Garden Photo of the Day

Part 1: A Garden Makeover in BC

By Kim Charles

What happens with a little forthought and planning? One great garden makeover, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Cherry Ong and her friend Sylvia.

"I haven't submitted photos of my girlfriend Sylvia's garden in awhile so I thought I would send an update of the two previous garden beds that we had planted. The first five photos are of the first garden bed we madeover. This is her shady backyard and the photos were taken in June this year. The bed was madeover in June 2009 (7 years ago). Photos 6 to 13 are of her front island bed which is shared with her neighbor. It has a fire hydrant and 2 utility panels within the bed that we had to keep accessible. This bed was madeover. This island was madeover in August 2014.

Photos 14 and 15 are a couple of her containers and windowboxes that we planted this year."

Have a garden you'd like to share? Email 5-10 photos and a brief story about your garden to [email protected]. Please include where you are located!

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on 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.

Follow us: @finegardening on Twitter | FineGardeningMagazine on Facebook @finegardening on Instagram

View Comments


  1. frankgreenhalgh 01/17/2017

    Nice work on the garden ladies! Also nice work, Cherry, twisting Kim's arm to extend the number of pics. allowed from 10 to 15. Cheers, Frank

    1. Kim_Charles 01/17/2017

      Good morning! I am putting myself in your shoes to keep our mid winter GPOD as exciting as it can be. I have no problem popping in additional photos if I have a few extra minutes. And hey...its worth it! This is a post filled with some nice plant eye candy! Stay tuned for part 2!

      1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

        Thank you Kim. That was a quick up wake up surprise when I received your e-mail this morning (before the morning cup of coffee). LOL.

    2. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thanks Frank. I'll keep trying to convince Kim....

  2. donnastiner 01/17/2017

    Nice pictures, beautiful plants. I would appreciate identification of the plants.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thanks Donna. I'll have to get back to you on the plant lists.

      Here's the link to her backyard garden bed makeover which was done in 2009. The photos are several years (I think 5). The bed is shady and the soil tends to be wet. Some of the perennials/shrubs were retained and about 60% were replaced. Last year, Sylvia reports that no matter what she does the heucheras don't seem to fare well so we replaced them with Sarracenias which she said were doing fine. We'll see how they do next year. Most of the photos of the garden are in the bottom comment section. FG just switched over to their new website and it wasn't smooth sailing yet.

      For the frontyard island, it was madeover September of 2014. The last three photos in this GPOD link shows the previous and newly planted bed.

      We've added brazeberries to this bed since Sylvia loves blueberries and they have been doing well.

    2. perenniallycrazy 01/19/2017

      Hi again Donna. Here's the plant list of the garden island bed. It receives full sun, in hardiness zone 7, has 2 city panels in the middle of the island as well as a fire hydrant nearby (which the city has to have access to at all times). There is also the tree on the right side which is the neighbors' so we had to it leave as is.

      Chamaecyparis obtusa
      Caryopteris ‘Little Miss Sunshine’
      Hydrangea ‘Little Lime’
      Eryngium planum
      Sedum Lidakense
      Erica carna ‘Springwood White’ (3)
      Festuca glauca Beyond Blue (3)
      Carex oshimensis Evergold
      Berberis thunbergii ‘Concorde’
      Brazelberry Peach Sorbet
      Brazelberry Jelly Bean
      Heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’ (3)
      Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’ (3)
      Senecio greyii ‘Sunshine’
      Sedum Cape Blanco
      Artemisia schmidtiana
      Cape Fuchsia (3)
      Iberis sempervirens ‘Snowflake’
      Pulmonaria Excaliber
      Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ (1)
      Carex testacea

      1. donnastiner 01/19/2017

        Thank you. The list is very long. I certainly don’t know where the names/plants connect. Thanks for your help. Donna

  3. user-7007498 01/17/2017

    Good morning, Cherry. I love the plant combinations in the back bed against the house. Great use of gold to brighten the shade and the house tones. The alchemilla looks great in bloom. The hakonechloa looks fabulous under the rhododendron. The Hydrangea serrata is beautiful (is that Preziosa?). I am also a big fan of the container and windowboxes. Well done. Can't wait to see Part 2.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thanks. I'll have to ask Sylvia about the hydrangea since that was a shrub she replaced the year after the makeover.

  4. Jay_Sifford 01/17/2017

    Hi Cherry. I have just three words to describe this garden: Fab You Lus. I'm so glad that there are a few of us "uber texture" people around.
    Great job!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thank you Jay?.

  5. NCYarden 01/17/2017

    Good morning Cherry. Wonderful and complementary combination of plants. It looks amazing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thanks David. It's great when a plan works out.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/17/2017

    I can hardly believe that the front island bed is only a couple years has filled in and matured so beautifully. Is the deep maroon ground cover a sedum called 'Dazzleberry'? And, is it repeated as an element in the container composition? And, while I'm focussing on the container, what is the name of the tall blue toned evergreen? Everything looks wonderful and Sylvia has proven to be a green thumber herself with how great she has maintained your joint efforts.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Sylvia can definitely hold her own though it is fun to work with her! The sedum groundcover is Lidakense. I think the one in the container might be Dazzleberry though I'll need to verify that.

    2. perenniallycrazy 01/19/2017

      Hi Michaele. Sylvia said for the container, the tall blue conifer is Sawara Cypress 'Baby Blue' and the sedum is 'Sunsparkler Sedum Cherry Tart.'

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 01/19/2017

        Thanks for the follow up info, Cherry and please thank Sylvia for remembering the names. I'm going to do some reading up on "Baby Blue'. It looks quite wonderful for a container.

  7. user-4691082 01/17/2017

    Good morning Cherry and Sylvia! Your efforts are well thought out! Is that caryopteris 'Little miss
    sunshine'? I just planted it last year so I can't wait to see it coming along. We're halfway through January, so we are well on our way to spring! Yippee! Thanks, Kim, for helping us to live through winter with the hope of seeing what's in store!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thank you Rhonda. Yes indeed, that is Little Miss Sunshine. We highly recommend her.

      1. user-7007940 01/17/2017

        I have the Incanna Jason Caryopteris and I love it. I took cuttings from it and have planted two more in my garden.

  8. Chris_N 01/17/2017

    Hi Cherry and Sylvia. I'll just ditto all the comments below. Love the bee on the caryopteris. I am jealous of all the different types of ferns you can grow there. I am planning all our summer plantings for work right now and your containers always act as a great inspiration.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Awwwww...thanks Chris. Can't wait to see your garden planted.

  9. user-3565112 01/17/2017

    Good morning Cherry & Sylvia, "A friend in the garden is a treasure whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart" (Anon).The creative gardens you've built together has brought beauty to people around the world this morning. That is also immeasurable & greatly appreciated.
    Good luck to you both & I hope you get to spend many more years gardening together, Joe

    1. sheila_schultz 01/17/2017

      Joe, every time I read one of your comments my heart smiles. You are a very thoughtful and kind man, thank you.

      1. user-3565112 01/17/2017

        Thank you Sheila for your warm compliments. I have been blessed with a great family & friends & reasonably good health. Hope you have been lucky as well & have a pleasant winter & great spring, Good luck, Joe

    2. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Awwwww..... Joe... I'm so touched. Thanks very much. Looks like you and meander1 can write us all to tears here. Kidding aside, it is true that the garden has been one of the endearing parts of our friendship. I always look forward to working in Sylvia's garden.

      1. user-3565112 01/17/2017

        Cherry,I know the feeling of gardening with friends. My best friend since kindergarten ( 70 yrs. next mo. ) & I have helped each other in our gardens for nearly 40 years .After the work s done we sit in the shade, drink iced tea & discuss our efforts Iced tea has replaced beer in our later years but that's another story.

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 01/17/2017

          What a remarkable and enviable story of friendship, Joe.

          1. user-3565112 01/18/2017

            Thank you Meane. He is an absolutely a remarkable & lovable man. I don't believe we ever had an argument or cross word even when we played football on opposing sides. I hope you are well, , have a warm winter & terrific spring. Good luck , Joe

    3. Meelianthus 01/17/2017

      That's beautiful Joe.

      1. user-3565112 01/17/2017

        Thank you, I read your quote below & I like it. You can find lots of quotes relative to gardening if you dig deep enough. Oh well comedy is not my bag.
        Good luck Melianthus, Joe

  10. sheila_schultz 01/17/2017

    Cherry, I now pronounce you the 'Queen of Texture'! Your eye for beautiful combinations is as skilled as your eye for balance through your lens... spot on! It's obvious that your designs are thoughtfully planned towards using texture, form and foliage to it's fullest. Sylvia is one lucky woman to be able to call you her friend, gardening mentor and gardening guru!!! BTW, you did one of the best jobs ever hiding the utilities in that front bed... those suckers are well hidden. Bravo!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thanks very much Sheila. I'm trying to convince Sylvia to comment. I've always asked her too but she hasn't. Maybe today or tomorrow?

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/17/2017

    So glad to see these updates, Cherry and Sylvia. Magnificent. The container and window box at the end really worked wonderfully! Kudos!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/17/2017

      Thanks Tim. A lot of the gardens featured on GPOD (like yours) have served as inspiration over the years.

  12. user-3058938 01/17/2017

    Cherry -- Would you please come to Portland and help me redesign my garden? I have a lovely guest room, good coffee and there's always a bottle of wine in the refrigerator. How about it?

  13. Meelianthus 01/17/2017

    Beautifully done Cherry and Sylvia. I do really like the pot and it's contents next to the #l. Wonderful job ladies!

    'Friends are the flowers in the garden of life.' (Unknown)

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/19/2017

      So true!

  14. foxglove12 01/17/2017

    Beautiful! So much texture and color and fullness. Love it.

  15. GrannyCC 01/17/2017

    Wonderful colours Cherry and Sylvia. It is amazing what you can do in a small space.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/19/2017

      Thank you.

  16. user-7007940 01/17/2017

    Nice garden. I live in the Seattle area so I am familiar with some of the plants as I have some of them in my garden. What kind of fern is that or the Lady's Mantle and Helleobores? It looks like a soft shield fern.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/19/2017

      It might very well be. I'm waiting for Sylvia to respond with the plant names.

  17. OregonGardenGal 01/18/2017

    Beautiful! Both beds look balanced and full but not too crowded which is quite a feat if one is 7 years old and the other much newer. I love how you have combined textures and colors.

  18. Cenepk10 01/20/2017

    Oh my goodness... Can you imagine having Cherry to help you make over a bed ? Looks so beautiful with your touch. Almost like a fingerprint- starting to recognize when Cherry has touched a bed :)

  19. krissgandier 01/25/2017

    Very elegant and colorful choice of plant material. Makes a striking and appealing visual impact. Love the difference in textures and variety of plants.

  20. [email protected] 06/05/2017

    Would love to know what are the hydrangea types and the red plant in the planter.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest