Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Toronto Garden Tour

Looking back at a great garden visit

close up of climbing hydrangea with white flowers

We’re traveling with Cherry Ong today, looking back on a garden tour she went on this past spring while visiting Toronto. The garden is a shady woodland garden dominated by four oak trees. Heavily shaded gardens can be a challenge sometimes, but this gardener has turned this one into a dreamy and appealing space.

bright green ornamental grass growing under an oak treeThe beauty of one of the property’s oaks is highlighted by the clumps of Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9) at the base.

close up a yellow peonyIn a sunnier part of the garden, a yellow peony (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 3–8) blooms. While peonies bloom heaviest in full sun, they still give a nice display in partial shade.

close up of climbing hydrangea with white flowersHydrangeas are great for shade, and this climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala, Zones 4–8) looks stunning. Climbing hydrangeas cling to walls, fences, or tree trunks. Slow growing at first, they are spectacular once mature.

Shade doesn’t have to mean just green. Silver foliage from brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla, Zones 3–8) and Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, Zones 4–9) contrasts with dark-leaved heuchera (Heuchera hybrid, Zones 4–9) and bright orange begonias (Begonia hybrid, annual).

large planting of Goat’s beard in bloomGoatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus, Zones 4–8) is a wonderful perennial for shade that is native to a wide swath of America and Europe. It has big clouds of white flowers in the spring, followed by ferny foliage through the rest of the summer.

close up of unique tree foliageBeautiful foliage of a ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba, Zones 3–8)

container with colorful foliage plants and red flowersA pot of annuals brings pops of color to the garden.

close up of plant with large and small foliagePlume poppy (Macleaya cordata, Zones 3–8) has beautiful spring foliage. In the summer it is topped with clouds of small, creamy-white flowers.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

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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  1. User avater
    simplesue 12/09/2022

    I love woodland gardens, all the different foliage shapes and textures with flowers used sparingly like jewelry in the garden. I love Brunnera with it's amazing foliage and early sprinkle of blue flowers, always great in a woodland garden, and Japanese Forest grass, Solomans Seal!

    1. perenniallycrazy 12/10/2022


  2. user-7007672 12/09/2022

    Cherry, Thank you for sharing. Your photography is always so stunning and helps us to look at plants through your knowledgeable eye.

    1. perenniallycrazy 12/10/2022

      Thank you Chris.

  3. btucker9675 12/09/2022

    Wonderful shady garden - that climbing hydrangea is marvelous! What is prettier than the shape of ginkgo leaves.

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