Garden Photo of the Day

Take Time to Enjoy Your Summer Garden

I never realized how beautiful the flowers of Black Mondo Grass are.

Cherry Ong's summer garden in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada is a reminder that timing is everything, we can't control time, and we should take time to enjoy what we have when we have it!

"I'd like to share some summer photos of our tiny suburban garden here in Richmond, BC.  We've had an unusually early summer this year. It has been warm and dry since May so the garden has matured early and sports that July look. I wish I had planted my annuals a lot earlier so they can catch up with the rest of the garden."

Hydrangea Quickfire blooms are always a welcome sight in your garden.

The clock tower has been decked for the summer.

Hakonechloa macra (all-gold in this photo) is my most favorite ornamental grass.  It's like bacon – it makes everything better. 

Acer palmatum Moonbeam foliage pops against the all-gold Hakone grass.

Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost shines beside all gold. This is the first year that I have seen extra-large foliage.

False solomon seal and Ligularia dentata Britt Marie Crawford make a great pairing here.  The ligularia grows even larger towards the middle of summer.

Hosta August Moon shines with the heat and sun in front of Ligularia dentata Britt Marie Crawford.  This healthy clump is about 6 years old.

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  1. user-1020932 06/26/2015

    always lush, full, vibrant and healthy with perfect combos and perfect plants. your garden is always a treat. wish i could have hakone grass and brunnera grow that well here

    1. NCYarden 06/26/2015

      Thanks, Jeff, for making me feel better about my Hakone grass, even if you didn't mean to.

    2. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Thank you Jeff. I hope you take comfort in the thought that you can also grow many specimens at home that I can't in my garden like begonias, caladiums, coloccasia and many others. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/26/2015

    Cherry, there is nothing "tiny" about the amount of delight that sweeps over me as I gaze upon all the wondrous plant combinations you have put many magical pairings. Ha, you are the E-Harmony / of deciding who goes with who or what goes with what. I adore your clock tower and how you have accessorized it with the hanging baskets. Of course, like Jeff, I can only sigh with envy and admiration at the glowing lushness of your Hakone grass.

    1. NCYarden 06/26/2015

      Probably a much better success rate too than e-harmony/match...haha. I could see myself as well in Cherry's garden. Great comment.

    2. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      E- Harmony/ - you are too funny Michaele!
      I miss your garden photos - where are they? I think it's time for the daylily and succulent showcase. Oh and let's not forget, your all so fabulous pink muhly grass and all the gorgeous garden art and whimsy only you have.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 06/26/2015

        Glad I gave you a smile, Cherry. Yes, I have been delinquent in posting pictures here on gpod. I just took some this morning of the redo on my succulent display table and animal theme planters. I guess my problem is that I never think my pictures do my subjects justice. If I had your skill in framing and focus, I'd probably be popping up all the time with pictures.

        1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

          Erase that notion in your head. I have always enjoyed your posts - pretty awesome IMHO.

      2. Cenepk10 07/15/2015

        Just received that fabulous link you sent to the blog !!!!! I could French kiss you for that ... Is that your place / blog ? Incredible !!!!!!!!!!

  3. wittyone 06/26/2015

    I love your combinations with the ligularia. I have seen the Brit-Marie ligularia many times but was never really taken with it. But your combinations make it seem like a "must have" in my future.

  4. user-4691082 06/26/2015

    Cherry, I love the clock tower with the hanging baskets! Diane, it's a cloudy dreary day in southeastern Pa also! I agree these beautiful photos really brighten my day. My fav hakonechloa is 'Aureola' but they are all beautiful. I too will have to rethink ligularias. I am trying Jack Frost again, my first one came back the second year and bloomed, but disappeared the third year.

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Thank you Rhonda. I hope your new trials for ligularia and hakone work out for you. Jeff mentioned to me that there is one garden in his area where Hakone grass grows and it is right beside a water feature so that may do the trick for your new trials. Good luck and please keep us posted.

  5. NCYarden 06/26/2015

    Well, Cherry, the early summer garden is looking sweet. Wonderful color combos. I do feel your pain about the weather conditions this year, as it is a virtual oven here in NC. I predominantly just ornamental garden but I do tuck small veggies in occasionally, especially peppers, and at this moment I swear I'm growing roasted peppers. I'm pleased to see the plants holding up well in your garden despite the conditions. And as usual I am envious of the Hakone grass. Why does success with this plant escape me? However, I did move mine one last time last year and it is doing a little better. The bunch is a bit fuller with a few more strands. Fingers crossed. I do love your shot of it with the leaves of the Moonbeam maple...artful. Great pics. Thank you for sharing.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/26/2015

      Roasted peppers?! I'm dying here.

