Spring Versus Summer in Dale’s Garden

We’re visiting with Dale Dailey today.

Our garden is well established and located in central Michigan near Lansing. It has been featured in the GPOD in the past (Dale’s Garden in 2020).

Part of the delight of gardening is to observe plants emerge in springtime and then watch as they mature with the seasons. I have included four sets of pictures from last year that show an area in spring and then later in the year.

This area features tall ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 3–7) in the background, with hostas, a dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’, Zones 3–6), and other plants in the front.

garden bed with lots of ferns and hostas in bloomThis is the same area in late summer in its full glory. It receives full sun for at least two-thirds of the day, but the shade-loving plants still seem to thrive.

stone statue in the middle of shade plants in bloomA favorite shady area in our garden features a contemplative stone statue. In the spring, white bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’, Zones 3–8) and hosta provide a simple setting.

another view of the statue in the shade garden with hydrangea behindLater in the season the same area is heavily shaded, and a tall hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Zones 3–9) provides a stunning backdrop.

small redbud growing in the middle of a zen gardenWe have a large garden area, and ornamental trees are an integral feature. One recent addition to our Japanese garden was a weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’, Zones 5–9). This photo shows the tree in bloom in the spring.

same zen garden later in the seasonAs summer approaches, the blossoms are followed by cascading ruby-colored leaves.

mulched garden bed with various low-growing plantsThis last pair of photos shows a large area east of our house that features a variety of hostas, astilbes, primulas, phlox, and other shade-loving plants.

shade garden with lots of foliage plants and pink flowersLater in the summer the hosta and other plants have now exploded. The tree in the background is a weeping purple beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purple Fountain’, Zones 4–7).

Revisiting these photos has me excited about spring even though it is at least three months away!


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