Garden Photo of the Day

Gardening in Zone 3

Cold winters don't stop this gardener

My name is Laureen Stevenson, and I live in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, in Zone 3. Here are some garden pictures of my yard this year.

pink plantsYou might think gardening in frigid Zone 3 (where the average winter low is somewhere between –30° and –40°F/–34° and –40°C) would be difficult, and I am sure it is a challenge, but Laureen’s garden is absolutely filled with flowers. Here pink roses pair beautifully with petunias and other annuals, all flowering their heads off. Though northern summers are short, the days are long, which helps many annuals perform magnificently.

pink petuniasA wagon load of blooming petunias. They look to be the varieties ‘Vista Silverberry’ and ‘Vista Bubblegum’.

A wide view of Laureen’s garden, loaded with color from bright blooming annuals.

lobeliaAn ocean of blue annual lobelia. Annual lobelias prefer cooler weather, and these clearly are happy in this northern summer.

More annual lobelias growing at the base of a pink-flowered black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata, annual)

double-flowered hollyhocksFluffy double-flowered hollyhocks (Alcea rosea, Zones 3–8)

bidensYellow blooms of annual bidens (Bidens ferulifolia) attract a bumblebee backed by more blue lobelias.

succulent wreathThis wreath of succulents looks like green flowers. In climates where they aren’t hardy outside, succulents like these can be overwintered indoors on a sunny windowsill or under lights.

A container of annuals blooms so densely that they almost look like a bucket of cut flowers at a flower market!

A magnificent sunset over a “flower” made of flowers.


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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 09/22/2020

    With such expert design and tending of these annuals, I can see how satisfying even a short growing season can be. I was especially intrigued with the statuary (boy holding a vessel) set into a sea of lobelia. While it looks like a fountain piece, the lobelia does a magnificent job impersonating flowing water. And now I must see if I can find seeds for pink Thunbergia alata! I would love to grow that next year!.

  2. Carolyn3134 09/22/2020

    Just lovely! Wishing you plenty of warm winter nights by the fire!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/22/2020

    Can you share what the galvanized container is that is on the little wooden table with the succulents? And that last pic of the sunset is out of this world!

    1. HummelBee 09/22/2020

      It's a chicken feeder or waterer. Feeders are a little easier to plant since the tray at the bottom tends to be a little bigger.

  4. sagebird52 09/22/2020

    Fabulous - a place of beauty.

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/22/2020

    Who would have thought that a zone 3 garden would be such a flower heaven? I am quite envious at how spectacularly lush your annuals are. The wagon overflowing with the two varieties of petunias is downright glorious. And, all your flower filled vignettes that are accented with a captivating object of extra ornamentation are delightful.

  6. User avater
    cynthia2020 09/22/2020

    Hi, Laureen.
    I enjoyed looking at all of your photos. It is really petunia and lobelia heaven in your garden! I love pink flowers best (but experimented with blue flowers this spring - delphiniums). Your flower compositions make the eye linger... especially the succulent display and the various pink flowers with the watering can hovering over them. Thank you for sharing all of your hard work!
    PS I looked up a source for the pink black-eyed susan vine, too.

    1. user-7762699 09/23/2020

      Hi Cynthia2020.. my flower beds are full of delphiniums and peonies and other perennials but were finished for the season when these photos were taken ..thank you for the fabulous comments 😊

  7. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 09/22/2020

    Hi Lauren,
    Thanks for posting! Great to see northern gardens performing so wonderfully!

  8. User avater
    simplesue 09/22/2020

    You sure know how to grow healthy beautiful flowers!
    What a cute idea with the wagon full of flowers!

  9. cheryl_c 09/22/2020

    What a delight your gardens are! The flowers are so lush, and your design elements are whimsical and so perfectly attuned to the plants. I can't pick a favorite!
    I will have to check out the pink thunbergia also - wow, just spectacular

  10. carolineyoungwilliams 09/22/2020

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden Laureen. It is a fantastic work of art. I have truly enjoyed looking at your use of bold rich colors, decorative pieces and creative ideas. This have been the high-lite of my cloudy day. Thank you.

  11. btucker9675 09/22/2020

    Be still my heart - your gardens are gorgeous and that sunset shot over your artistic flower is stunning! You must spend your winters planning for all of this beauty.

    1. user-7762699 09/23/2020

      Yes my winter is for Planning new ideas for next year .. much needed rest after all the dead heading 😊

  12. user-5117752 09/23/2020

    May I use that phrase, "be still my heart" again? That sunset pic was a knockout! And I, too, love your design elements and particularly those fabulous rock walls and the wooden deck! And the bird houses next to the beautiful boy and lobelia! What a treat you have given us all!!!

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