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Garden Photo of the Day

Splendid Garden Highlights from British Columbia

By Kim Charles

Adeline Kong reminisces on a great summer 2016 in her garden.

"I love logging into Fine Gardening's site everyday especially in the winter months. I get so inspired by the gardeners and their garden.  Fall came too quickly. It's been a great summer for the garden. I started working on another part of the garden last summer. Kept at it all winter till spring. This was just an open field  dotted with few plum trees. I wanted an enclosed garden with a few mix borders surrounding the two plum trees, a cool area for hot summer days. Last fall after I had the beds prepped, I frequented the nurseries looking for plant sales with an open mind for all plant possibilities, even for the ones I don't normally buy. In the spring I went crazy with sowing of the annual seeds I saved from last summer's planting. These filled up the blank spaces for now. Here is the outcome from this summer, far from being done. Looking forward to spring."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 10/19/2016

    Hello there Adeline - You have every right to be very proud of the planning, preparation, planting and progress (the 4 Ps) of the conversion of your open field into a colourful and picturesque part of your gardens. Congratulations on a great achievement. Cheers from Oz

    1. User avater
      Linda on Whidbey 10/19/2016

      Hey Frank, I'm as early as you today since I'm traveling in Germany:)

      1. frankgreenhalgh 10/19/2016

        Hello there Linda - What a pleasant surprise! Hope you are having a great trip and seeing some lovely gardens etc. If you get a chance, have a look at the link to the video our mate Kev. posted yesterday. It showcases the wonderful garden of one of the Aussie visitors (Barbara) to his garden last month. The garden is in SE Queensland, and fair dinkum, it's a ripper. There are plenty of such gardens down here, so I think it might be about time for you and your husband to come back to Oz for a visit. We will definitely look after you guys. Cheers, Frank

        1. User avater
          Linda on Whidbey 10/19/2016

          Thanks, Frank, we may surprise you and do that someday:)

          1. frankgreenhalgh 10/19/2016

            Look forward to that. Stay safe!

    2. adeline_kong 10/19/2016

      Hi Frank,thanks. Warming up at your end? lol the garden is keeping me out of trouble

  2. user-3565112 10/19/2016

    Adeline, From every angle your new garden is terrific. This garden is a beautiful testament to your gardening ability & energy. You've created another PNW masterpiece. Good work & good luck, Joe

    1. adeline_kong 10/19/2016

      Hi Joe, thank you! The out come of winter boredom lol Went a bit crazy when spring came by

  3. peggyjomccrackensheets 10/19/2016

    You've created a dreamscape! Thank you for showing us your hard work.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 10/19/2016

      Hey Peggy - like your term 'dreamscape'!

    2. adeline_kong 10/19/2016

      Thank you Peggy, absolutely my pleasure :D

  4. user-7007498 10/19/2016

    Wow, Adeline. Beautiful garden exploding with color. I love your long borders curving through the landscape. Fronting each border with a single color of marigolds really anchors each border, and allows you to successfully pull off all the colors behind them. Lovely. My favorite photo is the 4th picture with the tree in the foreground to the right and the beds sweeping away from us. Such a great picture. Really pulls me into the landscape. Thanks for sharing.

  5. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 10/19/2016

    I am officially agog over what you have achieved over the course of one hugely productive year. I read your story, looked at your pictures and then had to reread your story and delve into staring hard at the pictures...all the while, my head was thumping with ...Wow, how did she accomplish such amazing results in such a short amount of time!!! I have only seen such effective and abundant uses of annuals at renowned public gardens like Butchart Gardens and Longwood. Will you be repeating the generous use of annuals every year or are planning on more perennials filling in? Hard to argue with the beautiful results of this year.

    1. adeline_kong 10/24/2016

      Thks Meander1 .. I'm a bit obsessed when it comes to completing something that I had started,it's rain or shine deal.. drives my hubby crazy lol I love the way annuals changes the outlook of a perennial bed. Yes, if the existing plants are not too grown in, the annuals will in there competing for attention.

