Eye Catching Container Gardens from British Columbia
By: Kim Charles
Our friend and fellow gardener, Cherry Ong from British Columbia, has been very busy this past season, creating innovative container gardens with a unique mix of succulents, perennials, and annuals. With so many great photos to choose from, I have decided on a 2-part post. Enjoy!
"Here's a mix of Spring and Summer containers I've tried growing this year. I do like to mix up perennials and annuals. This year, I've tried more and more succulents. I still have to try growing many other types of plants, and will experiment more in the future."
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Hi Cherry - It is a delight to see your creative and wonderful containers today. Your experimentation is working a treat. You are indeed a very talented gardener. Love the 'Little Linda', cast iron urns and 'Spring fireworks'. Your Part 2 has already been uploaded on the blog, but I'll keep 'my powder dry' until tomorrow (have you heard that one?). Cheers from down under.
Thanks Frank. Kim sent me a heads' up e-mail first thing this morning with the double uploads. No worries from here. Glad you like the experimentation.Hope I never run out of steam. Is it summer in Oz yet? I think our winter here started three days ago.
always always perfectly snazzy!
Thanks a lot Jeff.
Good morning, Cherry, and Wow, Wow, Wow. Your containers are spectacular. I have been developing my container skills over the past few years, and have realized the best ones have trees, shrubs and perennials. Yours are so inspiring, and have given me more ideas. I love the Kalmia. Although it is the state flower of Pennsylvania, I know very few people who can grow it successfully in their gardens here (due to the heavy clay, disturbed soil). I never tried it in a container, but I will now. What great foliage on the Rheum.
So inspiring. Will be referring back to this post next spring, and am so looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks.
Thank you Kevin. You're totally right in your observation that the best containers have trees, shrubs and perennials. I love the fact that the Kalmia is the state flower of Pennsylvania and I can't think of a better way of showing them off than having a pair of containers right at your front door with those luscious spring time blooms. The one I have is in a 5 gallon container. I top the soil off with compost every Spring and try not to disturb the spent flowers after blooming so as not to interrupt the following year's blooms.
Awesome! I may have to try them this coming year!
Stunning, stunning, stunnig, Cherry!!! Makes me want to run out and start gardening. Wrong season, but who cares!? Love everything. Now you have me asking myself why I don't have an Enkianthus. Shucks. On my list. Great collection of photos.
Thank you very much Tim. We love gardening any season any time of the year... it's in our blood. I've been on the lookout for Enkianthus for the longest time and when I saw it at the corner store I grabbed it. I've seen larger specimens only at 2 places here and that was last year - a local nursery and at Home Depot. Perhaps your Home Depot will have them next Spring. As an added bonus, if you love its spring flowers, you might love its fall foliage and berries too.
Scrumptious Cherry! Somehow I missed this post when it got posted last week. I only discovered it when I saw part two this morning. You really have the magic touch I am envious.
Both posts were uploaded today, Lily - so you didn't miss it. Cheers
Thank you Lily.
Good morning! It seems we had a back end issue with Part 1 & Part 2 of this post on the eletter side. Stay tuned...the eletter for Part 1 will be sent out tomorrow and you have seen Part 2 in the eletter format. Sorry for all the confusion. Bottom line..you will be able to see both of Cherry's posts in the end.
Thank you Kim.
Whew... I thought my brain cells were becoming toast faster than I thought!!! Kim, thanks for making me feel better!
Cherry, it's no secret that gardeners drool mentally (OK, sometimes physically) at the sight of wonderful garden photos. My email does not show graphics automatically so it must be some kind of Pavlovian response that, as soon as I see your name in the GPOD email, I start to drool. I don't know what your design process is but clearly you put a lot of mental effort into each of your designs and they are wonderful.
Thank you Chris, I'm blushing! I gotta have a life outside of my regular job right?
Cherry, so glad I checked back and found this! Every picture is worthy of mention, each showing such delightful combinations of plants, colors, textures, designs - hard to pick a favorite, but the one with the glass picks from Target was truly arresting! Fabulous!
I don't know anyone who doesn't love Target. I was sad when they closed shop for good here in Canada. Thanks for the kindest compliments Cheryl.
Part 1 is equally as lovely as Part 2, Cherry!!! I was SO confused!
Hmmm.... maybe growing Hakonechloa in containers is the way to go! Now I just have to find them in one of the neighboring nurseries I have yet to visit in Puerto Vallarta! Gorgeous combos, each and every one.
You're not confused about the order. Kim sent me an e-mail this morning that due to a computer glitch, it automatically announced Day 2's posts before Day 1's. I'm going to try to grow a new Hakone called Sun Flare. I've been looking for Nicholas but haven't found some yet. Maybe next year. These grasses are really spectacular during late summer and fall. Miss you and hope we see each other again. Wishing you a continued joyous retirement!
I miss you, too, Cherry. I'm pretty comfortably retired for the moment, but containers are my passion, so who the heck knows what the future will bring?
I have tried Nicholas. It’s not as lush and easy to grow as the others.
Your Kalmia latifolia 'Little Linda' looks so good in bloom. It is such little finicky little shrub to grow. I had it blooms each year but the foliage is not vigorous and looks really tired. How do you take care of it? Thanks for sharing.
I have two Little Linda. One in a garden bed and one in the ground. Both seem to be doing well. I make sure the one in the container doesn't become dry. I top it up with a layer of compost in the Spring as with my perennial garden. In the summer, I put a plant nanny in the container to make sure that it has extra water on those hot days. It receives mostly morning sun and is nestled between other perennial containers. I also do not disturb the flowers once they are spent because I find that it affects the blooms for the following year. They're really easy and beautiful perennials to grow in containers - the blooms last for three weeks.
Beautiful Cherry! What a great retrospective on the year. I love them all but the osmanthus/corylus/choisya combo might be my favorite...or those kalmia flowers...or the heuchera. Too hard to choose!
Thanks Nancy. Gary Lewis of Phoenix Perennials really opened my eyes to the beauty of perennials, trees and shrubs in containers. Although they cost more to start, they do last for way way longer than annuals so they pay for themselves in the long run. As I get older, I try to select dwarf varieties because the larger ones become more and more difficult to repot over the years. I guess I'm going to need more help in the future. I hope to see you rgarden photos on GPOD soon. Have a great week!
Well, if nothing else for today (heavy rain), thanks to you, Cherry, my fingers are getting lots of exercise scrolling up and down and back and forth. Yep, I have yesterday's gpod sharing open also... so it's a total immersion day for me as I try to file away inspiring vignettes for my own future attempts at container magic. You definitely don't limit yourself to a particular style...like how you left the base planting area of the Sciadopitys verticillata fairly minimal...just adorned with interesting clumps of moss(?). Anyway, the Japanese Umbrella tree itself is so fancy with each tip ending in its own fireworks show in green, it's nice to let it have the stage all to itself. The blooms on the Kalmia 'Little Linda' are beyond stunning...they certainly evoke an "oh, Wow" response. What a treasure the dragonfly adorned rock is...you've used it to such lovely effect. OK, I'm going back to scrolling. Thanks so much for your generous sharing and your fun and informative responses.
Thank you Michaele. I've been inspired to try other styles mainly from your's, Jeff's, Sheila's, Tim's and all our other great gardening friends' influences. I fondly remember Kielian when I see the dragonfly jeweled rock. Tim describes the clumps of moss as the Sciadopitys' fuzzy slippers. Actually, that plant didn't make it from last year but I thought it was kinda cool so I just left it as is. The Sciadopyts has been moved and replanted into another container this fall. So far so good but we'll see how he fares through the winter. Fingers crossed.
Why am I no longer able to pin photos from your site. I loved adding special plants to Pinterest to help me remember plants I want to add to my garden. Disappointed.
More beauty! I see you have at least one Japanese maple in a container... do you overwinter inside? I have to bring mine inside here in Colorado, but it wasn't successful last winter as it leafed out inside when we had an early warm spell (February), but then dropped those leaves with a late frost (still inside), and then never leafed back out again. I'm trying again this year with a new Japanese maple, but I'm wondering if you, Cherry, or anyone else here has any advice or insight. Thanks again for sharing your lovely containers and gardens!
So much loveliness, Cherry! You have a great eye for putting together interesting colours, shapes and textures. Here's hoping that the snow will stay on the mountains where it belongs this winter and that spring can begin in January with the snowdrops and crocus as it should!
