Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! A clean slate transformed

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong

Today’s photos are from Cherry Ong in Richmond, British Columbia. She says, “We have a very small back yard– about 500 square feet–and when we moved in many years ago, our it was a mere patch of grass (known in these parts as “The Builder’s Special”).  The impetus for the garden was my hubby’s request to have more privacy.  I didn’t know much about North American gardening when we started the project as I grew up in a tropical country (though my Mom has been an avid gardener ever since I can remember), so I felt quite intimidated at first.  We also had a very tight budget so we asked for quotes from different landscapers and designers and realized that we could not afford their services.  It then became a DIY project.

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong

I was nervous and wanted our project to be successful, so after many months of researching, I found a local nursery that offered an in-nursery design service (Phoenix Perennials) where their in-house designer (always my favorite, Diane Brown) assists the client in the plantscape design.  The design was all planned out in the nursery and all our wants, needs and garden growing conditions were taken into account.  Advice on where to procure materials and methods to plant were also taught.  We had wanted a foliage garden with interest year-round that provided some privacy from our close-by neighbors.  I also discovered that my husband and our children liked scented flowers and foliage so we had incorporated that into our plant choices as well.

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong

We started with a small section of our yard in 2008 and slowly cut the other beds day by day and weekend after weekend until we completed both our front and backyards. Our entire family was involved in the whole process – I remember how my son was so adamant about rescuing earthworms from the smaller portion of upturned sod that we removed when we cut the beds.  This year, we were able to find a great second-hand outdoor set on Craigslist so we finally have a place to sit and enjoy all our hard work (though the irony of it all is that we had a very late and short summer – oh well).

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong

Needless to say, I have become totally addicted to gardening with this endeavor.  Of course, the garden continues to change and there remain many things to learn. We waited some three years for the backyard to grow in (photos taken in 2010 and July 2011) and are encouraged that it will continue to look more beautiful in the years to come.”

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong

What a stunning before and after, Cherry! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Keep sending me your photos, folks!

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cherry Ong
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Comments

  1. gottagarden 10/26/2011

    You've got a naturally green thumb. Looks fabulous, especially compared with those plain green lawns.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/26/2011

    Wow, talk about something being worth the effort...everything looks so lush and healthy . In fact, because your plant material is so robust, it actually gives off a tropical vibe which must make you feel right at home. I'm so glad you have outdoor seating now so you can enjoy looking at your beautiful hard work while relaxing.

  3. pattyspencer 10/26/2011

    Absolutely beautiful!

  4. user-7006908 10/26/2011

    What a gorgeous retreat...thank you. And what a wonderful family project. That will give you memories in the years to come. I've loved all the pictures before, but now with your pictures I am spurred on to take pictures of new beds I've created and at some point will send pictures of my garden.

  5. Jackson5 10/26/2011

    The yard is beautiful. I love these pictures of gardens that relate to what an average gardener has to work with in their own yards. It's very helpful and inspirational. thanks for the photos.

  6. GreenGrowler 10/26/2011

    What a beautiful transformation! And, in just a few short years! You and your family did a very professional, yet warm and inviting, job. I agree with Meander1, everything looks so full and healthy. Your plant spacing is perfect; it is quite an accomplishment to give plants enough space to develop properly, yet create a full tapestry without crowding. I have tried for many years to grow Japanese forest grass in my mostly-partial shade garden and only get a few weak blades (cursed semi-arid climate!); yours is magnificant! Kudos to you and thanks so much for sharing.

  7. snollygaster 10/26/2011

    Very interesting account of the garden's creation and good pix to accompany the text. It looks absolutely lovely, such a pleasing rythm of heights, textures and colour. Thanks for sharing.

  8. soilgoil 10/26/2011

    Cherry, you have every right to be proud of your efforts. What a lush, healthy, gorgeous garden. Keep up the good work!

  9. PerenniallyCrazy 10/26/2011

    Cherry here. Just came home from work and read everyone's comments... Thank you very much for all your kind words. I think you are all in agreement that creating a garden can transform one's house into a "home." We certainly enjoy our backyard even sitting by the kitchen area on a cold rainy day. Happy Gardening everyone.

  10. petuniababi 10/27/2011

    CHERRY,YOU ARE TRULY A GENIUS IN THE GARDENING DEPARTMENT.THIS IS TRULY WELL WORTH YOUR HARD WORK.IT MAKES ME WANT TO TRY AND COPY SOME OF YOUR IDEAS.THESE COMBINATION OF PLANTS ARE GREAT AND SHOW YOUR KNACK FOR THAT.i SO ENVY YOUR SKILLS AND YOUR HARD WORK ETHIC,KEEP UP THE FANTASTIC WORK!!!!

  11. terieLR 01/30/2012

    Hi Cherry ~ just came 'back' to view your photos and so GLAD I did! This is stunning. Happy 2012 in your lush backyard setting. Your mother must be very proud ;)

  12. PerenniallyCrazy 05/09/2012

    Hi terieLR. Just read your kind comments. Thank you! I envy your weather in Southern California - perfect for gardening IMHO. Hope to see more photos from your garden again this year.

  13. bkodama 01/21/2013

    Hello, would love a list of your perennials. Beautiful yard. I live in the northwest and could probably grow some. Any favorites for sun or shade?

  14. GrnThum 06/10/2013

    This is what happens when you let an artist loose in the garden. Perfection!

  15. PerenniallyCrazy 06/10/2013

    Thank you bkodama and grnthum.

    Here is the plant list for the first photo:
    1. Acer palmatum ‘Ugikumo’ [Floating Cloud Maple] (1)
    2. Acer palmatum ‘Beni-Otake’ (1)
    3. Acer palmatum ‘Waterfall’ (1)
    4. Heuchera ‘Caramel’ (2) – replaced with Heuchera Mahogany
    5. Helleborus ‘Silver Lace’ (3)
    6. Heuchera ‘Mahogany’ [Fancy Leaf Coral Bells] (2)
    7. Geranium phaeum ‘Margaret Wilson’ [Mourning Widow Cranesbill] (2)
    8. Phyllitis scolopendrium [Hart’s Tongue Fern] (3)
    9. Lily Hybrid ‘Manhattan’ (1)
    10. Delphinium ‘Summer Blues’ (3) – replaced with Primula polyantha ‘Mahogany Sunrise’ [Gold laced Primroses] and
    11. Azalea japonica ‘Red Fountain’ (3)
    12. Carex elata ‘Bowles Golden’ (Golden Sedge) (2)
    13. Rhodondendron rex ssp fictolacteum (1) – replaced with Hydrangea macrophylla Double Delights 'Expression'
    14. Fatshedera lizei ‘Lemon and Lime’ (1)
    15. Hydrangea ‘Quickfire’ (1)
    16. Lonicera japonica [Japanese honeysuckle] (1)
    17. Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ (3)
    18. Hosta ‘Big Daddy’
    19. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi [Kinnikinnick] (4) NATIVE (ground cover)
    20. Polygonum capitatum (4)(ground cover)
    21. Skimmia (3)
    22. Disanthus cercidifolium [Eastern Redbud](1)
    23. Asarum Splendens [Asarabacca Ginger] (1)
    24. Hosta - Medium sized with yellow left margins (1) ?Name
    25. Hosta Albomarginata – not in plan but planted close to Beni-Otake Maple
    26. Leucosceptrum japonicum 'Mountain Madness' [1]

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