    2. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Good morning David (NC Yarden). I'm glad your Hakone grass is going well with the transfer. One thing I have to mention about Hakone grass - it is a very slow grower. Those clumps in the photos above (beside the clock and the maple) are about 6-7 years old. We planted three 1 gallon pots to start and they took a long time to grow in. As I have mentioned to Rhonda below, Jeff mentioned that there is a garden in TN where Hakone grass grows and it sits beside a water feature so that may do the trick for you. Have a fun summer David and I hope you send us photos of your garden soon. I miss your Japanese maples!

      1. NCYarden 06/26/2015

        Hi Cherry. Thanks for the insight on the hakone grass. The new spot is wetter, and thus might explain the improvement. So the other half may just be patience, which I can muster. There is hope yet.
        I am gathering some photos to submit, so it should be soon.
        Stay cool and keep your plants happy.

        1. perenniallycrazy 07/14/2015

          Hi David! Hope you are enjoying summer especially in the garden. Thought that this would brighten your Monday:

          1. NCYarden 07/14/2015

            Hi Cherry,
            Thanks for sending me this. Tim also did...haha. I really appreciate you guys looking out for my gardening happiness. Hope all is well in your part of the world garden.

  6. Cenepk10 06/26/2015


    1. perenniallycrazy 07/14/2015

      Hi there Cenepk! Hope you are enjoying the summer. Sharing this blog with you because I have a feeling that you will love it: Thanks and have a great day!

      1. Cenepk10 07/15/2015

        That was a gift from God through you. I can't thank you enough !!!! Wow ! Exactly the style of gardening I embrace !!!! So incredible - is that your blog ?

        1. perenniallycrazy 07/15/2015

          Nope, but I know you've figured it out. Please show her your support. Thanks!

      2. Cenepk10 07/15/2015

        I figured out- it's the former admin of gpod - got it

  7. annek 06/26/2015

    Cherry, you are a plant combo wizard. Your pairings are perfectly done and everything looks perfectly healthy. The moonbeam in front of the hakone grass is stunning, and the black mondo grass blooms are so delicate and in a shade perfectly accenting the leaves. The clock tower photo should be on the cover of a magazine! You and your garden rock!

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Awww, thanks Kielian. I am waiting very patiently for your garden and container photos...

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/26/2015

    Well, it is a toss up deciding which I like better: bacon or Hakone grass! Or rocks. Big stinking rocks. I digress....Cherry, your garden is simply wonderful, and I love Michaele's e-Harmony comment. Everything looks great together. I love Jack Frost. Have you tried any of the other subsequent cultivars like Looking Glass or Alexander's Great? I'm pretty happy with Jack Frost but might give the others a go. Love the False Solomon's seal. Is it a maianthemum? If you don't know, maybe polygonatum-collector Glenda can ID. Cheers!

    1. NCYarden 06/26/2015

      Hi Tim,
      I am trying Alexander's Great here. I put it in 2 seasons ago, and it quickly began to retreat after the Spring flush. And as we were building a new woodland bed, I decided to transplant the remaining leaf (no kidding) into this bed where the moisture theoretically would be better. It came back this season with some vigor, and so far is doing good. At this point I can't call it 'Great' but certainly very promising. If I can get through this season's heat, I'm already excited to see it next season.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/26/2015

        I'll be anxious to hear how it does. Jack Frost is picky about its site for me. It grows great in some spots: in others, it starts to get dead edges and black dead sections in the leaves during the summer. Haven't quite figured that out.

    2. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/26/2015

      Hi Tim I just finally found Kings Ransom brunnera it's was pricy but was huge and had several plants together so I cut it into two plants and I love this one. It's been really hot so I have had to stay on top of the watering but all looks good so far. Hope the wedding was wonderful

    3. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Thank you Tim. I love Michaele's e-harmony comment as well. I believe I have a Looking Glass growing beside Jack Frost. It's going alright but a bit squished from the cramscaping going on. She is not as bright beside Jack Frost but I believe that she was mislabeled at the nursery as a Jack Frost from the get go.

