It is time for me to reflect on the year that has been and to start planning for the gardening year ahead. It was a terrible year on many levels, but not in my garden; my garden was fabulous. Of course, 2020 brought pests, diseases (I'm referring to my plants not to the Pandemic,) weather disasters, mistakes made by this gardener, and losses of plants and, even worse, pets. The problems were outweighed, however, by the successes and the resulting beauty of it all. My garden sustained me; it gave me hope through the worst of times. So let's take a look at each season, celebrating the achievements and considering the lessons learned.
I had various winter projects, as always. For the first time, I grew paperwhites on pebbles. Not a total success as I had the water level too high and some of the bulbs rotted. I also found that the strong smell of the flowers was unpleasant to me. So I am only showing you the amarylis that I am growing on pebbles this winter. Both are doing well.
Another winter activity, as always, was to watch the backyard birds. I was thrilled to see bluebirds return. I took part in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February and look forward to this year's event. I'm giving it a shout out at the end of this posting.
|I enjoyed a large variety of birds on the feeder and heated water dish all winter. Bluebirds are my favorite. |
In March, the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show, with its Mediterranean theme, was one of my favorites. Attending the show had become an annual event, greatly anticipated by Duane and me. We traveled there by train and stayed overnight at a hotel in the show's locale. As with many events, COVID has caused mayor changes this year. The show will be held at an outside venue at a later date. I'm not sure how that will work for us, so for the first time, I'm not buying tickets in advance. But wonderful memories of last year's show.
Spring flowers bloomed early after a mild winter. A late-April frost, however, took the buds on the weeping redbud and on hostas.
I was anxious for Duane to open the pond so that I could see how our newly-acquired frog spitter looked. It exceeded my expectations. After all, we named the pond Froggy Pond some years back. Unfortunately, we had trouble with hawks and herons taking the fish and frogs this time. We added some decoys as both birds are territorial: a fake heron and an owl. They seemed to do the trick. We successfully repaired a leak in the pond -- I'm proud of that!
The Kitchen Garden didn't live up to expectations last season. I didn't protect the early crops from rabbits and groundhogs and lost a lot of produce: snowpeas, bush beans, and spinach. I will protect them this year. The rhubarb went to seed before we could eat any (not for the first time.) You can see it bottom right in the picture. I think it was the variety, so I pulled it out, and must research its replacement (in a different spot, of course.)
I planted the window boxes with stunning Supertunias®. They were Vista Silverberry and Vista Bubblegum. I like to choose different colors each year - hope I'm equally successful in 2021.
It was a good year for roses! Fingers are crossed (again) for this year.
We replaced the catalapa that we felled the previous year with a dawn redwood (Metasequoia). It grew several feet taller before the end of the season. The lawn around the new tree still needs to be leveled and reseeded. This will be one of the first jobs for 2021.
When the Cottage Garden peaked in midsummer it was stunning. In the cutting garden, zinnias ruled. There was a storm in August with very heavy rain that necessitated putting supports in place. The rain garden overflowed; we will extend it this year.
I was pleased with my container plantings.
My gardening buddies caused some sad moments ...
|Charm, my miniature horse, passed away July 1 from colic. Billy, the white goat, died a month later from old age.|
I missed them so much as I went about my gardening tasks. They were always on the other side of the fence to keep me company. Poor Doodles was so lonely. We were very fortunate that our vet found him some companions.
|The goat group are very happy together. From the left: Bilboe, Doodles, and Taz.|
|The highlight of the year for me was the September wedding for which I was honored to do the flowers. This posy was for one of the little flower girls.|
Jonathan helped me make the wedding bouquets. He also made a stumpery, complete with gnomes and cut logs from the catalpa tree -- happy memories.
"The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you've come." -- Unknown
The problem with this type of posting is deciding which pictures to choose - I have so many. Also, I tried to touch on things that I hadn't mentioned other years. But when you have been gardening and blogging as long as me, it's difficult.
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, January 2021
I do have a few blooms today so that I am able to link with May Dreams Gardens for GBBD, better late than never. Thank you to our lovely host, Carol.
|Not blooming yet, but close.|
|Flaming Katy, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana|
Wishing you a happy and successful gardening year. Let's all pray that the present troubles, in the world and in this country, will soon be over.
Stay safe and healthy,
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