Garden Photo of the Day

Supporting Players

Peonies may be the stars of this garden, but the other plants deserve their own moment in the spotlight

Today we’re sharing more photos from Connie Prendergast’s garden in Sedgewick, Alberta. Sometimes we gardeners feel like we could have the garden of our dreams if only we were in a different climate. It can be so easy to feel like all the plants we really want to grow are not quite hardy here or need different conditions. But Connie shows that you can make an incredible garden no matter where you are. Sedgewick is in USDA Hardiness Zone 3, about 300 miles (480 km) north of the U.S. border in Montana. Zone 3 means that the average low temperature each winter is between –40°F and –30°F (–40°C to –34°C). Yet Connie has filled her garden with beautiful plants that thrive in her cold climate. Yesterday we featured her beautiful collection of peonies, which laugh at cold winters, and today we’re looking at some of the other beautiful plants in her garden.

Bright orange Asiatic lilies (Lilium, Asiatic group, Zones 3–9) mingle with the cheery flowers of oxeye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare Zones 3–8)—with, of course, some peonies in the background.


Foliage power! Yellow-green hosta leaves contrast with a dark heuchera (Heuchera hybrid, Zones 3–8) selection. Above them, lily buds are ready to break in to bloom, and, of course, there’s another peony in the background! This is indeed the garden of a peony lover.


Masterwort (Astrantia major, Zones 4–7) has intricate, unusual flowers that are beloved by pollinators. A good choice for northern gardens, it thrives best in areas where the summers aren’t too hot.


Mock orange (Philadelphus sp., Zones 4–8) is an old-fashioned shrub that’s not seen frequently in today’s gardens but is well worth planting. It covers itself with pretty white flowers, and even better—those flowers are full of the heavenly scent of orange blossoms.


Beautiful flowers aren’t the only residents of this garden! This cat knows that it looks its best when paired with the pink flowers of spiked speedwell (Veronica spicata, Zones 3–8).


Another view of pink spiked speedwell, with the hot pink flowers echoing the color of the peony in the back.



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View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 07/17/2018

    Brrrrrr! Minus 30-40! You have some lovely flowers to grace your gardens. Interesting to see that you have oxeye daisies and lilies blooming when your peonies are blooming... my peonies are all done by the time those start. (Nice photo with your kitty! :-) !! )

  2. brian_mazzer 07/17/2018

    Great flower combos, I love the clashes of colour that have been created.Beautiful. Well done

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/17/2018

    Everything is just beautiful but especially love your mock orange.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/17/2018

    Hi, Connie, I'm so glad we get to see additional views of your garden. One of the advantages of the more compressed growing season in a zone 3 or 4 garden is that the blooming period of perennials overlap and that can create colorful combinations that a zone 6b-er like myself doesn't get to see in my own garden. And another advantage is that I suspect you don't have to be tormented by weeds growing in Dec.

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 07/17/2018

    A beautiful garden with lovely combinations. I will never complain about my zone 5 limitations again.

  6. Sunshine111 07/17/2018

    Splendid! I am loving the riotous colors!

  7. poest 07/17/2018

    The Veronica best I've seen in any photo layout. Just great.

  8. annek 07/17/2018

    The vibrant colors of your garden make me happy. Keep spreading the happiness!

  9. btucker9675 07/17/2018

    Cats always seem to know that gardens are created simply as backdrops for feline photo ops! What a lovely garden this is...

  10. grannieannie1 07/18/2018

    Such lush and brightly colorful beds! The Astrantia major is something we don't see in Delaware. The speedwell is an eye-catcher as is your very fuzzy kitten.
    Love your garden edging also. Thank you for taking time to post these!

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