Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking back....

It's the end of the year, and so many of us are looking back over 2012 in review. I'm not going to lie, it wasn't my favorite year. There were many high points, and I treasure those. But the lows were hard to fight. I'm looking forward to 2013 being a much better year. For one thing, I've retired from my job, and can call my time my own. That alone will make 2013 a very good year.
 And as for the garden, it was not a good year at all. Some of that may have been neglect, but most of it was due to the drought conditions experienced by much of the country. Still, there were plenty of highlights to the year, even at it's worst. One good thing about the mild weather was that I actually had pansies still blooming in January. That was a first.
By March, there were daffodils, crocus, hellebores, primrose, species tulips, and even the Bradford pear in bloom. At the end of the month, even the beloved redbud was in bloom.
April felt like full on summer, and the drought hadn't kicked in yet. Everything was green and lush. The late spring and early summer flowers bloomed in profusion, and it was tempting to put the summer annuals in. But I knew better.

May is the month of roses at my house. And 2012 was no different. May also saw my arbor looking pretty enough that the neighborhood girls wanted their prom pictures taken there, and I was only too happy to oblige.

June and July went by in a blur. I had knee surgery, and barely even touched the garden. By then, the drought had begun. Things did bloom without my help, but the whole garden started to look tired. And the lawn burned to a crisp.
As the summer drew to a close, we had all but given up on the garden. There were some troopers out there blooming, but it was harder and harder to find the pretty spots. The butterflies didn't seem to mind, and continued to visit in great numbers.
Despite the dry, dry summer, autumn turned out to be one of the most beautiful ones we've had here. Every day was warm, dry, and sunny. I "wasted" many an autumn day out enjoying the beauty, in every park in town.

In November, the cold weather finally arrived, and the garden goodbyes began. I had to search harder to find  the beauty, and settled for a more subtle style. Even freeze dried flowers are worthy of note when winter is breathing down your neck.

And now it's the end of December. My garden is sleeping under more snow than we had the whole winter last year.
Come on 2013, let's make this the best garden year ever!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Where Flowers Never Fade

It's time for the garden to sleep. Flowers have faded away, and the colors are dulled. 
But I know where the flowers never fade.
 I can go there any time and find them waiting for me.
 All the beauty of the seasons past are still there.
 Colors bright and colors fair smile up at me.
 Here is where my garden still shines.
 All it takes is a moment, and I can be in the garden once more.
 That's why you should photograph your garden.
 Because then your flowers are frozen in time for those dark and dreary days of winter.
 Just when you think you can't take another gray day, you open up your photo files, and the colors save your spirit just in time.
 So come with me to the where the flowers never fade. It's even better than the memories.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Quiet Garden

Before I became a gardener, I thought there was only one season for it, summer. As time went  by, I learned that there can be interest in the garden year round. It was an important lesson to learn. You see, I never would have thought that November could hold anything to see in the garden.

It may not be as bright and colorful as the month of May, but it has a quieter beauty.

You have to depend on shapes, forms, and textures to keep the garden interesting when summer fades away.
 The colors are mostly subtle.
 Only a few flowers remain, and you have to look hard to see them.

But the pansies and violets are still scoffing at the cold. You have to admire that in a flower, especially in November.

Maybe only gardeners can appreciate November. It's easy to love the summer garden, anyone can do it. But it takes effort to see the beauty in quiet spots like this.
If the summer garden is loud, then the November garden is quiet. And that's so much better than no garden at all. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

That Last Fall Walk

Over the last week, the beautiful fall weather we were enjoying just disappeared. The skies turned gray, the rain arrived, the wind blew all the leaves away, and it turned cold. But before the change of weather, I took one final fall walk. I didn't know it was the last pretty day, so I'm extra glad that I took the time to enjoy that beautiful day. This time I walked at Blacklick Woods.
Trust me, I was the only one there for the beauty. There was a lot of fitness going on around me that day. But not me. I was just there to take it all in.

 The air was warm, the sun was shining, and fall colors were still all around.
It was just one in a long string of magical fall days this year.
I didn't walk very far, or very fast. But that's mostly because there were too many pretty sights to catch my eye.

So I let the joggers and speed walkers just buzz right by me. I kept my pace slow, so I didn't miss anything. I took the time to just soak it all in, because I knew that winter was breathing down my neck.
I'm so glad I took the time to enjoy that lovely fall afternoon before the dreary winter ahead. It was worth every step.