Garden Photo of the Day

Catherine’s garden on Vancouver Island

Cedar front gate
Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of May Kald & Catherine Campbell

Today’s photos are from Catherine Campbell (GrannyCC) on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Catherine says, “My husband Hugh and I built our house in 1996 on 1/2 acre in a very rural area on Southern Vancouver Island. At the time I was working at some commercial greenhouses and was able to get some good deals on trees and hedging materials. Also any perennials that didn’t have names on them were given to staff as they couldn’t sell them without proper labels. For that reason I think the garden was pretty well laid out before the house was even finished! Over the years my husband added all the structures and the front gate.

Front porch

“My garden tends to be overgrown and English cottage style. I have lots of beds and borders, a small pond, a vegetable garden and greenhouse. One of my sunflowers was around 10 feet tall this year. The birds scatter the seeds in the vegetable garden and after the first rototilling the seedlings come up and I transfer the plants to the back of the bed so I have a wonderful display when I look out my kitchen window. I also do numerous pots and hanging baskets.

Containers at front steps

“Earlier this fall my friend May (GrannyMay) came for a visit and took these lovely photos. We visit each others gardens on a regular basis as well as spend many hours exploring the public gardens and garden centers in our area on Vancouver Island.

The frost has come so now it is time to put everything to bed. We had a very mild winter last year so I hope it is true of this year.”

Back porch corner

Now you KNOW we need more photos than this, Catherine. Everything is so beautiful and charming! We must see more.

Containers by the pond

**** The push is still on–get outside and take some last minute shots, or compile a few you took earlier in the season. I’ll be eternally grateful…. Email them to [email protected] Thanks! ****

Pumpkin patch
Dahlias
Hot colours
Giant cardoon
Giant sunflowers in front
Humongous sunflower

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Comments

  1. gloriaj 11/25/2013

    Love , Love every picture. What a wonderful way to enjoy my coffee. Would love to see what you did with your pond as I also have a pond. Oh heck just send more pictures. GrannyMay did a wonderful job taking the pictures.

  2. user-1020932 11/25/2013

    Katherine, you and May are 2 forces of nature and your place is beautiful as is hers. i've always wanted a gate like that but have no place to put it and i covet your Cardoon, no luck with them here . every garden featured from Canada is so lush and full and yours is no exception. i see lime green garden clogs on the porch,,,,,,,,,is Jane Eliz hiding in your garden?

  3. user-1020932 11/25/2013

    Catherine, is that a weeping birch? or katsura? behind the grouping of sunflowers? i just spotted your ceramic starfish, i really need to examine photos more closely before i comment

  4. user-1020932 11/25/2013

    Catherine, is that a weeping birch? or katsura? behind the grouping of sunflowers? i just spotted your ceramic starfish, i really need to examine photos more closely before i comment

  5. flowerladydi 11/25/2013

    It is all so charming Catherine!,, love the green clogs with the wicker chair/green cushion,,,,and yes!,, Great Sunflowers!!! I am curious as to what the spindly looking ' conifer ? ' is directly behind the ' humongous ' sunflower in the last photo?,,, and also, like Jeff ( tntreeman ) if the weepers are birch or katsura?,,
    Charming,,,, all of it!!!

  6. wGardens 11/25/2013

    Love your front gate! (And flagstone path!) What a nice porch to display your hanging baskets! I would like to see more photos also, including the trees.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/25/2013

    Catherine, you and May are so fortunate to be in each other's lives to share your gardening successes (and even failures...often, they are good for a laugh).
    Sincerest compliments to your husband on the front gate...it's one of my most favorite looks and I wish I had one, too. What are the lush plants that are growing on either side of it? I always get fooled by pictures of a cardoon...my first thoughts are "uh, oh, a Canadian thistle" Do they look much different in person from each other? maybe the cardoon does not have such prickly leaves?

  8. user-1020932 11/25/2013

    mike, that's exactly how i lost my cardoon the first attempt. they were mistakenly removed by my helper who proudly told me that they got ALL those thistles out before they went to seed, same thing happened to poppies one year

  9. Quiltingmamma 11/25/2013

    I am always excited to see my 'hometown' photos. Particularly during an Ontario winter (-20C windchill today). That front gate is a show stopper- complete with little bell - what a welcoming scene. I love the lush hollies that grow so well on Vancouver Island, but I am wondering what the vine on the right of the gate is. Welcoming porch, happy veggies and pots; this is just a welcoming and joyous garden today. Thanks for sharing it (and kudos to GrannyM for the wonderful shots).

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/25/2013

    Thanks for sharing and for being a part of what makes Vancouver Island so magical. Lovely! I especially enoy the prickly pear in the container.

  11. tractor1 11/25/2013

    Very nice photo compositions, the wide angles highlight the plantings. I should plant some cardoon, I like thistles in flower and always let them grow on my property, they also have very deep roots that aerate the soil... cardoon are closely related to artichoke and their flavor is very similar. Love that gate!

    Anyone with a holiday turkey in their freezer it should have already been placed in the fridge to thaw, do it now!

  12. Annek 11/25/2013

    Ahhh, your front gate is reminiscent of storybook cottages and country gardens. The planting are so lush! Kudos to you, your husband and photographer GrannyMay.

  13. pattyspencer 11/25/2013

    Gorgeous garden!!!!!!!!!!! So lush!! If that thistle was in my yard I would have pulled it as well not knowing any better - lol

    Tractor1 - My turkey is in the fridge - brineing - my son decided he wanted me to try something different this year so we decided to brine the turkey. This particular recipe will have it brineing for 3 days and has carrots/onions/garlic/celery/spices/sugar/salt all in it.

  14. hortiphila 11/25/2013

    Aren't gardening friends great! Isn't it so much more fun to share our gardens, (and all things horticultural), especially with friends nearby and through this blog, (GPOD), far away garden friends also. Beautiful garden, thanks for sharing.

  15. MichelleGervais 11/25/2013

    Tractor, I bought a 23.34-pound frozen turkey on Friday and stuck it right in the fridge. I sure hope it thaws out by Thursday. Eek!

  16. user-1020932 11/25/2013

    ok, dinner at Michelle's that's enough turkey for a big crowd. if we just show up with wine and food she won't make us leave

  17. GrannyMay 11/25/2013

    Good morning everyone, a special morning to enjoy my friend Catherine's garden again. Catherine and her late husband Hugh combined their talents and built a specially welcoming home and garden, much appreciated by family and friends.

    Believe me, not everyone's cardoons and sunflowers grow so well here! I envy Catherine's lush and productive garden every year, and have given up trying myself - my own green thumb is better with other plants.

    Right now, Catherine's beautiful little pond is pretty well hidden and blocked for safety reasons from access by her young grandson. One day, maybe next spring, I'll try to get pictures when the wisteria is blooming.

  18. user-1020932 11/25/2013

    may, i agree with meander in that you and catherine are lucky to have each other so nearby. trading ideas and plants and just hanging out. catherine, how have you blocked your pond? i have a 2 y/o grandson and he goes straight to the pond and/or fountains and i'm not as quick and bendy as i once was to catch him in time

  19. GardenersWK 11/25/2013

    Very charming garden! I love the first two pictures! The gate screams: you are entering a cottage garden! I love the lush hollie to the right of the gate!
    Did you get any pumpkins this year?
    More pictures please!

  20. user-1020932 11/25/2013

    what kind of holly is that by the gate? i thought it was a camellia but after everyones comments i'm seeing holly leaves too

  21. GrannyMay 11/25/2013

    Hi Jeff, Catherine's pond is mainly bordered by plants, e.g. bamboo, that frame it and discourage access. The accessible side, facing the patio on the west side of the house, is blocked by the bench that you see in the 5th picture on the left. I'll leave further explanations to Catherine (who is probably sleeping in after babysitting on the weekend).

  22. quinquek 11/25/2013

    What a lovely entrance! I love the gate and flagstone walk. Do you spray your walk? Our stones are being overrun by the grass. And the Dahlias look wonderful. I love the cottage garden effect, and GrannyMay did a great job with the photos. I'd love to see some photos of the veg. garden.

  23. wildthyme 11/25/2013

    Catherine, the moon gate is beautiful. I've always been amazed at the workmanship one requires; your husband must be quite skilled. Your garden is so lush and green and makes me long for summer, especially the "hot colors" photo. You've done a great job with the garden (and the house!).

  24. janetsfolly 11/25/2013

    What a lovely group of photos to start a cooooold winter morning! Love the porch, so comfy and welcoming.LOVE the gate! Your husband did a masterful job. Is it some type of cedar that you don't need to paint it? That weathered look is perfect. And the plantings around it are so 'right'. Do you eat the cardoons or just enjoy their architectural splendor? And what is the leafy plant at the feet of the dahlias? Beautiful space, Catherine! So good to have a friend nearby to share it. :-) and thanks for sharing it with us!

  25. wittyone 11/25/2013

    Love, love, love your entry----wonderful gate---it really sets the scene. What is the vine growing on the one side? Does it flower? We will need spring and summer pictures for sure.

  26. Sheila_Schultz 11/25/2013

    Michelle, you sure know how to start out Thanksgiving week on GPOD... thank you for reminding all of us of the gift of friendship.
    Catherine, your gardens are so welcoming, especially when we magically enter your world through the beautiful gate your husband created. Speaking of the gate, May's photo is cover-worthy of a Fine Gardening calendar, don't you think?

  27. GrannyCC 11/25/2013

    Hi fellow gardeners,
    I think my comments might have gone before I finished so here goes again.

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and thank you to May for her marvellous pictures. You sometimes only see your garden through other people eyes.

    The tree behind the sunflowers is a birch in my neighbour's garden. Also there is a Portuguese Laurel and a plum.

    The plants beside the gate are Holly on the left and a Clematis Montana which is growing up a fir tree on the right. The Holly is huge and multi-stemmed and has 2 different type of leaves so I assume it is a male and a female close together. It was here when we built and we asked for it to be left.The gate is red cedar and we chose not to put on a finish although we do power wash it

    The Cardoon is more like an Artichoke and it self seeds easily. It seems to like our sandy soil.

    The walkway is slate so I weed between and add gravel as needed.

    The leafy plant at the foot of the Dahlia is a Peony. Small yellow flower and I will have to look up the name.

    As May said the pond is protected on all sides

  28. GrannyCC 11/25/2013

    Hi fellow gardeners,
    I think my comments might have gone before I finished so here goes again.

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and thank you to May for her marvellous pictures. You sometimes only see your garden through other people eyes.

    The tree behind the sunflowers is a birch in my neighbour's garden. Also there is a Portuguese Laurel and a plum.

    The plants beside the gate are Holly on the left and a Clematis Montana which is growing up a fir tree on the right. The Holly is huge and multi-stemmed and has 2 different type of leaves so I assume it is a male and a female close together. It was here when we built and we asked for it to be left.The gate is red cedar and we chose not to put on a finish although we do power wash it

    The Cardoon is more like an Artichoke and it self seeds easily. It seems to like our sandy soil.

    The walkway is slate so I weed between and add gravel as needed.

    The leafy plant at the foot of the Dahlia is a Peony. Small yellow flower and I will have to look up the name.

    As May said the pond is protected on all sides

  29. GrannyCC 11/25/2013

    Sorry I did it again!!

    The pond is protected on all sides by plants. My grandson is 5 and is fascinated by it so in the one open space I put a bench with the cactus and various other succulents. He knows the cactus will hurt so he keeps back. We don't allow him there without supervision and fortunately it is right by the porch where we sit.

    Cardoons have similar leaves to the artichokes. I think they are the the same family. You are supposed to be able to eat the young leaves but I never have.

  30. Meelianthus 11/25/2013

    What a very charming front porch. So inviting with all of your beautiful and lush hanging baskets. You have created your own little piece of paradise and thank you for sharing with all garden lovers Catherine. Happy Thanksgiving holidays to all in the States (I know you did have your Thanksgiving already as my sister lives in B.C.) Happy winter gardening.

  31. bee1nine 11/25/2013

    Hi Catherine, Love the secluded feel and friendly entrance
    of your front gate. A perfect start for viewing in on your
    lovely and charming cottage style garden scenes. I'm envious
    of the front porch!
    By chance, did you make those gray cement-like trough planters sitting on the bench by the pond?
    Compliments added also to you May for graciously taking these
    nice photos for us to enjoy! :)

  32. GrannyCC 11/25/2013

    bee1nine: Yes I made the troughs by the pool. Our Daughter got married in the garden in 2005 so a friend and I made hypertufa planters and filled them with succulents.

    My husband was a boat builder of wooden boats so the Moon Gate was no problem for him. He knew how to do all the curves.

    Now I will have to find more pictures. I will definitely have May over in the Spring!

    The Peony in front of the Dahlia is Paeonia mlokosewitschii or Mollie-the-witch. The flower is yellow and about 3 inches across. It tends to get lost in the foliage so you have to hunt for it when it is blooming.

    Thanks again for all your nice comments and happy gardening.

  33. tractor1 11/26/2013

    Michelle: Your huge turkey should be defrosted, unless your fridge is exceptionally cold... if possible put it on a higer shelf (heat rises). If you have a fridge thermometer check the temperature at different levels, should range from 36-38 at the bottom to 38-40 at the top. If your fridge is too cold adjust its temperature control... it's normal to readjust summer and winter. But I think you began defrosting early enough. And it's perfectly fine to roast a slightly frozen turkey, some people purposely roast it while it still contains ice crystals in the cavity, the meat will be more moist... pork roasts the same... not beef. Mine is a 16 pounder... won't last long with seven cats. If I needed to feed a lot of guests I'd prepare two smaller turkeys, two 12 pounders can roast together but will require less time, they will make a nicer presentation with one at each end of a long table, will be much easier to carve/serve, will offer four drumsticks, four wings, and smaller birds will have a greater meat to bone ratio.

    I used to use the carcass to make soup but it's not really worth the trouble, now I toss the well picked frame off the back deck and there's not a trace by morning. I'm not a big fan of turkey soup anyway, I prefer chicken or beef. I really only do a turkey for Thanksgiving because that's traditional. For Christmas I do the king of roasts, a fresh ham. Anyone needs culinary advice feel free to ask, cooking is really my forte. Sorry I'm so late, I had doctor appointments today. Enjoy!

  34. tractor1 11/26/2013

    pattyspencer: I know a lot of folks like to brine meats but I'm not keen on it. I think the salt/sugar sucks a lot of the natural moisture out. If I want pickled meat I'd do full fledged corning. But I'd be very interested in hearing how your son's brined turkey turned out.

  35. bee1nine 11/26/2013

    Hi again Catherine,

    I thank you for answering + correcting me on the proper term
    of the planters as hypertufa. I couldn't think of it when posting. Have been tempted to try this myself, once I finally
    get my materials together. Do like the rustic appeal and
    versatility of its use. And certainly would add more fun making some with a friend.

  36. WillysMom 11/26/2013

    It's snowing this morning here in Maine, so special thanks to Catherine and Michelle for this wonderful garden tour. I rely on Garden Photo of the Day all winter for inspiration and reassurance that summer will come, and Catherine's garden is exactly my style - but done so much more beautifully than I could do. Many thanks.

  37. royald 12/07/2013

    Catherine, your pictures are amazing. Your gate is so welcoming, inviting. I know that it was made with love.

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