Garden Photo of the Day

Cherry’s Garden in Spring

It's hard to believe that this is only Cherry's seventh year as a suburban gardener (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada)! Enjoy these photos from her spring collection (yes, the other seasons will be shared soon!).

"Happy New Year Susan and fellow GPODers! 2015 was my 7th year as a passionate suburban gardener and I am thoroughly enjoying it even though I have run out of ground space to plant.  I look forward to trying my hand out in some serious vertical gardening in 2016.  Any suggestions would be most welcome from all. Here are some cherished random photos of our garden in 2015 celebrating the seasons. Wishing everyone a fantastic gardening year!"

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/25/2016

    Ahh, Cherry, I so love the textural harmony of your garden. It makes me want to be more creative and adventuresome in combining plants for that special spark of contrast. And, what is the white plumed flower in the right corner of the final picture? I am completely stumped although I will probably blush with embarrassment if you tell me it's a giant astilbe.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      The white plumed perennial is a False Solomon Seal, Maianthemum racemosa. They look like this early on in the Spring. I believe Susan has added another photo of it above. Have a great day meander1! Stay warm, safe and cozy.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 01/25/2016

        Oh, so tall does it get and is it an enthusiastic spreader?

        1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

          It's about 4 feet tall with blooms (same height as the picket fence). I'd say the spread this year is about the same. It does not appear to be invasive in my garden given its many years to reach this size.

    2. eddireid 01/25/2016

      I know. Me too Mike. Cherry is inspiring isn't she?

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 01/25/2016

        I so agree, Eddi. Ha, she has magic powers!

  2. diane_lasauce 01/25/2016

    Pretty lush Cherry. You have what it takes. Kudos.

  3. greengenes 01/25/2016

    What a treat for today! Cherry, it is hard to believe it has only been seven years for you here! You have a wonderful eye for putting plants together! These photos are just so lovely, graceful and full of variety! Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Thanks Jeanne. Have a great week!

  4. willysmom 01/25/2016

    I just said out loud "Oh! Trilliums!" to no one except the kitten on my lap. What a wonderful surprise to see them on this cold January day. Thank you!

    I'm guessing the white-plumed plant is a False Solomon's Seal, although the flowers don't look exactly right - maybe a cultivar?

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Right on Ginny. I have to say they make a beautiful and long lasting cutflower too.

  5. user-4691082 01/25/2016

    What a welcome treat after winter storm Jonas. Most of the east coast is trying to dig out and be helpful to our older neighbors. I am curious about your brunnera ' Jack Frost'. Mine only bloomed the second year and then disappeared completely...?. What is your secret? I love the colors of the Japanese maple against the hakonechloa. Thank you!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Please stay safe and warm Rhonda. We apply a layer of compost to all our perennials each year. My brunnera is in a bright shade situation. We've discussed problems with growing brunnera and hakonechloa with fellow GPODers, if you live in a warm and humid area, it was suggested that these perennials thrive better beside or near a water feature. I think they like cooler summers and even moisture in the soil. Hope that helps.

  6. jeffgoodearth 01/25/2016

    Cherry, Queen of the Combos,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,this was a welcome treat to see fresh spring growth while surrounded by ice and snow,,,,,,,,,,,gives me hope and this was the light at the end of the tunnel ....I am stumped by that white plumed plant as well

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 01/25/2016

      Ha, now I feel better, Jeff. We'll just have to wait to be surprised or go "Duh, of course!"

      1. jeffgoodearth 01/25/2016

        it looked SO big to be a solomons seal,,,,,,,,,,now i see there are lots more photos/ glad i came back for another look see

    2. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Hang in there Jeff. We're another day closer to Spring.

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2016

    Love seeing your Japanese maples, especially the burgundy leaves agains "all gold". Like most below, I was captivated but the white plumes. I'm certain that Ginny is right; it's someone in that now split up family of Solomon Seals. A Maianthemum racemosum or Smilacina perhaps? It's enormous! Love it. I bought Maianthemum oleracium pink form last year and am hoping it will bulk up to enormous proportions if I can keep it alive!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Sounds like a beauty Tim.

      The white plumed perennial is a False Solomon Seal, Maianthemum racemosa. A close-up below.

      I think Susan just added another photo of it above. Thanks Susan!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2016

        Just stunning Cherry. Does it get berries that are ornamental the rest of the season? Does it wait until winter to go dormant? Cheers to gardens!

        1. willysmom 01/25/2016

          Tim, in my experience it does get a beautiful raceme of (at first mottled then) bright red fruits. By then the leaves have pretty much gone from green- yellow- tan. Not gorgeous fall foliage but the fruits make up for that and last until someone eats them. I've never seen such a beautiful and huge clump though!

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2016

            Thanks, Ginny. That is an amazing, healthy mass of gorgeousness for sure. Not your run-of-the-mill false Solomon's seal, for sure!

        2. perenniallycrazy 01/26/2016

          Yes, it does bear fruit. I've attached some progression shots taken in July and August. We had a particularly long hot dry summer which is unusual for Vancouver. If you look at the photos closely, by planting it beside the Ligularia dentata Britt-Marie Crawford, you can take advantage and cut back the dying stalks as the ligularia flourishes and blooms through the summer months.

  8. sheila_schultz 01/25/2016

    Cherry, your gardens are so HAPPY! They have exploded over the years with so much lush growth that every plant gets to play with it's neighbors! I think that whatever your soil was amended with initially is some sort of magic potion! Haha!
    Where are you thinking about going vertical? Pots? Woolly Pockets?

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Thanks Sheila.

      As for our soil, all we do is layer compost over the garden every Spring. That's about it because it weighs about 1 ton and we really are unable to move anymore after the endeavor is completed.

      As for plans for planting up, I'm hoping to make the walkway between my house the next door neighbor a lush. It's narrow, has no view and receives only 2 hours of sun so it's going to be a challenge. A lightbulb lit in my head when I saw and picked up 9 of these beauties with terra cotta pots from Craigslist for $20 last month. I have a few ideas in my head on what to plant from across my kitchen window and the home office window but I'm not so sure about my carpentry (or my husband's) skills. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

      BTW, I also picked up a couple of damaged mosaic tables for free from the same guy and hope to fix them up for my smaller container gardens. Ideas... ideas... I know I won't be able to do them all but keeps my mind busy and looking forward to the next season.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/26/2016

        Love your finds, Cherry; especially the ceramic table tops. There's got to be something that can be done those tops.
        How is that stretch of soil between the walk and the fence, under the gravel? I'm seeing the tallest, biggest ferns you can find that will spread, punctuated by climbers that will reach the top of the fence to get some sun. Loads of climbers like clematis lover their feet in the shade and head in the the sun.
        Maybe a few super-fastigate but small trees. You can limb them up away from the fence and walkway; as long as they are fairly small trees, the roots shouldn't damage much, although a vendor will really be able to tell you what's what. More and more columnar/fastigate trees are coming on the market.

  9. Sunshine111 01/25/2016

    I am very impressed with all of your combinations of color, form, and texture! It is hard to do on a regular basis and a big garden, but you seem to accomplished it. Bravo !

  10. cynthiamccain 01/25/2016

    After only seven years?! Wow! Beautiful combinations of color, form and texture; I love the Japanese maple/hosta/forest grass. I can't wait to see more photos, Cherry! We're sitting here covered by 30" of snow, and this is a wonderful reminder of life under that blanket of white. Thanks for sharing!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Thanks Cynthia. You should've heard my hubby the first few years.... he was complaining that we didn't have privacy from the neighbors like he wanted as the garden was taking so long to grow in.

  11. user-4691082 01/25/2016

    Thanks for the tips Cherry. I will put them to good use.

  12. GrannyMay 01/25/2016

    Cherry, I love these! Your garden is a beautiful showcase for special plants and interesting combinations.. Well done! Both of the Maianthemum species look very happy there. Great photo of the M. dilatatum!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2016

      I clicked back here, read your comment and wondered how I missed a second Maianthemum species. A browser refresh revealed that this post recently doubled the amount of photos from this morning. Glad you made that comment.

      1. GrannyMay 01/25/2016

        You would never miss a thing, Tim! I refreshed the link when Cherry said Susan had added another photo. My shady areas are way too dry for a lot of recommended shade lovers. I am trying M. dilatatum and might just have to add the M. racemosum. They are supposed to put up with some drought, once established. They'll probably never look as lush as Cherry's do.

        1. eddireid 01/25/2016

          Go ahead - Plant!

      2. sheila_schultz 01/25/2016

        I just checked back myself and noticed the number of photos more than doubled! Originally I was thinking that Cherry really held back on the number of photos she sent to GPOD ;) Funny!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2016

          Those extras that showed up are awesome, aren't they. I did see that Cherry commented that more were posted, as May said, but I must have refreshed two early because they did not show up. Man I am dreaming of spring!

        2. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016


  13. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/25/2016

    Are you trying to torment me in an extra special way, Cherry..are those lilac flowers in the 5th picture down? Sigh, if so, oh, the heavenly fragrance that must fill the air!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Hubby loves it when those three dwarf lilacs bloom in unison. They really do fill the air with their sweet fragrance. =)

      1. eddireid 01/25/2016

        Do you think the dwarfs are more scented? I have only a couple of one variety and they are sited on one side of the front entry where I have to walk through the perfumed air. The opposite side of the entry is planted with Viburnum Fragrans so you may imagine what heaven smells like in the spring and early summer.

        1. perenniallycrazy 01/26/2016

          Not sure if dwarfs are more scented. It could be ours are quite scented because there are three of them side by side.

  14. eddireid 01/25/2016

    Not much time to browse this morning, but I am so glad to have logged on to your post, Cherry, for it is gorgeously tempting. I am in love with the false Solomon's Seal. The wild variety actually loves my crummy soil so guess what I'm buying soon!
    Love,love, love it all. Thank you to you and Susan.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Your patience and passion for gardening will surely pay off for this perennial. She was a slow starter and went dormant in the summer in the first two years, but slowly but surely caught up and grew up to be a real showstopper.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2016

        I'm so glad you made this comment to Eddi, Cherry, because my new M. oleraceum went dormant a bit early last year and I was worried that it bit the dust. I held out hope because it is in one of the most perfect shaded spots in my garden and is not supposed to be a finicky plant. Thanks!

        1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

          Photo 5 is a close-up of the groundcover found at the base of the False Solomon Seal. It's like a mini-me and it's gorgeous scattered around it with miniature hostas interspersed between.

        2. eddireid 01/25/2016

          You probably remember where it was planted, though!

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2016

            Why, yes I do! It is even surrounded by a cage to protect it from marauders..........

      2. eddireid 01/25/2016

        Thank you for the tip, Cherry. I will label this well so that helpful people don't remove it!
        I feel quite excited about finding this gorgeous plant and Oh! The eventual reward when the flowers bloom.

  15. user-6111518 01/25/2016

    Oh my! These are the most inspiring photos ever! Thank you for sharing them. I love your garden. Would love to see more!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Thank you I've posted some photos in the comments section with other GPODers if those interest you.

  16. GrannyCC 01/25/2016

    Wonderful garden Cherry. You obviously take very good care of your soil. Everything is thriving. I will be interested to see your next adventure in vertical growing. You obviously hit a nerve with that Solomon's Seal, it is gorgeous.

  17. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/25/2016

    Cherry, your garden is beautiful and must give you hours of pleasure working in it. That Solomon Seal is one of my favorites. Like Eddi mentioned , the False Solomon Seal does very well in poor soil and I've been planting it wherever nothing else will grow, but I'd like to try some other varieties to see if they're just as hardy. Do you have anything flowering right now in your garden up there in lovely BC?

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      The winter garden has soft quiet blooms mostly skimmias and sweetbox but it surprised me this weekend with a burst of color. The first blooms of my Anna's Red Hellebore which we planted 2 years ago just made its debut. Hope to enjoy the variegated leaves when flowering season is over.

      I'm curious to know what's going on in your winter garden too. Please send or post some photos. I always learn something from all of you.

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 01/26/2016

        Those Helebores are exceptional, especially the Anna's Red. That is definitely one that I will look for this summer. Right now, we have our Yuletide Camellia, all of our Hellebores blooming and our Edgeworthia is showing it's blossoms that will open in Feb or March. Oh, and the Cyclamens are still going strong. Of course, we haven't been home since Jan. 8th so things may have changed. Our growing conditions are pretty much the same as yours since we're on Whidbey Is., close neighbors to the south.

        1. perenniallycrazy 01/27/2016

          Wow! Gorgeous specimens. I would definitely plant an Edgeworthia if I had more real estate to plunk it in. I have no idea if it will do well in a pot. I think you should send in your garden photos to Susan to share with everyone. They surely brightened up my day! Thanks Linda.

  18. annek 01/25/2016

    Just stunning, Cherry. You have filled your space with the most amazing combos and designs. I can hardly wait to see how it looks when you get into your vertical mode!!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      My initial plans for planting upwards are in my comments to Sheila complete with photos. If you have any ideas for planting in a narrow space that only receives 2 hours of sun per day, I would love to hear it.

      1. annek 01/26/2016

        Hmmm, ivies growing on your house side would offer a textural, welcoming green wall, even though ivies can be maintenance-intensive. I'm having a love affair (a continuing one) with clematis, so up voted Tim's recommendation. I also like the idea of drawing one's attention down to whatever stepping stones, mosaics or ground covered pathway you decide upon. A focal point at the end of your pathway would be grand too. I know you've already though of all these options, but you can count my thoughts as seconding your own ?

  19. schatzi 01/25/2016

    J. maples, wine color Trillium (yum!), Solomon's Seal, lilacs, gorgeous color and texture combinations - Cherry, you have it all! And I love it all!

  20. User avater
    HelloFromMD 01/25/2016

    Hi Cherry, you're a master of getting lots of color from foliage. You are running out of room? Have you ventured into the center of your lawn? Some of my favorite vertical plants: Dicentra scandens, Cissus Discolor, Tunbergia alata, and clematis.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/25/2016

      Thanks Nancy. Will look into your suggestions.

  21. Meelianthus 01/26/2016

    Hi Cherry ~ a little late here but was gone all day and so just wanted to say that yes, You are the "Queen' of . . . . . well, everything garden I think. Really beautiful and so refreshing, wonderful photos that makes me so yearn for Spring. The sun was out today so maybe the torrential rains will end - for awhile! Cheers to you.

  22. darylsavage 01/26/2016

    Gorgeous, mazel!

  23. oscarkane 01/27/2016

    Cherry, your gardens are so nice.

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