December 26, 2009

2009: A Year In The Garden


Southerners exhibited their normal snow behavior. But, there were many days in the garden when the light was warm and fabulous.


I gave into the temptation and ordered more annual seeds. Fortunately, I was rewarded with spring, summer and fall blooming annuals.


The weather warmed up and I was back out in the garden. With help from The Musician, we cleaned up the gardens and refreshed the grit path in the cottage garden.


The happy hummingbirds returned. By April 12, I saw the first one and captured it on camera the next day.


While the Musician and I went to Paris and Monet's Garden in Giverny, the garden here at home burst into bloom with the poppies growing over four feet high!


Fall plantings of echinacea and monarda did not disappoint in a mass planting in the cottage garden.


Mid-summer brought drought, but agastache stayed alive and bloomed so well that I continued adding more varieties in the heat of the summer.


The Monarch butterfly migration brought these beauties to my garden where they laid eggs on the asclepias and sipped nectar from blooms throughout the garden.


Common hardy mums created a big display in the cottage garden. I have also been testing one out in the deer resistant garden and have had great success with no munching of the foliage so far this fall and winter.


Annuals sown from seeds continued to reward me with autumn blooms throughout October. By then, I declared both marigolds and zinnias (Benary Giant) to be deer resistant - at least for 2008! I did a lot of rearranging to combine perennials into better companion color schemes.


My Encore® Azaleas bloomed again and continued blooming into December, brightening up the cottage garden when little else was still in bloom. I sowed annuals seeds and planted allium bulbs for the 2010 growing season; added edging to the outer gardens and cleared out old spaces for new gardens.


Torrential rains washed away seeds as well as compost and gravel that we added in the fall. I continued to collect seeds from gaillardia and echinacea. The year is ending with many days of 20°F low temperatures, hard freezes and more torrential rains and wind. Already, winter is taking a toll on the garden. I was finally able to venture out today for a stroll to check on the conditions as I've been under the weather for several weeks. There will definitely be casualties from the weather, but the majority of perennials look well and I can see tiny green sprouts of poppies, larkspur, cornflowers, nigella, echinacea and gaillardia. All-in-all, it was a good year.

2010 is a few days away and I look forward to seeing all the garden surprises next year.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron; 2009
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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Paris, France; September 2013

The Musician. My late husband

The Musician. My late husband
Paris 2011