Garden Photo of the Day

Downsizing but Still Gardening

Making the most of a small garden

Welcome to Sid and Jackie Pogue’s garden in Edmond, Oklahoma.

With age, Jackie and Sid Pogue downsized in 2020 and are now learning the joys of accessibility and careful plant selection. This new chapter of their garden history, which they call “Less Is Fine but Make It Count,” means building a treasury of Oklahoma-tough favorites in smaller spaces. “We can’t have all the plants we’ve loved over the years,” they say, “but our goal is to create a new treasury of favorites as we garden on.”

pot planted Dragon Wing begoniasA dependable performer in shade containers, Dragon Wing begonias (Begonia hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) are a favorite, so we began with one for welcome at our front door and one at the patio door.

Siberian irisSiberian iris (Iris hybrid, Zone 2–9), left by former homeowners, thrives between a brick fence and a concrete driveway in full sun. Of course, it’s staying!

front garden planting bedsAfter a vicious October ice storm brought down a lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia, Zones 4–9), the spot was perfect for hibiscus (hardy Hibiscus hybrid, Zones 5–9) to love the summer sun. Meanwhile, coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides, annual), Hosta (Zones 3–9), and boxwoods (Buxus, Zones 5–9) add full-season color above creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia, Zones 3–10) along the house front.

Japanese maples and shadier plants in the corner Beyond our small patch of Fescue lawn in the back, smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens, Zones 3–8), liriope (Liriope muscari, Zones 5–10), and Japanese maples (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) enjoy the shade.

Our bald cypress is underplanted with helleboresOur bald cypress (Taxodium distichum, Zones 4–9) is underplanted with hellebores (Helleborus hybrid, Zones 5–9), Hosta, elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta, Zones 7–11 or as a tender bulb), and aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior, Zones 7–11).

Hydrangea and pots of elephant ears and ferns edge the grillA hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9) and pots of elephant’s ear and ferns edge the grill.

handrail kitA downstairs run of flagstone became accessible as a shady container garden after Sid installed a handrail kit.

Swiss chard alongside the pathwayEven a sidewalk edge can become a garden space, here with Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris, annual) and various herbs.

John Fanick phloxAlong the front porch, John Fanick phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘John Fanick’, Zones 4–8) rises above inherited artemisia (Artimisia schmidtiana, Zones 4–8).

Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia, Zones 7–10), rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3–7), Bubblegum petunias (Petunia hybrid, ‘Vista Bubblegum’), and tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica, Zones 8–11 or as an annual) revel in the sunshine along the drive.

Cassia alata or candle bushSenna alata, or candle bush (Zones 9–11 or as annual), joins the sun worship and feeds pollinators.

View Comments


  1. gardendevas 11/12/2021

    Thanks for sharing, and garden on! May you enjoy growing in your lovely new space for many years to come.

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    cynthia2020 11/12/2021

    Jackie and Sid - thank you for sharing photos of your garden and home, what made the cut, and issues you've had to deal with!

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    treasuresmom 11/12/2021

    Very well done. BTW, Sid, love the handrail.

  4. nicki_s 11/12/2021

    Your new home looks lovely, and your downsized garden is just what I would want when my turn comes to downsize.

  5. btucker9675 11/12/2021

    Beautiful space - love seeing right through the entry door to the back. How nice to get the bonus Siberian irises - they are a favorite of mine. Love everything you've done!

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    simplesue 11/12/2021

    Oh that's such a pretty garden!
    I love the photo with the dog showing the Swiss chard/annuals and flag stones along the fence.
    I love the little round edging with the little Japanese Maple, the handrail and the garden gate and's a cozy garden.

  7. user-5117752 11/12/2021

    Oh so charming and well thought out! I particularly like the "sidewalk edge" and plantings. You certainly know what you're doing!

  8. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 11/14/2021

    Beautiful garden spaces. Thank you for sharing your garden.
    Kudos from Finland!

  9. Maggieat11 11/14/2021

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing 🍃.

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