Garden Photo of the Day

Midspring in Carla’s Garden

The garden as it turns from daffodils to peonies

Closeup of peony flowers, white with faint pink center

Carla Z. Mudry is a frequent GPOD contributor of beautiful images from her garden in Malvern, Pennsylvania. If you want to look back on how it looked during winter, you can start here: End of the Year at Carla’s. Today, however, we’re celebrating how it looks in spring.

Welcome back to my garden! Daffodils, narcissus, bluebells, and fritillaria have stepped aside for azaleas, red rhododendrons, and tree peonies. I have started planting up my pots. I also temporarily opened the fern farm to rehome the giant ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 3–7) I have. They are VERY happy, so I needed to thin some out. My friends were happy beneficiaries! Next to open will be the first flush of roses. I gave all of them a late February pruning, and now they are raring to go. Happy gardening!

Hostas in a white metal container with ferns behindSmall hostas (Hosta hybrids, Zones 4–9) open up their leaves in a container backed by an enormous stand of ostrich ferns. This fern can spread a little aggressively, especially in moist conditions, but who could mind having lots of these beautiful plants?

yellow-and-green variegated hostas in white potsHostas grow happily in pots, and this can be a great way to show them off.

Large azalea shrubs next to roses and tree peonyIn the transition from early spring, daffodils have faded, as have some of the azaleas, while the tree peony (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 4–8) on the right is coming into full bloom and the roses are putting out new growth before their time to shine.

Tree peony with huge white flowersThough called tree peonies, these plants are more shrubs, with woody stems and enormous flowers in the spring. Tree peonies bloom earlier than their herbaceous relatives and are a little more tolerant of light shade.

Closeup of peony flowers, white with faint pink centerThe tree peony flowers are simply breathtaking.

A table and chairs set in a large garden with trees and flowering shrubsI’d love to sit at the table next to that azalea in full bloom and just drink in the spring beauty.

A shade garden filled with fernsThe woodland garden is filled with graceful ostrich ferns.

Blue hostas just coming into leaf, surrounded by other woodland perennialsDeer love to snack on hosta leaves at this unfurling stage, so Carla applies a repellent spray to keep them untouched.

large rhododendron shrub with many dark red flowersThis unusual rhododendron (Rhododendron hybrid, Zones 5–9) has rich, dark red flowers.

A pale pink clematis with a darker edgeWith nearly white flowers delicately edged with pink, this clematis (Clematis, early large-flowered group, Zones 4–8) is so perfect I can’t stop staring at the photo!


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View Comments


  1. nwphilagardener 05/19/2021

    gorgeous mature garden. If only there were a longer bloom season for that magnificent tree peony

  2. Begonia155 05/19/2021

    Beautiful! What repellent spray do you use?

  3. gardendevas 05/19/2021

    Gorgeous, indeed!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/19/2021

    Wow! That rhododendron is gorgeous!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 05/19/2021

    Just love that woodland scene in your garden with the mulch, birdbath and serene.
    And such a darling area to have a table and chairs in the woodland setting next to the blooming azalea.
    Your garden looks pretty any season!

  6. btucker9675 05/19/2021

    What a gorgeous garden you have made. That beautiful dark burgundy rhododendron takes my breath away. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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