Maria’s Québec Garden

My name is Maria Nieuwenhof. I grew up on a dairy farm with parents who loved flowers and grew a large vegetable garden. So when I got married it was only normal for me to do the same thing. I moved 17 years ago to a new home in Ormstown, in southeastern Québec, where I took the gardens that the previous owner had started and went to work slowly “tweeking” them to my hand. I do not have the names of many of the varieties of flowers; lots of them were given to me by my father and friends. I usually come home with something when I visit friends and their gardens! My favorite hosta is ‘Sum and Substance’ (Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’, Zones 3–8), which has loved the wetter and cooler weather this spring. Bearded irises (Iris hybrids, Zones 3–8) are a big part of my gardens in spring. These yellow ones have been blooming for over a month now. I got these celandine poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum, Zones 4–8) at a garden exchange. They reseed themselves, but I try to keep them in bounds by pulling a lot out before they reseed. Bearded irises are in the background. These oriental poppies (Papaver orientale, Zones 3–8) are blooming for the first time. I started them from seeds last year. I also reseed this pink and white dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Zones 3–9). I am trying to get it to go wild at the edge of my bush. It was given to me by a patient of mine when I worked as a home-care nurse. Here’s my vegetable garden, 2023, with Brussels sprouts and cabbages under floating row cover. I’m trying that this year because I had so many worms last year. More bearded irises My columbines (Aquilegia hybrids, Zones 4–9) reseed themselves all over and fill in the gaps. Lupins (Lupinus polyphyllus, Zones 4–9) are growing in my front bed at the road, with Vanhoutte spireas (Spiraea × vanhouttei, Zones 3–8) blooming beautifully in the background. 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.

Maria’s Québec Garden

My name is Maria Nieuwenhof. I grew up on a dairy farm with parents who loved flowers and grew a large vegetable garden. So when I got married it was only normal for me to do the same thing. I moved 17 years ago to a new home in Ormstown, in southeastern Québec, where I took the gardens that the previous owner had started and went to work slowly “tweeking” them to my hand. I do not have the names of many of the varieties of flowers; lots of them were given to me by my father and friends. I usually come home with something when I visit friends and their gardens!

close up of shade garden with large hostasMy favorite hosta is ‘Sum and Substance’ (Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’, Zones 3–8), which has loved the wetter and cooler weather this spring.

close up of yellow bearded irisesBearded irises (Iris hybrids, Zones 3–8) are a big part of my gardens in spring. These yellow ones have been blooming for over a month now.

garden bed with lots of yellow celandine poppies and blue irises behindI got these celandine poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum, Zones 4–8) at a garden exchange. They reseed themselves, but I try to keep them in bounds by pulling a lot out before they reseed. Bearded irises are in the background.

bright bed poppies with purple irises underneathThese oriental poppies (Papaver orientale, Zones 3–8) are blooming for the first time. I started them from seeds last year.

large planting of Dames RocketI also reseed this pink and white dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Zones 3–9). I am trying to get it to go wild at the edge of my bush. It was given to me by a patient of mine when I worked as a home-care nurse.

vegetable garden with plants just beginning to sproutHere’s my vegetable garden, 2023, with Brussels sprouts and cabbages under floating row cover. I’m trying that this year because I had so many worms last year.

dark purple bearded irises behind light blue/white bearded irisesMore bearded irises

close up of light pink/white columbine flowersMy columbines (Aquilegia hybrids, Zones 4–9) reseed themselves all over and fill in the gaps.

front yard garden bed with pink lupins and foliage plantsLupins (Lupinus polyphyllus, Zones 4–9) are growing in my front bed at the road, with Vanhoutte spireas (Spiraea × vanhouttei, Zones 3–8) blooming beautifully in the background.