Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden of Peace

A Maryland gardener creates a soothing paradise

Yonette Thomas sent in these pictures of her garden in Glenn Dale, Maryland. Yonette’s photos show the great impact that restraint can have in the garden. All too often, plant and garden lovers fall prey to the instinct to have one of everything and to pack every space to bursting with too many plants, making a garden that is frenetic and overwhelming. Yonette’s garden takes the opposite approach, using carefully chosen plants, smooth paths, and lots of green. This is a garden with few flowers, and the result is a harmonious, soothing garden. We could all use a space like this to relax and unwind in the evening or listen to the birds first thing in the morning. Maybe I can manage to learn a lesson from Yonette and create a soothing green space in my own garden.


Azaleas are a fixture in gardens anywhere warm enough for them to thrive. Grown in sunnier conditions, they grow full and thick and make a dense mass of foliage and flowers. But this beautiful pink specimen is growing in deeper shade. It is still covering itself in flowers, and the shade is causing the growth to open up into a looser, more informal, and spectacularly beautiful cascade. View our guide to azaleas here.


More azaleas bloom around this round fountain. The imposing formality of this large, perfectly circular fountain is lightened by the cheerful frog sculptures sitting on the fountain ledge. Here are some simple ways you can add water features to your garden.


Pathways are key to a wonderful garden. This simple flagstone path curves gracefully, guiding you on into the rich green of the garden.


Generous seating surrounded by hostas and other shade-loving perennials invites you to stop with friends and chat or just relax and enjoy the beautiful setting. Get some inspiration with beautiful combinations of plants that are perfect for shady areas.


Humans aren’t the only ones who can enjoy this garden! A bird bath invites other visitors to come and enjoy the space as well. Click here to see more ideas of whimsical additions you can put in your garden.



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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/02/2018

    Love your paths & many sitting areas.

  2. wittyone 07/02/2018

    I agree that this is a lovely, calm, relaxing garden but I really don't think that if you are a "more is better" kind of gardener that you can cajole yourself into creating one like this. To each his own.

  3. Maggieat11 07/02/2018

    I am loving your garden areas! You are fortunate to have the mature trees and the amount of property that you have. It is wonderful what you have created. Gorgeous!

  4. annek 07/02/2018

    In a word (or two): beautiful serenity. Your mature grove of trees calls out for a calming design and simple formality. You’ve accomplished a intrinsically natural haven

    1. annek 07/02/2018

      Oops.....‘an’ intrinsically....

  5. btucker9675 07/02/2018

    Serene, green and so inviting - a perfect place to de-stress and let go of the worries of the day!

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/02/2018

    I suspect that after viewing these scenes of such appealing tranquility, some of us are feeling reflective about seeing the expression "less is more" brought to life. The plant free meanderings of the mulched spaces are very calming and serve as a unifying element of the over all design. I admire and appreciate your restraint, Yonette.

  7. tennisluv 07/02/2018

    Ms. Thomas. I found myself wondering if the pretty pink azalea that you share with us is a native variety (Rhododendron prinophyllum or Rosehill Azalea) rather than a shade induced spindly hybrid azalea variety. My comment is based on the fact that the blossoms seem to have appeared before the leaves. Could you perhaps share the variety with us? Thanks so much. Lovely shade garden under the canopy of wonderful southern trees. Thanks.

  8. tennisluv 07/02/2018

    Ms. Thomas, I suspect that the pretty azalea you supplied is a native azalea, perhaps a Rhododendron prinophyllum, or Rosehill Azalea, since the flowers are displayed prior to the leafing out of the plant. Would you let me know if I am correct? It is really a pretty specimen, if it is.

  9. sheila_schultz 07/02/2018

    Yonette, you have created a comforting space to relax and read a book within your very own bit of forest. I can easily imagine my heart rate slowing down just following your path. It's all lovely.

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