Garden Photo of the Day

Bringing Bright Colors to Small Spaces

An Illinois gardener combines bright plants and creative containers in a small yard

Tamara Kljaic sent in today’s photos from her mother’s garden in Rockford, Illinois. Her mother is a lifelong lover of flowers, and these are some of her favorite images from her garden.

There is no point in taking yourself or your garden too seriously! Clearly Tamara’s mother likes to have a little fun in the garden, and these charmingly painted barrel planters topped with exuberant floral wigs are pure joy!


But there is also room for understatement as well. Here the delicate, fernlike foliage and tiny bright red blooms of cardinal climber (Ipomoea × sloteri, annual) form a delicate wreath around a piece of garden art hanging on the wall.


Bold color combinations are throughout this garden. Here a brilliant yellow-striped canna (probably Canna ‘Tropicanna Gold’, Zones 9–11 or as an annual ) makes fireworks with an even more brilliantly colored coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides, Zone 11 or as an annual).


A wider view of the garden shows the intense color, especially bold red and orange, from the whole row of containers. Container plantings of colorful annuals like this are a great way to get the most out of limited garden space. No need for acres and acres of land to have a garden that makes you happy!


Got an old tire swing the kids don’t play on anymore? Why not paint it bright blue and put flowers in it? No, it might not be to everyone’s taste, but who cares? The right choice for your garden is the choice that makes you happy.


Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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View Comments


  1. user-7020748 08/30/2018

    Love the color combos, puts a smile on your face!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/30/2018

    Seeing these pictures definitely inspires worries or concerns to roll away and smiles to roll in. Thank you, Tamara, for sharing these images. Your mother has a delightful sense of whimsy which goes wonderfully with her love for bright colors.

  3. wittyone 08/30/2018

    This is darling. The colors are wonderful as are your Mom's creative ideas and obvious sense of humor and fun.

  4. user-7017435 08/30/2018

    Good afternoon Ms. Kljac, Only a creative gardener could make an old tire not look out of place. Your Mom's creativity & eye for color combinations works terificly is

  5. [email protected] 08/31/2018

    fun fun fun...

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