Trisha Burdick sent in these photos from her garden in Excelsior, Minnesota, which is in the chilly Zone 4. But as they show, a cold climate doesn’t mean you can’t have an incredibly beautiful garden!
Foliage is king here. Variegated hostas start the show in the front, while blue spruce (Picea pungens, Zones 3–8) makes a dramatic silver-blue backdrop. To the right, columnar dark-leaved beeches (Fagus sylvatica, Zones 4–8; probably the cultivar ‘Dawyck Purple’) contrast beautifully with the variegated and silvery-blue foliage. Columnar varieties of trees, which grow tall and narrow instead of wide and spreading, are a great choice for small gardens.
Yellow variegated hostas echo perfectly the emerging greenish-white flowers of the panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata, Zones 3–7). Repeating the same plants and colors really unifies this garden view to incredible effect.
A vine-covered arch welcomes you into the garden oasis.
Variegated five-leaf aralia (Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’, Zones 4–9) in the centerpiece of this image. This durable, easy-to-grow shrub native to Japan grows happily in a wide range of climates and conditions, thriving in sun or shade. The small greenish-white flowers aren’t much to write home about; this is a plant you grow for its foliage.
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!
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