Garden Photo of the Day

May’s garden on Vancouver Island in British Columbia

Morning view onto deck
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

We’re going to spend the next couple of days in May Kald’s garden. Today we’ll start with an overview. May says, “I live in a very quiet area near the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about half an hour from Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. We enjoy mild, rainy winters and very dry, fairly cool summers.

‘Nova Zembla’ rhododendron & ‘Flame’ peony in pot. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

“Right now my garden is lush with new spring growth and a wonderful wisteria dominates the back yard and my deck. Because of the neighboring cedars and fir trees, I don’t get a lot of sunshine and have gradually added rhododendrons and other shade tolerant plants. The trees also fill the ground with their roots so I do a lot of plants in pots.”

Back deck pots and wisteria. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

It doesn’t seem to be holding you back, May! Beautiful! **Tomorrow we’ll get a tour of May’s favorite rhododendrons–it’s a treat! Stay tuned…**


Bewick’s wren at birdhouse & akebia vine. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

***I’m getting so many great submissions, but I can always use more! Dig out your cameras, take a big long walk around your garden, and SEND ME PHOTOS! I love having more than I could possibly process to choose from. Thanks!!***

***One more thing…..have you always wondered what your fellow GPODers are like in person? Never thought you’d get a chance to meet them? Check this out…. While the GPOD isn’t officially a Taunton forum, it’s close enough, and I wanted to extend the invite. Anybody at all interested? I’d be willing to search for some gardens to tour…

Akebia – Chocolate vine. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Camellia & star magnolia. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Star magnolia detail. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Clematis alpina on fence. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Clematis alpina. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Gate to backyard, blue rosemary & common lilac. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Yellow tree peony detail. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
Fritillaria meleagris detail. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

Want us to feature YOUR garden in the Garden Photo of the Day? CLICK HERE!
Want to see every post ever published? CLICK HERE!
Want to search the GPOD by STATE? CLICK HERE!
Check out the GPOD Pinterest page! CLICK HERE!

View Comments


  1. user-1020932 05/29/2013

    beautiful space and a great place to start the day or to relax at the end of the day. favorite photo is the first one, also liked the one with the water hose in the background i, too, always seem to have a hose stretched somewhere. question: how do you control the Akebia? i have a property that has been overrun with it all through a boxwood garden and we can not eliminate it from that area. looking forward to your rhodies tomorrow

  2. wGardens 05/29/2013

    Good Morning! Great way to start the day. Love your garden. The Wisteria is lovely, as is the rest of your gardens. Nice selection of pots and plants... and love the shot with the bird! Thanks for sharing. Delightful!

  3. bee1nine 05/29/2013

    Hi May, Pleasingly delightful is your back yard creation of
    lush coziness! Nice grouping of potted plants adding to its
    charm, too. Wonderful personal touches thru n thru! Greatly enjoyed!!
    Shall make a point to check in for Day 2!

  4. JonMoss 05/29/2013

    O Canada, how beautiful.

  5. mainer59 05/29/2013

    Lush is definitely a description of your garden, along with gorgeous and a lot of other adjectives. I liked seeing overall shots as well as close-ups of individual plants. Thank you for the identifications. I especially marvel that your climate enables you to grow both lilacs and a huge rosemary.

  6. Quiltingmamma 05/29/2013

    Makes me homesick. Having grown up in Royal Oak (May would know where that is) this all looks very familiar, but you have many stunning specimens. The Wisteria in bloom is lovely. I was married in May under the wisteria blooms at Royal Roads. Yours look nicer.
    I love the chocolate vine blooms and looking forward to the rhodos tomorrow.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/29/2013

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures of beautiful much to love, appreciate and admire. The closeups of the individual are particularly stunning. I planted a yellow peony last fall but didn't get any bloom this year so I will enjoy yours vicariously. Love how the color tones in your shade umbrella playfully reflect the colors in the don't miss an opportunity for creativity and artistry. Since your photos have such great clarity and color (no washed out thing going on) could you share a little on what time of day you mostly do your photography?
    Really looking forward to tomorrow.

  8. tractor1 05/29/2013

    Your Fritillaria meleagris is gorgeous! May, your garden is spectacular and your wistaria is the lushest I've seen. I don't think there is such a thing as a "common" lilac. I can hardly wait to see more. Thank you, May.

  9. tractor1 05/29/2013

    Meander1, from the lack of shadow in the first two photos and the light playing on the tops of subjects I'd estimate the photos were taken near noon... the photos would have been even more vibrant had they been taken with the sun striking from the side and with the sun at ones back. The photo with the hose was taken at about either 10 AM or two PM but facing *into* the sun, which is why that gorgeous wisteria, and everything else, is in shade. Most of those photos were taken while the sky was sort of grey/overcast, but still they turned out well (pricy camera... notice the crisp detail in the wood grain in the clematis photo). I can see the overcast sky and lack of light in the photo with the camillia and magnolia, beautiful plants but a lot of detail is lost. I wish folks would take more care with their photgraphy, it's not all that difficult to find the sun and keep it at ones back. The photo with the lilac is also shot *into* the sun, ach! Noon is the worst time to photograph, may as well choose midnight and use a flash.

  10. Wife_Mother_Gardener 05/29/2013

    So many beautiful plants! And a lovely design. Thanks for sharing!

  11. phase2682 05/29/2013


  12. GailBW 05/29/2013

    How lovely both the garden and photographs.

