Garden Photo of the Day

Documenting the Garden With Photos

Views of a Cape Cod garden

Today’s photos come from Gaby and John’s garden in Cape Cod, where they live just a few hundred yards from the water. According to John, Gaby’s the real garden wizard, and he’s “just the grunt who ferries plants, pots, and bags of soil about on demand”—which, let’s be honest, is a pretty important job. I think all of us gardeners would love to have someone to haul around plants, pots, and bags for us!

Gaby and John mostly take photos of the garden to document the space and to use as a reference in planning for the next season, which is such a great idea. I’m terrible about keeping a garden journal, but snapping photos is an easy way to record what was happening in the garden when and makes it easy to make plans for the future. For me, plans are mostly trying to shove more plants into the space, and it sounds like Gaby is the same way. As John put it, she’s “always hoping to find an appropriate space for more ‘children.’”An elegant bed planted with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Zones 3–11) and Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia, Zones 4–9)

The very same bed, later in the season, has transformed visually. The sedum has gone from green to bright pink, and the fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale, Zones 5–10) that was hardly noticeable earlier in the year is making a dramatic statement.

A view from inside the house, looking across the deck and out into the garden.

Crisply defined beds and neat turf make a great contrast to the softer, more informal shapes of the shrubs and perennials.

In this corner of the garden, a big planting of bright Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9) makes a puddle of gold.

There are many hydrangeas in the garden. Here is a bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 6–9) in its brilliant blue peak in mid-July.

Here is the same hydrangea in early September, completely transformed but just as beautiful.


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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.

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/31/2018

    I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures today, Gaby and John. I was struck with how impeccably maintained your garden is...with such well defined edging and nary a weed in sight. However, instead of seeming very formal, it still seems relaxed and welcoming because many of your plant choices give the impression of being soft and touchable. Love the hydrangea playing peek-a-boo through the slats of the bench...just delightful. And, John, never underestimate how priceless a personal garden "grunt" is.

  2. cheryl_c 12/31/2018

    Gaby and John, the pictures you have sent do, indeed, provide excellent documentation - of the wonderful forethought you have in plant choice, plant combinations and in planning for succession of beauty throughout the year. Well done! Great post for New Years Eve as we all think of our plans for the new year! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Vezpasia 12/31/2018

    Beautiful and so perfectly maintained, must take lots of TLC! So worth it, thanks for sharing!

  4. nwphillygardener 12/31/2018

    The lawn and crisp linear edges do contrast wonderfully with sumptuous plantings in discrete beds….the result is so elegant. But as lovely as the photos are of the hydrangea poking through the bench in multiple seasons, it seems like such an arrangement would deny a garden visitor from using that sturdy bench to enjoy that lovely garden

  5. btucker9675 12/31/2018

    You have a perfectly lovely garden - wonderful to see the changes from early to late in the season. To me, that's one of the most enjoyable parts of gardening - watching the evolution - even from day to day, nothing stays quite the same!

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/31/2018

    Oh, my, I adore it all!

  7. Sunshine111 12/31/2018

    That was most impressive! I especially loved the before and after photos. What a stunning competition. Well done ?

  8. diannenodine 12/31/2018

    wow beautiful

  9. User avater
    bdowen 01/01/2019

    Wonderful to have the photos of the same garden spots in different seasons- so much happens from spring to fall in a New England garden!

  10. user-6308944 01/01/2019

    Thank you all for the kind comments! We love our garden and it’s evolution. (It’s only 3 years old) By the way, John is very appreciated and knows it!

  11. User avater
    BenjaminShaw 01/17/2019

    Looking so nice!

  12. Ethansteven 05/16/2023

    This is an awesome and helpful article for me. I appreciate your work providing such useful information; thank you so much! CBD Provisions

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