Garden Photo of the Day

Jane’s garden in Maine

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jane Donelon

Today’s photos are from Jane Donelon in Maine. She says, “For the past 50 years I’ve been living and gardening in Maine. I’m an avid gardener, as are both of my grown children, and we have fun gardening together when we visit each other. They’ve helped me with some big projects you’ll see. I LOVE viewing all the garden COLOR you’ve been featuring lately, but here in Maine, it is still winter…storming outside at this very moment! Although I love gardening in every season, I especially appreciate the beauty that a snowy winter brings to our long season. I’m sending you a few photos of my back garden in winter.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jane Donelon

“My garden shed practically disappears beneath the arched, snow-laden boughs of the birch that thrives in the adjacent bog. The snow makes the vines of clematis, golden hops, and wisteria covering the shed look like frosting on a cake. After each storm I hurry outside in hopes of capturing the delicate shadows reflected on the fresh snow….like the arbor. Through it you see a gate to the woodland built by my son from driftwood he found at a nearby beach. Nearby is the wildflower circle my daughter created for me on Mother’s Day many years ago. My earliest hellebore is planted here with other spring treasures. This elegant hellebore, ‘Winter Rose’, is often in bud in late December. Its lovely blooms of white and pale pink deepen and usually last well into May, making it the longest blooming flower in my garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jane Donelon

“The sun sets over the back hill where the woodland path carved by my son is now covered with deep snow. Below it hydrangea blossoms laden with snow drape toward the stone fireplace. Here I set my indoor plants in the summer and bird houses in the winter. Looking out through my sunroom window is an overview of the left rear garden from the inside-out on a stormy day.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jane Donelon

“And finally, what happens in spring: below the birch (now more upright) the bog fills up with Primula japonica cvs., which have naturalized themselves, Caltha, Euphorbia, Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’, Trollius, Filipendula ‘Aurea’ and ‘Variegata’ , Rodgersia, ferns, and hostas, as well as other bog-lovers. On the hill behind, solomon seal blooms with azaleas in many intense shades… COLOR, at last!”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jane Donelon

Jane, your words are just as beautiful as your garden. What a wonderful winter garden, followed by a spectacular vision of spring! The contrast is breathtaking. Thanks so much for sharing.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jane Donelon
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jane Donelon
View Comments


  1. user-1020932 02/27/2013

    i'm loving these black/white photos of the snow garden and the family history of the plantings. i do not get regular snowfall here and it doesn't last long when i do but the winter personalities of the plants and beds are always a welcome sight,,,,,,,,,,,,for awhile

  2. marciaelaine 02/27/2013

    absolutely beautiful pictures and her description of the garden made it seem like you were there.

  3. marciaelaine 02/27/2013

    absolutely beautiful pictures and her description of the garden made it seem like you were there.

  4. wGardens 02/27/2013

    Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing. Lovely too, that you have portions of your gardens that are built with your loving children's hands. Makes it extra special!

  5. bee1nine 02/27/2013

    Wow! A Winter 'Wonderland,'indeed! Noticed your Helebore
    plant poking through the snow(bottom left photo). They truly
    take the harsh conditions exceptionally well. I, myself, have
    a few blooming now.
    Thank you Jane, and stay warm safe!:)

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/27/2013

    Even before I read Michelle's comment, I had decided I was going to make a non-garden comment: your prose is beautiful. It really enhanced my enjoyment of your picturesque garden.

  7. mainer59 02/27/2013

    What lovely winter pictures and description! How apt to see it today when it is snowing yet again. I am so glad you included a picture of your summer color, too. A lot can be said for the changes we have with 4 seasons. Where in Maine are you located?

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/27/2013

    Jane, your words and pictures took me on such a delightful journey...thank you...and you're so right about unique quality of shadows on snow...they are magical. The vision of the hellebore buds nudging up through the snow reminded me of a small child playing pee-a-boo with a grown up and the mutual delight that results in.

  9. caymanmama 02/27/2013

    I decided my first comment ever would be to someone with as mush snow as we have in Ct.! Beautiful shots and I feel hopeful that my hellebors will be uncovered soon! I can't wait to see more of your garden in spring! Thanks!

  10. tractor1 02/27/2013

    Terrific captures, great composition and clarity. I too love the snowscapes, all the seasons compliment each other, like time lapse photography in real time. I woke up this morning to a fresh blanket of pristine white and it's still snowing here in the northern Catskills. Enchanting, thank you, Jane.

  11. tractor1 02/27/2013

    Why won't the Log-In Remember Me???

    Jane enhanced...
    Cold Crow:

    Crystal Palace:

    Vernal Sublimity:

  12. rosynk 02/27/2013

    Beautiful garden! Just wondered if the bog plants named are challenged by deer browsing. I have an area where these plants could work but have lots of deer.

  13. pattyspencer 02/27/2013

    Thanks for the beautiful snow pictures and what it hids underneith.

    I may have to get a hellebore or 2 - I think there are some with the flower looking up (instead of down)

  14. user-7006916 02/27/2013

    Sorry about the login frequency, Tractor1, but that's just the way the site is built.

  15. bee1nine 02/27/2013

    rosynk- My chances of having deer is very slim where I live!
    (not enough woodland to roam). Even though helebores are
    considered poisonous,deer could eat them, certainly if
    hungry enough. Have read where this has happened!

  16. cwheat000 02/27/2013

    Just lovely! You make me want to run outside and check my hellebores. Most of mine don't start till March here in CT. I did purchase one with the bloom period you mentioned, but I haven't planted it outside yet. It is still blooming ,since Christmas ,in my cool laundry room. You created some beautiful pictures. You make me long for one good last snowstorm.

  17. pattyspencer 02/27/2013

    @Antonio_Reis - I don't think the site "has" to be that way - I've only loggged in once in the last 2 weeks.

    @Tractor1 - That being said - if you've cleared out your history then a lot of times sites will not remember you and make you log in.

    All that being said - I've had issues in the past where almost every day I've had to log in then will go weeks (like now) that I don't have to. So I'm guessing it's more of a site issue than on our end.

  18. janeeliz 02/27/2013

    I don't have deer in my area. Sorry I can't help you about whether the bog plants I mentioned are deer-resistant.

  19. janeeliz 02/27/2013

    MY garden is in Brunswick, Me. It is 'open' every year , for an hour or so , during my annual plant sale, Plants for Peace. This year the date will be May 18 and 19 from 9-10 a.m. Send me your email and I'll add you to my Plant Sale Hotline. There is a LOT in bloom at that time in my garden incl. many more hellebores, early clematis and diff. akebia vines, asst. primula, columbine, many wild flowers, spring bulbs and much more.

  20. wittyone 02/27/2013

    Jane, the bog garden next to your shed is enchanting. I've tried to grow a good many of those plants (I especially love that variety of primrose) with little success. Just don't have a wet enough spot to make a go of it.

    Lucky you, to have two gardenwise helpers when help is needed. The gate your son made is lovely.

  21. janetsfolly 02/27/2013

    Yes, Jane, you are an artist, in word and in light. I love the top right photo, would title that 'Deep Winter'! Please send more photos of your play with color :-). I, too, enjoyed the stories of your kids' gardening gifts. Gives me a good idea for coming Mothers' Day, thanks!

  22. Happily_Gardening 02/27/2013


  23. jennabean 02/27/2013

    I would love to have just one good snow this season, those photos are just wonderful. How sweet, all the work your children have put into the garden... fabulous.

  24. user-1020932 02/27/2013

    wish i could go to the plant sale. maybe the bus tour will stop on the way to sheila's in Newfoundland. i love meeting the people who have created their gardens

  25. joycedaffodilhill 02/27/2013

    This is a lovely garden, made and enjoyed by a lovely gardener and her family. I am sure the summer is just as lovely. Hope you will send some more pictures
    in the spring and summer so we can all enjoy your efforts and joys.

  26. janeeliz 02/28/2013

    Yes, not all hellebores face down. I have read that most do because they must protect their pollen from the blustery weather of winter. Fortunately they are gorgeous both inside and outside.

  27. chrispnpt 02/28/2013

    I have garden shed envy!!! The winter scenes would make a lovely painting. In spring the garden is even more picturesque.

  28. dadeo1 02/28/2013

    love the garden in snow ! would love to see more pics like this of other gardens..the summer/winter contrast. out here in sunny california we are just about to hit 80 in the next few days. narcissus and dafs are blooming and fruit trees are just about to break. alas, enjoy your 4 seasons ! ! amazing pics !!

  29. carolakxxx 02/28/2013

    Beautiful garden and loved the descriptions.

  30. mitiggi 06/14/2013

    what a beutiful garden. Thank you for sharing

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