Garden Photo of the Day

Cherry’s Home Garden

A small city garden packed with beauty

garden bed with various foliage plants and a white hydrangea

Cherry Ong is a frequent contributor to our “GPOD on the Road” series. But she not only loves visiting beautiful gardens. She has a wonderful garden space of her own at her home in Richmond, British Columbia, and today she’s sharing some summer views from that space.

It’s been hotter than usual, and the spring was colder than usual, but that’s how it goes with gardening.

freshly mowed lawn with garden beds along edgesMy garden was born in June 2008. It was a DIY project borne out of a want for some privacy. Now my greatest challenge is pruning (and learning how to prune), so if you see what Billy Goodnick calls “a crime of horticulture” in these photos, please be gentle with your comments. This photo was taken two nights after I mowed the lawn. I have to admit that I still like a tidy garden.

garden bed with small tree and large mass of ornamental grassHakonechloa macra (Zones 5–9) is one of my favorite ornamental grasses. ‘All-Gold’ in this bed along the west border is quite the show-stopper, as it brightens the shade and has amazing texture. It’s a slow grower but definitely worth the wait. It’s also an excellent container plant.

containers full of summer bloomersI like packing the area outside the back door with seasonal containers. Senecio candicans ‘Angel Wings’ (Zones 8–11 or as an annual) is an all-season favorite for containers. Garden lights are courtesy of my hubby!

close up of a container with white flowers and dark foliageI’ve not had much luck growing Colocasia given our historically cool summers, but this year I succumbed to my love for them. I also love cookies-and-cream/black-and-white plant combinations, and I whip some up every season where I can. The ingredients of this container are Colocasia esculenta ‘Coffee Cups’ (Zones 7–11 or as an annual), Angelonia (Zones 9–11 or as an annual), Euphorbia ‘Starblast Soft Pink’ (annual), Plectranthus scutellarioides ‘Color Blaze Newly Noir’ (Zones 9–11 or as an annual), Ipomoea ‘Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight’ (Zones 10–11 or as an annual) and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ (Zones 8–11 or as an annual).

dish container with small green succulentsWho doesn’t love a bowl of hens and chicks? This one is Sempervivum ‘Bee Golden’ (Zones 5–8) and is from a local breeder/nursery.

garden at desk with interesting bird cageI so love my faux bois birdcage! Those who have seen photos of my younger garden might remember a garden clock in this location. When the clock broke and couldn’t be repaired, I thought it was an opportunity for an upgrade, so I saved up for this beauty from a local specialty nursery! It echoes the dreamy foliage of the Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’ (Zones 5–9).

plant with tiny light pink flowersHow about pink stars to celebrate the summer? Meet Cardiandra alternifolia (Zones 5–9). I’ve had this shrub growing in a container for many years now.

garden bed with various foliage plants and a white hydrangeaIn the west bed, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’ (Zones 4–8) is putting on a summer show. It’s not as showy as it can be, likely because it needs more sun. Hopefully the recent pruning of the Acer palmatum ‘Moonfire’ (Zones 5–9) will be enough of a change for next year’s blooms. Bold foliage stars in this photo are Arisaema ringens (Zones 6–9), Helleborus hybridus ‘Onyx Odyssey’ (Zones 5–9) and Bergenia ciliata ‘Dumbo’ (Zones 5–8).

large hydrangea in a garden bed along evergreen hedgesIn the east bed, another hydrangea is putting on a show. Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ needs no introduction, though I think this one is leggy due to the shade cast by the neighboring Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’ (Zones 5–9) I had to wait until after June 30 before pruning any of my Japanese maples, so that was a limiting factor. Likewise, the summer container with Canna ‘Durban’ (Zones 7–9 or as a tender bulb) has been affected by the same situation. I do hope we have enough of a summer left for the container to reach its full potential. Fingers crossed!

The last photo shows one of my experimental hanging baskets this year. It’s my first time to grow Rhodochiton (Zones 9–11 or as an annual), and I’ve been training it to grow up the hanging basket and onto the Japanese maple. I’m hoping that I’ll have a pretty garland of trumpet flowers hanging from the branches by the end of summer. Wish me luck!

Last thoughts: I long for garden rooms much like those I see in the pages of Fine Gardening magazine. My city garden is diminutive and doesn’t allow for such, so if any of you have ideas on how to achieve this in a small-space garden, I would love to hear about it.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    musabasjoosue 08/09/2022

    I always look forward to touring your beautiful garden Cherry, even if it's virtual!

    1. perenniallycrazy 08/09/2022

      Thank you for your kind words.

  2. nwphilagardener 08/09/2022

    Lush beds with great plant combos, Cherry! My suggestion for creating "rooms" is to carve a bit of space in the beds to locate a bench or a bistro set. Furnishing a garden makes rooms immediately. And there's something purely gracious about the offer of a quiet place to sit (whether or not it's used). And then you can focus on composing plants that compliment another focal element.. Your birdcage is just such a captivating place to land the eye. But it can be a great stone, a birdbath, a portable water feature.

    1. perenniallycrazy 08/09/2022

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll see what I can do. Find those pieces in the garden bed can both be fun and daunting so wish me luck!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/09/2022

    Everything is so pretty, Cherry.

    1. perenniallycrazy 08/09/2022

      Thank you. Always on the lookout for cool plants.

  4. User avater
    simplesue 08/09/2022

    Oh wow, every bit as gorgeous as I would have imagined your garden to be, since you have shared so many beautiful public gardens with us on Fine Gardening's Photo of the Day!
    I totally understand your garden design "for want of privacy" I was just telling a friend how I did the same with my garden.
    I love your plant choices and arrangements- fabulous!

    1. perenniallycrazy 08/09/2022

      Thank you. The garden is always changing and our needs and wants also change. It’s always an adventure so hope we’re all having fun!

  5. garden1953 08/09/2022


    1. perenniallycrazy 08/09/2022

      Thank you!

  6. btucker9675 08/10/2022

    Your garden is, in my eyes, perfect! It's that great combination of looking both natural and artistic and your "birdcage" is lovely. I am not familiar with Cardiandra alternifolia and am going to search it out after seeing yours. Thanks for sharing!

  7. wildthyme 08/16/2022

    I love how you've created color and interest using texture and foliage rather than flowers. It's inspirational for those of us striving to simplify our garden work. Thank you for sharing.

  8. lynda_t 08/30/2022

    Definitely eye candy! Your photos are so well done!

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