12 Nurseries and Garden Centres in Ottawa
Garden season comes late to the capital, but it's finally time to sink your hands into the earth. Here are our 12 favourite nurseries and garden centres in Ottawa.
Thyme for Cover
Drop the experts at Thyme for Cover an email and they'll be happy to recommend a variety of easy-care plants that fit your soil and sun types. Then, send in your list via email or by phone. The staff will confirm availability and book a delivery time. Pre-pay the delivery fee online, then wait for beautiful, green, naturally-grown plants to arrive right in your driveway. You only need to keep plants that you agree are top quality.
Image of boy in garden from Shutterstock.
Saunders Country Critters Zoo and Garden Centre
If you're willing to venture a little farther out of town, try the Saunders Country Nursery, located down the 417 between Kemptville and Spencerville. All their plants are grown right on site, creating a hardy selection suitable to the Ottawa area. But the best feature is their extensive, exotic zoo, with kangaroos, miniature horses, lemurs and emus. Just warn the kids in advance that you will NOT be bringing home a (for sale!) Bengal patterned kitten.
A great all-around garden centre, Richmond Nursery offers a wide-reaching selection of plants at reasonable prices. It's also a first rate spot for toddlers—their shady walkways and bunny hut are always a hit, plus their water garden pond and giant wind chimes are sure to delight.
Rideau Woodland Ramble
A beautiful property near Merrickville, the Woodland Ramble has a great selection of plants but specializes in conifers. The kids will love the ramble itself, a lovely pathway through the woods, decorated with sculptures.
The Children’s Garden at Robert F. Legget Park
Don't have space in your own backyard for a garden? The Children's Garden is a community plot where everyone is invited to drop by for a little planting, weeding and watering action. In addition, the quiet park hosts various crafting, storytime and harvest events throughout the season—see their events guide for a full schedule.
Millers' Farm, Market & Garden Centre
Located just south of Manotick, Millers' Farm is a multi-faceted shop. Not only do they run a full nursery, but you can also purchase some of the best produce in town, whether prepackaged or pick-your-own. And don't even think about leaving without picking up some fresh honey.
Green Thumb Garden Centre
Although it may appeal more to grown-up gardeners, we'd be remiss to leave this little gem off our list. The Green Thumb Garden Centre is located right in the middle of Nepean and features some of the best service and advice in town.
Ritchie Feed & Seed Inc.
Looking to sprout your veggies from seed? Richie's has hundreds of choices, both at their flagship store in the east end, and their smaller shop in Stittsville. Take a seminar on starting a garden, shop for everything you need to attract birds to your backyard and don't miss their BBQ for CHEO on August 8.
Greta's Organic Gardens
If it's organic you're looking for, your best bet is to top up your nursery-bought supplies with an order at Greta's Organic Gardens. She's got the widest selection of organic seeds in town—often carrying varieties not available anywhere else. Easy ordering through her website or over the phone fits any busy family's lifestyle.
Don't forget to wrap up your garden shopping with some kid-friendly supplies. Lee Valley carries child-sized garden tools, as sturdy as they are adorable, as well as great guide books like The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids. Don't forget to pick up a junior-sized spade and rake, too.
Laporte Flowers and Nursery
Our favourite family-friendly plant shop in town, Laporte Nursery in Orleans features a shady play structure, weekend Timbits and a drive-through loading service, great for parents with small kids. Bring your dog, too—pet treats are always on hand.
A great west-end choice for families, Creekside Gardens offers a huge selection of plants, art workshops for kids, a farmers' market on Sundays and preserves and fudge in their shop. See their website for a full schedule of events, including their kid-focused season opening party on May 18.