The last thing you saw was snow piled up against the house. My apologies. I was trapped indoors all year. Not really. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what I’ve been doing. I remember bravely stepping outside as the snow melted to snirt and then smuck.. I remember planting things. Things dying. Building things, changing things. I remember wearing silly things to brave the savage bugs. I remember a persistent nod to the goutweed patch and a promise, “I’ll visit you soon.” And then I stopped, and looked up and felt the winds change and suddenly it’s November. Is it? I’m not sure, it’s been frosty on some mornings, while other times we face humidexes of 25. AT THE END OF OCTOBER. I’m so confused. Did summer pass us by quickly…or is it persisting beyond belief? HAVE I DONE NOTHING ALL YEAR!?
So what DID I do? What DID happen?
Well, having glanced back through my old posts and photos, I decided I would highlight the most notable summer gardening memories. I apologize, as there are not many photos to show for the year, I assure you, I did the things!
Be still my heart! Daylilies stole the show. You can find and make place for daylilies in your garden. Not sure it’ll match? Find one that does. There’s more than you know. Find a daylily steward. A collector. A fanatic. A bulb catalogue. Someone will have the color you want, and will likely gladly share or sell an offshoot to you! Look at these!
I collected way too many plants. I planted some of them, but wound up packing up no less than I did last year. I started a shrub garden where the small greenhouse lives. We were planning on dismantling this greenhouse to move it to the apex of the driveway, but the year snuck up. Though with the way the weather has been, there might be time all winter for this!
Buddha’s little garden changed! I can only liken the removal of the forsythia behind the bench as the battle against the toughest boss at the end of a video game. We hacked, dug, clawed, snipped. That bastard took a long time. But what a victory we celebrated! I promptly filled the void with a nice large grass division I got from a friend! In front of Buddha, I pulled out the sad old dandelions and planted a smaller grass and a couple of succulents, including an opuntia. We will see.
There was some development in the turning circle. Two trees got cut down. They were Manitoba maples that were just taking too much light and nutrients. It was part of the plan to begin with. We also pulled out a gigantic ninebark to become the feature piece of the shrub garden. In the empty space of the turning circle, I planted an Acer griseum (paperbark maple) in my dad’s memory.
The veggie garden has changed! – Remember that mess? How embarrassing! Since that year, we built 6 nice tall raised beds. Filled em with soil! Planted a ton of things!! Harvested such an amazing crop of carrots!
The goutweed garden is an ugly stain in the yard – Uhh I’m embarrassed by this one. Let’s just pretend it ceased to exist in this plane of existence. It’s going to get yanked out next year. It may be my garden focus of 2018.
The Rhodo forest had a lovely light up. We wrapped the trees with lights. I fell in love with it.. I don’t use it for anything other than the photo op we had this August but I can’t bring myself to tear it down. I planted about 3 new rhododendrons (Blue Peter, Busuki, and one from my mom’s garden), a couple of Azaleas, and I planted hostas, ferns, and other perennials that tolerate the shade. It hasn’t changed enough to to feel accomplished but it will be a slow garden to fill due to its size and wildness.
I tested a bug net shirt. Ok, I meant to feature this as a more in depth review about bugs and how to overcome them. I got the shirt to test its effectiveness in the advent of deerflies. But the deerflies WOULD NOT come to me this year. It was a fantastic year for bugs… I was only faced with mosquitoes most of the season. Deerflies came, but would not bother me for me to test my shirt.
A new deck was built. Manimal built a beautiful deck in the back of the house. The old deck was rotting terribly. This deck was a fabulous improvement, with a new expanded section and a pergola. This inspired me to change my gardens surrounding it. All of the plantings are young, but I will hopefully see some filling out next year.
I did a tropical feature on the front of my house. I dug some holes to drop potted tropicals into. I picked up a stunning hibiscus this year, and dropped my bird of paradise in the other hole. I replaced a boring Yucca with a variegated one that resembles an agave. I hung an orchid outside my door along with my staghorn fern (and surprise! The orchid had enough sunshine all summer that it’s setting up a bloom spike!)
I conquered the hops vine. That thing was a monster. We beat it down 3 times. This time it’s for good. A clematis has taken its place against the ladder. Phew!
Okay. This helped me feel a lot better about my “lost summer”. I didn’t, in fact, waste it. Time goes faster, the older we get. I failed to stop and admire my progress. But here I am now. I stopped. I’m admiring. Damn, we’re just a couple of busy badgers. Have I done nothing all year? You know what I didn’t do? I didn’t stop…. I feel pretty good right now.
I’ll see about posting something again soon, and hopefully get into more frequent updates in the new year (or at least during the gardening season). For now, I enjoy the beginning of the dark, restful season.