Garden Photo of the Day

Ray and Mary Ann’s Massachusetts Garden

A garden 40 years in the making

Welcome to Ray and Mary Ann Fontaine’s garden in Brimfield, Massachusetts.

We have been gardening for 43 years. We have hostas for our shady areas, grasses, astilbes, many shrubs, hydrangeas, and conifers. Begonias are our favorite annuals for color, as they are hardy and last until frost.

garden birdhouseWe have many birds in spring who occupy this birdhouse. We also have four more birdhouses around the property and three hummingbird feeders.

Alaska nasturtiumsWe plant Alaska nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus ‘Alaska’, annual) in a container on the deck each year. In the center are white scaevola (Scaevola aemula, annual), which we grow from seed.

HostasHostas are planted along the rock wall around our pond. Red ‘Dragon Wing’ begonias (Begonia ‘Dragon Wing’, annual) grow in the whiskey barrel in the middle of the pond garden.

flower gardenWhen we bought our house this large rock was in our front yard, so we made a flower garden surrounding it. We put in many small conifers and perennials. Rudbeckias and asters give color in the fall, and our favorite begonias in white and pink give us summer color.

shade-loving annualsThis side door is never used, so we planted our shade-loving annuals in pots and decorated the stairs for summer color.

Pots of annualsPots of annuals fill the deck with petunias (Petunia × hybrida), calibrachao (Calibraochoa hybrids), red and scented geraniums (Pelargonium hybrids), and herbs.

Rhododendrons and azaleasRhododendrons and azaleas (Rhododendron species and hybrids, Zones 5–9) fill the yard with color in the spring.

garden pondWe put this pond in 15 years ago. It is in shady area, so on hot summer days we relax and enjoy the sounds of water spilling over the waterfalls. The pond area is planted with hostas, grasses, and shade-loving perennials.

summer gardenThis is our side-yard garden, planted with rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum, Zones 3–9), butterfly bushes (Buddleia davidii, Zones 5–9), kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa, Zones 5–8), hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 6–9), and grasses.

vegetable gardenA hops vine (Humulus lupulus, Zones 4–9) grows on the wooden arch, surrounded by perennials and annuals and conifers. A 50×50 vegetable garden is inside the picket fence, where we grow many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, squashes, beans, cukes, and herbs.


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View Comments


  1. blondie3 12/30/2020

    Now THAT is a beautiful garden, I enjoyed the whole tour, thank you for sharing.

  2. Cenepk10 12/30/2020

    That is so gorgeous !!!! Really beautiful & shows your artistry.

  3. garden1953 12/30/2020

    Very lovely. Thank you for giving me a couple of ideas for my own garden!

  4. PattyLouise 12/30/2020

    Wow! Breathtaking! Magazine worthy!

  5. Carolyn3134 12/30/2020

    Absolutely lovely! I thought I was viewing a well-maintained public garden! Kudos to you and ALL your hard work!!

  6. bsavage 12/30/2020

    So, so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  7. User avater
    PKKing 12/30/2020

    Just stunning! A perfect way to start the day by touring such a beautiful garden!

  8. User avater
    user-7007816 12/30/2020

    You two have done a masterful job of creating a beautiful garden. I particularly like what you did around your big rock, but actually, everything is wonderful.

  9. lilholloway 12/30/2020

    I just want to take a leisurely, very long stroll in this beautiful garden. You both are masters at design. Love, love every aspect of your magic.

  10. madcosta_7 12/30/2020

    WOW! What a beautiful garden. Everything looks perfect and you have given me ideas of using more annuals and of planting seeds to obtain more and more plants. Love It!!

  11. cynthia2020 12/30/2020

    I love every aspect and design - the embodiment of fine gardening.

    Mary Ann and Ray - thank you for sharing!

  12. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/30/2020

    Wow! I need some of that energy that you have. All so very lovely.

  13. cheryl_c 12/30/2020

    Love it all, but especially your water feature. Which type of iris are you growing there? Is it tolerating the shade well, or do you have to replace it regularly? I love your colors and combinations, and love also how you dealt with the large rock - definitely a 'lemons-to-lemonade' transformation!

  14. bdowen 12/30/2020

    Love the garden around the big rock- a nice way to accent a probable relic of our glacial era New England geology.

  15. User avater
    simplesue 12/30/2020

    I so want to walk around your garden- it's so beautiful!

  16. btucker9675 12/30/2020

    What a stunning garden paradise you've created. That huge boulder in your front garden makes for an especially beautiful anchor for that area. You should be proud of all that you've accomplished - thank you for sharing and I wish everyone a Happy, healthy gardening New Year!

  17. user-5117752 12/31/2020

    Would it be all right if I just moved my garden chair around each day when I visit? Oh what happy days must be spent there among the plantings, pond and great rock! Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us. Happy, healthy gardening New Year from me, too!

  18. carolineyoungwilliams 01/05/2021

    Ray and Mary Ann, Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden. I really enjoyed it. It is full of texture, color, well manicured and inviting. I especially enjoyed the Boulder bed, very creative. Your plants are huge and healthy. Great job.

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