Garden Photo of the Day

Embracing the Change of Seasons

By: Kim Charles

Appreciating the details in those gorgeous blooms of Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford'.

Cherry Ong from Richmond, British Columbia shares a handful of the latest happenings in her early fall garden.

Summer (and spring) are always too short for me. I usually have difficulty embracing fall like most other gardeners. I've learned to see the beauty of fall in my own garden over the years thanks to GPOD and its following. Here are some snaps from my garden taken in mid September. Enjoy!"

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A grouping of perennials in the front garden – Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford', Hosta 'August' and Geranium 'Rozanne'.

A view of the front bed which is a predominantly shade garden.

Fern layering in the front bed: Adiantum pedatum and Athyrium niponicum 'Apple court'

A closeup of Apple Court's frilly fronds.

A snap of a newly replanted shade garden. The epimediums were taking over so we redid half of the bed and it seems to be growing in nicely (fingers crossed). 

More layers on another shady bed. This is partly new and partly old. We'll see how they grow in with each other in a couple of years.

I think trillium (this one is Trillium erectum) is just as gorgeous as its flowers.

The backyard about half an hour before the sun sets.  My azalea in front of the Japanese maple bit the dust last year so I've been busy rebuilding that section with a variety of perennials that I like.

Hydrangea 'Quickfire' has certainly grown more statuesque and attractive over the years. My hubby installed a few garden spotlights several years back. It has helped us enjoy the garden during the darker months of the year. 

 Another hydrangea called 'Double Delights Expression' mingling with Leucoseptrum japonicum 'Mountain Madness' and Acer palmatum 'Ukigumo'. 

This is why it's called Double Delights Expression. I hope you guys love those pink tinged foliage of Ukigumo as well.  One can't go wrong with pink in the garden.

It took many years but my Asarum splendens has grown into a beautiful and very behaved clump.

View Comments


  1. frankgreenhalgh 10/02/2017

    Hey Cherry - Great to see your post today and have a virtual tour of your jam-packed and interesting garden. Glad you have come around to enjoying fall/autumn. It is my favourite season down here. I love the crisp mornings, and the sunny, calm days - and I don't have to worry about the approaching winter because it is not harsh in our neck of the woods. I particularly like your backyard and Hydrangea 'Quickfire'. Thanks for sharing. Cheers from Oz

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/02/2017

      Thank you Frank. I haven't contributed in awhile - life's been busy. It's nice to be back though. I envy your winters - so many wonderful varieties you can grow. I hope to visit one day. Have a great week!

  2. jeffgoodearth 10/02/2017

    Great shots once again. Never a disappointment and always snazzy

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/02/2017

      Thanks Jeff. A lot of the inspiration has come from you, Sheila, Tim and all the Fine Gardening magazines I've read.

  3. tennisluv 10/02/2017

    Cherry, great fall garden pictures to start the week. Both the hydrangeas are lovely. I have 5 hydrangea 'lil quick fire' that are not as magnificent as your, but the early white blossoms followed by aging to pinkish red has given a summer long and now into fall season of enjoyment. The Double Delights Expression will be investigated for my shady areas. Your garden so lush, even the newly planted areas, that you can't tell they need to fill out. You definitely have a bright green thumb as everything looks so healthy. Fall is different, but as Frank said, a little calmer feeling and softer colored than the spring and summer. Thanks for sharing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Hi Sonya. If you are looking for a beautiful small hydrangea for your shady garden, may I suggest Miss Saori as well. I think you will love it.

  4. user-7007498 10/02/2017

    good morning, Cherry. I only had time for a quick peek this morning before work. Superb. I love the layering in your garden. Great plant selections. Can't wait to come home later and study the pictures more. Awesome.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/02/2017

      Thanks Kevin. Have a great day at work today.

  5. NCYarden 10/02/2017

    Exquisite, Cherry. Such beautiful photos. I'm glad to hear you're beginning to embrace the Fall display, but then again I suppose you don't have the quite so oppressive Summers like we have here where I can't be rid of it fast enough. So envious of the Ukigumo...I grow this too, but we just can't pull that heavy white variegation out quite like you do there. But I love all your Japanese maples, and again I bet you get a more reliable Fall show than here. So enjoy. I sure did. Thanks for sharing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Thanks David. I sure hope you can grow Acer palmatum Butterfly. I have an Eastcoast gardening friend who is able to grow it. It looks beautiful from the photos I have seen. Let's both look forward to Spring 2018 when the Japanese maples rule. Can't wait to see your photos then.

