Garden Photo of the Day

October Garden

Mixing conifers and deciduous plantings

Lee Miller has been wanting to send in some photos for a long time and finally took the plunge! If you have been thinking about it, why not send some in too?

I am a lifetime gardener, author, landscape/garden designer, and consultant from the south shore of Long Island and have been involved in the horticultural industry for over twenty years. I have had a shovel in my hand since the age of five and continue to garden as both a hobby and as a career. I also write a blog, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, in which I share my knowledge and love of all things green. My passion for gardening has been and will always be a part of me.

I am sharing a few photos from my autumn garden here in the town of Sayville, New York. I am a huge fan of combining evergreen and deciduous plantings for all-season interest, and these photos were taken from the southeastern driveway entrance to the property. The garden you are viewing originated in 1996 and has been evolving ever since. The golden Oriental spruce was planted as a memorial to my mom back in 2008, and the gardens around it were extended off the main beds of the walkway. The tree now towers at approximately 25 feet and produces the most beautiful golden foliage and purplish-brown seed cones, which I admire every time I pass it by.

Weeping blue atlas cedarWeeping blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’, Zones 6–7) in the foreground is backed by the yellow fall color of the coral bark Japanese maple ‘Sangu Kaku’ (Acer palmatum ‘Sangu Kaku’, Zones 5–9).

golden oriental sprucePulling back a little, you can see the golden Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’, Zones 4–7), planted as a memorial to Lee’s mother.

Japanese garden juniperIn front of the weeping cedar is a ground cover of Japanese garden juniper (Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’, Zones 4–9) and variegated liriope (Liriope muscari, Zones 5–10).

weeping white pineAnd filling out the garden, to the right, is a huge old weeping white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’, Zones 3–8)


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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/06/2019

    Seems like a song of love and adoration should be written in tribute to your spectacular weeping blue atlas cedar..."Glory, Glory, ‘Glauca Pendula’!... Your beauty marches on! And the photo which showcases the threesome of the coral bark, the golden oriental spruce and the cedar is breathtaking.

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you so much for your kind words. The Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar is approximately ten feet in diameter and has been in the garden for over 20 years. It just keeps getting more majestic!

  2. Dusanka 11/06/2019

    Just stunning contrast of colors. It looks amazing.

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed the photos!

  3. nwphillygardener 11/06/2019

    That is indeed a rich planting. Thanks for your photos.
    I grew up in L.I. and recall that at least into the 1990's, the culture of the place does not often support use of large and loose deciduous plant material in front gardens. Even perennials seem like they can not predominate in the plantings and only support a palette of mostly evergreens. Of course you could find an occasional gardener who bucked that approach, but it became more apparent when I moved to S.E. Pennsylvania where folks see more tolerant of looking at woody branches in winter.

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      I agree. Growing up on Long Island in the 60’s and 70’s was a time when evergreens such as the infamous yew hedge with azalea mixed in were prominent. It was in the 90’s when I became a landscape designer that the landscape started shifting to a combination of evergreens with deciduous plantings. Today,, the shift is more towards mass plantings of evergreens and deciduous shrubs along with perennials for color.

  4. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 11/06/2019

    Marvelous photos of your marvelous garden!
    Really love it all

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you so much! I am glad you enjoyed the photos of the autumn garden!

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 11/06/2019

    Lovely trees in a beautiful setting. Wish I could grow (I've tried) the Blue Atlas Cedar here in central Michigan.

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you! Blue Atlas Cedar is hardy in USDA zones 6-8 and I believe central Michigan would be zones 4/5. You may want to check out a Weeping Norway Spruce. It is a beautiful tree and hardy in colder climates.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/06/2019

    Absolutely amazing! But I have to say I just adore that first pic!!!!!

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you! The Coral Bark Maple really does put on a show this time of year. I wish it would only last longer!

  7. cheryl_c 11/06/2019

    Your garden has a lovely oriental feel to it. The color contrasts are amazing. Hope you have more photos on the way - would love to see them!

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you Cheryl. You just made my day! I am photographing all the time so I will plan on sending in some more photos.

  8. User avater
    simplesue 11/06/2019

    Just wonderful! Love those textures in the evergreens!

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Combining textures is one of my favorite things to do. I am so glad you enjoyed the views.

  9. Cenepk10 11/06/2019

    Drone shots, please !!!!! Glorious !!!!!!

    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you! I wish I had a drone so that I could do that. It’s going on my wish list!

  10. btucker9675 11/06/2019


    1. User avater
      landscapedesignbylee 11/07/2019

      Thank you! It gives me pleasure to be able to share my gardens with others.

  11. perenniallycrazy 11/10/2019


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest