Hostas amid a swath of sweet woodruffCompared to the leafy splendours of summer, their garden is a tranquil scene in winter; snow gathers like elf hats on the hundreds of pots, which take on a life of their own. Many of the plants, such as the tropicals and succulents, spend the winter in a rented greenhouse; large, unwieldy agaves sit in paper yard-waste bags under lights in the laundry room; and hardier types are planted in the ground or overwintered in the unheated garage.

Hostas amid a swath of sweet woodruff.