Garden Photo of the Day

Inheriting Grandmother’s Green Thumb

Carrying on a family gardening legacy

My name is Mark Couture from Chatham, Ontario, Canada, and gardening is something I’ve become passionate about over the years. I can say I inherited my green thumb from my grandmother. Watching her at a young age taking care of her flowers and plants seeded interest in me to garden. Since then what an amazing joy it has been to take part in creating beautiful portraits in the landscape. Gardening is a blessing in my life!

Red asiatic liliesRed Asiatic lilies (Lilium hybrid, Asiatic group, Zones 4–9) glowing against a backdrop of green.

Containers don’t just have to be for little annuals. Here a big purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9) adds height, contrast, and a big attraction for visiting pollinators.

coneflower bloomSpeaking of pollinators, here is one taking a sip from a coneflower bloom.

More container plantings, with dark- and light-leaved sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas, annual) providing foliage color to complement the flowers.

Tall phloxTall phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8) is another perennial native to North America that is much loved by butterflies.

An unusual water feature, in the form of a rock with water bubbling over it, is the center of this planting.

gold finchThe shallow stream of water attracts birds, like this colorful little male goldfinch.

A shot from Mark’s pollinator garden, where purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9) in full bloom attract pollinators like this black swallowtail butterfly.

Male (top left) and female (bottom right) goldfinches feast on the seeds in fading coneflower blooms. This is a good reminder that if you don’t deadhead, your coneflowers will turn into natural bird feeders.


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.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 09/24/2020

    Hello Mark. Fellow Canadian here from Toronto. Your garden is quite a special one. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour through it. Quite spectacular. Thanks for sharing, you have done an excellent job.

  2. sagebird52 09/24/2020

    charming and diverse. Especially love the pollinator friendly aspect and the flat rock - giving me ideas

  3. User avater
    cynthia2020 09/24/2020

    Re: what an amazing joy it has been to take part in creating beautiful portraits in the landscape

    I agree! I like the process of planning, observing, and even digging. Then viewing my plants from a variety of angles and noticing what kinds of birds and insects visit.

    Mark - I liked looking at your photos and seeing the variety of vibrant colors, birds and butterflies, and the tall vs prostrate plants.

  4. user-5117752 09/24/2020

    Love your colors and particularly the pics with the birds and butterflies. That combination of the echinacea and rudbeckia with the butterfly was simply perfection. Thank you for taking the time to share with us all.

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/24/2020

    What a great pic of the goldfinch feasting on seeds.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 09/24/2020

    Oh yes, great photos of the goldfinches feeding on the natural seeds!
    And love those tall Phlox too!

  7. cheryl_c 09/24/2020

    Mark, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful pictures of a pollinator friendly garden. And thanks to your grandmother for instilling a love of gardening along with that green thumb!

  8. katherine_8 09/24/2020

    Hello Mark. Fellow Canadian here from Port Credit (Mississauga). I absolutely love your garden. I love the colours and how natural and unpretentious it is. The photos your took are excellent, especially that top one. Thanks for posting :)

  9. PennyJPumpernickle 09/24/2020

    Hi Mark!

    Thank you for your photos and the article. I hope my granddaughter feels this way in the next 20-30 years, and after I'm gone. My grandbaby is just one-year-old, and next year, the excitation, happiness, listening, teaching, prayers in the garden, and gentle education of my sweet Laney Jo begins!
    I'll be planting that seed!

  10. bsavage 09/25/2020


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest