Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back on the Garden For 2011


As I look back  upon 2011 in the garden it was one for breaking records. As many of you know through my constant groaning and complaining all year it was a record wet year for Ohio.

January started off bitter and cold and while it snowed all around us even in states that usually do not get much snow or any we did not have much snowfall here in the Hocking Hills area. Snow flurries were seen often but not amounting to much with the biggest snow being about five inches. I feared for some of my garden plants because of not having that snow covering for insulation against the bitter temperatures we were having.


February was the month of freezing rain and some warm days with even showers and a thunder storm the last of the month. So there was little snow and more icicles everywhere which had to be knocked down from burgeoning eaves.

Hungry for anything green and looking toward spring   the indoor greenhouse was filled with planted seeds and seedlings.
Little did I know that the weather would remain cool and wet and that many of them would be growing wild before the weather warmed up enough in Spring to plant them out.


March had warmer and wetter days with a few days in the seventies and rains coming in with a few thunderstorms and hail.

and by March I knew my first attempt at winter sowing was a failure because the containers were full of water and the seeds were rotting. I am not sure I want to attempt this type of winter gardening again this year. With all of the rain and ice we were ready for the Central Ohio Home and Garden Show held in March to see some flowers and color.


April brought about some warmer temperatures but the rain was constant and we had the wettest April on record.
I ordered several new Rose bushes for the Rose bed and several new plants but little did I know that I would be mudding in them in when they started arriving for planting.

In April I was spraying Deer Away every other day to keep the tulips from being eaten. But color was showing in Daffodils, Alliums, Candytuft, Violets, Pulmonaria, Tiarella, Ajuga, Bleeding Hearts, Brunnera and the Pasque flowers. It was a relief to see that my worry over the lack of snow cover had  came to not and most of the spring plants were coming into bloom.


May started off cool and it was another month of record breaking rains. But by the end of the month it was in the nineties which was a new turn for us here so early on but one thing was still constant and that was the rains.

The end of May I mudded in the seedlings that were taking over the house into containers and pots outdoors, and I was having to dump water out of the containers on a regular basis so they would not drown. But the new mudded in rose bushes were starting to sprout vey well from all of the rain. Farmers were so late getting their crops in the ground that their growing season was very questionable
DA_Azalea_OrangeFlame3 My daughter and I paid our first visit to the Dawes Arboretum to see the azaleas and spring blooming trees in all of their splendor.

DA_Robinia_Casque_Rouge_Locust_PinkCascadingLocust3 And in the garden Lilacs, Honeysuckle, Geraniums, Rhododendrons, Irises, Peonies, Campanula, Jack in the Pulpits and Clematis vines were starting to bloom.

Clematis_Fantasia Most of the pictures taken in May of the blooms had water drops on them. Plants were starting to bloom but not as well as in other years because of the constant wet roots. The many irises I have in in the woodland bed which was a great disappointment when many for some reason failed to bloom.


June brought in days of ninety degree weather with deeps into the seventies and it was a constant yoyo of temperatures with again the rains.

BillWarriner_Roses But in June in my garden it is all about the roses coming into bloom and they were not minding all of those rainy days.


June was also the month of the snakes. They were run out by the flooding and I even had the pleasure of stepping on one. Yikes!
But June also brought into bloom the Echinacea’s……

…….Yarrow, Astilbe, Petunias, Monarda, Gaillardia, Primrose, Shasta Daisies, and the Lilies…. and all the while the container plants are struggling.


July in the garden added to the what was already blooming with new blooms from Lantana, Dianthus, Zinnias, tall Phlox, Dahlias, Hibiscus, Crape Myrtle, Agastache…..

Mimosa_Blooms2 Mimosa….

and Lobelia.
My biggest disappointment last summer was the lack of blooms from the many hydrangeas in my garden.
This year in July when the rain barrel and run off into the cistern from which I water the garden have in all the years past would have been bone dry, this year they were full of water for the first time that I can ever remember. July was hot and wet.

Helenium_Yellow August continued hot, humid but the rain slacked off. Surprises for the month was an earthquake in Ohio just to add to the freaky year we were having. But in the garden new blooms from the Heleniums, Veronica, Salvia, Roses, Phlox, Centaurea….

Toad lilies……..

Blue_Picotee_MorningGlory Morning glories…..

……and Astrantia.

and for a surprise the Purple Clustered Campanula seeds sprouted a new offspring of a White Clustered one.
August was a wet month here too compared to other years when we are always parched and the clay soil becomes stone.

Anemones_Sept26 September brought out the Japanese anemones, Ligularia, Sedums, Chrysanthemums, Asters, Cleome, Eupatorium ….

 Autumn_Clematis And Sweet Autumn Clematis. While all along the rains still fell.

RaspberryTruffle_Oct16 With October being another wet month the planting of new plants was so easy this year so I was able to add many to the garden without worry of having to keep them watered .

Seeded_Mums2 The seeded Chrysanthemums were hard to keep from flattening out because of the wet blooms. Farmers struggled to get in their crops from the fields because of the rains and miring tractors and equipment in their fields. There are still some fields where the corn has not been picked yet in December.

November brought with it frosts and autumn leaves that fell too soon before their colors were fully seen and photographed from winds and rains but the roses kept right on blooming until I pruned them off. This was also the first year that planting bulbs for next spring blooms was a pleasure. The ground was soft from the constant rains and bulbs were planted easily.

The month of December and another year is soon winding down.Once again my greatest disappointment is that the amaryllis bulbs are not going to bloom again this year like last. They are all leaves again with no buds. I do not know where I failed them again this year. Next year after their growing season outside is done I will take up the bulbs and let them dry out in the basement and then repot them. If that does not work then I am throwing them away although I hate to toss them.
December was another month of no white Christmas but plenty of rains and flooding. Now I visions of new bulbs that were planted rotting in the ground before they get a chance to bloom next spring.

So if you have not guessed from this posting 2011 will go down as the year the rains took over Ohio gardening. While other states suffered their worst droughts for the year we would have gladly liked to send our rains to them. Where this was the year of fires in some states we were flooding.
I lost a few plants and the containers and pots were so sad this year that I finally just pulled all of the plants. The hydrangeas did not bloom and the deer finally did get the last of late lily blooms and roughed up the bark on the little Mimosa tree. 
I hope I will not regret it later in years to come when droughts again hit us but I am glad to see this wet year behind me.
This has been the year of extremes but it had some good surprises and we  had our blessings too.

Thank you for visiting my blog over the year and for the friendships that have sprang up because of it. I appreciate every one of you.
I wish you all a Blessed New Year filled with prosperity, good health,
friendship, good weather, abundant gardens and most of all one filled with love.

Happy Gardening,


Muddy Boot Dreams said...

As far as gardening went, it was a YEAR!!!

But your lovely shots of flowers have made me forget all the troubles.

Have a wonderful New Year.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Anonymous said...

Your "year in review" photos and text reminds me of how happy I am to have found your blog. In the new year, may many blessings be yours :-)

myomyohi said...

You have so many beautiful flowers. I hope to become a better gardener this next year. You inspire me.

Happy New Year!

Patsy said...

Wishing you a happy gardening year for 2012!
I am looking forward to the many beautiful flowers in your garden this coming year.

pogonip said...

Lona, wishing you a snake-free year with just the right amount of rain and sunshine to produce a memorable garden! I enjoy our long-distance friendship as we share our floral adventures and challenges. ((Hugs))

Sissy said...

Looking at this post, I cannot believe the different varieties you grow! From roses to toad lilies! I look forward to reading your blog in 2012 and learning much more about gardening!
Happy New Year, Lona!

NellJean said...

A last look back is always heartening. Happy New Year.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Thank you for this walk down memory lane, Lona. I missed a lot of posts over the year because of being so busy with work, travel, and now the new project, but my New Year's Eve gift to me is to visit as many of my friend's blogs as I can. Thank you for the gift of your wisdom and friendship across the miles, and a happy New Year to you.

Sunray Gardens said...

Overall I think you had a wonderful year for beautiful flowers. You sure had an abundance. Hoping this year is better for you (and for me). Happy New Year Lona to you and your family.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Anonymous said...

We pretty much mimicked your weather with rain but we had the month of dry. You have had more snow than us so far this year and that is unusual. Next year may have quite a few surprises. You blooms are beautiful and it looks like your garden weathered the summer extremes pretty well.

scottweberpdx said...

You really did have quite a crazy year, weather-wise...and as you point out, so did many others. Let's all hope next year is more temperate. Happy New Year!

Becca's Dirt said...

Lona it sure was a year of crazy weather. You had beautiful gardens in spite of it's challenges. May 2012 be a better gardening year. Lots of blooms in 2012. I'll be trying a lot of new ones for me this year. I'm not sowing seeds indoors and I don't have a green house so we'll see what I get.

A Garden of Threads said...

Sounds like it was a challenge, but your garden still looked fantastic from your photos. I hope 2012 brings everything you hope to achieve in the garden and blessings for you. Take care, Jen.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

What a great trip through your garden Lona. I am concerned this year because we have had only a dusting of snow, green grass and plants sticking out everywhere. I did mulch but probably not enough. Have a great New Year.


shirl said...

Lona, thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry, I haven’t popped by your blog in a while. Seeing this post with so many wonderful plants (many I love too) I‘m going to get your blog into my blog list to make sure I keep up with you in 2012.

Thanks for the wonderful garden/blog tour of 2011. Ooooo… standing on a snake! You’ve given me reminders for three new plant additions to my garden for 2012 :-)

I keep meaning to add Astrantia and through blogs I’ve taken a shine to the toad liliy. But that Tiarella caught my eye later last year and being a big heuchera and foliage fan with those wonderful soft plumes it is a must have for 2012.

Wishing you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR. Sending my best wishes for Good Health & Happiness in 2012 :-)

Anonymous said...

What a pleasure to have so much variety and color in your garden even in such a challenging year! This is a wonderful wrap up. Thank for stopping by my blog, and I look forward to visiting yours again. Happy New Year! -Lynn @ Sin City to Slaterville

Heather said...

Hi Lona - Happy New Year. It's been a while since I last visited and I see I've missed a lot. I'll be back on a more regular basis this year.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I love your cheerful yellow header!
By looking at your pictures you would never guess you had record rains, your flowers all look so pretty.
We also had a really weird year of weather, record rain and cool temps from spring through most of the summer. Let's hope that the weather evens out a bit for all of us.
Happy New Year!

Janet said...

What a truly beautiful series of photos, Lona. It must have been difficult to pick your favourite photos for the year. The collage is exceptional.

Anonymous said...

What a great recap Lona.
You sure did get a ton of rain. Too bad we can't spread it around. I'd like to give away some snow!! ha
The blooms you pictured show a happy garden despite the rain or at least it looks that way.

I don't know why your Amaryllis aren't reblooming either. :-(
That is so frustrating.