Garden Photo of the Day

The Soothing Power of Gardens Through the Seasons

Looking at the beauty of each season

Today we’re visiting with Fran Cohen in Rhode Island as she reflects on what the garden brings in every season of the year.

In the early days of 2021 I’m stunned to see that some of my favorite seed catalogs have already sold out of many varieties. I shouldn’t be surprised that people turn to the comfort of growing things in difficult, uncertain times. Gardening always gives me solace and hope.

coral bark mapleEvery season has its beauty. A winter ice storm sheathes the coral bark maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sango kaku’, Zones 5–9) branches in glass and diamonds. I’m grateful for the indoor gardening of seed catalogs, wish lists, to-do lists.

dog tooth violetThen out of the bare, hard earth, daily miracles bring to mind a favorite quote by Rainer Maria Rilke: “It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” A dogtooth violet (Erythronium, Zones 4 – 9) reminds us to look closely.

Star magnoliaStar magnolia (Magnolia stellata, Zones 4–8) flowers

vegetable gardenThe temporary order in the vegetable garden convinces me it will be the best year ever.

shade gardenSoon the shady spots are lush and green with maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum, Zones 3–8), Hosta, Asarum (wild ginger, Zones 5–9), and Pulmonaria (lungwort, Zones 4–7).

Clematis NiobeIn summer, the color that runs wild in the sun (red Clematis ‘Niobe’, Zones 4–9 and an unknown white variety).

fall foliageSummer’s color is rivaled only by autumn’s last hurrah on coral bark maple and sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum, Zones 5–9). There are so many things to look forward to in the garden.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 01/27/2021

    Great photos!
    We have 'Niobe' Clematis too - isn't it a stunner! We love it - great pairing with the lighter color variety.
    Love your multi-stem Acer - ours is a single stem - great foliage, aren't they? :)
    Happy gardening

  2. coastalgardener 01/27/2021

    That coral bark maple is a beauty and brings wonderful color to your winter garden.

  3. blondie3 01/27/2021

    Yes there are so many things to look forward to in the garden, thanks for sharing, love the view of the vegetable garden..

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 01/27/2021

    Hi, Fran. I enjoyed looking at all of your photos. I agree about obtaining solace from a garden - looking at the forms and compositions plus doing all the planning and physical work - and - ha - recovering from minor disasters like insect infestations or...
    I especially liked your clematis photo and the wide shot of the vegetable garden. Thank you for sharing!

  5. btucker9675 01/27/2021

    What a beautiful post - the Rilke quote is perfect. This year I think Spring will mean more than ever, perhaps a renewal following a bad year, perhaps victory over Covid 19... The photo of the ice covered maples is especially lovely. Thank you for sharing all of this loveliness!

  6. User avater
    bdowen 01/27/2021

    "the temporary order of the (vegetable) garden" is a wonderful description! The two clematis plants make a lovely combination together. Thanks for sharing your garden on this snowy day.

  7. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/27/2021

    Love those dogtooth violets but oh my, I really love the autumn colors of the coral bark maple and sourwood.

  8. PG20 01/27/2021

    Lovely, especially that sourwood❣️
    I think the clematis might be ‘Samaritan Jo’.

    1. corado 01/27/2021

      You're right! It is Samaritan Jo and I love how it makes the Niobe even brighter. And the Sourwood is one of my favorites, planted so many years ago as just a twig.

  9. User avater
    simplesue 01/27/2021

    Ooooh so pretty! Love that photo with the garden and lilac and woodland!!!!

  10. user-7020748 01/27/2021

    lovely to see your garden through the year. As you say, always something to look forward to.

  11. carolineyoungwilliams 01/27/2021

    Fran, Your photos are so beautiful. I enjoyed the way you represented every season. I agree with you 100% I have unspeakable joy in the garden. Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. [email protected] 01/27/2021

    Loved all the photos, but especially the maple and sourwood. I have a similar maple, and a yound sourwood, that I am anxious to see take off and put on a show!

    1. corado 01/27/2021

      You will love the sourwood. It was slow growing at first and then shot up to the sky. I think it would like more water than I give it (we have a well) but regardless, every year there are some flowers and wonderful fall color.

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