      1. NCYarden 10/03/2017

        Yes, Butterfly I have and it grows very well with great variegation.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/02/2017

    Hi, Cherry, sigh, if only the people of the world could get along with each other as well as the plants in your garden...peace and harmony would reign supreme! Your trees, shrubs and perennials all seem to bring out the best in each other and, working together, create such pleasing and beguiling harmony. I love how your fern 'Apple Court' seems to be wearing her best party dress...all fancy and frilly. The closeup of the pink tipped Ukigumo with the dusky blush tones of the hydrangea is magical...and inspiring. I actually have a nice sized Ukigumo (I've only known it by its name Floating Clouds) and, by golly, I think I will give it some company and plant some soft pinkish hydrangeas in its vicinity. Thanks so much for today's pictures.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      I agree - if only. Thanks for your kind comments Michaele. Have a wonderful week!

  7. User avater
    user-7007816 10/02/2017

    Hi Cherry, Beautiful selection of plants, so well displayed. I am definitely going to get a Ukigumo. You've captured the changing season and the changes that are regularly required in a mature garden.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Glad you like Ukigumo. Here are snaps of her during the Spring.

      1. User avater
        user-7007816 10/03/2017

        Thanks for sharing the photos. I have just the spot that needs something bright and a local nursery has one.

        1. perenniallycrazy 10/05/2017

          Go for it!

  8. Sunshine111 10/02/2017

    Cherry, you've done a great job of combining colors and textures with the foliage. Quite impressive! My favorite though is picture number two. I have to redo my shade garden also, or add to it as it were. You've given me some things to think about. Thanks!

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Thanks Lily. I've learned a lot from Fine Gardening magazines especially their Special Issue Publications on plant combos and containers. I sure miss those a lot!

  9. floreyd 10/02/2017

    A great way to start the work week. Thank you for sharing--each bed is more lovely than the one before.

  10. poest 10/02/2017

    Beautiful, and thanks for the plant ID!

  11. Maggieat11 10/02/2017

    Love your garden, Cherry. fabulous plant choices and combinations. Beautiful layering. Sure wish I could visit in person! Thanks for sharing your photos!

  12. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/02/2017

    Good morning, Cherry. Your garden is still looking very lovely and should give you pleasure for a few more months unless we have a winter like the last one:( Double Delights and Ukigumo are a great combo and your Quickfire is what I hope mine looks like someday. It's in its first summer so I'll give it time. We're in Montreal right now so I would be dreading winter much more if this is where we lived.

  13. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/02/2017

    Gorgeous, Cherry. It took me years to embrace the autumn garden. My turning point was realizing that autumn colors were no less fleeting than spring. I think perhaps getting older and looking forward to a season of rest may have been a factor as well!
    Love that detail of Apple Court. Very cool.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      I'm with you. Thanks for sympathizing. Still have difficulty embracing it but I have learned to look close and frequently.

  14. Chris_N 10/02/2017

    It all looks wonderful, Cherry. I've always liked gardens like yours with the plants interweaving, nestling close together but retaining their individuality. It is not an easy trick to pull off and you do it so well.

  15. mhebb 10/02/2017

    Wow, Cherry. You have a real gift for combining plant textures and colors. A truly beautiful fall garden. The Ukigumo and the Hydrangea are lovely together. Thanks so much for sharing these photos. I have a lot of brown unhappy leaves in my garden right now (it's been pretty dry here) so these photos are refreshing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Thanks Marge. I look forward to Spring as soon as Autumn arrives.

  16. sheila_schultz 10/02/2017

    What a delight to see the sweet beauty of your garden beds this Monday morning, Cherry. Each and every plant, shrub, tree is so thoughtfully chosen and placed. In a very short time you have become a master of garden design, I remember when you first got started and it really wasn't that many years ago! You are a quick study, Kid! The photos of your gardens are definitely a highlight of this sad day in the US. Thank you.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Thanks so much Sheila. I've learned a lot from you of course!

      1. sheila_schultz 10/03/2017

        We learn from each other, my friend!

  17. user-4691082 10/02/2017

    Dear Cherry,
    You had me at picket fence. Then 'apple court' came along, then 'quick fire'. The cultivars you choose are so perfect. It's all gorgeous. Then the asurum splendens... such a feast today. Thanks.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Thanks much Rhonda.

  18. schatzi 10/02/2017

    Your color and texture combinations are lovely. Great layering - something I have never quite got the hang of. Beautiful Quickfire and maples - love it all. I am also loving fall, after the summer we had - too hot and dry. Enjoy your lovely garden.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Thank you Shirley. Have a wonderful week!

  19. edithdouglas 10/02/2017

    Lovely garden. I spent many years in Richmond, so I know what the gardens there can look like if the gardener has the ability and energy! So many lovely plants you have and the combinations are so lovely! I agree with the other commentators--it's the layering! Thanks for showing it; really takes me back!

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2017

      Thank you Edith.

  20. gardencook 10/02/2017

    Love your gardens!!! The layering is fantastic and like you, I believe ! one can't go wrong with pink in the gardens! I especially love the Double Delights Expression hydrangea and the Ukigomo Japanese Maple. What a beautiful pairing! It would be great to walk through your gardens and with the spot lights it would be more dramatic at night! A pleasure to see your pics!!!

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/02/2017

      Thank you. Ukigumo was my daughter's first choice when we planted the garden 9 years ago. It was great choice.

      1. gardencook 10/03/2017

        Your daughter has great taste in garden plants! I meant to spell it as Ukigumo and not Ukigomo. I checked it out online and it is a beautiful japanese maple and does not grow very large; in my small garden it would fit in very well. I also appreciate your advising us of the various names of your plants. Very helpful! I live on the East Coast of Canada so I wonder if it would grow here. It may not even be available here.

        1. user-7007498 10/03/2017

          Hi, Sandi. I garden in Harrisburg, PA. I know the east coast of Canada can go from zone 6b down to zone 4. If you are zone 5 and above, you could grow 'Ukigumo'. If colder, you could keep it in a container and overwinter it in the garage.

          If you are looking for a source, I have mail ordered from Maplestone Ornamentals many times. Great selection of Conifers and Japanese maples. The plant quality is excellent. I ordered 'Ukigumo' from them about 6 weeks ago. I know they are currently out of stock, but check back in the spring if you are interested.

          1. gardencook 10/03/2017

            Thank you, Kevin. I believe I am in Zone 5 and I will definitely check in the spring for this beautiful plant.

  21. hedygalow 10/02/2017

    Beautiful combinations and thank you for telling the names of your plants!

  22. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/02/2017

    Everything is just gorgeous, Cherry.

  23. Imagardener2 10/02/2017

    I can't add to the discussion--I'd only repeat what has been said. The plants and the photos are gorgeous. I love the color combinations and the contrast of the foliage shapes. I, too, appreciate fall more than I used. I enjoy the sense of slowing and cooling down after summer's heat.

  24. foxglove12 10/02/2017

    Absolutely beautiful Cherry! You’ve obviously learned to embrace autumn. Great photos.

  25. sophiedekkerfurlan 10/02/2017

    Love your garden combinations . I'm a fellowship niebour from bc as well we sure have a good garden climate!.

    1. sophiedekkerfurlan 10/02/2017

      Thanks for the id's as well

  26. grannieannie1 10/02/2017

    Ditto to all that's been said. Graceful is the word that comes to mind seeing your mature plants intermingling with each other. I like your idea of spot lighting to enjoy the garden on dark days.

  27. Luvfall 10/02/2017

    Cherry, your plant combinations are inspiring. And I really like the density of the plantings. I too will be trying to locate the Double Delight hydrangea. Beautiful!

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/02/2017

      Thank you and good luck with the search. You'll definitely enjoy her.

  28. user-7007498 10/03/2017

    Cherry, after a long day at work, I have been admiring your garden for the past 45 minutes. What I would do to visit. Maybe some day. You have left me inspired, and given me ideas for next year.

    The 2nd photo with all the containers is so beautiful. This is an area I have been working hard to improve. I have made great strides, now that my containers are made up of perennials and shrubs instead of annuals.

    Your clump of Ligularia makes me envious. I have tried to incorporate this, but we always get a prolonged hot and dry spell here, which ultimately makes the plant very sad, or dead.

    Love the photo of the shade garden. This is a textbook picture of layering. Beautiful. So much to learn from this picture. What a great border.

    I am now lusting over Athyrium 'Apple Court'. I think this plant will find its way into some containers next year. I struggle with Athyrium in the ground (except for 'Ghost' which seems to hold its own).

    The picture of the Japanese maple, brunnera, asarum and hakonechloa is as pretty a combination as I could ever imagine. Wow.

    I just received 'Ukigumo' in the mail about 6 weeks ago. It is spending it's first year in a container, and will overwinter this year in my shed. Yours looks stunning, so I am excited for what is to come.

    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful garden. You are a very skilled gardener.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/05/2017

      Thanks Kevin. I'm so excited for you with your Ukigumo. I think it will do well in a container. Mine is about 9 years old and is under 8 feet tall. It's branching is different from the other Japanese maples I have. Hopefully you are skilled at pruning and can grow it beautifully. I have never pruned mine.

      Like you, I have grated to loving containers made of perennials and shrubs. I have some that have stayed in their containers anywhere from 3-5 years or more (these are the larger heavier ones). I do try to repot my Japanese maples in containers every 3 years or so. I find that they do better with the soil renewal and root pruning.

      Do you have a pond or a body or water in your garden or close to your garden? I would suggest you plant your ligularia there. It is such a water lover that I believe it will thrive there (just like Hakonechloa and Brunnera).

      As for Athyrium, one of the tips I received early on about mine is that it does not like direct sun, so plant it behind taller plants. My Applecourt is planted right by our front door and it is a northern exposure. It's neighbors are Adiantum pedatum, Kalmia latifolia Little Linda, Helleborus Kingston Cardinal and Hosta Dragon Tails. The first three perennials are taller than it is giving it some shade. (Photo below showing Applecourt with its neighbors.) I do have Ghost growing in a container - got it last year - I do love it so (photo below and it is beside Hosta First Frost)

      If we ever have coffee, we could talk garden all day! Actually, we should probably have coffee at a nursery so we can just go around with our drinks.

      Happy Fall Kevin. Can't wait to see your garden photos and hear your garden stories once again. Nice chatting!

  29. janeeliz 10/03/2017

    What a spectacular collection of plant in your stunningly beautiful shade garden! Great photos, too! Hope you'll send in more in other seasons so we can all enjoy your other treasures. Yes, I think that Ukigumo is lovely. I have that Asarum, too, I think , and it is growing so slowly. Any suggestions?

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/05/2017

      Thanks Jane. That very behaved clump of Asarum was planted in 2008 (now 9 years young), so I think patience is the key (well along with Sluggo and some compost every Spring.)

  30. user-6536305 10/03/2017

    Cherry, your garden has beautiful form, texture and layer Cherry. Hydrangea 'Double Delights Expression' is a surely a make spot line. Love your plant choices especially Asarum splendens. Thanks for sharing.

  31. NWAgardener 10/03/2017

    Hello Cherry - I'm sorry I missed your post yesterday, but so glad I saw it today. Your gardens are spectacular with such a wonderful variety of plants! So many wonderful ideas!!

  32. biyuan_yang 10/03/2017

    I love the hydrangea 'Quickfire'! I planted two 'little quickfire' just two days ago. Hopefully I will see some flowers next year. Love all your plant combo.

  33. terieLR 10/04/2017

    Cherry, I was just going to call it a day when I saw your gardens featured. Needless to say, I have poured over every detail. Your Hydrangea, Double Delights Expression ~ is all that! Stunning! There is something about the month of September...a freeing of those perennials that fade away, allowing others to come forth. You have highlighted that beautifully. Pinks in the garden ~ YES! Now I must run to town for that Quickfire I saw on sale. Your layering of fern is a favorite. Oh, and I am an admirer of ligularia dentata also. It’s flowers are rich in color and attract monarchs here. Hooray for your husbands spotlights, enabling your adoration after dark. Thank you for taking the time to gift us with your gardens beauty. Cheers.

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/05/2017

      It's very nice to hear from you Terie. Thank you for your kind comments. I hope you had a fun summer and an even better fall season. Look forward to seeing your gardens on GPOD soon.

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