Garden Photo of the Day

Nature’s Subalpine Garden

By Alexandra Dittrich

Cherry Ong's photos demonstrate how plants are also beautiful when left untouched in their own environment.

"Just returned from a road trip and thought that all the GPODers would enjoy some treaures of the trail while hiking the Fairview Slope Lookout trail at Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta.  There were many interesting and enjoyable hikes we explored while in the area but for your purposes, you might prefer something short and sweet. The first photo is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – a sweeping view of the gem colored Lake Louise and Chateau Fairmont on its far side."

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View Comments


  1. user-7007498 07/25/2016

    Cherry: Thanks for sharing photos from your hike. We all work so hard to make our gardens beautiful and relaxing, but nature, undisturbed finds a way to create stunning vistas and fabulous collections of plants. I love to be outdoors.

    As we are sweltering here in the mid-Atlantic with over 10 days over 90 and no rain for 3 weeks, I can just feel the coolness and moisture in your pictures. A true oasis.

  2. frankgreenhalgh 07/25/2016

    Well, what a beautiful Lake and mountain scene in the background, Cherry! The mosses, lichens and fruiting bodies of fungi along your hiking trail also look stunning. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7007498 07/25/2016

      Frank: glad to see you made it back from your walkabout to woop woop. Hopefully being off the grid for a week was peaceful and energizing.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 07/25/2016

        I missed you and your colorful commentary, also, Frank. And, Kevin, you are becoming impressively bilingual..."walkabout to woop woop" indeed!

        1. frankgreenhalgh 07/25/2016

          Thanks Michaele & Kevin. Appreciate both your comments. As it turned out 'woop woop' was the sophisticated city of Vienna for a UN meeting on the Montreal Protocol Treaty. Your Secretary of State, John Kerry, flew all the way to Vienna to make a 20 min. speech/pep talk on climate change at the meeting. His speech absolutely 'blew my socks off' (please take this as simply a statement of fact i.e. not a political statement). Immediately after the speech he flew to London for a meeting with the new British PM. Kerry is a very busy and impressive man from the perspective of this unsophisticated Aussie gardener.

          1. user-7007498 07/25/2016

            Pretty cool. Isn't whoop woop supposed to mean an unimportant location?

            So this was a diversion. ?

          2. frankgreenhalgh 07/25/2016

            Good pick up Kev., the diversion continues. Oh, there were some nice gardens there as well!

          3. user-7007498 07/26/2016

            Frank: Awesome photos. What's that in your hand in the second photo?

          4. frankgreenhalgh 07/26/2016

            It is an Australian estuarine fish called a Dusky Flathead - name fits hey, Kev!

        2. user-7007498 07/25/2016

          Ha! Frank is trying to broaden my education with Aussie slang. Quite fun.

    2. User avater
      LindaonWhidbey 07/25/2016

      Welcome back, Frank. You and your Aussie lingo were missed.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 07/25/2016

        Thanks Linda - I'll make a 'fair dinkum' de facto Aussie out of you yet!

  3. wGardens 07/25/2016

    What a truly wonderful hike you were able to take. These photos are fabulous, Cherry. Sure makes me want to plan a trip asap. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into yet another area that I've never been to. It is beckoning,,,,,

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/25/2016

    Fascinating how so many subtle textures and colors create such a big impact. The sixth picture down is such a wonderful example of what a "drift" of plant material looks like in one of Mother Nature's designs...the way the little button mushrooms start as a line of singles and then some tightly gathered clumps and then taper off again....hmmm, no straight lines or perfect circles. Beautiful, beautiful pictures, Cherry. What a memorable vacation for you and your family!

  5. jeffgoodearth 07/25/2016

    stunningly and pristinely beautiful. I will look at the photos again after lunch to cool off, it will be 37,000 degrees here by then

    1. Chris_N 07/25/2016

      Try not to melt, Jeff. The temps and humidity are dropping here a bit. We'll try to send you some Wisconsin weather - get you down to the high 80's instead of the 90's.

      1. francesflor 07/26/2016

        I make around 6k-8k dollars /every month for freelance jobs i do at home. If you are ready to complete simple computer-based jobs for 2-5 h daily from your couch at home and earn good payment while doing it... This is a gig for you...


    2. user-7007498 07/25/2016

      Jeff: Just saw the long range forecast for the East. Above average temps through October. ?

