Garden Photo of the Day

Container Before and After

What a difference a summer makes

Cherry Ong has shared these photos of a container she created for her garden in Richmond, British Columbia, last summer. She used a big container, about 32 inches in diameter, from her favorite source, Pot Inc., and planted it up with all kinds of beautiful plants, with a heavy emphasis on great foliage and flowers playing a supporting role.

Here is the container newly planted up. It includes Fuchsia ‘Hawkhead’ (Zones 7–10), Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’ (Zones 9–10), Fuchsia ‘Autumnale’ (Zones 10–11), Aeonium ‘Velour’ (Zones 10–11), Aeonium arboretum (Zones 10–11), Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’ (Zones 10–11), Aeonium ‘Kiwi’ (Zones 10–11), Salvia officinalis ‘Icterina’ (Zones 4–10), Euphorbia ‘Diamond Snow’ (Zones 10–11), Senecio mandraliscae (blue chalksticks, Zones 9–11), Sedum nussbaumerianum (coppertone stonecrop, Zones 9–11), Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Chocolate Soldier’ (Zones 10–11), and Lantana ‘Royale Pina Colada’ (Zones 8–11).

In the same newly planted container, dark-foliaged succulents and fuchsias contrast with their lighter and gold-variegated counterparts.

And from the other side, the variegated sage really looks amazing.

Here’s what the combo looked like after it had matured at the end of the summer!

The fuchsias really got huge over the summer, and they look so good with all the succulents.

This was definitely a successful planting design!

Did you have any containers you were particularly proud of last summer? Send in photos! It is a great time to share some inspiration as we all plan what we’re going to do for this summer.


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View Comments


  1. nwphilagardener 04/09/2024

    I fully appreciate seeing such a lushly planted container from multiple angles and after a summer's growth. There is also a lesson from seeing how the shape of the empty container truly helps showcase the variety of leaf shapes and textures as they lay across a smooth surface.

    1. perenniallycrazy 04/09/2024

      Thank you. Todd Holloway's designs (Pot Inc) are right on for succulents and many other cool plants!

  2. gardendevas 04/09/2024

    Spectacular, Cherry! Did you plant the succulents in the soil with the other plants, or are they in their own pots?

    1. perenniallycrazy 04/09/2024

      The succulents were planted together with the other plants. The mixture is 40% potting soil 10% compost 50% pumice. Unless it's extremely hot, I only water the rim especially where the fuchsias are. Seemed to work.

  3. Oxdriftgardener 04/09/2024

    That container is beyond gorgeous Cherry. I have some of the same thoughts going through my head as gardendevas. You have combined plants with very different moisture requirements, something that I love but have never been bold enough to try. However you did it you have certainly made them all very happy. You have dared me, now I have to experiment.
    I am guessing I would use my home made very gritty succulent soil mix but water it a little heavier for the non succulents?

    1. perenniallycrazy 04/09/2024

      Thank you! I hope you plant yourself a gorgeous mixed container this year. As I mentioned to gardendevas, the succulents were planted together with the other plants. The mixture is 40% potting soil 10% compost 50% pumice. Unless it's extremely hot, I only water the rim especially where the fuchsias are. Seemed to work. Of course, you can always stick your finger in the soil or use a meter to check moisture. Have fun and hope to see your gorgeous pot at GPOD sometime in the future.

  4. btucker9675 04/09/2024


    1. perenniallycrazy 04/09/2024

      Thank you. What shall we plant this year?

  5. [email protected] 04/09/2024

    I really like seeing this container from so many different angles and at different stages of the season. I especially am thinking of using fuchsias, especially hardy ones, in a very different way! Thanks for another fantastic submission, Cherry!

    1. perenniallycrazy 04/09/2024

      Thank you for your kind words. I love fuchsias and the three in this container are my top favourites. I think cupheas and russelias would look amazing mixed with succulents. Kinda makes me think "what are we going to plant in our summer containers this year?" Happy gardening!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 04/10/2024

    Such professional and elegant design! Great job!

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