Garden Photo of the Day

Spring in Boston, Part 1

Favorites of the season

Barbara Cain has shared various aspects of her garden with us before. Some of her tropical favorites are here, and her favorite plants for spicing up the winter in her sunroom are here, but today she’s sharing her favorite plants of spring in her garden on the South Shore of Boston.

Barbara says that the shade area is the highlight of her garden, and it is easy to see why! From front to back: Hosta ‘June’ (Zones 3–8), Pulmonaria (lungwort, Zones 4–9), and sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, Zones 5–8).

A generous, lacy sweep of Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern, Zones 3–8), with the glossy leaves of Asarum europaeum (European ginger, Zones 4–7) in the foreground and the pink flowers of Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart, Zones 3–9) in the back.

More of the shade garden, with Hosta ‘June’, Pulmanaria, variegated Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ Zones 3–8), and Dicentra spectabilis.

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar, Zones 2–9) is a native tree over a wide swath of North America. The evergreen foliage is a nice accent in any garden, but what is really magical is what happens when this species gets old and the trunk begins to morph into a gnarled, twisted specimen like this, which looks like something out of a fairy tale. Under it are growing ligularia (Ligularia dentata Zones 4–8), Rhododendron ‘Scintillation’ (Zones 5–8), Hosta ‘Great Expectations’ (Zones 3–8), and Galium oderatum (sweet woodruff).

Another view of that gorgeous Eastern red cedar, flanked by Rhododendron ‘Scintillation’ with Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, Zones 3–8) and sweet woodruff beneath.

Spring bloom from two trees. To the left is a weeping flowering cherry (Prunus ‘Snow Fountains’, Zones 5–8); to the right is a deciduous magnolia (Magnolia ‘Dr. Merrill’, Zones 5–9).

Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba obtusa, Zones 4–9) will have spikes of fuzzy pink flowers later in the year, but right now it is a mound of lush foliage next to a cloud of forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica, Zones 3–8), with the dark foliage of bugbane (Actaea simplex ‘Hillside Black Beauty’, Zones 4–8) behind.


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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/12/2019

    I positively adore your frothy sea of maidenhair fern. It's amazing how something so airy and delicate can be so thoroughly captivating. And a big sigh of appreciation and admiration for the aged trunk of that cedar. The character that its indentations and swirls of protrusions give it is truly mesmerizing.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 06/12/2019

    I had no idea Maiden Hair Ferns could fill in an area like that! I have one with 2 or 3 leaves and I was impressed that it just came back every year looking pathetic LOL!
    Amazing how that old trunk is like a garden sculpture.
    You have a gorgeous garden! I will be back tomorrow for part 2!!!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/12/2019

    Love your Pulmonaria. I wish I could grow it here but even though it is good to zone 9 it just can't take the heat & humidity here.

  4. btucker9675 06/12/2019

    Don't know what to compliment first. That old cedar is amazing - talk about aging gracefully... The combination of the maidenhair fern and bleeding heart is so very beautiful. What a garden!

  5. Cenepk10 06/12/2019

    I with Meander_Michaele on the sea of frothy Maidenhair fern ! Beautiful garden. Love seeing the mature trees.

  6. Cenepk10 06/12/2019

    Solomon’s seal, bleeding hearts & blue hosta not too shabby either....

  7. pu6n68 07/25/2022


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