Garden Photo of the Day

Parterre Garden in Ottawa

A formal garden in the front yard

Today Bas Suharto is sharing a beautiful front garden with us.

I live in Ottawa, Ontario (Zone 5b), and today I’m sharing pictures of my front garden. It is a parterre garden, 25 feet by 18 feet, facing southwest.

front yard parterre gardenThe boxwood plants are the extra-hardy variety Buxus ‘Mont Bruno’ (Zones 4–9) from Quebec.

red barberryThe hedge to the left, facing the neighbor laneway, is red barberry (Berberis thunbergii, Zones 4–8).

sweet alyssumThis year the annuals are all in white. The plants facing the sidewalk are sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima, annual).

view of garden from aboveThis is the view from my bedroom window, in a photo taken in summer 2021. The hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata, Zones 3–9) in the center was still in white, and in the geometrical shapes inside the parterre are wax leaf begonias (Begonia semperflorens, annual). The cone-shaped evergreens are Alberta dwarf spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’, Zones 3–6).

garden construction I built the garden in 2009. Right after the construction of the retaining wall was finished, I used my watering can to “draw” the design of the parterre on the soil, the wet soil marking where the hedges would go.

boxwoods and spruce were planted firstLater in 2009, this is how it looked when the boxwoods and spruce were first planted. It took a few years for everything to grow in and create a good shape.

kids love walking around the gardenThis is the look from the front door, in a photo taken by my friend in summer 2017. Kids love to walk around the garden.

the garden in autumn of 2019This picture was taken in the autumn of 2019. The canna lilies (Canna indica, Zones 8–10 or as tender bulbs) along the front house wall had grown very large, and the rose plants were not growing well because they didn’t get enough sun.

At the end of every autumn I planted myosotis or forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica, Zones 3–8, often grown as annuals) to have blue fine flowers in early spring.

Another view of the forget-me-not in spring.Another view of the forget-me-not in spring.

View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 11/03/2021

    That garden would knock your socks off!! Paris in Canada. Amazing. Living in Ottawa’s frigid climate has not stopped you. Well done and Bravo to you.

    1. User avater
      bas_s 11/03/2021

      Thanks. I start to wrap the plants for winter protection this week.

  2. blondie3 11/03/2021

    I love it! Love formal gardens, love that you switch it up with color, well done! Love that it takes up the whole front lawn, and looks neat and tidy all the time…

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/03/2021

    Oh, my, what a scene. Well done!

  4. gardendevas 11/03/2021

    Stunning! Superbly done!

  5. User avater
    carolcowee 11/03/2021

    Lovely. Much as I love a wild, English garden…neat simplicity draws me in…

  6. User avater
    user-7007816 11/03/2021

    Not my style, but I really appreciate the beauty. Well done!

  7. PattyLouise 11/03/2021

    OMGosh! This is beautiful & very inspirational!

  8. User avater
    JanetInCwood 11/03/2021

    You had great vision and carried it out beautifully. Looks amazing.

  9. cheryl_c 11/03/2021

    Excellent~ What a lovely replacement for what would have otherwise been a very flat uninspiring patch of grass! I'm sure your neighborhood loves it - not knowing from year to year exactly what it will become is part of the delight! Thanks. for sharing.

    1. User avater
      cynthia2020 11/03/2021

      Hi, Bas. I enjoyed reading your gardening story and looking at all of the photos. I especially liked the entrancing blue springtime myosotis.

  10. perenniallycrazy 11/03/2021

    Beautiful! Amazing job! 👏👏

  11. User avater
    simplesue 11/03/2021

    Wow! When I first saw this garden photo I was surprised to find out it is not at a fancy public garden- but actually a private garden!
    It is spectacular and an amazing accomplishment!
    I especially love the spring version with the Forget Me Not Flowers!
    Loved seeing the early photos of how it first started out too!

  12. btucker9675 11/03/2021

    What a wondrous garden you've created! It has to be the jewel of your neighborhood. Thanks for sharing!

  13. katherine_8 11/03/2021

    Hello from Mississauga, my fellow Canadian!!
    What a lovely unique and artful garden you have. Your hard work has paid off and must be a welcoming sight both to yourself and your neighbours. Well done :)

  14. bsavage 11/03/2021

    Very beautiful!

  15. user-7673464 11/04/2021

    What a lovely surprise see your garden here. I recognized that I had walked past and admired it about a month ago when I was in Ottawa. I will definitely be back in the spring for a gander at the forget me nots and tulips. Looking forward to what you choose to to do next year. Well done!

  16. Mashabear21 11/12/2021

    My dream is to have a garden like this inpest control allentown pa.

  17. BreanaM 01/10/2022

    Wow! This is so beautiful.

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