Garden Photo of the Day

Kevin’s Spring Garden

Blooms of the season

Today we’re visiting with Kevin Kelly.

Good morning, and welcome to my garden in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b). I have posted on GPOD many times over the years (e.g., Review of 2022 in Kevin’s Garden and Late Summer in Kevin’s Garden). These photos are from my garden in April 2023. We had a dry and nearly snowless winter, followed by a warm spell, then back to cold and now wet. The plants have gotten over their confusion and are now waking up and pushing out new growth. I love to see the vibrance of the new foliage. My garden is 25 years old and is on a 1/3-acre suburban lot. I hope you enjoy the photos.

path and garden beds that lead to front door and porchWe curved the walkway to the front door when we built the house to enhance the garden view as you walked up. I love to keep this area colorful for visitors. I have let forget-me-nots (Myositis scorpioides, Zones 5–9) self-seed in this area for spring color. The dried perennial seed heads remain standing and are still attractive.

hosta leaves still beginning to emerge and unfurlI love the emerging leaves of Hosta (Zones 3–9) before they open.

crevice garden on a slope with various flowers including tulipsThis is a small crevice garden I built last spring in the front yard. Most of the plants overwintered and include woolly thyme (Thymus serpyllum, Zones 4–8), Phlox subulata (Zones 3–9), Aubrietia (Zones 4–8), Lewisia (Zones 5–8), Saxifraga, and Sempervivum (Zones 3–8).

shade garden with stepping stone path and lots of foliage plantsThis is my backyard. I created a small “woodland garden” with a grouping of 5 Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii, Zones 6–10). My patio is to the left. and I only had 15 feet of garden width to work with. I have used a variety of textures to create interest in this very shady area. The container provides a great focal point.

close up of tiny purple flowers amongst dark red foliage plantGrape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum, Zones 3–9) intermingles with emerging leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Zones 3–8).

close up of ground cover with silver foliage and blue flowersBrunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Zones 3–8) makes a wonderful ground cover for shady gardens. I let it spread by seeding, which means that some of the new plants lose the silver foliage color, but it still looks nice.

garden bed with several trees and shrubsThis is my east porch border. The area gets morning sun and can grow just about anything. I have a number of conifers to screen our front porch (which is to the left). The large shrub is coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, Zones 2–7). You can see from my photos that I try to have all the ground covered, which eliminates the need to bring in mulch.

light pink and dark red tulips next to a sidewalkTulips planted in the “hellstrip.” Rabbits and deer leave them alone because the area is exposed and gets a lot of foot traffic. I plant a new display every year, so once these tulips have finished blooming, I will remove them (and the bulb) and put them in the compost.

garden bed with light yellow daffodils and blue grape hyacinthThis border runs along the front sidewalk on the northeast corner of the property. I keep a Thuja (Zones 2–7) in the blue container, which adds height. Grape hyacinth makes a great partner for daffodils. This bed is filled with summer-blooming plants.

Epimedium Pink Champagne close upEpimediums are great for dry shade. This one is Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’ (Zones 5–8). They spread slowly, and the dense rhizomes choke out weeds.


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View Comments


  1. janetsydoruk 05/16/2023

    Kevin. I love your garden. Thx for sharing.

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      Thanks. Enjoy the spring.

  2. mjtrusz 05/16/2023

    What a lovely garden, thanks for sharing. You have encouraged me to plant more tulips this fall. I am a huge fan of epimediums and have that particular one, pink champagne. My garden is a bit behind yours and you have given me a glimpse of what's to come. thanks

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      Thanks for the wonderful comments. I love planting 300-400 tulips in the hellstrip each year. It really lifts my spirits in the early spring. Good luck.

  3. MohawkValley 05/16/2023

    Excellento ! I love to see creations of any type that bring out the underestimated "value" of plants in our daily lives . They DO have therapeutic value . I'm sure many people see the merit in growing , growing and growing and I do believe that everyone that posts here experiences the benefits . Peace from the Mohawk Valley .

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      I so agree about the therapeutic value. When I was working full time, which was 50-60 hrs/week for me, the garden was essential for my well being. I feel so wonderful when I am out there. Happy gardening.

  4. user-7392754 05/16/2023

    Every single picture you shared is gorgeous! Love the curved walk to your front door, the crevice garden, the forget-me-nots…all of it actually!!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. User avater
    simplesue 05/16/2023

    Just wonderful! I especially love the shady area and path!

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      Thanks. The shady area is a celebration of textures and shades of green. Very relaxing.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/16/2023

    Beautiful as usual. Love those tulips.

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      Thanks. Enjoy the spring.

  7. [email protected] 05/16/2023

    Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate that you add notes to your photos, giving us even more good information. Got to get my Brunnera in the ground!

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      My pleasure. Now that my Brunnera has seeded around, I often dig up clumps and use them in containers, then replant them in the fall.

  8. btucker9675 05/16/2023

    Wonderful garden! Especially love the crevice garden - so very pretty.

    1. imajayhawk 05/16/2023

      Thanks. I had a lot of fun building it last year.

  9. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 05/17/2023

    Hi Kevin, I've had my eye out for Epimediums for a couple of years now, but sadly the nurseries here in Finland aren't convinced there's a market for them so don't sell them. When found though by chance, they are so expensive, I just cannot commit - especially since to do our dry woodland area justice, it would require several dozen plants. Oh, well. Yours look lovely :)

    1. imajayhawk 05/19/2023

      What a shame you don't have access to reasonably priced plants. That said, buying a few might be worth it, and then slowly divide those over time to build up your collection.

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