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Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden in the Okanagan Valley

By: Kim Charles

Blue spruce and roses

Wendy Newman from British Columbia has plants that stand out in her garden throughout all seasons.

"My garden in Oliver, BC is in the heart of the South Okanagan, an area known for its sunshine and hot, dry summers. However, I live on the floodplain of the Okanagan River, where we are surrounded by tall cottonwoods and weeping willows interspersed with water birch and lushly growing red osier dogwood. When I moved to the Okanagan Valley five years ago, the property had some fine tall trees planted along the property line with most of the rest a wide expanse of lawn with small flower beds around the house. Since then I've created wide borders, terraces, and islands for planting. The front of the property is now filled with shrubs, perennials and many self-sowing annuals and biennials. The backyard incudes an old horse barn, fields and a boggy wood. Closer to the house the back garden now features a pergola, along with a large kitchen garden and a variety of berries, fruit and nut trees."

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Fall apple picking time

Front garden


Late summer in the back garden

Morning light

Pink roses and juniper

Poppy path

Rose Arch

Shady corner

Sunrise on the golden rain

View Comments


  1. PerenniallyCrazy 10/05/2017

    Wendy, your garden is so vibrant and gorgeous! I can't believe that you've designed and grown your garden in just five years. Would love it if you could share more details of your gardening story and secrets.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 10/05/2017

      Well done Cherry - first cab off the rank without a massive time zone advantage.

  2. frankgreenhalgh 10/05/2017

    Hi Wendy - Nice work creating a such a lovely garden in such a picturesque setting in such a short time. It's a real credit to you. Enjoy those lovely apples! Cheers from Oz

  3. tennisluv 10/05/2017

    Amazing amount of gardening is such a short time. So full of flowers, color and beauty. You have done an awe inspiring amount of work and done it extremely well. Thanks for sharing.

  4. NCYarden 10/05/2017

    Wow, super scenic. Wonderful development of your garden...most impressive. Love all the bordering trees. Thanks for sharing.

  5. user-7007498 10/05/2017

    Wendy, the borrowed views you have from your garden are gorgeous. That is something I often long for. Your perennial beds seem to compliment the landscape. Well done. Will stop back after work to review your post more completely. Great start to my day.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/05/2017

    Wow! The last pic of sun on the rain tree is amazing.

  7. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 10/05/2017

    Looks like you and Mother Nature have a beautiful partnership going on ...do trees like the cottonwoods,weeping willows and water birches grow naturally in your area or have they been deliberately planted at some point? The poppy path is so charming and inviting...perfect for a relaxing stroll. And the breadth of the rose covered arch is quite impressive...looks like you picked the perfect variety to travel up and across the span. Do you recall its name? and is it a rebloomer?

  8. Cheryl A 10/05/2017

    Wendy, your pictures are beautiful - hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to, Morning light would be the winner. I love the blendings of color and texture you have done, and join the others at how you have created a mature garden look in such a short time. Can you tell me what plant has those delightful seed heads in your next to last picture? The seed head looks like clematis, but the surrounding foliage does not. I agree it would be wonderful to see more pictures and hear about how your plan developed.

  9. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 10/05/2017

    Good morning Wendy. We visited your beautiful part of the world last summer and you are lucky to garden there. You've certainly done your part to make it even lovelier. Your path along the poppies looks inviting and I love the sun on your laburnum tree. Thanks for sharing this morning.

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/05/2017

    looks like you've taken a great site and made it amazing. So lush and colorful. You have a weekend retreat every day of the week!

  11. user-783091 10/05/2017

    Great job. Beautiful! How do you keep the deer out??

  12. Dvngardener 10/05/2017

    So many lovely vignettes! I really enjoyed the different photos and views in your garden. Great job Wendy!

  13. user-6536305 10/05/2017

    This is a fine and beautiful Canadian Okanagan garden. Love the large trees and perennials and all. Your garden is so lush stunning. Huge achievement in five years. Would love to see some before photos. Thanks for sharing Wendy!

  14. greengenes 10/05/2017

    What a beautiful oasis you have created Wendy! Such contrast from the dry bare hills around. You have done a wonderful job! I love the weeping willow! Thanks for sharing with us and i hope your fall is fun and creative!

  15. edithdouglas 10/05/2017

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! I must get some poppies. And, the views beyond of the hills give you the best of both worlds. Thanks for sharing, and please do it again.

  16. mhebb 10/05/2017

    What a stunning garden, Wendy. And you have such a wonderful backdrop to work with- your garden looks like an oasis surrounded by those dry hillsides. I really like the plant choice in the shady corner and the pathway with the poppies was inviting me in. Can we see more photos sometime?

  17. user-7008421 10/05/2017

    Beautiful garden! Love the mix of flowering plants and foliage. It looks like a lovely place to enjoy summer's great weather.

  18. anabowers 10/05/2017

    Wendy, what a beautiful haven you've made your garden into. You are so fortunate to have it on such a private area with incredible scenery, and have done a superb job with your diverse and colorful plantings! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  19. grannieannie1 10/05/2017

    So beautifully done, voluptuous plantings and scenic hills which I long for backing your wonderful flowers and fruitful gardens. Thank you so much for sharing.

  20. BTucker9675 10/05/2017

    What a wonderful place for a good wander...

  21. user-7008735 10/05/2017

    You've created an abundant oasis in a relatively short time, Wendy! We visit Osoyoos and Oliver most years, so I know how dry it can be and am always struck by the contrast of the green valley bottoms with the dry hills above. Great wineries in your neighbourhood!

  22. Cenepk10 10/06/2017

    Fabulous. Looks like Devon, England. I'm moving in. :)

  23. bokashiliving 10/06/2017


  24. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 10/06/2017

    Wow, yours is a garden I would like to take a leisurely stroll through. It's so beautiful! Thanks a bunch for sharing.

  25. user-7008938 10/07/2017

    Amazing, Wendy. So beautiful. xoxo

  26. grannieannie1 10/09/2017

    Had to come back for another look. Are those KnockOut roses in front of the blue spruce? We have a spruce that lost some lower limbs and now seeing how pretty yours is I'm wondering if we could plant some under ours. Very dry soil there though so I'm thinking KnockOuts might be able to possibly survive there. Any comments?

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