Garden Photo of the Day

Late Spring Snow

Unexpected beauty in the garden

White tulips falling over from snow

Leila Alhusaini shared these photos from Richmond, Kentucky, of an unusual—but beautiful—event.

Although it isn’t unheard of, it is very unusual to get snow this late in the season! I took an early morning walk to check on my garden and thought I’d share a few pictures.

The first picture is a view of my perennial border in the backyard. My neighbor’s trees and the woods behind her property provide a pleasing backdrop. The second and third are of a variegated dogwood in bloom. The rest are just various flowers gilded with icy snow, including a double quince, tulips, iris, and pansies.

perennial border covered in snowWith everything draped in the surprise late spring snow, the neighbor’s trees provide a pleasing backdrop to Leila’s perennial border. It is great to have a neighbor who provides beautiful views to extend the garden!

variegated dogwood dusted with snowA variegated dogwood (Cornus florida, possibly the variety ‘Summer Gold’, Zones 5–9) has an extra layer of white provided by the snow. Surprisingly, as long as the snow isn’t too heavy, a lot of plants can handle these late snows with very little damage. Native trees like this dogwood have adapted over time to handle the vagaries of spring weather. The biggest risk for damage is not usually the cold, but the weight of the snow on the leafed-out branches.

snow on a tree with spring bloomsClose-up of the snow on the variegated dogwood.

White tulips falling over from snowWhite tulips bow their heads under the snow in front of a gold threadleaf cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’, Zones 4–8).

Purple bearded irises covered in snowPurple bearded irises (Iris hybrids, Zones 3–8) are topped with a white layer of snow.

flowering quince covered in snowThe orange-red of flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa, Zones 5–9) glows against the white snow.

Pansies covered in snowPansies (Viola × wittrockiana, cool season annual) won’t bat an eye at a little late snow, as they love cool temperatures.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 05/03/2021

    Great photos. Reminds me of our climate and what an unexpected weather arrival can bring to the garden. :)

  2. gardendevas 05/03/2021

    How lovely! I have learned more appreciation for the dramatic beauty of snow and winter. :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 05/03/2021

    Wow that is an incredible sight to see!
    I saw this kind thing once back in the mid 1980s and it left a lasting impression, but I didn't have a camera/film at the time.
    Very enjoyable to see your beautiful garden photos!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/03/2021

    Great pics. Love it.

  5. wittyone 05/03/2021

    Oh, yes we got some of that same snow but we are farther north in southern Indiana and got about an inch. It is beautiful, but worrisome this time of year. Like you said a lot of plants just go on with their blooming as though nothing untoward has happened. Fortunately here dogwoods, redbuds, iris and a magnolia full of buds didn't miss a step.

  6. Sunshine111 05/03/2021

    Thank you so much for sending in these photos! It was so interesting to see the snow in contrast with all of these spring bloomers. Something that is rare for sure. 😊

  7. btucker9675 05/03/2021

    Thanks for these beautiful photos of snowy spring blooms. When I gardened in northern NJ, I had a very long piece of bamboo that I used to gently knock snow off of fragile branches after late spring snows. It worked like a charm.

  8. darylsavage 05/03/2021

    Fantastic photos; so weird that you would have snow there, and Northern NJ would be spared. I assume Richmond is in the mountains. The white tulips shot is gorgeous, along with the irises too. Thank you for sharing. You are making me grateful we just have rain here.

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