  13. GrannyMay 05/29/2013

    Thanks for your kind comments everyone. I'll try to answer all your questions.
    tntreeman, I don't control the Akebia! Once in a while I hack away with pole pruner and shears, but I'm sure it will take over the entire fence one day.
    mainer59, Rosemary grows amazingly well here, especially the ones along my west wall. They lean on the white stucco and grow to 8 feet or more. I have not had as much success with lilacs and have lost many in my first (failed) attempts to create a lilac grove. A few survive, though not happily.
    tractor1 and meander1, I take photos all the time, wherever I am, sometimes when something catches my eye, often to document something, mostly to "capture the moment". I carry a camera in my pocket even when gardening. Right now it is a Canon PowerShot D20. My "good" camera is currently a Canon SX20 IS. Sorry tractor1, but the back of my house faces south with tall trees on the east and southeast side, so any spring photo of the Camellia and Star Magnolia in sunshine would mean shooting into the sun or a late-afternoon shot with the sun at the west side. Ditto for that lilac shot. I often wish I could bring out the sun, or move it to a more convenient spot, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.

  14. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/29/2013

    Stunning! I love everything. Does that caption say peony in a pot? Herbaceous? What a novel idea. How does it do?

  15. annek 05/29/2013

    Sigh, I have wisteria envy! Your yard is beautiful and I'm fascinated with your Akebia. (Sounds like it can take over). Your garden is lovely!

  16. GrannyMay 05/29/2013

    Hi Voijt, I planted the peony, Flame, into a pot in 2006 because I had no garden spot for it. It has been in the same pot ever since and continues to bloom every year around the same time as the rhododendron Nova Zembla, reflecting that wonderful bright colour. It is a bit late this year as we have had a serious lack of sunny days! I wish I could include a photo of it here. The colour is stunning.

  17. user-7006902 05/29/2013

    What an incredibly beautiful garden. That Clematis alpina is now on my wish list. LOVE the birdhouse. So many lovely layers. I don't want to leave.

  18. user-7006902 05/29/2013

    What an incredibly beautiful garden. That Clematis alpina is now on my wish list. LOVE the birdhouse. So many lovely layers. I don't want to leave.

  19. SweetPeaGardens 05/29/2013

    Hello Neighbour! What an artist you are, both with garden design and photography. I like how you arranged the pots and rocks around the umbrella. Are those pots the "mushrooms" without their tops? I just flip my tops upside down on an angle to create drinking vessels for birds,but I'm liking the look of the naked stems. Great pruning job on your wisteria!

  20. tractor1 05/29/2013

    May: the back of my house faces south too... making it ideal for photography... not so fine for the front of my house facing north (my foundation plantings are mostly in shade). I think most folks can acertain when the sun is primarilly at their back as averse to their shooting into the sun. And it's not all that difficult to wait until the sun is positioned for each subject.

  21. GrannyMay 05/29/2013

    I have been taking photos of my garden (and everything else around me) for years. If you are interested in seeing some of the fauna as well as more of the flora, mostly close-ups, here is a link to one site. Hope you enjoy them!

  22. GardenersWK 05/29/2013

    Lovely garden! I am so so envious for your wisteria! After trying for 7 years I took mine out and replaced it with smaller flowering variety- "Amethyst Fall: that has been blooming now like the clock for 4 years.
    Are you growing a fig tree in the large navy pot?

  23. user-1020932 05/29/2013

    GrannyMay, the reason i asked about Akebia control is that i have one property where it had run rampant for years completely obscuring a boxwood maze and 20 ft or so up Norway spruce. it was out of control when i took on the property and it's been an ongoing battle ever since. your photography looks pretty good to me no matter where the sun is! of course, you have great material to work with in your garden

  24. cwheat000 05/29/2013

    May,what a lovely oasis. I am amazed by your rosemary. It is not hardy here in CT, so my little seedling I plant each spring has never made it to 3 ft. I am also loving your clematis. The smaller flowering varieties are overlooked and wonderful. I am trying a Duchess of Albany Clematis this year. I am feeling adventurous and also trying Clematis tangutica from seed. I am interested in trying a purple leaved variety, Clematis recta Purpurea and some of the non-climbing varieties. Do you grow other varieties? Your yard is definitely filled with some beautiful climbers.

  25. GrannyMay 05/30/2013

    Hello again,
    Thanks SweetPeaGardens, the brown "pots" around the umbrella were purchased to be purely decorative, have no bottoms or tops, and could possibly be used over asparagus plants to blanch the stems as they grow.
    DSBaloi, yes, I am growing a dwarf black fig "Negronne" in the navy pot. So far I have had only one fig from it to eat. I also have a couple of "Desert King" fig trees, which do bear more fruit which I share, albeit unwillingly, with the local birds, squirrels, raccoons and mice. I don't have to worry about leftovers.
    tntreeman, I do have a constant battle with the things that grow far too well, like the Akebia, Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy, Periwinkle and all manner of weeds and self-sowers. Even that lovely Wisteria will now send out multitudes of tentacles that I swear grow 12 feet the moment your back is turned.
    cwheat000, Thanks. I have tried a lot of different Clematis varieties. Some have done well, others not. Keep trying. Clematis tangutica does very well for me, and I have to cut it back almost to the ground every year. I have a white Clematis "Miss Bateman" growing beside the blue alpina, and blooming a bit later. Jackmanii is usually good here, as is Polish Spirit, another purple. My most recent acquisition is Clematis cartmanii "Joe", an evergreen with white flowers, which I have planted into another pot. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will survive and thrive.

  26. cwheat000 05/30/2013

    May, those sound all wonderful. I will have to check out that last one.

  27. user-7008952 10/31/2017

    What a beautiful garden May. I also like the Bewick Wren home! How old is your wisteria and did it take very long to get it established?

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest