January was just one month in The Winter That Would Not End, but we had our Amaryllises to keep our green thumbs warm. We also reflected on why we garden and what our garden and home means to us. I think that post may be the best one I wrote this year. It certainly was one of the most personal.
They say that time flies when you're having fun and we must have had a ball in 2009, because here we are, paying our last respects to it before moving on to new adventures in 2010. It's always fun for me to look back on the current year to see where we've been, which many times explains just where we're going.
February brought respite from the cold in the form of a trip to Florida, where Jenna and I visited my aunt and uncle and reveled in the warmth of the sun and the loveliness of tropical blooms. We all went to Fort Myers, where we toured the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Estates and Gardens, home of the world's largest Banyan tree.
February is also the beginning of the garden show season, and Mom and I attended the Ft. Wayne Home & Garden Show at the end of the month.
March was fairly uneventful, other than acquiring a beautiful blooming Clivia miniata. I'm happy to report that it's thriving and has even sprouted a baby at its base.
April is one of my favorite months because spring bulbs erupt and let us know that there is another glorious season of flowery goodness beginning. It's also the month where we begin to visit garden centers and decide which new plants will join our gardens. The end of the month brings the annual Cincinnati Flower Show.
I got to meet yet another garden blogger - Lisa of Greenbow - when she and her husband stopped for a visit on their way home from Michigan.
May consisted of unseasonably warm weather and became one of the busiest months of our gardening season. Besides all the spring work that is usual for May, Mom and I did some garden-related traveling, first to Cleveland, where we visited the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, as well as Schedel Arboretum and Gardens near Elmore, on the way home.
A week later, we spent three days in Chicago at Spring Fling Chicago 2009, which was a wonderful gathering of garden bloggers from all over the country. Our hosts did a marvelous job of planning visits to the best gardening sites Chicago has to offer, but it was even more fun meeting and getting to know fellow bloggers whose voices we'd only previously heard online through their writings and photography. I did a series of several blog posts about it all.
In June, I got together with another garden blogger that lived not all that far away from me, but we'd never met. Bren of BG_Garden and I spent a fun day in her gardens and emptying our purses at a local greenhouse.
At the end of the month, Mom, Sue and I took a couple of days to travel north to Michigan, where we visited Hidden Lake Gardens, Michigan State University Gardens, and Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The latter just blew me away with the size and beauty of it all and I'm sure I'll make a return visit or two.
July took a cool turn and we all wondered where summer went. It was the coldest July on record for our area. That took its toll on most of the annuals and a few vegetables that needed both heat and rain to grow, and we had neither. The sunflowers didn't seem to mind, however.
In August , our gardens were part of the Van Wert County Master Gardeners Garden Walk. Over 100 visitors drove out to look at our flowers on the hottest day of the year. (Yeah, I know...crazy weather couldn't make up its mind!) One visitor drove 4½ hours (one way!) to see our gardens. Wow!
Also in August, we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary in Chicago, where we'd gone to cheer daughter Kara on as she ran the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. (Go, Kara!) While there we visited friends and Cantigny Gardens. No, I haven't blogged about those gardens yet, but will do so in the next month.
September provided a bit of a breather in the garden and by the end of the month, we were flirting with frost. The annual Blotanical Awards were presented and Our Little Acre was honored to have been voted "Best Ohio Blog." Thank you to faithful readers and those that gave us their vote!
Two new kittens found their way to our place, bringing the kitty population to 11. By the next month, however, two of our crew had been adopted out, so we're now at seven outside cats and two inside.
November proved to be exciting for two reasons. First, Mom and I were asked to do a short video about the Smiley Park Children's Garden for Shirley Bovshow's Garden World Report. Shirley is great to work with and we had fun doing it. You can view the video here. Our segment is towards the end of the 15-minute video.
Then I decided to launch another website, Gardening by the Book, which is a site devoted to reviews of gardening books. This site also has its own Facebook fan page. (Yeah, becoming a fan of this one would make me smile, too. *wink*) As you can guess, the two blogs keep me quite busy, in addition to working my usual job in dental research!
December had a warm start and I got the last of the bulbs planted. Then winter decided to show up and we got snow in time for a white Christmas.