Today’s photos come from Zita Swindells.
I live in Evanston, Illinois, just outside Chicago, and have been gardening for about 25 years. I try to incorporate many natives into the garden. I love to see the yard filled with the movement of birds and butterflies (alas, also squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits).
These first few photos are of my front shade garden. I adore the spring ephemerals in this garden, especially the trilliums, wood anemones, and bleeding hearts.
Yellow trillium (Trillium luteum, Zones 4–8)
I have also included below some before, during, and after photos of the backyard, which show the original garden, the start of construction for our room addition (it got much worse than the picture shows), and the new garden (about two years old now). The brick paths form borders for the beds, so there is less edging than in the old garden, but the weeds just love growing between the bricks! I think I’ve moved every plant in the big bed and dug a new bed in my floodplain at the back of the yard, where many of my natives will reside. So much for trying to have a more manageable space as I enter my 70s!
The original garden, before construction started.
More of the preconstruction garden.
Start of construction
A few survivors from the old garden—an apple tree, Japanese maple, a neighbor’s thuggish Euonymus enveloping the fence, and a climbing rose (‘Zephirine Drouhin’) excavated from under a mountain of debris.
The new gardens are full of flowers for visiting pollinators.
A brick path provides crisp edging for the new garden.
Limelight hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ Zones 3–7) and canna lilies, which the hummingbirds love.
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 GPOD@finegardening.com 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.
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.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.