Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking Back at 2007 (Part I)

As we wrap up the year, I look out the window at the gray, gloomy stuff known as Winter in Ohio. At the moment, there isn't even a nice coat of white stuff covering up the brown and gray. I try to remember that this is much like the thirsty traveler in the desert who eats salty dry crackers so that when he finally gets water, it will be the most glorious quenching of his thirst. We must go through this famine of sun and warmth so we'll be delirious with spring when it gets here.

To brighten things up right now, though, I want to take a look back on the wonderful year called 2007. What did we learn? What were our joys? What new things did it bring to our gardens?

January was a bit cruel. We started out with warmer than normal temperatures only to be plunged abruptly into a deep freeze. Perennials and other living things don't fare well in such conditions. This is where mulch is invaluable in protecting against fluctuations like this. A good snow cover helps, too. Just a couple of weeks ago, I could be seen shoveling snow onto some plants that got missed during a recent snowstorm. Just tucking them in!

I wintersowed a few things, for the second year, and had similar results as the first year. I'll be doing it again this year, starting in a week or so. The first year I wintersowed, I had my doubts as to whether it would work or not. I had a high enough success rate that I'll likely do a little each year, if only for the reason that I'm fascinated by it and it's a chance to try new plants at a low cost.

February brought the first hint of spring, late in the month. We always have some "teaser" days where the temperature warms enough that you're assured that you're not stuck in winter indefinitely. Warmer temps in February means fog that freezes on cold surfaces to form hoarfrost. It happens in late fall, too, and makes a winter wonderland of everything.

Now March is very much a transition month, being filled with various activities and events that indicate we'll soon be out doing what we've not so patiently waited for all winter long. The first garden shows make their debuts. The amaryllis are still giving us inside color and cheer. The first true harbingers of spring - the red-winged blackbirds - returned for the summer. And we successfully raised two Painted Lady butterflies in our family room!

Hippeastrum 'Dancing Queen'

The highlight of the month was our trip to Florida, where we were warmed by the sun and enchanted by the tropical flora. A visit to Marie Selby Gardens was just what the doctor ordered for our spring fever. Just looking at the photographs taken that day, I can almost conjure up the smells of those orchids and the warmth of the sun on our backs.

We returned home to the first spring bulbs flowering in our gardens.


Next: Looking Back at 2007 (Part II)


Unknown said...

Now this is a fun idea, Kylee; a look back at how the garden has grown and how lives have unfolded over the past twelve months. I probably won't do it myself, being way under the weather and behind in everything, but I'll happily read of your activities and of course enjoy the photographs!

Ewa said...

Yes, that's a beautiful post - overview of garden life 2007 :)
I got especially interested in your winter sowing - could you please explain it closer?

Kylee Baumle said...

jodi ~ Boy do I understand what you mean about being under the weather and behind. I won't go into it here, but let's just say these posts are a huge accomplishment for me in the last week or so. You're in my prayers, my dear.

Ewa ~ Just click on the link in the post that says "wintersowed" and it will take you to my original post on it. In that post I tell about how I do it and also there is a link to a site that explains it in depth. You should try it! :-)

Aiyana said...

My last comment was in the wrong place. I read your review in the wrong order! Regardless, very interesting and the photos are lovely!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is such an interesting look at your "garden year". I already feel delirious just thinking about spring. I wishing and counting of days has already begun with me. sigh

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Your photo of the kitty walking in the winter white is just stunning, Kylee! I am really enjoying your review of 2007 and am looking forward to reading the future installments. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Anonymous said...

It is fun to look back at the garden's changes and the year's adventures, isn't it? I love that photo of the tree drooping with hoarfrost.

Kylee Baumle said...

Aiyana ~ Thanks! :-)

Lisa ~ I know exactly how you feel! I want spring to be here in the worst way!

Cindy ~ That's Max and that's "his" garden. ;)

Pam ~ It really is fun to see what's happened over the course of the year. This was my first year blogging and I'm loving it especially now, because I have such a great record of the year! Sometimes you forget things and this is a nice reminder!
The willows always look fabulous covered with hoarfrost!

ellipsisknits said...

oh, so did all of your wintersowing work this year?

I really want to try blackberry lilies. I guess since they're a perennial here, the seed should survive the winter too, but since you've already experimented...

kate said...

I started out reading your final part and then figured it made far more sense to start with Part I and work my way forward...

I remember your Amaryllis photographs from springtime. They caught my attention then.

Where did your snow go???? I wish that ours left ... I miss seeing the ground.

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