Hearing from everyone how awful this year has been- I agree! Until I remember everything good that came from the garden.
If you don’t have a garden, I commiserate. Gardening has kept me sane and quite busy this year.
I recycled my Christmas tree for the birds. Try that this year instead of setting it out for the trash.
Yes, February has blooming flowers!… and they are called Hellebores. Plant these for winter flowers and all year-long foliage. And deer resistance! Float them in a bowl to enjoy them up close and personal.
The Rebirth of the Victory Garden during COVID is going strong! Lots of new gardeners decided to try planting veggies and had a great year with the weather. Rain kept coming to keep all those plants happy and there was a lot of harvesting going on.
This spring was an unprecedented year for swarming of the bees. As a beekeeper in Maryland I am on a swarm capture list. That means when people have a swarm in their yard, they look up who to call who is closest to them. I got many more calls than I have ever had to capture swarms – at least two dozen. In previous years I got maybe two or three. The bees were really restless this year and I can’t tell you why!
During COVID, everyone was making bread feverishly. I put my own spin on it with ‘Garden Style Focaccia’.
It turns out you can making delicious bread that resembles a beautiful garden.
Starting a new Facebook group called #Bouquetoftheday jump-started me to plant lots of annuals and perennials to use in flower arranging. My aim during COVID was to create a ‘bouquet of the day’ with only flowers and foliage originating from my garden, greenhouse., or by foraging locally. And I had lots of new discoveries and old favorites that I showcased in my post ‘Growing Heirlooms-Old Fashioned Annuals That Rock!’
Lavender!! Enough said… July is the month to grow and enjoy all the myriad uses of this wonderful calming herb.
Late summer is the time for my annual trek to see the DBG in Delaware. In the five or six years that Delaware Botanic Garden has been evolving, this year was one of the most ‘garden worthy’ years to see. COVID notwithstanding, I visited and was thrilled to see all the progress.
I always try to visit and showcase local horticulture gardens or farms. One of my favorite cut flower visits was to Floriculture Microfarm, run by April Lutter, in southern Pennsylvania. More and more people staying at home need ‘flower therapy’ or “stunning florals grown with love” to stay sane and Floriculture has a winning formula. A small horticultural business that brings joy to many home-bound people, it works on a subscription basis as well as selling at a local farmer’s market.
The month of October I decided it was my year of the tomato! Yes, you read that right. Usually September is the peak harvest for me of tomatoes, but this year, the tomatoes just went on and on. I was eating some at Thanksgiving! I did a lot of harvesting, freezing, and canning in September and October, of my favorite home-grown vegetable of all – the tomato.
In addition, I visited another local stellar garden called Star Bright Farm in White Hall, MD, full of aromatic lavender, rosemary, lemon, balm, and rose geranium. A scent destination! I got there late in the season and it is on my visit list for spring of next year.
When the days get shorter, temperatures drop, and shrubs are laden with berries, it is time to create my porch pots. All the old annuals are ripped out of my front pots and instead of looking at ugly empty pots the rest of the year, I created decorative porch pots, using evergreens, twigs, and berries to lift my mood.
Dried flowers are back in style from the seventies and eighties and I see them used everywhere and featured prominently on Instagram. It is a great way to use your flowers for winter arrangements that will brighten up your house for months.
Here’s to another successful Gardening New Year!