Thank you and hope so too (and I have to say I really love the snow in the mountains).
I do, too, Cherry -- both for the joy of cross country skiing and snowshoeing up there and for its beauty. We need something to do when it's not gardening time!
Just more awe and wonder, Cherry. That maple looks so good. It was a terrible year for many of the maples here with the weird and confusing weather. Luckily none lost, at least no signs yet, just less showy. That Enkianthus is darling...garden jewelry really. I am ready for the wind down but seeing these photos sorta reinvigorates me. Though I don't know what I'm saying I suppose...still so warm here and the first signs of Fall color just beginning. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you David. I'm sorry to hear that your maples had a terrible year. I hope it will be their year in 2018. They do reliably come back in my experience. I also feel the same way about wanting to garden when I see others' amazing garden photos but I do welcome the winter rest from the garden, mainly because there are a lot of things to do to prepare for and during the holidays. Savour all your fall colour - I've discovered that is the secret to loving fall since the colors are fleeting. Warm regards.
Cherry, I can hardly express my delight at once again seeing your stunning containers - and what fun you must have creating them. It is definitely your passion and one that you have mastered. It would be hard to pick a favorite, they are all just stunning. Do you do all of your planting in pots and not in the garden? It sure works for you! Thanks for sharing all this beauty full of great ideas!
I plant in both but my garden is so fully planted, it leaves me little room for new plantings (unless something dies or becomes invasive) that I have no choice but to plant in pots. Thank you Linda.
More gorgeous, creative works of botanical artistry! Much inspiration for my containers next Spring...
Again, Cherry, I LOVE your creativity and plant choices. Such a pleasure to see your creations. Thank you so much! GREAT container finds on Craig's List!!
Do you have a career in horticulture in some way?
Thank you Margaret. I am in no way connnected or educated formally in horticulture. I discovered the love for gardening about 9 years ago and doing my own garden precipitated this discovery/journey.
So happy to see the additional photos- Love them all! I am down in Washington, out near the foothills east of Seattle, and wonder how your pots hold up through winter, or if you move them to shelter. You are my kind of gardener- nothing like a clearance sale, or free or found objects to add to our creative endeavors! Now I think I will go check out Craigslist...
Thank you. My pots hold through winter fine. I do very little moving except for the succulents (like the Agave ovatifolia). I do dress up the pots by the entry and exits of the home because I love the green all year round, more so in the winter when it is sparse. I find that evergreen perennials are a great investment because of that year round interest. Craigslist has been one of the funnest places to search for garden treasures. You'll never know what you will find everytime you look. All my garden urns are from Craigslist - be they large or small. Hope you derive the same fun from container gardening, gardening in general and searching for garden treasures.
One more thing- in the photo of the underplantings in the Japanese Maple with the lobelia, what is the variegated plant? I inherited something quite similar, and can't remember what it is!
It's Skimmia japonica Magic Marlot. It becomes more fabulous in the fall and winter months when it blooms.
Cherry !!!! Magnifique !!!! Urchin pot is so killer - your pots are unsurpassed. Truly.
Thank you and we can thank Lowe's hardware for that very afforable uni pot. Another reason why I love going to the hardware.
Cherry I just love it all. Congratulations. I admire your design skills and how you have paired the right kind of plants in the right container. Love seeing your posts.
Thank you Catherine. How's your garden these days? I think you will always have better weather where you are.
Hurrah here is part 1...LOL Just as spectacular as part 2. I love your Little Uni and that perfect pot you have it planted in. Always a thrill to see your talent at work. Vikki in VA.
Cherry, these are stunning. I’m new to succulents, and yours look very happy. I hope “Little Uni” and Moonglow do well. They are perfect companions.
Wow again Cherry! Each one is so beautiful! The kalmia is so amazing! And what a great craigslist find of the urns! You have mastered the pot for sure! I really enjoyed how you told us a little about each photograph. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pots!
Hi Cherry, your mangave, ‘Moonglow’ is gorgeous but, of course, the pot makes it shine. You definitely have a gift for picking the right pots and plant combos. Since we’re in AZ for the winter, we’re hoping to pot up some great cacti combos. These photos have given us some great ideas.Thanks.
Gorgeous containers! How cold are your winters? Most things don't survive in containers in New Jersey, USA
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