Garden Glimpses Through the Seasons

RearYard5-14-13The garden in Spring really has a pastel feel with all the lavender, pink, blues and yellows. Summer gives way to more color with splashes of red. I have photos of late Spring to show the pops of purple when the iris break and fold right into the soft colors of the lilies.


May 16, 2013

Let’s run through the Spring blooms first, then off to late Spring into Summer and watch the main bed burst with color. In case you missed the previous tours…

LilacCornerWhat you see in the main bed below is just an inkling of what is to come.

I got a request to note all the plants that bloom and show the beds as they progress through the seasons. In this post you will see the one bed transition through the seasons. I will try to note the other beds through the coming year.


The mess leads to the Allium opening.


Right now, below, they are still pretty tight in bud. I will miss them again this year as I travel. See the lilies, Monarda and iris foliage in the bed above? The three small Hydrangea are just leafing out.

Allium5-14-13 I’ll be gone, but very soon… the balls burst open to this…


The Forget-me-nots will be gone in no time but set seed for next year. They are like garden weeds the rest of the year.


Even though many plants are just starting to bud, the garden is never without some color.


Note also the tightly budded Allium inside the boxwood bed.


Oh, and a word on boxwood. See the tiny flowers? They support a few small bees and butterflies very early in the season (mid April). Too many think them “pointless’ plants in the landscape, but they have much value. They are very useful as drought tolerant plants keeping other plants’ roots cooled and moist in hot summer weather. They do this by shading the place where they grow. It is how I have happy Hydrangea in this bed in full sun.


Like in nature, all the small ephemeral flowers are blooming. The violets and Violas, the ferns unfurl, and tiny becomes big with time.


The tiny Hosta is up too. They only get inches tall.



Late Spring the Iris tower. The chives are blooming below, but are in tight bud currently. I use the fresh leaves daily in cooking.

Below, the iris burst forth.


Below, the peonies open just a week later. You can see the lilies pushing through. The iris and lilies over-lap a bit but I didn’t find the photos with them doing it.


Early Summer


The lilies follow in the footsteps of the Iris with Cleome closing in for Fall. The lilies carry from late Spring through late Summer because I have Asiatic, Martagon, Oriental, and Orienpet.


Late Summer brings the Cleome SeΓ±orita Rosalita that engulfs the bed. The small Hydrangea are blooming too. You can also see the Iceberg Roses bloom again after a short nap.

Summer2011 There are perennials now where the tomatoes and peppers are in the images above and below.


I hope you enjoyed the changing faces of the garden. If I get some time this year, I might walk you through the design by taking more photos and explaining the changes more thoroughly.



White Phlox is lining the fence into Fall.

Oh, and I know that bench needs stain, but I just might paint it blue some day to go with my big blue ceramic pots.

Up next, Why I Started a Blog.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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61 Responses to Garden Glimpses Through the Seasons

  1. Chad B says:

    I love this look into your garden. You’ve done a great job at cramming a lot of plants into a small space while maintaining a really clean and relaxing feel to the garden. This looks like a place I would love to spend time in.

  2. Sharon says:

    Donna, I love the idea of paint on the bench, especially blue!…what about periwinkle blue? Fun! Purple is my favorite color in the garden! Dreamy!

  3. Patrick says:

    Hey Donna,
    This was such an entertaining post. I love how you get so much flower power out of your boxwood rimmed bed. Going from allium, to iris, to lilies was so inspiring. Mega kudos.

  4. todd says:

    I like the boxwood borders, they are classy.

  5. CC says:

    All are Beautiful! What is the red fringe flower with the lilies?

  6. Andrea says:

    You have a spectacular well thought of garden, always beautiful in whatever season. I saw the changes through time because it started with a new bench that later looks so old. Somehow i envy seasonal climes because of changing colors, compared to ours which are perennially present. Moreso, we lack your violets and blues, as ours has summer look most of the time.

  7. Brian Comeau says:

    Really like the way you have maximized the layout of your property. It seems like you haven’t wasted an inch of space. Such an incredible garden and talent you have.

  8. I really enjoyed the progression through the seasons. I also noticed you changed the grassy lawn outline around the raised planter? I like it much better rounded than the square of grass you had before. You’ve got a lovely backyard garden. The hardscaping is very nice too.

  9. Your tip about covering the roots of the hydrangea when in full sun to keep them cool was greatly appreciated.

  10. I’m in love with this garden!!!! [and your beautiful shots, Donna!]
    Happy blossoming Friday!

  11. Not only are the photos gorgeous, but you’re very methodical in how you chronicle your garden. That’s very useful.

  12. Christy says:

    Hi Donna…your garden is so beautiful and well thought out (of course!!) I love the pictures from above. I use Boxwoods in my garden as foundation plants because they are evergreen, but don’t get too big. I love the picture of the Lilies and Bee Balm.

    • Of course boxwood make great winter interest plants too. Thanks for noting the importance. They can become a sculptural element as well. They structure a landscape and keep the “perennial mess” contained. I use them a lot for defining rose beds too.

  13. GORGEOUS as always!

  14. Sue says:

    The play of purples in picture #5 is just perfecto! Blue gets my vote for the bench. Of course I love blue accents in the garden. Thanks for taking the time to chronicle and post these changes.

  15. Just beautiful! I especially love the garden in the boxwood enclosure–I am really going through a phase with those right now. You clearly get so much joy watching everything unfurl and go through its transitions.

    • What I find useful is the boxwood can always remain and what it encloses can be of visual interest and change over time. I wish I had the time to be more involved in my garden from a pleasure standpoint. My job designing keeps me crazy at this time of year and my garden is not something I even want to see when I had a busy day in some other landscape.

      • I sympathize, though I must admit I got into designing other people’s gardens in part to stop myself from continuing to think up new ones for myself. However, it’s definitely a challenge to take simple pleasure time in the garden whether through other work or just because of how much work needs to be done in the garden.

  16. janechese says:

    When you said you might paint the bench blue I thought “yes!” My friend has a lily garden that sings! I love the lilies except those red ones sure stain the clothes! Ha Ha. I like the wisdom of planting boxwood for shelter for the other flowers and as a moisture keeper. Great post as is your “header”.

  17. Your garden is gorgeous! I’m so in love with the 5th photo. It’s seems like Tinkerbell is living there. It looks like a fairyland.

  18. Marguerite says:

    The overhead views are fantastic. What a great way to capture the changing seasons and the progression of blooms.

  19. Thanks for sharing a view of your garden–especially looking down into that enchanting transitioning Boxwood garden–Wow! I never thought to put that many plants in one small space, but it seems to work great for you–how inspirational! Incredible, really. Enjoy your travels!

  20. Hello Donna, I don’t think we see the long shots of your garden often enough. It all looks so beautifully thought out and how lucky not to have been infected with the horrid Box Blight.

    • Hi Alistair. Thanks for the vote of confidence, but all that you see in this post is pretty much what happens all season. I really can’t show much not already seen. But I was requested to go into more detail on companions, bloom time, and plant species, which I can do. I have not been spending all my time here though either and I do miss weeks at a time with travel.

  21. I love how the flowers change in the center an look forward to seeing the images of the backyard….I also like the weathered look of the bench but that is my taste….

    • Most of what I showed in this post was all that does happen in the back yard. That is why I don’t post often on my garden. It has been the same for years now. Before I left on my trip the image of the Allium was exactly the same. The bench is not weathered evenly. It looks dingy, so I really have to stain or paint it.

  22. Karen says:

    I loved seeing how your garden evolves over the season…just lovely. It must be so nice sitting outside and enjoying it. We have to work on our shade gardens at the summer cottage in Maine this year. It appears that a lot of plants didn’t make it through all the cold and snow of winter.

  23. jodiwoody says:

    Lovely, thank you for sharing. Our spring is just beginning…

  24. catmint says:

    Hi Donna, you are definitely living in a rainbow of colour, as you say at the top of your blog, and this post especially demonstrates it.

  25. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful! I hadn’t realized boxwoods were so valuable. They look lovely in your garden, too.

  26. HolleyGarden says:

    Oh, Donna, this is fabulous! When I saw the bed with all the irises, my heart skipped a beat, but when I saw the lilies, I thought it was going to stop completely! Just gorgeous! Thanks so much for this post. Your garden is beautiful in all seasons – and that is not an easy accomplishment. Thanks for the list of plants, and the ideas – and the inspiration!

  27. Fun to see more photos of your garden. Maybe I will see it in person some day.

  28. Carolyn says:

    You’ve created a lovely haven in such a small place. Every piece seems to be well thought out and cared for. Love the pathways, the formal beds and my favorite… the forget-me-nots. Ironically I always think about them in Spring and wish to make place for them… then I forget about them until another Spring rolls around. Yours are happy little blooms to be planted in such a beautiful garden.

  29. Fergiemoto says:

    Beautiful! I especially love those purple blooms!

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