Happy New Year! While life all around us is still rather unsettled with Covid-19 (the Omicron variant being the latest cause of widespread infection), there is one thing that, thankfully, remains a constant: the garden. January is the perfect time to look back over what we grew in the garden last year. I like to reflect on what did well, what didn’t, and think about what we want to add. I’ll do this in four parts, using a collage of pictures. Shall we get started? 🙂
We had a light dusting of snow last January, which made everything quite pretty. The snowdrops are usually the first to flower. I’ve just checked today on the snowdrops and they have pushed through the soil, so it shouldn’t be long now before they bloom again! Also early to flower are these ‘Winter Sunshine’ hellebores. This plant in particular flowers profusely all winter long, and when the leaves aren’t suffering from black spot, the leaves are a very pretty blue-green (I cut them off if they have black spot, and the plant does fine). I took a picture of our compost heap because it really is amazing stuff, despite its messy look. As for my Rhode Island Red (hybrid) chickens, I can never resist taking pictures of the girls’ fluffy bums!
We had (just) enough snow in February to make a snowman! My daughters and I had a fun time in the snow. I’m so thankful that they have a silly side and that they want to include me in their fun! We also did some baking – dark chocolate is our favorite to bake with. As for the garden, a couple more of our hellebore plants started to flower. The single hellebore flower is Anemone Picotee, while the more showy hellebore is Frilly Isabelle. Funny enough, not all of my hellebores flowered last year. I know that last year I cut their leaves late in the season, so I didn’t do that this year. (I’m not sure that would do it, but worth a shot.) The birch trees were only planted in November of 2020, so I took a lot of pictures of them. You can just barely see the bearded iris stumps at the bottom of the trees, the first plants I added to the birch tree bed. The chickens weren’t sure what to make of the snow, but thankfully, it wasn’t around for long. This was also the time my seeds arrived, which is always a time of excitement. 🙂
A few more pictures from February, as I added a couple new hellebore plants underneath the birch trees: Harvington Double Apricots and Harvington Double Reds, both of which came from Altamont Gardens, in County Carlow. They are both very frilly and showy, making them just perfect. The snowdrops also opened up nicely, which can really be appreciated on a sunny day. I don’t have the name of my pink hellebore, but it is a ‘single’ and very pretty. We did some more baking in February, too!
Moving right along to March, I’ve captured here the single pink anemone that I have. It is quite a bright pink color, while all of the rest of the anemone in my yard – and there are a lot – are purple. The end of February / beginning of March is when I gave my rose shrubs a hard prune. That worked out great this year, as the roses did really well. I am slowly learning that to prune more is better than to prune less with my roses. The Pulmonaria flower, in the middle, blooms along with the daffodils, and is a nice companion plant to them. This variety (whose name I don’t know) also has pretty spotted leaves. I so enjoy having chickens and getting fresh eggs every day! They are such a treat. Not to be outdone by the chickens, Kitty enjoys being in the garden with me. While I do take lots of pictures of her, you can also find her photobombing her share of pictures. And we have another picture of our compost! The compost benefits from being ‘turned’, the more the better. But even if it is just left over the winter (sorry to say that this happens a lot with us!), the bottom of the heap will be good to use by the summer.
March (and creeping into the start of April) brings more color into the garden, with ranunculus, tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, anemone, bergenia (this one is a white variety) and our magnolia tree in bloom. The Aubrieta definitely steals the show in the rose bed at this time of year. That pink ‘pops’ from clear across the yard. My plan was for it to grow over and down the wall. Its plan is to grow into the garden! I’m hoping my plan wins. Last March is also when I started some flowers in seed trays. This was the first year I tried this, and overall it went well. The coleus and delphinium were the biggest successes, or at least my favorite.
I was a little busy with this creative project, too, last March. It’s kind of fun to look back on what kept me busy! It actually took about 6 weeks to make this baby blanket. It was a fun project that I was very pleased with. But I haven’t really worked on any crocheting since, which means it’s about time to start again!
I skipped our biggest project which we started last March: the cleaning up of the veggie/fruit garden and the addition of the pumpkin arch. I will definitely cover that in my next post.
Meanwhile, I hope you are staying healthy, and are having a good start to the new year!
P.S. The feature photo is from last year, we have not had snow this year (yet?).