shed! Lovely gardens, thanks for sharing, Belinda.

  10. Meelianthus 01/17/2014

    Belinda, lovely job blending your gardens into the natural forest and your use of native plants is very inspiring and that is a most inviting looking front porch with all of the color. Thank you for sharing.

  11. NevadaSue 01/17/2014

    Belinda what a delightful place to relax and feed ones soul. I love the picture with the path ,bench and barn bird feeder or house. It looks like a fun walk in the woods. You have done a beautiful job of using the natural stone that blends so nicely into the surroundings. I also love Black-eyed Susans , they add so much cheer I can understand your rescuing them. I've never seen a sumac pruned like yours is and I love it. So gorgeous. The sugar shack is adorable. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  12. birdnerd 01/18/2014

    Thank you for the kind comments everyone, they are very appreciated and made me smile.

    For the questions:
    - the large rocks bordering the beds were all picked out of the woods. A lot of back breaking work that has taken me about 5 years to do. I'm kind of obsessed with rocks. I am lucky that I live on a rocky, hilly property with granite rocks at my disposal.
    - on the trellis I have a honeysuckle. One of my non-natives but it's too good for hummingbirds to resist.

    I love my sumac tree, most people wouldn't use one as a centerpiece in the garden but it was free as it was growing in the ditch and it has really turned out nice. In one of the pots on the patio you can see I'm trying to grow a sumac in there to give more shade, we'll see if it survived its first winter.

    I will try to find some fall photos, I have New England asters everywhere as they are prolific seeders and I transplant them everywhere.


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