  6. User avater
    user-7007816 07/25/2016

    Banff remains on my bucket list. It's wonderful to see that there remain a few places where nature prevail. Thanks for sharing.

  7. user-4691082 07/25/2016

    I can't add anything to what others have shared, Cherry. Beautiful and peaceful. What were your average temps? My family will be hiking up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire in a few weeks. We could all use a break from this heat! I do miss your containers, Cherry!

    1. perenniallycrazy 07/25/2016

      Thank you Rhonda. Average temps were from 41 degrees F (mountaintop) to 68 degrees F (mountainbase). Weather was a mix of sun, clouds, rain, hail and some fog in certain areas so best to be prepared for anything. The locals there told us that their summers have been progressively warmer over the years.
      I'll try to send in some container photos when I can - gotta get back to tending my own garden first. Have a great week!

  8. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/25/2016

    There's nothing like how nature does it. Love all these pics.

  9. annek 07/25/2016

    Cherry, your photos are so calming and serene. Rich shades of green and such interesting and unique perspectives. Love them all

  10. galealdred 07/25/2016

    Mother Nature will always do the best. We all have to take better care of her. Thanks for those
    beautiful photos

  11. PeonyFan 07/25/2016

    Gorgeous photos! Thank you for sharing the more subtle beauties of nature.

  12. NCYarden 07/25/2016

    Best gardener in the world. Distinctly beautiful. I just love all the moss. Another aspect I am enjoying at this moment is just how cool and mild it looks there, as I'm right on the verge of spontaneous combustion here with these ridiculous temps. Thank you for sharing these epic pics, Cherry. It looks like it was a wonderful trek.

  13. Chris_N 07/25/2016

    Wonderful photos. The lichens and mosses are fascinating and I'll echo what others have said about the textures and colors. Definitely makes me want to visit there.

  14. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/25/2016

    I foresee a job for the BC tourism board for you, Cherry! Absolutely stunning photos of an amazingly beautiful place. And it looks so pristine for an area that must be visited by huge numbers of people. The mosses and plants are so lush, healthy and really inspiring. Loving the lichens. You have an eye for the marvelous, natural compositions for which we strive when making our own little nature preserves in our gardens and containers.
    As you can see from the comments below of those of us out east, we're melting!

  15. sheila_schultz 07/25/2016

    What a treat to see these photos, Cherry! The Lake Louise area is truly magnificent, as is all of Banff... we went there on a road trip about 9 years ago and around every bend in the road was another jaw-dropping sight! You have brought back some beautiful memories, thank you! Funny you sent in images from your great trip, I hope to get a post sent in to GPOD with a few shots from our Alaskan adventure! I can't believe we missed one another in Vancouver!!!
    Speaking about the hot weather we all seem to be suffering through, Denver hit 100 yesterday while I was working in my gardens trying to remove shredded leaves from the two major hailstorms that occurred while we were gone! All I can say is that I loved the clean and cool Alaskan non-threatening air, and I'm kind of over this gardening season!

  16. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 07/25/2016

    Cherry, your photos truly show the beauty of Banff and all that mountain hiking has to offer. I just love the lichen filled trees and all of the colorful mosses and that emerald green color of Lake Louise. It looks like you had a great trip. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of it. Also, to all of you that are going through a slow boil, I will now stop complaining about our cool summer here in the PNW.

  17. thevioletfern 07/25/2016

    Thank you! This is how I feel about the lake property I recently acquired. I will not be gardening there - just installing a few native plants to enhance the natural beauty and leaving them in Mother Nature's care. This is truly stunning scenery. I am fascinated by mosses and lichens.

  18. schatzi 07/25/2016

    Cherry, you channel Ansell Adams fabulously! Your photos are gorgeous, showing the minute details of Mother Nature's artistry. What a beautiful area. I hope to visit it someday.
    Hope you have a wonderful summer.

  19. marlenemullet 07/25/2016

    Beautiful pics! We just got back from a hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies and I also loved the alpine plants!

  20. eddireid 07/26/2016

    Thank you, Cherry! I walk mountain trails vicariously through your beautiful photographs. Thank goodness one can still dream. The lichens and moss are truly amazing. Very photograph grabs my heart.

  21. Cenepk10 07/28/2016

    Beautiful, Cherry. Love seeing through your eyes. Your Instagram pages are beautiful too ?

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