The final days of a calendar year invite reflection. As I was beginning to make plans and set goals for my landscape in 2018, I spent some time reviewing the past season by organizing plant labels and garden center receipts, reading entries in my garden journal, and looking through all of the photographs taken of the garden during the past year. Here’s a look back at the seasons in my garden in 2017.
Ice coated the branches of trees and shrubs in January, adding sparkle to the winter landscape. Winter weather made it impossible to garden outside but many four-legged and feathered visitors enjoyed my hospitality.
Squirrels, chipmunks and a large variety of birds visited feeders and enjoyed berries and seed heads left standing in the garden. Our pond provided a source of fresh water. They rewarded my generosity with their amusing antics.
Seed catalogs and planning the renovation of this perennial border kept my gardening cravings and green thumbs satisfied.
An unseasonably warm February encouraged snowdrops and winter aconite to rise from their winter slumber before spring’s alarm clock sent its wake up call.
I started seeds of cool season vegetables that take a long time to mature, like the cauliflower seedlings pictured above.
Color began to burst from the soil in April. Scilla carpeted the ground with blue for several weeks.
Bulbs and wildflowers celebrated the arrival of spring as they weaved their way through the shade under the branches of maples still devoid of leaves.
I tried something new in my spring window boxes in April. I think they turned out pretty nice!
By the end of April, seedlings of tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and a variety of annuals were growing so big, they needed transplanting into larger pots and I was running out of space.
By mid-May, the cool season vegetables – kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peas, and several varieties of lettuce and cabbage – were growing quite large. I had already harvested lettuce for several weeks and the kohlrabi plants were just about ready to pull.
In May, I planted all the containers on the back decks with Japanese maples and an assortment of shrubs and perennials. Just a few annuals were used.
Hydrangeas and Nepeta ‘Purrsian Blue’ were my favorite container performers.
In early June, this croton inspired the theme of my front porch summer decorating.
It was one of those magical projects in the garden that worked out even better than expected. It was so pretty, it delayed the seasonal change to fall.
In the July garden, perennials were in their glory.
In August, hydrangeas stole the show.
Saving seeds, taking cuttings and moving tender plants indoors were done toward the end of September.
In October, after the tropical plants were moved indoors, my obsession with pumpkins took over, and they filled window boxes and seasonal displays with their autumnal colors and textures.
By the end of November, many perennials had been cut back. Those with seed heads were left standing to provide a buffet for birds and other wildlife.
Just a bit of snow has fallen in December, but the temperatures have plummeted. I hope my perennials are warmed by their mulch blankets; I hope the frogs and koi are enjoying their winter slumber deep in the pond; and I hope the newly-planted shrubs and perennials had time to settle in to their new homes.
Remembering what I’ve accomplished in my landscape reclamation inspires me to set new garden goals for 2018.
How was your 2017 garden? Are they plants that performed better than expected? Did you find some new favorite perennials? Did you learn some valuable lessons? Share them. Garden with me!