Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden Centered on Trees and Shrubs

Woody plants give four seasons of beauty with little work

Today’s photos come from Anne Price:

My name is Anne, and I live in Quebec, Canada, Zone 5. My main interest is trees and shrubs with four-season interest, which I highlight with perennials and some annuals. I hope you enjoy these photos. They are from different times during the growing season and are a mix of front and back garden.

A Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–8) steals the show here, with fresh spring foliage in the brightest shade of green.

Another Japanese maple, with the new leaves just unfolding in the spring. The fresh foliage is tinged lightly with red. Many plants have new growth flushed with a red color in the spring. The red pigment acts as an antifreeze to help protect delicate new growth from late spring frosts. As an added bonus, it is very beautiful!

The bold leaves of a hosta contrast beautifully with the delicate maple foliage.

A rich diversity of colors, textures, and forms, provided primarily by foliage. The emphasis on trees and shrubs also makes this a low-maintenance garden.

A spectacular flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris, annual). This species can reach 5 to 6 feet tall in the right conditions, with huge bold foliage and long, dramatic, fragrant white flowers.

A wide view of the garden, showing what an incredible diversity of plants Anne has in a very small area. You don’t need acres and acres to have a beautiful, interesting, diverse garden!

Flower heads of oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–9).


Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, 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.

View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 03/18/2019

    Anne, fellow Canadian, I loved looking at the pictures of your garden. The Nicotinia is spectacular. I must add one to my garden this season. You have done a wonderful job!
    Sandy Prowse, Toronto Canada.

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thank you Sandy!

  2. garden1953 03/18/2019

    Lovely gardens and your photos are great. It's so nice to see so much green this time of year. I'm still looking at white. Thank you for sharing.

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thanks, still looking at white here too!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/18/2019

    Those hydrangea blooms are amazing!

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thank you, those are from 2 years ago and we had a lot of rain.

  4. User avater
    user-7007816 03/18/2019

    Love the mix of plants particularly featuring small conifers.

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thank you!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/18/2019

    The photo with the large leafed hosta was a particularly appealing vignette to me. I love how the graceful branch tip of the Japanese maple is practically tickling the hosta and the Japanese painted fern looks so cozily nestled in.

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thank you! I should have mentioned in my short description that the 2 ‘Japanese’ maple are actually Korean maples which do much better in our cold climate in Quebec.

  6. nwphillygardener 03/18/2019

    Oakleaf hydrangea is such a spectacular shrub! Anne's photo shows us how even with it's ultra showy panicles of snowy white blooms at their peak, the leaves can grab your attention with their shape and certain sturdy crispness that draws me in. And those blooms, depending on the cultivar and sun exposure, can really continue on a journey of color transition that keeps entertaining us as we tend our gardens. Similarly, I love the late season color of those leaves, and finally, when those fall, the peeling bark offers winter interest on a spare structure of branches.
    Thanks, Anne, for taking me on that journey with your beautifully composed photo.

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thank you, I love the Oakleaf hydrangea also. It does well in a protected spot and will hopefully stay with me for many years.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 03/18/2019

    Your garden looks super nice!
    I love your plan, (that's my plan also)- to plant a lot of trees and shrubs for four seasons of interest, with accents of perennials. I've seen perennial gardens without trees or shrubs and they are so empty looking all winter.
    Every season you have a pretty garden to look at!

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thank you!

  8. paiya 03/18/2019

    Anne, your garden is so lush, and the foliage and flowers are beautiful. Having lived and gardened in Montreal for 17years, we appreciate how much you have achieved with the season being much shorter than where we now live [Philadelphia suburbs(zone 7a now)]. The maples are beautiful. Interesting about the red pigment being antifreeze!

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Hello, thank you for the nice comments. I also didn’t know about the red foliage being antifreeze, makes sense for the Korean maples though, it must help them in the northern climes. I have another Korean maple and it also starts out with red foliage.

      1. nwphillygardener 03/18/2019

        Seems lots of foliage emerge red. Lots of tree leaves, and perennials like peonys and solomon seal…. I always wondered if it had something to a lack of chlorophyll from sun exposure. Same reason leaves go red in fall with diminished chlorophyll…?

  9. cheryl_c 03/18/2019

    Anne, what a delightful multitude of plants you have assembled - I spent time with each photo diving in and figuring out the ones that weren't named. I also love your nicotiana - it gave me an idea for our neighbors house whose windows are so high above the ground that only quite tall plants would be visible from indoors - that would be another plant to add to our candidate list! Thanks for sharing, and great job with your gardens!

    1. qcanne 03/18/2019

      Thanks Cheryl, that variety of Nicotiana is my favourite annual, I have planted it enough that it reseeds for me, as the one in the photo did.

  10. btucker9675 03/18/2019

    Gorgeous garden - you really have an artistic eye for mixing plants. The textures and shadings of colors are so interesting and look like they would be throughout the seasons. Thanks for sharing!

    1. qcanne 03/20/2019

      Thank you!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest