Garden Photo of the Day

Kevin’s Garden in January

Beauty in the snow

snow covered garden

My name is Kevin Kelly, and I have submitted photos of my 1/3-acre suburban garden in the past. It is now January, and we finally had our first snow. Over the years I have strived to create a four-season garden. I have added dwarf conifers to the garden beds as well as plants that have multiple seasons of interest. I do not “clean up” the garden in the fall, except to remove any diseased plant material that might overwinter. I am located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and I garden in Zone 6b. I hope you enjoy my winter garden.

front garden looking to the westHere is a photo of my front garden looking to the west. I am standing on the walkway leading to the front door (to the left). This walk bisects the front yard. I keep conifers out in containers to add interest (making sure they are hardy to at least Zone 5 so they will survive.

Here is Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’ (Zones 5–8) in the morning as the storm passed. The sunrise was beautiful.

birdhouseI built this birdhouse with a green roof about 10 years ago. The sedum on the roof is still going strong. I love the snow-covered dried panicles of Hydrangea paniculatum ‘Pinky Winky’ (Zones 4–8).

trees covered in snowThis is a photo looking from the driveway toward the backyard. I have made the path narrow and curved to limit the view, which makes it feel more spacious.

ClethraI love the snow on the dried seed capsules of Clethra alnifolia (Zones 3–9). This is a wonderful native shrub with very fragrant flowers in the summer.

HakonechloaI am standing on my patio in the backyard looking west. The snowy winter landscape is a great way to look at the structure of the garden. The curving beds gently pull the eye along, while the evergreens frame the view. The browned Hakonechloa macra (Zones 5–9) spills onto the paths, and the color echoes the shed.

Acer griseumAcer griseum (Zones 4–8) is a wonderful small tree with peeling bark that enhances the landscape through every season but looks especially good in the winter.

blue jaysThere are four blue jays that frequent the garden on a daily basis. We watch them from the window of our breakfast nook. I find it amazing that when we throw some peanuts onto the patio, they arrive within five minutes to collect them.

Pinus bungeanaPinus bungeana, the lacebark pine (Zones 4–8), is a slow-growing conifer that has an amazing exfoliating bark. It reveals a patchwork of olive, light purple, and silver. This cultivar is ‘Compacta’ and is about 10 feet tall after 15 years in the garden.

Acer rubrum and Pinus cembraI love how the morning light passes through the bare branches of Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’ (Zones 4–9). The conifer in the front is Pinus cembra (Swiss stone pine, Zones 4–7).

View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 01/20/2022

    As always love your posts. A fantastic 4-season garden. Best wishes for the upcoming season....and looking forward to any and all posts!🍃

    1. fromvirginia 01/20/2022

      Thanks for sharing. So lovely and shows the importance of evergreens and structure. this case the paths.

      1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022

        Thanks. It's all about directing the eye to the view you want to be seen.

    2. imajayhawk 01/20/2022

      Thanks. Already looking forward to spring. I have lot's of new ideas for the garden.

  2. sandyprowse 01/20/2022

    Absolutely beautiful. A true paradise. Congratulations.

    1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022

      Thanks, Sandy.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/20/2022

    Great snow pics.

    1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022


  4. User avater
    simplesue 01/20/2022

    A winter wonderland of a garden...gorgeous.
    I love your story of the Blue Jays...same here with me- 4-5 of them come for peanuts- they have us trained for sure.
    I see two photos of your garden that would be an excellent Holiday Card if you were to make your own...some thing to consider.

    1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022

      The Blue Jays are so fun. You are right, they sure have us trained. I keep thinking about making holiday cards. Gotta make it happen!

  5. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/20/2022

    Good morning, Kevin, and thanks for showing us how beautiful winter can be in the garden. As always, your photos bring out the best parts. Love the bark photo.
    Cheers and Happy New Year

    1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022

      Thanks, Linda. I love winter (for about 6 weeks!). The snow really makes the garden look so serene.

  6. User avater
    bdowen 01/20/2022

    Beautiful photos of the blue jay against the blues in the background and the tree's structures against the morning light.

    1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022


  7. nwphilagardener 01/20/2022

    Some days during our winter, it's fun to reflect on growing seasons past or to get excited about what is to come in Spring. But today, as some snow is falling, this post lets us appreciate what winter showcases. Thanks, Kevin, for all these handsome images from a modest sized garden.

    1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022

      Thanks. Snow really makes the landscape look so fresh and pretty. About 4 weeks until the snowdrops pop up!

  8. schatzi 01/20/2022

    Hi Kevin. Always enjoy your posts. Love the bark of the Acer griseum. Beautiful winter shots of your yard and the blue jay. Here is western WA at about 500 ft elevation, we had snow for about a week. Some years we don't have any. Lots of rain tho. Happy New Year and keep on gardening!

    1. imajayhawk 01/20/2022

      Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the photos, even though the resolution got messed up on the posting. The pictures shouldn't be that small. Have a wonderful and safe winter.

  9. User avater
    cindijacobs 01/20/2022

    Enjoyed seeing your winter wonderland. Evergreens do make such a difference in the winter months with snow and cold temps. Sunrise pictures with the trees were the best. Thanks for sharing!

  10. btucker9675 01/20/2022

    Love these photos of the beauty of snow in a beautiful garden. So peaceful. I'm going to look into a lacebark pine - such a pretty tree!

  11. pattyspencer 01/21/2022

    Awesome picture of the Blue Jay!

  12. wildthyme 01/21/2022

    Kevin, you've done a wonderful job of making 1/3 acre look so much more expansive with the density and spacing of your plantings. I too love the jay!

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