Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden is Like Fine Wine

As a garden matures, it just gets better and better

Cherry Ong has shared photos of this garden she helped her friend Sylvia create with us before and today she’s giving us a look at how it is maturing and getting better year after year.

This image shows how the garden we planted up in August 2014 has matured. We've lost the heucheras planted there and they have been replaced with cabbages. The slugs obviously love the cabbage, but you have to admit the blue foliage is dreamy.

This is our favorite container of summer 2017! The initial plantings were of alyssum, lavender and heliotrope but we had a heat spell the week after they were planted and they fizzled out. I went out looking for what was available that could withstand the heat and came up with black sweet potato vine and dichondra. We kept the lavender as they were not affected. I wasn't sure that how they would turn out, but was beside myself when I came for a visit in September!

The containers by the front door combine every possible shade of green.

A bed planted by the front door in the summer of 2016 has filled in beautifully.

This is a hanging sphere that I planted for Sylvia's birthday for 2017. She didn't want succulents so we decided on a combination of silver and purple annuals. For 2018, we're hoping to plant it up with potted heuchera divisions. Wish us luck!

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 01/12/2018

    Hey Cherry - the Canadians have certainly put on a show this week! Lovely design work, narrative and horticulture. No wonder you and Sylvia are so pleased with the outcome - and rightfully so! Wonderful colour combinations. The dark potato vine and Silver falls combination works a treat. Thanks for the update. Cheers from Oz

    1. user-6536305 01/12/2018

      Yep, could not belief myself that Cherry's post and my are on two consecutive days and from the same city as well. Great minds thinking alike! Thanks for your comments Frank! Would love to see an Austrian update soon!
      Lorraine Robson, please submit some container plants from your garden asap!

      1. frankgreenhalgh 01/12/2018

        OK here is a taste of down under as a warm up, Lilian.

        1. reubi 01/12/2018

          Oh beautiful! You have parrots?

          1. frankgreenhalgh 01/12/2018

            Yes Robin, but these are rainbow lorikeets.

          2. reubi 01/12/2018

            Ah hah - so beautiful!

          3. user-6536305 01/12/2018

            So you have both parrot and rainbow lorikeets as pets Frank?

          4. frankgreenhalgh 01/12/2018

            This is one of our king parrot 'pets', Lilian. Very tame in our garden.

          5. user-6536305 01/12/2018

            Wow, so pretty! Thanks for sharing.

        2. User avater
          PKKing 01/12/2018

          What a gorgeous color"full" picture. A beautiful sight on a cold, rainy morning here on the east coast of the U.S.! Thank you for posting your beautiful pictures of life in the Down Under.

        3. user-4691082 01/12/2018

          Oh, Frank, that is Beautiful!

        4. User avater
          meander_michaele 01/12/2018

          You get me every time, Frank. What an awesome picture.

        5. sheila_schultz 01/12/2018

          Pretty cool combo Frank!

        6. User avater
          LindaonWhidbey 01/12/2018

          Absolutely beautiful, Frank. Those lorikeets are a national treasure but they almost upstage the flowers, which, of course are also stunning.

        7. user-6536305 01/12/2018

          Oddly beautiful again Frank! Thanks for sharing! Definatelt a warm up. Thanks for sharing!

        8. user-7008735 01/12/2018

          I'm struck by how often Australian flowers look like our Pacific Coast ocean life, Frank. I see Sea Anemones here!

      2. user-7008735 01/12/2018

        I'll see what I can find next week, Lilian. Today I'm in cake-baking mode for a dear friend's "Bon voyage" party this afternoon.

    2. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Frank. Sorry to chime in late. Schedule pretty slammed last week. Love your warm up photo. I've got nothing but wet greys for you from my end.

  2. user-6536305 01/12/2018

    Hello Cherry, always envy at your foliage combinations on containers and I have no clue on how to make it. Love them all especially love the black sweet potato vine, dichondra and Lavender window box. Thanks for sharing!

