Garden Photo of the Day

Melancholy Time of Year

Looking back on garden highlights

Today we’re visiting Jana Trusz’s garden in Canton, Massachusetts.

I love checking out the Garden Photos of the Day, and I find great joy and inspiration in looking at these gardens. This time of year is so rich with color and dramatic lighting, yet it is also the time for rest and reflection in the garden. I started to look at photos from the year in my garden and had a difficult time choosing what I loved the most. My garden borders conservation land, untamed woods, which means lots of wildlife and a duty to plant respectfully. Many of my plants have made their way here from my mother’s garden. We shared an incredible love for tending, planting, and admiring together.

I have chosen some of my favorites.

columbinesSpring brings columbines (Aquilegia vulgaris, Zones 3–8) from my mother’s garden, self-seeding in the most unusual and pleasing places.

helleboresI also have lots of hellebores (Helleborus × hybridus, Zones 4–9) popping up through the snow, sometimes as early as February!

bishop's hatEpimedium (bishop’s hat, Zones 5–9) grace my garden early on, with blooms lasting for weeks.

prickly pear cactusI bought a prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) without much hope for it to survive the snowy winter. That was six years ago. Although it looks absolutely horrible in the winter and early spring, it then plumps up and offers beautiful yellow flowers.

ClematisClematis! What can I say about such a beautiful vine? These are just two in my collection. You can see the promise of the beautiful spun gold seed clusters to come.

clematis budDetail of an unfolding clematis bud

BloodrootThree years ago I had a shed put in a garden spot. This sweet little bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis, Zones 3–8) was not noticed until the following spring. Now it comes up faithfully, peeping out from under the shed.

Austrian pine ‘Oregon Green’My newest interest is evergreens. This is Austrian pine ‘Oregon Green’ (Pinus nigra ‘Oregon Green’, Zones 4–7). Nothing in the description prepared me for the beautiful candles to develop. They’re like little sea stars.

sunflowerA sunflower (Helianthus annuus, annual) stands tall and proud after surviving the attack of the squirrels. The squirrels usually win, but when they don’t, I get a wonderful fall show.

My last photo is from our first below-freezing morning. A puddle of water with the most beautiful star crystals invites me to reflect on the beauty of past seasons and to enjoy the season to come.

What were your favorite garden memories from the year? Send them in!


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    AnnaMartinez 11/19/2019

    Very Nice!

  2. user-7017435 11/19/2019

    Nature always seems to come up with surprises (at least for me). All of your photos are terrific but the star shaped ice crystals and unique pine candles are something I've never seen or noticed before. I have a few Japanese Black Pines but the candles look nothing like that. Good luck to you this winter.,Joe

    1. mjtrusz 11/19/2019

      thank you, the star crystals are a new one for me, I continue to look on cold mornings but haven't seen them again. I bought that Oregon Green at a local home depot. It is a dwarf but it said nothing about the candles and even when I researched it, it didn't show up. Jana

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/19/2019

    Your photos and accompanying commentary are lovely, Jana, and really give us here in GPOD reading land a feeling of connection to your gardening journey. What a sweet surprise that bloodroot must be each spring...playing peek-a-boo with the boards of your shed. Love your capture of the bee on the not yet fully opened sunflower...ha, that industrious critter is like the early bird shopper on Black Friday...getting right to business.

    1. mjtrusz 11/19/2019

      thank you!, it is a wonderful way to share and gather ideas. I like looking at other gardens, gathering ideas, and of course, buying more plants. Jana

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/19/2019

    Love all your pics but especially love the hellebores & Austrian pine.

  5. cheryl_c 11/19/2019

    What an eye for the exquisite you have - and incredible timing. Your photos are amazing! I love the plants in your garden and your stories about them. Lovely! I do hope you have some more pictures to share soon.

    1. mjtrusz 11/19/2019

      thank you! I do enjoy sharing as well. Feels like a community of gardeners with many different zones coming together to inspire each other. Jana

  6. User avater
    bdowen 11/19/2019

    Beautiful photos to tell the story of your garden. I especially like the sunflower for the bumble bee and half opened flower- nature in process. Thank you for sharing your garden.

    1. mjtrusz 11/19/2019

      It is an ever changing story isn't it!

  7. moyra_b 11/19/2019

    Your photographs are stunning, and your love of the garden shows in each one!

    1. mjtrusz 11/19/2019

      Thank you! Jana

  8. User avater
    simplesue 11/19/2019

    I loved seeing your pretty garden, and what you said about the cold season being "the time for rest and reflection in the garden". The photo of the sunflower & ice were such gorgeous photos I saved them to enjoy again. Your Bloodroot flowers reminded me that I once grew some and should again. Thanks for sharing!

    1. mjtrusz 11/19/2019

      What a complement, yes I too forget about plants that I loved and then begin the search to bring them back. That ice was a total surprise, not sure what came together to create that!

  9. btucker9675 11/19/2019

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of your beautiful garden. The columbines and peony are the perfect picture of Spring!

  10. Cenepk10 11/19/2019

    When I saw the title of your pics - I chuckled thinking I ought to send in my pitiful pics of the death mocking me everywhere I look... but My heart jumped when I saw your beautiful pics. That evergreen I could almost smell. I need one of those. Appreciate you sharing & brightening this dreary day.

    1. mjtrusz 11/19/2019

      So glad it brightened you day. I think you have to be a true gardener to enjoy this season, the leaves, brown stems, seed heads. That evergreen was a total surprise so beautiful. Jana

  11. calliopegirl 11/19/2019

    I am in Massachusetts too! I always wanted to grow bloodroot and you have inspired me.
    Feel like we are on the same journey, I too abut conservation land and always consider what I plant. I have been ripping out vinca and ivy from the woods that was planted by others. AND I have just started my love affair with conifers.
    When I finish up my hardscaping projects I plan on submitting pictures. Thank you for yours.

  12. User avater
    SarahCullen 11/21/2019

    Wow! Amazing and Unique post!

  13. User avater
    GeorgeMendoza 11/22/2019

    I always like your post! Great job!

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