      For your second question, yes it is Maianthemum racemosa. She's grown quite large in size this year compared to the previous years. I guess a lot of the perennials reach a showstopping size past year 5 given the right conditions.
      I am trying out a new Hakone grass this year - Fubuki which means snow storm in Japanese. I have been warned by a fellow gardener that hers did not do well from last year's as they were pumped with growth hormones by the grower. I hope this will not be the case with mine. I have been told that variegated species are usually slower growers and do not reach the same size as verdant counterparts so time will tell.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/26/2015

        Very, very nice. I hope it thrives. You're right about slow to get going. What's the saying? First four years it sleeps, next couple of years it creeps, 7 years later it spreads like bamboo! I have Nicholas, which has barely increased in four years. I'm being patient!

        1. perenniallycrazy 06/27/2015

          Hmmmm.... I don't think I have seen Nicholas in these parts... but definitely on my wishlist now. It never ends does it? Geez, we all enable each other, don't we?

  9. user-7007666 06/26/2015

    Love the bacon reference!

  10. user-7007672 06/26/2015

    Cherry, all is lush and gorgeous! Clock, grasses, variety of leaf forms, all show your designer's eye and care for detail. Looking forward to seeing it in person in August!

    1. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/26/2015

      Oh Chris,you get to visit Cherry how great is that.

      1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

        Come along for the ride Glenda.

        1. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/26/2015

          When what's up I'm out of the loop

    2. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Ditto. Hope it doesn't disappoint. I think you are familiar with that "I'm so tired and I wanna die" annuals look in August.

  11. thevioletfern 06/26/2015

    A+ for color and texture. You are obviously an ace student. The kind of student who teaches the master! Wonderful, beautiful, amazing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Thank you Kathy.

    2. perenniallycrazy 07/14/2015

      Hi Kathy. I have a feeling you will love this link:

  12. ILfarmersdaughter 06/26/2015

    Absolutely gorgeous. I love the clock idea too. Beautiful and healthy plants.

  13. galealdred 06/26/2015

    Fantastic combinations. Britt Marie Ligularia, one of my favorites.

  14. GrannyMay 06/26/2015

    Hi Cherry. Lovely to see your garden this morning, looking beautiful, showing off your wonderful talent for picking the right plants for the right place! Love that clock tower photo! And all the others!

    I am reminded that there are certain advantages to having a small garden - primary right now is that you can keep it watered during this seemingly endless drought we are having.

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Thanks Granny May. It takes me some time to water the garden these days and the mosquitoes so enjoy my presence. LOL.

  15. NWAgardener 06/26/2015

    Cherry - thank you for the gorgeous photos which provide excellent detail. I, too, was not aware how lovely the flowers of Black Mondo Grass are. I will be sure to pay closer attention next spring. Your plant combinations are superb and I will add Britt Marie Ligularia to my shade bed after seeing yours. Quick Fire hydrangea is one of my favorite flowering shrubs for its lovely (very long-lasting blooms) and ease of care - a real winner!

  16. terieLR 06/26/2015

    Yay! Short visit just now but happy it's the weekend and will come back to linger longer. Love, love this post. Thanks Cherry!

    1. perenniallycrazy 07/14/2015

      Hi Terie! Thought this would brighten your Monday:

      1. terieLR 01/04/2016

        Wish I had seen this before! Good grief... I just found it!

  17. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/26/2015

    Cherry your gardens look picture perfect ,the combinations of texture and color are swoon worthy. I really love the Lingularia none of which I have hummmmm might need to go shopping. So do we get to see some of your pots?(greedy aren't I )I hope we do maybe we should all send in a pot photo and have a pot fest(it's legal in Wa.)that might be fun.

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 06/26/2015

      Oh cute...a pot fest...yes, Cherry could start us off with her wonderful creations and we could all jump on the bandwagon and share one of our own that gives pleasure or brings a smile.

      1. user-7007140 06/26/2015

        What a lovely idea.

      2. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

        Let's not forget Tim and Sheila's GPOD Container Challenge this summer. Have you planted your blacks and silvers yet?

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 06/26/2015

          If only I had another "Me"...even a mini me...than I could get to everything. I got so wrapped up in doing up my succulent display table and animal planters that the silver and black challenge fell off my radar. I'll just enjoy cheering on other people's creations and try the impossible task of picking which one I like best.

          1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

            Tim mentioned something about altering the rules. Lucky us!

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/26/2015

            Yes, rules are made to be broken. The challenge is just for fun. If you have a container that meets any of the parameters (mmm, let's say your plants are in a container, for example) send it in to the container challenge email ([email protected]) by July 31st. Hopefully they will be posted here if I am able to confirm with the new blog fairies.
            Signed, Perennially Cheating.

          3. User avater
            meander_michaele 06/26/2015

            Oh, you are a hoot, Tim! Maybe I'll see if I think I have a worthy contender. You, Cherry, Sheila, Jeff, shoot, just everybody. set a pretty high bar for great looking containers.

