Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Vancouver Garden Tour, Part 2

Visiting a master of garden design

combination of various foliage plants

We’re back enjoying more photos of Cherry Ong’s visit last June to the garden of perennial gardening expert Pam Frost in Vancouver, Canada. Cherry visited as part of a tour organized by the Vancouver Hardy Plant Society.

densely planted garden with diverse foliageHere are some expert combinations in color and contrast. The dark-leaved smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria, Zones 5–8) in the back makes a strong contrast to lighter foliage and to flowers in shades of yellow, yellowish green, and white.

combination of various foliage plantsContrasting texture and form is key to an exciting garden design. Here we see bold leaves contrasting with fine ones, and the formal shape of a perfectly trimmed shrub contrasting with the informal plantings around it. No flowers, or even brightly colored foliage, are needed here to make a beautiful design.

terra cotta planters on concrete stepsEach of these planters going up the steps uses different plants but echoes the same colors—red and pink flowers, contrasting with silver and white foliage. Using similar terra-cotta pots for each planting further unifies this area.

bright green foliage growing over an empty potEpimedium (Zones 5–9) have delicate beautiful flowers in the spring, but their real value in the garden is their long-lasting foliage, which can look delicate but is quite tough and does well in difficult sites like dry shade.

moss garden with large fernMoss, wood, stone, and ferns—simple and perfect

large hosta growing next to small pink flowersIt is easy to overlook hostas as common and overplanted, but there are good reasons they are used so much: they’re durable, easy to grow, and their foliage is just beautiful.

close up of variegated Solomons sealThis Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum sp.) has variegation so elegant it looks like it was painted.

densely planted foliage plantsCardiocrinum (Zones 5–9) are lily relatives that thrive in a woodland garden and, after many years of patience, produce towering stems of huge white blooms.

pink lilies about to bloom surrounded by foliage plantsLily buds are ready to burst open, with a perfect background of variegated grass.

If you loved seeing this garden, we have an article with design tips from Pam you should check out: Create a Garden with Cohesiveness


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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View Comments


  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 03/08/2024

    I especially enjoyed the simplicity of the image containing the slightly tapered evergreen from the first and third photo.
    The drama created by the choice to taper ever so slightly raised that vignette to new heights.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 03/08/2024

    All very beautiful, and the lush green photo of the Epimediums have reminded me how pretty they are and I too should plant some!

  3. User avater
    cynthia2020 03/08/2024

    Cherry - I enjoyed looking at all the photos. I especially liked the one with the containers on the steps. Am also glad the link was provided to the feature on Pam's design ideas. I have a new garden and reading the ideas and looking at the photos was helpful.

  4. btucker9675 03/08/2024

    Love the moss, driftwood and ferns - a perfect composition!

  5. jos29803 03/08/2024

    Cherry thank you for sharing. You have a great eye and your photos make the plants come alive. I enjoy your garden road trips. Looking forward to the next one.

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