Garden Photo of the Day

Creating a Dream Garden

Go with the flow to make a garden you love

Adeline Kong sent in these incredible images of her garden in British Colombia, Canada. She’s shared her garden with us before and it is wonderful to see how her garden as developed! She says that this whole area was just lawn dotted with a few trees, and she installed the new garden beds in the summer of 2015. This is what it looked like last summer, despite a very dry growing season.
We asked Adeline how she goes about designing her rich color combinations, and here’s what she said:

“I have to say, I just run by the seat of my pants when it comes to plants and color selections. I love garden hopping and I’m one of those gardeners who takes home plants with no preplan of plant placement. With 2 acres to play with, all plants are a possibility. However I do prefer bright, cheerful colors for a summer garden to mix with the preexisting trees. Most of the perennials were subdivided from the other parts of the garden and the gaps were packed in with my predictable favorites: marigolds, yellow bidens and zinnias to keep the weeds out. These were mostly from the seeds I collected from the year before. Plants placements are according to colors, plant interest, flowering period and light source. Unfortunately being the impulsive gardener I am, plants more often got placed to wherever, the end results can be a bit jarring to senses but always a happy place for me. My policy in growing a ‘dream’ garden is… if the outcome pleases you, it’s a success.”

What a great attitude to gardening! And, by dividing existing perennials and growing annuals from seeds she collects each year, this incredible display doesn’t need to break the bank either!
Learn more about collecting your own seeds  or dividing perennials.

Perennials, including bright red bee balm (Monarda didyma, Zone 4 – 10), are the backbone of the garden.

Tall zinnias (Zinnia elegans, annual) bring color and food for butterflies to the garden.

Masses of annuals, including cheerful yellow marigolds (Tagetes patula, annual) fill in any open spaces and suppress weeds.

Oh-so-fragrant flowering tobacco (Nicotana alata, annual) self-sows each year in shades of pink and white.

A shady nook looks out to the colorful garden beyond.

An unabashed riot of color!

Every garden needs a bench, a place to stop and enjoy the reward of all the hard work!


Have a garden you’d like to share?


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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. Vezpasia 03/26/2018

    Absolutely my favourite kind of garden, so beautiful, it just works! Thank you for sharing Adeline you have created a paradise I love your approach to planting as I work the same way my self!

  2. flowerladydi 03/26/2018

    Just Lovely Adeline!!!! SOOOO many flowers,, sooo very cheerful,,, and I can totally understand your passion for it all! You are fortunate to have such a large palette to work and ' play ' in!,, always room for something new,, it is really lovely!!,, and I love the way it all just meanders along and flows,, thank you for a bright start to a Monday!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/26/2018

    So many wonderful areas to sit with a cup of coffee & a book. Not sure how much reading I would do with so much beauty to take in.

  4. garden1953 03/26/2018

    WOW! Beautiful and an inspiration. I love everything about it.

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 03/26/2018

    Hello Adeline. What a treat to visit your garden. In my next life, I want to live in BC.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/26/2018

    Hi, Adeline, your garden of many colors has a contagious liveliness about it that probably reflects the happy spirit of its owner. In the best possible way, it sings a joyful song and makes a mere spectator want to join the choir where it seems all are welcome. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures.

  7. user-3565112 03/26/2018

    Good morning Ms. Kong, Following your instincts absolutely works out beautifully for you. The lone shasta daisy in the middle of all that color in the 2nd. photo is (I believe) perfect.
    Thank you for your terrific post this morning,good luck, Joe

  8. sheila_schultz 03/26/2018

    Adeline, you have created a lush garden that would make even a grinch start smiling and burst into laughter! I adore all the color... it’s just plain fun!

  9. Maggieat11 03/26/2018

    Love your gardens, Adeline! So lush, so colorful, so inviting!! You are fortunate to have such a big area to grow so much... with lovely mature trees to enjoy and plan around as well! Looks like a delightful place for weddings and other gatherings, too.

  10. grannieannie1 03/26/2018

    Yes! Any garden that is nature-friendly and relaxed is what I love most to see, and yours is it! Perfect in every way.

  11. Chris_N 03/26/2018

    Oh my, what a way to start the week!What a grand blaze of color. It's certainly cheered up my Monday!

  12. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 03/26/2018

    So bright and cheerful, Adeline. I’ll bet you’re anxious to see this emerge again. We have about the same size garden to play in and have the same attitude of find a plant that you love, then make it fit. Thanks for brightening my Mon.

  13. user-7020748 03/26/2018

    Gorgeous display! What a treat to perk up a Monday morning.

  14. mjensen 03/26/2018

    beautiful, alot of my favorite flowers,

  15. carolineyoungwilliams 03/26/2018

    I fell in love with Adeline's Garden a long time ago and it is still one of my Favorites. May God bless you to continue making your space beautiful.

  16. user-5117752 03/26/2018

    Adeline, that's an absolute WOW from me!!! You're my kind of gardener - color, color, color!!! Your garden makes my heart flutter! Just wonder who helps you clean up?! You are truly terrific!!

  17. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 03/26/2018

    Adeline - your gardens are stunning! I love your style.

  18. foxglove12 03/26/2018

    Absolutely beautiful! I’m assuming you don’t have a deer ? problem.

  19. User avater
    Vel Rhodes 03/26/2018

    Very nice!

  20. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/26/2018

    Looks great. I fly by the seat of my pants, too, and buy plants with no plan or place in mind. I don't have the acreage you have in which to play, but it works. Buy what you love, love what you buy, then cram it in!

  21. Meelianthus 03/26/2018

    Hello Adeline ~ I remember your 'before' photo from a couple of years ago and the tremendous amount of work you did to create your wonderful gardens. They are so charmingly beautiful and you have created a real wonderland. I love all of the colors and plants that you have mixed together and can tell that it is a real labor of LOVE. Thanks for sharing your gardens again. :)

  22. [email protected] 03/26/2018

    Ditto to all the other comments and compliments. And I love the rustic pergola/trellis structure! Thanks!

  23. cheryl_c 03/26/2018

    What luscious beds, what breathtaking colors, what whole hearted joy are in today's photos! Perfect for all of us still just glimpsing hints of coming glory in our own beds. Adeline, you are a gardener after my heart as well - I have an overall sense of what I want to do, and colors I'm watching for, then POW, I spot the 'perfect' plant, and it may not fit what I thought I wanted! Your intuition serves you very well. Thanks for sharing so generously of your play!

  24. user-7044327 03/26/2018

    I love this garden!

  25. btucker9675 03/27/2018

    What a wonderful happy garden!

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