  3. reubi 01/12/2018

    Oh wow! Love that window box with lavender, sweet potatoe vine and dichondra- what a stunner!!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Robin. What's not to love about black and silver right?

  4. user-3565112 01/12/2018

    Good morning Ms. Org, Thank you for your terrific post this morning. Your friend & you have made some terrific plant combinations. I think the birthday sphere is an outstanding gift & the heuchera idea will work well. I have several in a container that provide year round color despite the sub teen temps. we've had this past month. Having a friend to garden with is indeed a sweet blessing. Good luck to you both, Joe

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Joe. Haven't planted the sphere yet. Maybe we should to get a head start on spring since heucheras take a long time to become beautiful. Have a great day!

  5. NCYarden 01/12/2018

    My, how a garden grows. Sylvia is very fortunate to have you as such a good friend, Cherry. Your combinations are fantastic...I guess we've come to expect it. Love the window box - POW!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks David and Happy New Year to you and your family! I've been very lucky to have Sylvia as a good friend for many many years. As a gardener, I think she won't be needing me in a few years time but I do love coming out and helping her and spending her money.

  6. user-7007498 01/12/2018

    Fabulous garden, Cherry. I love the first photo. The gold Caryopteris is a terrific backdrop. The carex/hydrangea combination is also beautiful. I also love the window planter. You always give us inspiring ideas for containers. I have added this to my list. Well done.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks and Happy New Year Kevin! Our (Sylvia's and Mine) little gardens pale in comparison to yours - can't wait to see what you're up to for Spring and Summer this 2018.

  7. user-4691082 01/12/2018

    Cherry, you have the magic! I had my callicarpa dug up this past summer and planted grass in its place. It was not in a bed, scratched me terribly when I mowed around it, and was difficult to weed under. Now the walkers in my neighborhood are upset with me! My landscaping either brings me joy, or I get rid of it. What I wouldn’t give to live near you!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks for your kind words Rhonda. I'm sorry to hear about your calicarpa. I'd love more gardening neighbors. Maybe one of our avid GPODers live close to you and you can work out a deal like me and Sylvia. Sylvia takes care of my garden if I ever decide to take a vacation so there are many perks to gardening friendships.

  8. claudiasmaletz 01/12/2018

    I love the look of a mature garden and yours just gets better and better.

  9. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/12/2018

    Seeing your beautiful and inspired plant combinations got me thinking about how a talented gardener is like an outstanding symphony conductor...and you both work up a sweat in achieving beauty and harmony! I have always deliberately passed up buying any of the small brown type sedges or grasses because I couldn't envision how they could make a significant contribution to a garden grouping...well, duh...your first picture shows emphatically how lovely they can be. Although subtle in color, that grass adds such a graceful element that everything looks better because it is there. Thanks for lesson in "master" gardening. You are a priceless gem, Cherry!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Awwww, thanks Michaele. Happy New Year to you and Darwin! Funny what you said about the brown sedge. Sylvia's hubby hates them too - thinks they're dead - way back Sylvia planted a bunch of them and he took them all out when he was weeding to her dismay. What I love about them is they're quite vigorous whether on the ground or in a pot but beware since they self-seed.

  10. tennisluv 01/12/2018

    What a wonderful eye for color and combinations you have. Your postings of the plantings you select and you and Silvie install are always a joy to behold. Like the others before me, your window box triad is inspiring and I have a couple of large pots into which that grouping will probably reappear, albeit in a shrunken form, this summer. Can't get lavender to grow in my acid soil and you just gave me a way to enjoy it - above ground. Thanks for sharing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Sonya. Enjoy your silver and black combo with fragrance this summer. Looking forward to all your garden photos this year.

      1. tennisluv 01/16/2018

        Since I am still in the starting point in my garden and have 'backbone' trees and shrubs for the most part, I don't seem to have enough color to entice Joseph into posting any pictures I send at this point. Perhaps you will see something of mine in a year or two.

        1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2018

          I can wait.

