Garden Photo of the Day

Year-Round Garden Interest

Diverse perennials and shrubs keep this garden looking good

My name is Keri Shinault. I live in Northern Kentucky, Zone 6a, and have been gardening for about 12 years. I am an artist and am just as happy painting with flowers as I am with pigments! Photography is also one of my passions, so I shoot the flowers and then use them in my paintings. I work full-time and have three kids, so the gardens are my oasis and stress reliever.

These pictures are of my rear garden, which is planted to hold year-round interest.

The evergreen items are western arborvitae (Thuja plicata, Zones 5–7), laurels, three different types of holly (Ilex sp.), and a weeping Norwegian spruce (Picea abies, Zones 3–7). Deciduous items include a ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, Zones 5–9), ash trees (Fraxinus sp.), a chocolate mimosa (Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’, Zones 6–10), and a weeping bald cypress (Taxodium distichum, Zones 4–10). The bushes are oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–9), hibiscus (Hibiscus hybrid, Zones 5–9), and butterfly (Buddleia davidii, Zones 5–9). There are also a lot of different perennial flowers that come up weekly from April through September, so it’s kind of like Christmas every week! Lastly, I’m a huge succulent fan, so I plant them in the rocks in my creek and around the property and then bring them in to overwinter during the cold months.

A view of the garden from above, with oakleaf hydrangeas and a big stand of orange lilies dominating the view.

A little later in the season, the hydrangea flowers have faded to brown and green, but butterfly bush and hardy hibiscus are beginning to take over.

A butterfly bush provides a nectar treat for a hummingbird moth. This little moth really does look like a hummingbird in flight. The caterpillars that grow into this beautiful moth are big, green, and hungry—but be sure to leave them alone so they can grow up into these beautiful adults!

Tender succulents need to come inside for the winter, but they look great growing outside during the warmer months.

A wisteria (Wisteria sp.) just coming into bloom. This looks to be one of the U.S. native species (Wistera macrostachya or Wisteria frutescens), which are better choices than the highly invasive Asian species.


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 [email protected] 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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

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.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/19/2019


  2. cheryl_c 04/19/2019

    Fabulous, lush pictures. Are there two differing species of the oakleaf hydrangea? They are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing, and send more pictures soon!

  3. btucker9675 04/19/2019

    Ooh.... I am suffering a bout of oakleaf hydrangea envy! What a beautiful garden you have made - it must be a wonderful get-away from your busy life!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 04/19/2019

    Your garden really is art! A beautiful composition of pretty plants, rocks, smells, sounds of water- something delightful for all of the senses. Great choices on the garden furniture and the artistic rusty round fire "pit". Looks like such a cozy comfortable spot, and I too appreciate the visiting Hummingbird Moths and their caterpillars. Very inspiring garden.

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/19/2019

    Your overall property setting looks delightfully picturesque and the highlighted feature area is beautifully done. I really like the weeping tree as the star of the area adds height and so much interest.

  6. [email protected] 04/19/2019

    Is your creek seasonal? Dry creek bed? Looks man-made. Love all of it!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest