Garden Photo of the Day

Spring in a Canadian Garden

Embracing what thrives in a cold climate

Hello Fine Gardening!

My name is Tanya Crowell, and I live in southern Ontario, Canada. My garden is in Zone 5b, and I have been gardening on my 10 acres at the edge of the woods for 10 years. I am a Master Gardener, having completed my studies two years ago. This being my first garden, I dove in full-on and grew slowly and decidedly from a complete novice to a place where I feel comfortable managing about two acres of beds and borders around my home.

Everything looks so beautiful this spring that I felt compelled to share it with others. Thank you for this opportunity! I love your magazine and envy all you Zone 6 and 7 gardeners who can have so many gorgeous perennials that are not hardy enough for me!

LupinsLupins (Lupinus polyphyllus, Zones 3–7) are always a favorite of mine.

BaptisiaBaptisia is another favorite plant. (Editor’s note: Though blue Baptisia australis is the variety most of us are familiar with, there are other species and a whole range of new hybrids in a wide variety of colors to try as well!)

I also have many hydrangeas, as they love my slightly acidic soil and partial-shade conditions.

herb gardenThe herb garden.

This picture is my front garden, with autumn charm sedum (Sedum ‘Autumn Charm’, Zones 3–8) massed at the front, a dwarf Gingko biloba called ‘Mariken’ (Zones 5–9) just beginning to leaf out, and alliums (Allium karataviense, Zones 4–8), another favorite. I love the effect of mixing different foliage textures and colors.

Abundant flowers along stone steps.

Soft blue bearded irisSoft blue bearded iris (Iris hybrid, Zones 3–8).


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/18/2020

    Hi, Tanya, I'm a zone 6b/7a gardener and I envy you your lupines. I love their interesting foliage and, oh, to have those flower spikes growing upward like magic wands. Your yellow Baptisia is quite striking, as well. When in bloom, it's like you have constant rays of sunshine lighting up that spot.

  2. sandyprowse 06/18/2020

    An amazing accomplishment. What a beautiful garden. You have performed wonders. I also live in Canada, Toronto to be precise but have trouble getting the lupine to return. Well done.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/18/2020

    It is all so grand but that herb garden is really, really nice.

    1. user-7715450 06/19/2020

      Thank you! My favorite bed but struggling with more and more shade from the nearby trees growing taller and taller!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 06/18/2020

    A beautiful accomplishment. I'm sure your first garden will teach you more than any "Master Gardener" class ever could.
    Love that herb garden and I saved the photo of your thriving Lupines! Thanks for sharing!

  5. mjensen 06/18/2020

    beautiful,lupins, stargazer lily,and iris are my favorite

  6. cheryl_c 06/18/2020

    Beautiful gardens - you've obviously learned a lot in a short period of time! Add me to the list of lupine lusters - they just melt like delphiniums here in zone 6.
    Hope to see more of you gardens in the future.

    1. user-7715450 06/19/2020

      I'm feeling so much better about my zone!

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