  11. sheila_schultz 01/12/2018

    It's fun to see how Sylvia's gardens have matured over the last 3 years, she must be more than pleased! You can also add me to the list of admirer's of the window box plantings, Cherry. It's a stunner in it's simplicity, I love it!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Sheila. I miss your garden photos - hope you have some to share with us soon.

      1. sheila_schultz 01/16/2018

        Only of the jungle surrounding of these days. You know me, I'm not one quick to pick up a camera, or phone! Miss you, too.

  12. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/12/2018

    Wonderful, Cherry and Sylvia. I'm crazy about purple and silver together and that window box is out of this world, as is the hanging basket. The orange Carex integrates beautifully into that front bed scene. Congratulations!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Tim. Looking forward to your rare plants and cool garden photos this 2018.

  13. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/12/2018

    Good morning, Cherry. Your friend certainly is lucky to have you to design gardens and planters for her. The window box planting’s are beautiful and I can only imagine how great it looks when the lavender is in full bloom. Also love the bed with the golden caryopteris. You’ve managed to pack a lot of color and interest into a small space. Good show by the Canadians this week.??

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Linda.

  14. btucker9675 01/12/2018

    Wondrous textures and colors... a feast for the eyes!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thank you.

  15. Chris_N 01/12/2018

    Cherry, I really like the green combo at the entrance. The combinations of textures and shades of green really make it pop. And your window box is wonderful, too. I've loved Dichondra 'Silver Falls' ever since seeing it years ago at Rotary Botanic Gardens in Janesville, WI. There they had great baskets of it hung from a pergola, six to eight feet long streams that made it look truly like a silver falls. I think I'm repeating what someone said below, but your photos are always master classes in planting design.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thank you very much Chris, One of my online gardening friends pointed out to me that there is another dichondra called Emerald Falls that is also just as beautiful. I think we ended up using those on her containers.

  16. cheryl_c 01/12/2018

    Cherry, you had me with the first shot, and I keep going back to that. How early do you put the ornamental cabbage in? We don't see it here until fall - is that because it would just wilt in summer heat and humidity? And what a great recovery for your window box! Isn't it fun when we have to pull things together from what is available, and it turns out amazing? I had a bare spot in a bed this summer, and two 'give- away plants from my favorite grower - some type of fern with a thin upright silvery frond (almost grasslike) and a purple wandering jew - I put them in the bare spot, and they drew more comments than any other combination in that bed! I'll be repeating that, and considering adding dichondra to the mix! Thanks for sharing your continued inspiring photos.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Cheryl. I love your combo of the silvery fern and purple wandering jew - sounds like a real winner especially in the shade. Sylvia and I usually go shopping for replacement plants and container plants around May and I think she did pick up the cabbages at that time. The choices really depend on what's out in the market or what we have in our gardens that we can divide or swap. Looking forward to your garden photos on GPOD this 2018. Have a great week!

  17. user-6536305 01/12/2018

    I agree with Diane that the damage on the cabbages may be caused by cabbage worms. If you don't see slime trace on cabbages, it would future confirm it is caused by cabbage worms.

  18. user-7008735 01/12/2018

    You've got a real eye for colour echoes and combinations, Cherry! Beautiful images!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thank you Lorraine.

  19. Meelianthus 01/12/2018

    Hello Cherry ~ I always so enjoy your creativity. Your mindful planting creations seem to know no bounds and the harmony in your planters is beautiful. The window box with the sweeping dichondra is wonderful. Enjoyed it all ! :)

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

      Thanks Linda. We all love dichondra and last summer I discovered there are two kinds: silver falls and emerald falls. I love them both. Here's the front container of Sylvia's where we planted with purple alyssum and dichondra emerald falls.

      1. Meelianthus 01/16/2018

        Thanks for sharing this photo and info Cherry. :)

  20. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2018

    Thanks Diane. Dichondra is a favorite of mine and I always look for some to plant every summer. I've passed along your advise to Sylvia and we'll see what happens this year.

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