Garden Photo of the Day

Jane’s garden in summer and winter

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Jane Sayed

Today’s photos are from Jane Sayed. She says, “The sun coming up through the frosty trees here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, inspired me to step out and take some photos. I love to look out at the grasses in the winter. That made me think of how the garden looked last summer, so I hunted for a couple of contrast pictures of the garden in summer and winter.

“The final photo is of my gardening nemesis here. We live in a subdivision with a lot of surrounding land between the houses and have a large deer population. Not only have they been snacking on the junipers, but they jumped the fence protecting the plantings next to the front of our house and ate the leaves off all the holly bushes! I know from past experience that they will grow back, but it is a sad sight!”

I love seeing photos of the beds in both summer and winter from the same angles, Jane! You’ve got some seriously hard-working, classic plants in your garden, and they’re beautiful. I keep reminding myself to add more coneflowers, shasta daisies, and astilbes to my garden, but then I get distracted by all the new stuff in the nursery that turn out to be duds…. Thanks for the reminder, and hang in there with those deer.

It’s almost SPRING, people! I know you’re going through your photos from last year, planning what you’ll do differently this year. Send some of those photos in to me! [email protected]

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View Comments


  1. flowerladydi 02/24/2014

    It is lovely Jane,,,,, it is so nice to see the ' before ' snow and the after ' snow ',,,, and both are lovely! Grasses are so great all year!,, but I will admit,,, Like so many others I am sure,,, would love to start see less snow,, and more green! It has been a L O N G winter!
    Sorry about your deer problem,,, especially as they generally tend to NOT like junipers and holly!,,, but your little guy is cute! Guess everyone needs to eat.
    Your echinacea are lovely!,,,, and such work horses! Makes me truly wish for warmer days!
    Thank you!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/24/2014

    Hi,Jane, I wouldn't have guessed from your pictures that you live in a subdivision...those are, indeed, very generous sized lots. You seem to have a great deal of privacy...ha, except for the unwelcome guests who are making themselves at home.
    Your grasses are a wonderful 4 season addition to your garden areas. They add such interesting dimensionality as a backdrop for flowerbeds in summer or standing as sentries during the winter. I really enjoyed the the compare and contrast.

  3. pattyspencer 02/24/2014

    Nice to see the before and after pics as well. Cute visitor - he must of been really hungry to be eating things they don't normally eat.

  4. sheila_schultz 02/24/2014

    I enjoyed the seasonal contrasts in your gardens, Jane. Deer eating holly? The Ann Arbor Bambi's must have armor in their mouths... Jeez Louise! Good luck.
    I'm with you, Michelle, I've got to add more shasta's and coneflowers this year. My cutting possibilities was slim pickin's last year. Now if I could just find coneflowers, other than pink, that wanted to live in my gardens. Maybe this year?

  5. annek 02/24/2014

    I found myself sighing deeply after viewing your photos. Will Spring ever come? The grasses give such structural beauty and the pops of color are charming. I agree with meander, it's difficult to envision that you actually live in a subdivision. There is a real feeling of seclusion and privacy. Thanks for sharing.

  6. GrannyMay 02/24/2014

    Jane, thank you! It is good to be reminded of what lies beneath the snow, even for those of us who haven't had to cope with the everlasting snow and harsh winter of the east. Actually, we are into our second day of heavy snow here, just when the hyacinths, crocuses and early daffodils were starting to show their colours!

    I am amazed that your deer will eat holly and juniper! Holly is invasive here on southern Vancouver Island and our deer do not touch it, nor have I ever seen any evidence of them touching juniper.

    Sheila_Shultz, having lost so many of the new wonderfully coloured varieties of coneflower, I decided to put them into containers instead so they would be easier to change out - and found that they survived! Lack of competition? Better care? Anyway, it works!

  7. PeonyFan 02/24/2014

    Thanks for sharing, Jane. I am wondering about the bamboo- like grass in the third photo from the top--is it Siberian frost grass (Spodiopogon sibericus)? It looks fabulous!

  8. GrannyCC 02/24/2014

    Hi Jane
    I too am amazed that the deer eat holly. Loved to see the garden in its different elements. We had some snow here on Vancouver island. it is very beautiful but quite a shock as w thought Spring had come in January.I haven't had any luck with coneflowers so I will have to try GrannyMay's idea. Hang in there everyone winter will pass!

  9. cwheat000 02/24/2014

    Thank you for the encouraging summer pics. I love your big clumps of perennials.

  10. tractor1 02/24/2014

    Easy to see in that first photo where the deer call home, all that wooded brushy area behind your property. Deer here enjoy holly and especially the tender new growth of junipers. Deer develop a taste for certain foods just like people do, one deer's caviar is another's brussels sprouts. When a deep snow is covering everything deer will eat whatever they find, here they dig down through the snow and whatever is growing in that spot that they normally wouldn't eat they do when that's all there is. Jane, your yard looks lovely in summer but kind of barren in winter... I'd plant some spruce for interest, and it's very rare deer will eat spruce, its needles are too sharp... if space is a factor there's also a wide variety of dwarf and semi-dwarf spruce.

  11. Mayflower60 02/24/2014

    Thanks for your interest PeonyFan. The grasses in my Ann Arbor garden that you asked about are Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium I think). They have wonderful dangling seed heads.

  12. quinquek 02/24/2014

    Thanks for the encouraging pics! I keep trying to grow coneflower, but they seem to get some kind of mold, almost overnight, turn entirely black, then get thrown into the woods. Will have to try some grasses,as I'm appreciating how they add that structural interest year round in your garden. I totally understand about the deer.

  13. MrsGdude 02/25/2014

    Deer Jane or rather Dear Jane, Doe, I mean do you ever have a beautiful garden! Thank you for sharing these photos. I am writing from snowy Northern New York to say to you in Michigan: keep the cold and snow and pass us the flowers! Years ago my college roommate’s father said I was a great gardener, I bow to you. Your passion and your work is elegant. Keep planting!

  14. ml73alhi 05/03/2014

    Hi Jane...I too am a Michigan gardener. I live in Waterford. I will never move because the deer eating my plants would make me crazy(er). I have a 6'fence all along the wooded area that keeps them away thankfully. I love your grasses. You!r yard reflects your passion for gardening. You have 2 green thumbs!
    Good luck with the deer. Suggestion... large dog with invisible fence. Lol keep playing with the dirt. Martha♥

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