          4. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/26/2015

            You underestimate your perennial (and annual) prowess! Have a great weekend!

          5. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

            Hahaha! Just to complete your day... here is your Agave from my garden to yours.

          6. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/26/2015

            She is pure, spiky gorgeousness. A. parryi? A, Havardiana? Do tell! You poor guys have it hot and dry. It's raining so much here in central Ohio that, for the first time ever, I brought most of my container agaves indoors to dry out! Weather is never fair.....

          7. perenniallycrazy 06/27/2015

            Does it normally rain in Ohio in June?

            She's an Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' - quite a fast grower too. I'll be hardpressed to find her a larger container/pedestal next year.

    2. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Thank you Nurserynotnordstrom. The garden fairy (named Susan) may just grant your wish soon enough! =).

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/26/2015

        Oh great thanks garden fairy!!! My wish has been fulfilled ?

  18. user-7007140 06/26/2015

    Well, what can I say! Superb, Cherry. Your garden is gorgeous and I love the beautiful shots you have conjured. I have hosta.ligularia, ginger and hellebore in a grouping, but now I think I "see" some Polygonatum, too. Mine is variegated so the flashes of cream would look well, don't you think?
    Aren't we lucky to have gardens to play with?
    Enjoyed the bacon and e harmony references - great fun, thank you.

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/27/2015

      Oooooooo, I would love photos of those in your garden. Thank you Eddi.

  19. user-7007140 06/26/2015

    Can someone remind me how to post a photo on this site, please. I'm so not a techie. Maybe more of a Flintstones type.

    1. GrannyCC 06/26/2015

      Hi Eddie
      Click on reply under the post and you will see a camera icon on the left hand side, Click on it and it will walk you through the process. Good luck, looking forward to the photo you send in,

      1. user-7007140 06/26/2015

        Thank you Catherine.

  20. VikkiVA 06/26/2015

    Cherry, I had to smile when I read your comparison of Japanese Forest Grass to bacon. Ironically I went to a donut shop, Duck Donuts, last week and ordered bacon on my orange/lemon icing dipped donut. As I took my first bite of the donut I know I heard the angles sing. I feel the same way about the small patch of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola" that I have in my garden. It makes every thing look better. I am so jealous of your Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost. It is stunning with the grass. I planted it years ago but it "melted" in our Virginia heat and humidity. Vikki in VA.

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Your reply brought a big smile to my face VikkiB =). Yeah - bacon! Chocolate too! I consider containers the chocolate sauce of the garden, making the garden even more luxurious than ever.
      I'm happy you have a thriving patch of Aureola in your garden and I do hope you have more luck with Brunnera. Perhaps it can be tried beside a water feature in the shade.
      I wish you a wonderful weekend with a parting photo of more bacon bits!

  21. GrannyCC 06/26/2015

    Ah Cherry you have the eye for colour and design. A true garden artist. I echo everyone else's words.The hydrangea is gorgeous. My Ligularia does well but I envy your Brunnera, Mine needs to be moved to a more moist spot, they are too dry. Sounds like we are all suffering with the heat, Happy watering and big water bills!!

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Glad to hear from Granny Catherine. Thank you for your kind comments! I'm sure you can grow brunnera in your garden as we are in the same region. My brunnera had offsprings last year which I tried to grow in pots without success, so I agree with everyone that it can be choosy it its home residence. I hear ya about the watering bills! Have a wonderful weekend.

  22. steve_mosley 06/26/2015

    Cherry - totally epic garden - fantastic colour combo's - very healthy as well - you're an excellent gardener

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

      Thank you Steve.

  23. perenniallycrazy 06/26/2015

    Happy to hear from Pat and thank you! Glad to know we can count you in for the pot contest.

  24. sheila_schultz 06/26/2015

    As always, Cherry, your gardens are just plain dreamy! The colors, combos and textures all = perfection! You have packed a whole lot of beauty in a small space ;)

    1. perenniallycrazy 06/27/2015

      Thanks Sheila. I have learned so much from you and yours.

  25. perenniallycrazy 06/27/2015

    Don't worry about Jeff - he has really awesome Colocasia in his garden - I definitely suffer from Colocasia envy when I see his posts. Thank you and have a fantastic summer Diane!

  26. hudit 06/27/2015

    I was just noticing the same thing about the mondo grass flowers, here in Seattle. I think it's because of the long dry summer we've already endured!

  27. ClareRocky 06/28/2015

    Just beautiful! I especially love the Hakone grass.

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