Garden Photo of the Day

Visions of Spring

Corylus avellana Contorta – Harry Lauder walking stick

If a picture is worth a thousand words, you're about to read a novel. Thanks to Joan Stogryn-Galloway for sharing these amazing photos!

"I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta (Zone 2-3) where my mother struggled with gardening in the short summers. When I moved to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, I fell in love with Spring. When I started gardening my first mission was to plant the earliest flowers I could find. I confess that I loved to phone my family back in Alberta to tell them what was blooming when they had a blizzard blowing! Decades later I still revel in having something blooming every month of the year from roses that hang on until November and Helleborus niger in December to the snowdrops of January. Witch Hazel and Sarococca perfume my front door followed by Daphne odora and hyacinths. The winter and early spring blooms of white, purple and soft yellow lift my heart when the days are short and it's cold and rainy."

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Daphne odora

Dicentra spectabilis 'Goldheart'

Eranthus hyemalis


Helleborus x hybrida 'Pink Frost'

Helleborus x hybridus 'Anna's Red

Helleborus x hybridus 'Peppermint Ice'

Hepatica nobilis

Iris reticulata

View Comments


  1. user-4691082 03/10/2016

    Love those hellebores! Thanks for sharing those beautiful photos

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/10/2016

    Oh, my, Joan, you certainly have some heavenly hellebore impressive to see the fancy and fun improvements the hybridizers are coming up with. Love your Harry Lauder walking stick photo...I've never seen what that plant looks like as it's breaking its winter dormancy...very cool picture.

  3. Quiltingmamma 03/10/2016

    That Hellibore Peppermint Ice is so pretty. Everything is so lovely. Even after 20 years in a zone 4B/5 I so miss my mothers' Victoria garden. She would always crow when she could bring in a rose bud for my brother's Dec 15th birthday or send blooms to Winnipeg family at Easter. I have been blessed to be able to garden there and other warmer zones in North America; but the West Coast long Spring is my favourite. I will never stop missing it. But I do put bulbs at my front door which is a little hotspot so get Spring blooms before the snow has melted and they welcome me as I leave and return from work. The best one can do in Ontario.
    Thanks for bringing Spring early to 'mud season'.

  4. willysmom 03/10/2016

    Joan, thanks for including Hepatica, one of my favorite wild flowers, and Iris reticulata, a favorite spring bulb. They might not be too far away here in Maine as we seem to be headed for an early spring. Only a few snow drops blooming now.

    But, um, do the Corylus catkins really grow upwards like that, or is the photo here upside down?

    1. User avater
      gringopeligroso 03/10/2016

      Perhaps it's "happy to see us" thru the technical difficulties?

      1. User avater
    2. GrannyMay 03/10/2016

      It is definitely upside down. Looks good either way though, doesn't it?

  5. annek 03/10/2016

    I've been longing for spring and even more so now. Lovely, vibrant photos of springs deliciousness. The peppermint ice is so delicate and the stamens on the hepatica are insistent that they must stand out. Outstanding.

  6. GrannyMay 03/10/2016

    Joan, I love these! Having spent most of my life in southern Ontario, I could not believe the length of the gardening season here when I moved to southern Vancouver Island. I had exactly the same goal, to have blooms year-round in my garden, and that goal was easy to achieve using winter-blooming heathers, Viburnum tinus, plus many of the plants you mention. Happy Spring!

  7. Sunshine111 03/10/2016

    lovely! I have some eranthus blooming right now. About 6 from at least 100 i planted a few years ago. Getting them established is a miracle in and of itself!

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/10/2016

    Everything is so beautiful and fresh. Love your hellebores. My pink frost is loaded and just starting to open, so spring is on the way. Your iris and hepatica are stunning too. When I first saw photos of golden-leaved bleeding heart, I wasn't a fan, but seeing it light up a dark place in another garden here on GPOD, I've changed my mind. I bet yours looks awesome in front of that dark green backdrop, too.

  9. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 03/10/2016

    Joan, lovely photos and good that you took them before these tremendous winds hit us. Your Helebores are beautiful, especially the Peppermint Ice. They've become one of my favorite plants with their long blooming time and cheery faces in the winter. Like you, we'll never get over having blooms all winter after years of suffering through long zone 4/5 winters. Thanks for showing me more "must have" plants to keep the year round bloom going.

  10. schatzi 03/10/2016

    Gorgeous photos. Love them all. I too love our long spring in the PNW, even tho the weather can be fickle. I have gone quite overboard on Hellebores the last few years.
    I now have 27 different ones blooming from November to late spring. They are gorgeous
    and I smile just looking at them. Now the daffodils are blooming, the tulips are waking up
    and the Iris reticulata are finished. Beautiful little loves. The Hepatica is gorgeous - such
    a beautiful blue. Thanks and enjoy.

  11. diane_lasauce 03/11/2016

    Love! We share many of the same plants. Wonderful photos. Thank you!

  12. User avater
    HelloFromMD 03/15/2016

    Hi Joan, late to the party here. Sounds like you have a gardening family. If you send them pictures they might move in with you. The hepatica is very cute. Is that what you see standing or when you get down to the ground. I just got Pink Frost and it looks to be a great hellebore. Thanks for the photo on Goldheart Dicentra. Since the foliage yellows when it's going dormant, I didn't think I would want a gold one. But the chartreuse color is very pretty. I haven't tried Eranthis yet, but I did add some Corydalis Beth Evans. Really early and showy. Early spring is thrilling in the garden, at least to gardeners.

  13. krissgandier 03/15/2016

    Lovely pictures of the garden coming to life again. Here in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada my snowdrops just opened about a week ago and this past Sunday it was sunny and some crocuses were opening. I have 2 hellebores that are just starting to show their flower buds and starting to open. You are so lucky to have the extended good weather to enjoy your garden for a longer period.

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