Garden Photo of the Day

Gardening Portland Style

A Portland, Oregon garden uses unusual plants to great effect.

Euphorbia 'Glacier Blue' (Zones 7 - 9)

Kate McMillan has a small garden in south east Portland, Oregon. Her garden is a small 50 x 100 foot city lot, but she doesn’t let that stop her from packing in a lot of really cool plants!


The elegant beauty of Japanese woodland peony (Paeonia obovata, Zones 5 – 8), one of the few peonies that thrives in shade. See this article for a guide to peonies: Don’t Judge Peonies on Looks Alone

A winter container using colorful foliage and flowers to make a dramatic statement. The right combination is what makes containers stand apart. Learn how to choose plants to create interest in your container garden here: Designer Secrets for Over the Top Pots.

A beautiful speckled hellebore flower (Helleborus orientalis, Zones 4 – 8).

This white, double-flowered hellebore is a stunner. To find out more about this amazing genus, check out this guide: Hellebores Cure the Late Winter Blues 


Kate’s photos show us that even if you have a small space, you can still have some amazing plants and design beautiful containers. For more information on gardening in a small space, check out these articles from Fine Gardening:

Expansive Solutions for Small Gardens

A Big Garden on a Small Lot

10 Plants for Year Round Containers

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View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 03/07/2018

    Lovely Hellebores! One of my faves. Your container is so nice too. I have already added the Woodland peony to my "wish list". It is a beauty! Thanks for sharing!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/07/2018

    Hi, Kate, your double white hellebore is that captivating combination of fancy yet elegant...very captivating. And, your photo of it is particularly lovely...actually, as are all your other pictures, as well. It looks like you pack a lot of interesting plants in your modest amount of space. I would love to see more.

  3. cheryl_c 03/07/2018

    Kate, what fascinating plants - you've introduced me to two I really want to try - the woodland peony, and the euphorbia - I'll have to do some 'zone-denial' for the Euphorbia, but it would be worth it! Sure would enjoy seeing more of your garden - you've really teased us with these!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/07/2018

    Nice selection, Kate. Sounds like your lot is about the same dimensions as mine. I'd like to sing the praises of Paeonia obovata 'alba' (the straight species is magenta), too. It's one of my favorites. The foliage often emerges dark burgundy, it blooms early, has nice foliage through the season and has electric seed pods in autumn, with dark metallic blue fertile seeds and fluorescent magenta infertile seeds. I just push the seeds in the ground and they sprout, often the next spring.

  5. Chris_N 03/07/2018

    Hi, Kate. Wonderful photos. I'll have to add Paeonia obovata to my list of wants. Hellebores are always welcome and your speckled faced one is a beauty. I am enchanted by your pot as well. Yes, please share more photos!

  6. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 03/07/2018

    Beautiful photos, Kate. You’ve made me all excited to see our sweet little woodland peony bloom this spring. That speckled hellebore is a nice one that may have to be added to our garden. It would be nice to see some of your summer garden.

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