Garden Photo of the Day

Tingshu’s Massachusetts Garden

Loving tropicals in a cold climate

My name is Tingshu Hu. I live in Dunstable, Massachusetts (Zone 5b), but I love plants for warmer regions, such as canna (Canna hybrids, Zones 8–11 or as tender bulbs), crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia, Zones 7–10), Cordyline ‘Red Sister’ (Zones 9–11), and lotus (Nelumbo nucifera, Zones 4–10). I started my cannas indoors and planted them outdoors after the last frost. They started to bloom in July 4 and ended by the first frost. This year the first frost came on Oct. 31, about a month later than normal, so the cannas’ flower stems grew very tall. Most of the pictures were taken on Oct. 27 and 28.

Here is a grouping of Canna ‘Striata’, Rosa ‘America’, and Cordyline ‘Red Sister.’ Rosa ‘America’ is new this year. We planted one last year, but it was killed by voles (all the roots were eaten). This year we made an underground cage to protect the new rose.

Redbud (Cercis canadensis, Zones 5–9), maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis, Zones 5–9), ‘Gold Mound’ spirea (Spirea japonica ‘Gold Mound’, Zone 4–8)

Several varieties of Chinese Chrysanthemum, northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium, Zones 3–8)

Cyperus papyrus (Zones 9–10) on the left, with canna, redbud, and maiden grass behind.

Looking out at the garden

Crape myrtle (the red-leaved shrub in pot), dried lotus leaves, and floss flower (Ageratum houstonianum, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) and other ground covers

Knock Out rose, maiden grass, hazelnut’s red leaves (Corylus, Zones 4–8), Chrysanthemum

Potted crape myrtle in brilliant red

Anemone ‘Andrea Atkinson’ (Zones 4–8)

Fish in the garden pond


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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 11/15/2023

    Tingshu: one word — STUNNING! What a lovely garden. A feast for the eyes. The photo showing the knock-out rose resembles Monet’s garden. The colours are amazing, as is your photography. Thank you as well for the tip of getting a head start with the Canna Lily. I shall try that next year. One of the prettiest gardens I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing.

  2. User avater
    musabasjoosue 11/15/2023

    Lovely, Tingshu! The fence and arbors lend a perfect backdrop to your richly planted garden. I love and use many tropical plants in my garden too. They add a bit of work but are well worth the effort.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 11/15/2023

    Oh wow the fish pond in your garden- I LOVE it! And you have the best autumn garden with so many flowers and colors...really super nice!

  4. moyra_b 11/15/2023


  5. user-7821942 11/15/2023

    Beautiful composition. I really like your use of hardscaping and color. In photo three, there is a shaggy, red/purple chrysanthemum that looks like one that I inherited from my grandmother years ago. I have not been able to identify the cultivar. Do you know? Thanks again for sharing your garden with us.

    1. Tingshu99 11/16/2023

      Thanks for your nice words and encouragement. I believe the chrysanthemum is Hillside Sheffield Pink. They can be pruned to have a better form, like a ground cover, but I always missed the timing, so they look shaggy.

    2. Tingshu99 11/16/2023

      I might have misunderstood your question. Hillside Sheffield Pink is the pink mum in the first picture. The red/purple mum in picture 3 is Pittsburg Purple. It just started blooming in the picture. Right now the blooms are much bigger (6 to 7 inches in diameter).

      1. user-7821942 11/17/2023

        Thank you for the information. I have not encountered the Pittsburg Purple in my searching so I am thrilled to learn of it. Your chrysanthemums look just like mine as I, too miss the timing on cutting them back. I think that the purple/red flower itself looks shaggy, like a lion's mane which for me is part of its charm.

  6. User avater
    cynthia2020 11/15/2023

    Tingshu - I adore your gardening story, hardscaping, and photography. Your love of gardening shines. Thank you for sharing your challenges and triumphs.

  7. btucker9675 11/15/2023

    This is so wonderful - the color of the autumn redbud leaves. Pure gold!

  8. Tingshu99 11/16/2023

    Thank you all for your compliments. We are very encouraged and will submit more photos later. My husband loves to build structures and do the hardscaping. He also enjoys taking pictures around the garden.

    Deedee and Luke (in my account name) are our two Havanese dogs.

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