Garden Photo of the Day

Spring Versus Summer in Dale’s Garden

Watching a garden change through the seasons

shade garden with lots of foliage plants and pink flowers

We’re visiting with Dale Dailey today.

Our garden is well established and located in central Michigan near Lansing. It has been featured in the GPOD in the past (Dale’s Garden in 2020).

Part of the delight of gardening is to observe plants emerge in springtime and then watch as they mature with the seasons. I have included four sets of pictures from last year that show an area in spring and then later in the year.

mulched garden bed with ferns and other foliage plantsThis area features tall ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 3–7) in the background, with hostas, a dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’, Zones 3–6), and other plants in the front.

garden bed with lots of ferns and hostas in bloomThis is the same area in late summer in its full glory. It receives full sun for at least two-thirds of the day, but the shade-loving plants still seem to thrive.

stone statue in the middle of shade plants in bloomA favorite shady area in our garden features a contemplative stone statue. In the spring, white bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’, Zones 3–8) and hosta provide a simple setting.

another view of the statue in the shade garden with hydrangea behindLater in the season the same area is heavily shaded, and a tall hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Zones 3–9) provides a stunning backdrop.

small redbud growing in the middle of a zen gardenWe have a large garden area, and ornamental trees are an integral feature. One recent addition to our Japanese garden was a weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’, Zones 5–9). This photo shows the tree in bloom in the spring.

same zen garden later in the seasonAs summer approaches, the blossoms are followed by cascading ruby-colored leaves.

mulched garden bed with various low-growing plantsThis last pair of photos shows a large area east of our house that features a variety of hostas, astilbes, primulas, phlox, and other shade-loving plants.

shade garden with lots of foliage plants and pink flowersLater in the summer the hosta and other plants have now exploded. The tree in the background is a weeping purple beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purple Fountain’, Zones 4–7).

Revisiting these photos has me excited about spring even though it is at least three months away!


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  1. User avater
    simplesue 02/15/2024

    Great seasonal observations in a great garden! Every season is gorgeous in your garden, and love the statue, adds a serene feeling!

  2. gardendevas 02/15/2024

    Thank you for sharing your lush and beautiful garden. Great combinations of texture, form and color, especially against the evergreens. And beautiful small feature trees, especially that stunning purple beech! What is the lovely pinkish tree behind ‘Ruby Falls’ and the ferns?

    1. User avater
      user-7007816 02/16/2024

      It is another European Beech, Fagus Sylvatica Tri-Color. I actually have 6 very different varieties of Fagus Sylvatica.

  3. user-7821942 02/15/2024

    Love the idea of showcasing your gardens at different times of the year. Each season tells its own story and you have woven together a beautiful and inspiring tale.

  4. shegardens 02/16/2024

    That purple beech!

  5. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 02/16/2024

    How old is that beech tree Dale? Ours is still quite a twig, in comparison :DDD

    1. User avater
      user-7007816 02/16/2024

      Our tree is about 30 years old. As it has grown and spread, it is now too close to our house, but I will manage it.

  6. rosys_villa 02/16/2024

    Garden love! ❤️

  7. btucker9675 02/16/2024

    That purple beech is SO gorgeous... love seeing the same areas at different times - that beautiful sculpture looks so beautiful surrounded by the bleeding hearts, but then equally so when slightly obscured by the lushness of full summer. Thank you for sharing your wonderful garden!

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