Garden Photo of the Day

Ice Storm in Laura’s Garden

Fleeting frozen beauty

Cherry laurel leaf covered in ice
Prunus laurocerasus 'Schipkaensis', Cherry Laurel

Today’s photos are from Laura.

After a sudden drop in temperature, my suburban Philadelphia garden was transformed with a shimmering coating of ice. Without much forethought but with my cell phone in hand, I managed to capture the magic as mature shrubs and evergreens glistened with ice that melted away almost as quickly as it had formed.

tree covered in iceThe cultivar name of Cupressus glabra ‘Blue Ice’ (Zones 5–9) refers to the blue-gray cast to the foliage, but it is doubly appropriate in this scene.

holly bush covered in ice and icicles This Ilex opaca (American holly, Zones 5–9)—along with some lights left over from the holidays—is draped with ice. Ice like this is incredibly beautiful, but it can damage some trees and shrubs with its weight. Fortunately, this holly seems to be holding up to it well.

bird freeder and bare shrub covered in iceA bird feeder is backed up by the ice-covered stems of an indigo shrub (Indigofera sp., Zones 6–9). Deciduous shrubs and trees are generally less likely to be damaged in an ice storm than those with leaves on them, and they look just as beautiful.

shrub with bright red berries covered in iceNandina domestica (Zones 5–9) berries are always beautiful, but they look even brighter with an icy backdrop.

norway spruce covered in icePicea abies (Norway spruce, Zones 2–7)

pine tree covered in icePinus strobus ‘Blue Shag’ (dwarf white pine, Zones 3–8)

white pine covered in iceLong needles from a regular Pinus strobus (white pine) hang down with a layer of ice over them. The flexible branches of pine should bounce back as the ice melts away.

Cherry laurel leaf covered in iceIt is incredible to see the way every detail of the veining of cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus, Zones 6–9) leaves is preserved in the ice. It is a marvelous work of art, all the more beautiful for being so fleeting.

Japanese umbrella pine covered in iceA Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata, Zones 5–8) nods under the weight of the ice.


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!

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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. nwphilagardener 04/11/2022

    Awesome photo set, Laura! Makes me feel like such a slacker for not having taken such inspiring (and handsomely composed, I might add) photographs when the early morning sun immediately starting to melt the overnight coating of ice. I took a few but the dripping trees sent me back inside. That ice that slid off the cherry laurel leaf is just amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Maggieat11 04/11/2022

    Great photos! And you obviously have some great plant specimens. Looking forward to new photos in warmer weather 🌞. Thanks for sharing!

  3. garden1953 04/11/2022

    First, so sorry for your ice storm. They can create such damage to our plants. Trees especially. But your photos are outstanding! Thanks for sharing.

  4. PattyLouise 04/11/2022

    Mother nature's decoration. Beautiful photos!

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 04/11/2022

    Wonderful photos. It's fun to catch these magic moments.

  6. katherine_8 04/11/2022

    What lovely photos!! I'm glad to see that someone else sees the beauty in inclement weather - even an ice storm - as I do. You were pretty brave or had on boots with mighty tread to venture out in that :)

  7. User avater
    simplesue 04/11/2022

    Your ice covered garden photos, brings this quote to mind that you might like:
    “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” ~George Santayana.

  8. btucker9675 04/11/2022

    Beautiful - especially if it did no real damage. Reminds me of a day my husband and I were driving near our previous home in northern NJ after an ice storm - the sun was just going down and lit the ice coated branches of the tall trees like molten gold. It was magical!

  9. User avater
    bdowen 04/11/2022

    The magic of an ice storm and the thoughtful artist/ gardener who took time to go out and capture the fleeting moments. Thank you for sharing your photos.

  10. wildthyme 04/11/2022

    Absolutely beautiful photographs . . . I kept thinking each one was my favorite until I got to the next one!

  11. fromvirginia 04/12/2022

    Magnificent pictures. Your collection of conifers and evergreens must make for a lovely winter garden!

  12. jagardener 04/13/2022

    There is beauty in every season. Great pictures especially for someone with year round summer.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest