Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - The Year in Review at Our Little Acre

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.

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.

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.

Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)
I got to meet Meems of Hoe and Shovel, who lives near Tampa - definitely a highlight of the trip.

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.

Schedel Arboretum and Gardens

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.

Lurie Garden, Chicago

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.

Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly at Hidden Lake Gardens

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. 

Lily and Cocoa


In October, Our Little Acre got its own Facebook fan page, so if you're a Facebook user, I'd love it if you'd click on over and become a fan!

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.


Christmas brought a new orchid table, made with love by my dad, which made me very happy and the orchids are pretty darned pleased about it, too.  Now they're getting the light and humidity they need.

As you can see, it's been a good and busy year.  2010 will start off with a bang, too, because Mom and I leave in two weeks for New York City, where we'll be attending The Martha Stewart Show for a special audience event on blogging.  It will be the first time in NYC for each of us and we're looking forward to making great memories together in The Big Apple. Stay tuned for that!

I want to thank the readers of this blog for doing so and for the lovely comments some of you leave.  I've not always been the best at answering comments, but I read each and every one and appreciate that you've taken the time to leave them. As I start my fourth year (!!!!) of writing this blog, I still love doing it and I'm glad to have met so many great people as a result of it.  I wish you all only the best for 2010!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your 2009 was very exciting and full of color. I love seeing all of those flower photos Kylee. It is so glum looking outside. All of these colorful flowers gives me such a boost at looking forward to the new growing season.

Unknown said...

Wow Kylee, it's been quite a year for you. That orchid table is awesome. I hope the new year is even better!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

What a great year! Keep us posted on the Martha Stewart show info!

Louise Hartwig said...

Nice simplified summation of 2009. What a great year.

Helen/patientgardener said...

You have had a busy gardening year. How nice to meet all those garden bloggers

Peg Wiggins said...

Have thoroughly enjoyed my 1st year of reading your beautiful blog.
♥ your photos, Kylee.
And will be watching for you on Martha.
Also look forward to your Tweets!

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

It was a pleasure to welcome you to my home and garden in 2009, Kylee.

You've certainly had an eventful 2009 and I hope that 2010 will be a very exciting and rewarding one for you , your dear mother, and all of your family.

Victoria Williams said...

Nice year in review. Also pleasant to read through it and recognize so many of your posts that I've read. Feel like I was right there with you!

Anonymous said...

You've had a full year Kylee, and I hope 2010 is just as kind to you. We'll be traveling to Michigan next summer, so thanks for the links to Hidden Lakes Garden and MSU gardens. I'll be visiting those for the first time then! We've seen Frederick Meijer Gardens, arent' they fabulous?

Anonymous said...

Very nice 12 month review Ms. Kylee. And I didn't know of your FB fan page till now, so of course I joined. That sunflower photo is one of the best I've ever seen, it's stunningly beautiful. Did you know it was almost voted as our National Floral Emblem?

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Happy New Year Kylee!

What fun to review 2009 with you and such a busy year it was for you gardening and blogging wise.

I can scarcely believe it but we have snow today. Again!

Garden Lily said...

I guess I've started following more recently, so thanks for the wonderful summary. Those sunflowers are amazing. I'm impressed that you've taken the opportunity to meet up with other garden bloggers. That's neat.

Gina said...

Happy New Year, Kylee. Wow, the pictures in this post are so beautiful. I've been noticing how your photog skills have changed over the years. Are you taking lessons? Get a fancy new camera? I need to be able to take pics like this!

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