Our Gardens


We are working towards making our private wheelchair-accessible gardens more open and available for our local community. If you are interested in learning more or helping with this project by sharing your time, talent, or resources, please contact us!

Learn more about our 2022 Goal to improve and extend our wheelchair-accessible gardens:
Rest.Stop.Ranch Accessible Gardens Development Portfolio

Voices from Our Community

Hello Mary,
It was a pleasure meeting with you last week and understanding your vision of creating healing gardens for those who are aging with dementia and for the caregivers who can become overwhelmed with their role of creating physical well-being for their loved ones. The experience of being in nature and communing with the beautiful surroundings with a variety of lovely plant life can be absorbed into comfortable feelings of peace-of -mind, faith, harmony, balance and hope. The effect of being in this moment can re-enforce consciousness of the spirit which can be lighthearted, tranquil, renewed, rested, revived and restored. There is a powerful impact of fulfilled feelings that are implemented by your vision and ongoing commitment to surround others with a natural space of beauty and harmony that provides healing. Wishing you and your very supportive husband continued strength and success as you engage others who will resonate with you in nature. Sending you love and blessings,

– Sharon Currier, Newburyport, MA

I am so impressed by Mary and Karl’s story. After touring their Rest.Stop.Ranch. in Topsfield, I am committed to spreading the word throughout my district about this amazing resource. It is truly a hidden jewel! I have a profound respect for what they learned through the loss of Mary’s mom, and turning their difficult journey into action for the benefit of others suffering from long-term illness, their families, and caregivers. Thank you Karl and Mary for sharing your personal story and amazing property with those who need respite. Your accessible gardens and retreat is something that we all should experience.

– Senator Joan B. Lovely, Salem, MA, representing Second Essex District

Karl and Mary,
As a caretaker for my Mom, and Steve’s Mom, and before they died, Steve’s dad, and his Uncle Paul, I want to say thank you for the extraordinary, loving gift of your garden. It brought me to tears when I clicked on the link and realized what Karl meant when he said he “did a little gardening.”
What open hearted, kind, generous spirits you are. You make me feel braver in this world knowing there are people like you out there. Thank you – when you tend to your garden, you are tending to so many tired hearts – but I think you know that already. You make this world a better place
and we are grateful for it.

– Patty and Steve, Bedford, MA

2016, Jul./Aug., “Rest.Stop.Ranch: Respite for Long-Term Caregivers”
Merrimack Valley Magazine, Issue 11.5,
by Anne Broyles

2016, Apr. 8, “Respite and renewal at the ranch”
Wicked Local Topsfield, and Tri-Town Transcript News,
by Alison D’Amario

2015, Nov. 26, “Memory Cafés take hold”
Wicked Local Natick News,
by Gerry Tuoti

2013, Jun. 20, “Down the Garden Path: Garden gurus share spaces on annual tour”
Wicked Local Topsfield, and Tri-Town Transcript News,
by Kate Evans

Background and History
The MargFMac Front Garden Loop (0.1 mile) provides wheelchair access to seven unique garden areas: The Cut Flower Garden, Orchard Avenue, Fruit and Veggie Garden, Ornamental Tree and Shrub Garden, Raspberry Patch, Cedar Grove and Tunnel and Koi Pond. This accessibility project was completed November, 2011.

The Koi Pond Home Access Trail was our first accessibility project, completed October, 2010.

Karl and Mary with Garden Tools

Karl and Mary with Garden Tools

Karl R. Ackerman and Mary E. MacDonald
Garden Creators & Caretakers
202 Haverhill Rd.
Topsfield, MA, 01983

Our virtual garden tours are enjoyed on mobile phones and home computers by individuals, couples, and families.

Watch previous Seasonal Garden Tours >

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