Garden Photo of the Day

Stop Dreaming About Spring

Winter doesn't mean the garden is over

Dale Dailey shared these images of his garden in the winter.

The first of December in central Michigan and the garden is still giving back. This morning I walked around our garden and found, despite the recent freezing weather and snow, several beautiful settings. Our alpine garden has several plants that deal with the cold very well.

Opuntia imbricata var. arborescens ‘White Tower’ (Zones 5–10). This cactus had an amazing vertical tower, but it collapsed late in the season.

Opuntia humifosa (prickly pear, Zones 4–10)

Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ (Zones 5–10)

There is still some brilliant foliage very much alive even after weeks of freezing weather and snow. Cyclamen hederifolium (ivy-leaved cyclamen, Zones 5–8) blooms in the fall and then produces these patterned leaves that stay up all winter before going dormant again in the spring.

Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis, Zones 4–8) are best loved for their late winter/early spring flowers, but their foliage can put up a pretty good display in the winter as well. In the rear is a dwarf concolor fir (Abies concolor ‘Compacta’, Zones 3–7).

The leaves are gone, but the berries from a burning bush (Euonymus alatus, Zones 4–9) provide a beautiful backdrop for our peace pole.

Winter is a great time to examine the barks of our trees, especially this paperbark maple (Acer griseum, Zones 4–8).

And finally, even the hardscape of the garden seems more beautiful in a wet, snowy setting. So my suggestion is to stop dreaming about spring. Go outside and enjoy your garden today. 


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/14/2018

    So pretty. Love that paperbark maple and the stone.

    1. User avater
      user-7007816 12/14/2018


  2. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 12/14/2018

    Dale, your garden has always been a favorite of mine but when I saw your Peace Post, you won me over even more.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      user-7007816 12/14/2018

      The Peace Pole is located at the entry to the garden area. It is like having one foot in the real world and the other in a place of nurturing and peace.

  3. user-7020748 12/14/2018

    Thank you for the lovely scenes from your garden, and for encouraging us to take in the beauty at all times of the year.

    1. User avater
      user-7007816 12/14/2018

      Yes, there is always beauty in the world. Sometimes we have to get down on our knees to see it.

  4. btucker9675 12/14/2018

    Wonderful textures - love the paperbark maple and the lichen on the rock especially. Also love your Let Peace Prevail post - seems like we need that more and more these days... I believe that our gardens and the acts of creating beauty through gardening do, on some levels, promote peace and harmony! I wish all of my fellow fine gardeners very joyful Holidays.

    1. User avater
      user-7007816 12/14/2018

      I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. The patterns on the rock are actually not lichen, but stones embedded in the larger stone. I should have included some photos of lichen which are very much alive and quite beautiful.

  5. Musette1 12/14/2018

    Sage advice, Dale. This is the first Winter I've allowed myself to 'like' my garden (Central IL 5B) and you're right, there is quite a bit of beauty still to be had! Your paperbark maple is stunning. And thank you for sharing your Peace Pole. May that prevail!. Happy Holidays!

  6. User avater
    user-7007816 12/14/2018

    Thank-you. Yes, May Peace Prevail on Earth. There is always beauty in the garden and in nature. We just need to stop and appreciate. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  7. [email protected] 12/17/2018

    Love the concept of the peace pole- not sure I have been aware of these, but was perhaps oblivious. Yours has inspired me, as have your beautiful photos of your great garden. I loved your last submission, as well. Thanks.

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