  6. user-4691082 10/19/2016

    I can only echo Michaele(Meander) for those of you that may not know! Adeline, what is in the background of the first photo? Is it a bridge? You have accomplished so much in so short a time... great job! Can't wait to see next years photos. I am busy tearing out, dividing, and discarding! I am getting rid of some daylilies I only bought 3 years ago☹️️. They need to be divided more than I am able. I wish I knew a good home to give them to! BTW, Frank, what is a hectare?

    1. frankgreenhalgh 10/19/2016

      Hi Rhonda - Hectare is a unit for area in the metric system, whereas acre is the imperial and US unit of area. 1 hectare (10,000 square metres) = 2.47 acres. Therefore Barbara's garden is 1.85 acres i.e. a pretty big garden. Did you like it (and Barbara's glasses)?

      I also wondered about the infrastructure in the background of the first photo, Rhonda. Cheerio from Oz

      1. user-4691082 10/19/2016

        Yes, I loved both!!!

    2. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Rhonda! I love day lilies esp in mass plantings! Ahh.. wish I live close by you lol No not a bridge, just a structure for my climbers and to enclose this part of of the garden for a more intimate feel. Built this out of whatever I can find from the garden, mostly from the trees trimmings including the grapevines..my way of garden recycling.

    3. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Rhonda.. my garden recycling...

      1. user-4691082 10/20/2016

        I went through your before photos. Yowza! A lot of work! Thanks for a photo of your "bridge"! You are the quintessential gardener- work hard, compost, and recycle...awe inspiring!

  7. chelleisdiggin 10/19/2016

    Adeline, I think you have accomplished something that I never thought would happen. I am beginning to rethink annuals. Except for a few hanging pots or to fill in an unused space in the veggie garden, I have always thought of annuals as just too much work for too brief a reward. Your pictures are amazing! I started a new garden bed this spring, but other than my anchor shrubs, all I have is a lot of blank space. You have created a wonderland of color.

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thk you Chelleisdiggin, lol, annuals are my quick fix. They are my answers to everything. If I don't know what to put into the beds.. guess what goes in, I call them my filler uppers. They are a bit of work if you are tight on time, the clean up in fall and putting them in yr after year. I find, depending on what I put in, the garden is never the same year after year, that's what I love about it.love experimenting with colors and textures. However perennials are my mainstays

  8. wGardens 10/19/2016

    now there's the perfect example of the "WOW" factor! What an achievement in such a short amount of time. Fabulous! And we'll certainly need more photos.... Congratulations!

  9. hontell 10/19/2016

    WOW Adeline, your beds are amazing. I love how the lawn sets off the colors. Looks like a park, very peaceful. H

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Howard :D

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/19/2016

    So beautiful. It's great to see a garden with such sweeping views when I garden on a house-locked, small lot. Love what you've done and I think sowing annuals as placeholders is a marvelous idea. I like annuals as reoccurring plantings, too, but am not too keen on bare ground while I plan and wait. What is most fun for me about your photos that I am loving the look of plants I don't normally enjoy: marigolds and zinnias! So nice!

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thk you Tim, I always love the yellow marigolds and zinnias. For one, they are so easy to grow. Once established they required little care. I can only garden on my off work days and after taking care of the family. So not able fuss over the plants. My dream is,1 day I'll be able to do just that

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/20/2016

        I fuss too much! My kids are grown, but still don't have enough time to garden on my tiny lot the way I would like. I'm trying to eliminate some of the more time-consuming plants and replace with less-demanding plants. Who knows? Maybe some day I'll be planting lots of marigolds and zinnias! They sure pack a punch.

  11. thevioletfern 10/19/2016

    Beautiful! I love curves in the garden. You have done an exceptional job in outlining your beds - great bones! I no longer can grow annuals as I don't have any "bare patches" and they cannot compete with my perennial plantings - enjoy! P.S. don't forget about bulbs.

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Kathy, I think in a few yrs it will be filled up with perennials. But I try to leave just a bit of space for the annuals for the bright colors. Oh I love spring blooms, . hitting the sales for them lol

  12. Schatzi 10/19/2016

    Butchart has competition! Gorgeous!

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      lol Thks Shirley, I wish!

      1. Schatzi 10/21/2016

        O.K., so it's on a smaller scale - it's still gorgeous! Your vision and ambition amaze me. I don't have the strength or stamina for that anymore. But I still enjoy the garden -
        everyone's garden, actually.

  13. user-3058938 10/19/2016

    You did that in one year? Holy cow! Sure puts me to shame.

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Elaine, all I see in my mind's eye is the out come and I want it by summer.. this gardener had yet to learn to be patient lol

  14. VikkiVA 10/19/2016

    Wow Adeline, such a riot of color. Your colorful beds and lovely green ribbons of grass make for a stunning scene. Vikki in VA

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thk you Vikki :D

  15. GrannyCC 10/19/2016

    Wow for sure. It looks like a park with the meandering beds and the grass pathways. You have done a beautiful job.

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thk you Catherine!

  16. adeline_kong 10/19/2016

    Thks Diane, I have to admit, I bit off more than I can chew. wasn't able to totally sit back, drink my coffee and read my bk. A bit more weeding than I anticipated but by mid summer except for watering, didn't have to do very much except enjoy the blooms. Hopefuls next year the perennials will do their bit. But I do love the bright colored annuals

  17. user-7008279 10/19/2016

    Marvelous and inspiring accomplishment. I wonder if you have any "before" shots of the field and if you could describe what you did to prepare the beds, as well as whether you retained any help to do that. I have about 1/3-acre of open field to work.

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Hi Jack, thk you! yes I do have the before photos.I have to say, because I wanted a quick outcome, I had not put a lot of effort in the soil prep. I just basically allocated where I wanted the beds to be, removed the sod and dug up the dirt. I however tried to add in soil from my compost for planting. Did the prep on my own, worked on it in mid summer & through till spring. Totally enjoyed the time spent doing it. Have fun with yours. Love to see the end results

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/20/2016

        Thanks for sharing the 'before' shot. Really highlights the work you've done.

      2. user-7008279 10/20/2016

        Even more inspiring than the outcome itself is your vision and dedication to make it happen. I really need to make better use of my time to make my vision real. Thanks, Adeline. Now I have no excuse.

  18. Meelianthus 10/19/2016

    Oh Adeline! Your gardens are simply beautiful . Such an abundance of wonderful color and so many varieties. I especially like the first photo as it draws you down the garden path. Looks like you have a lot of room to work with and a lot of sun. Really beautiful.

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Meelianthus! I get all my inspiration from the avid gardeners out there. Scoured through magazines, gardening sites and garden groups. Yes, still some space left, so looking forward to next year!

  19. Foxglove12 10/19/2016

    A beautiful garden and a beautiful vision!
    Difficult to see the open field now. Great job!

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Lori, always wanted a cottage garden, still not quite that yet. My husband commented that I won't have space for anything else at the rate I'm plopping in the plants lol

  20. Cenepk10 10/19/2016

    Wow !!!! Stunning! Something for everyone: Parklike setting, FLOWERS So lovely.

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Cenepk10. Really satisfying when you see everything blooming so well :)

  21. Cheryl A 10/20/2016

    What a feast of color, not only to our eyes, but imagine how the butterflies and polinators felt when they happened across this in their travels! And the zinnia seeds will be a feast for your birds during the winter as well. Great job!

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Cheryl,oh yes, humming birds and all, best part of having a garden

      1. Cheryl A 10/20/2016

        Agreed! I'm having to replant our entrance garden, and this time I'm not only moving to blooming shrubs, but also to berry-makers, so I can watch the birds all winter feeding on my buffet!

  22. Chalis2 10/20/2016

    Oh my, what an absolutely splendid garden...full of sweeps and curves and luscious color! You had a vision and you've definitely brought it to fruition. Those lovely trees serve as wonderful anchors for your plantings. Are you ever on a garden tour? You should be!!

    1. adeline_kong 10/20/2016

      Thks Ellie, no not part of the garden tour, love to be part of it 1 day

  23. PerenniallyCrazy 10/22/2016

    Your garden is a sprawling wonder Adeline! Congratulations on a job very well done. Where exactly is your garden in the Lower Mainland? Ever host garden tours? I'd love to see it in person some day.

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