Ten Good Things in 2020

In a few hours this dreadful year will be over. And yet, despite all the worry and stress there were some good things too. The garden flourished, the weather was fabulous, and several projects took place. So before I attempt to be positive about 2021 I have decided to look back at the positive in 2020 and have chosen ten things that were good… Here they are, in no particular order.

1. This mini greenhouse.

It was a devil to put together! But I persevered and my Man of Many Talents helped me out when more than two hands were needed! And it was worth it too. I kept seedlings in it all spring, and then basil and salad during the summer with the doors and lid wide open. The seed trays fit into the frame, or perspex shelves can be inserted.

2. The tomato and zucchini harvest.

Overwhelming but wonderful! I still have some tomato sauce and soup in the freezer. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also still have about half a dozen butternut squash….



…and some frozen pesto made with fresh homegrown basil. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I must remember to continually sow basil again next year, and would like to point out that vegan pesto freezes really well, much better than the version with parmesan in it. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

4. The Geraniums. (Well, actually they are Pelargoniums, but you know what I mean).

Colour in the yard all summer. ๐Ÿ˜ƒโ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ’•

5. The tractor.

Within days of getting the tractor in the spring we wondered how we ever managed without! Tilling two new flower beds, mowing, moving heavy pots, repairing the gravel lane, moving logs etc…

6. The new beds.

The Oval Bed was my big spring lockdown project, and watching it grow from this…

to this…

was sheer joy. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The Moon Bed has yet to be completed, with some wood chippings to be added as mulch in early spring. I will introduce it properly then. ๐Ÿ˜‰

7. The Hares and Gina

I posted some photos of our hares, and they stuck around all year. I even saw some prints in the snow the other day. Our dear little dog, Gina, didn’t see too well and was deaf in her last months, but when it was too hot for a walk in the summer we would spend the evenings going around the perimeters of the garden and she would pick up a scent. Only problem was, what to do if the hare just sat there in front of her?

8. The apple and pear harvest

We hadn’t expected so much, as our trees are still young. The last of the apples were processed into compote just before Christmas.

9. The Housemartins

There were 13 nests on the house and garage which meant that it was never quiet around here. I love the noise they make when flying, but also the chattering they do when in their nests in the evenings.

10. The Lemon Verbena


I think this was my most successful year yet. I had four plants in pots in the warmest part of the patio but in the semi shade of the tomatoes. I have harvested enough to last me until next spring. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


I hope you can also think of some pleasures and joys your gardens have brought you over the past twelve months. If you could pick just one thing, what would it be?

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


57 thoughts on “Ten Good Things in 2020

  1. Hi

    I did not remember you getting a tractor like mine, are they not GREAT!
    Pretty photo of your pup xo
    We always have much to be grateful for and thanks for reminding everyone even in one of the worst years in recent history we do.
    I also worked here in my yard and the pandemic never slowed my quiet life except for the #%&# ZOOM meetings I could of easily passed on ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy New Year Cathy to you and you Man of Many Talents.

  2. It’s nice to be reminded that there were good things happening throughout the world in 2020. Let’s hope those are what will fill our memories.Thanks for sharing. Have a grand New Year. I look forward to continuing to read your delightful blog.
    Peace and happiness. John and The Arranger.

  3. I would definitely say that you had many good things during the past year. When you included Geraniums, it made me smile as that is the flower I associate with Germany. Every fall when we travel, so many of the buildings balconies are covered with them. As to my little bit of gardening, I was gifted a basil plant that is resistant to downy mildew that was a real problem here in Florida. It has been successful and I’ve made two additional plants from cuttings. Happy New Year.

    • A yard in Bavaria without Geraniums would be a scandal! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜ƒ Glad your basil is doing well… one of my favourite herbs. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  4. This was lovely… and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing. Your posts (and recipes!) are always a bright spot in my day. The 2020 shutdowns gave me a new appreciation for my garden, as we spent many afternoons and evenings sitting outside with a mug of coffee or glass of wine, finding a spot of much-needed tranquility. Peace and joy in the New Year!

  5. You are so correct to reflect on all the good things. How could you be sad with all those housemartins? I found the garden even more precious this year. I think the first time our little Tetradium tree flowered was a special moment. Amelia

  6. I didn’t know you had a tractor. It’s great! Your geraniums are divine. And what good harvests !! I love Housemartins: how lucky you have so many nests, they will return to the nests in 2021. For me it has been a bad year not only because of the pandemic. But my sister has given me a lot of houseplants that I take care of because I could not go to my country house in 2020. Cathy I sincerely wish you and your Man of Many Talents a Happy New Year 2021 and that all your wishes are fulfilled in the new year and that it is much better than 2020. Hugs. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  7. I enjoyed your post, Cathy! You inspired me to write one of my own. There were many, many things to celebrate in 2020, despite the hardships. I’m thankful we have great gardens to focus on as well.

  8. Love this post and I want the tractor! Basil looks wonderful and you are right about continuiing to sow, I leave it too long. Gina and the hare is a wonderful image. We have a huge rabbit that has been tormenting my dogs and eating the basil. Happy New Year.

  9. Wonderful positive post, Cathy. I’m envious of your tractor with the front loader (yes!) and your many martins. I love swallows of all sorts and we don’t have the crowds that we used to years ago, alas. Love the before and after of your oval bed. Beautiful! Hope your year ahead is filled with even more blessings.

  10. Do the martins chase other birds that might otherwise eat the fruits and vegetables? They were desirable birds in the old orchards, but are not naturally abundant here. I do not know what species the local martins are.

    • Oh no, the housemartins eat only insects on the wing and hardly ever stop flying. They do not eat fruits and are completely uninterested in all other birds, even birds of prey… They are always in groups and are either in their nests or flying all the time. They fly south for winter. The video was shortly before they departed… they were probably practising and discussing the route! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • The birds I remember here did not eat fruit either. They just chased off other birds and ate lots of insects.. Italian cypress lived on the northern edges of vineyard, or within larger vineyards, for the birds to nest in. Because they are so narrowly columnar, they did not shade much of the vineyards. Martin houses stood on poles within orchards for the same purpose.

          • We know them as swallows, even if some are really martins. To make matters more confusing, some swallows will also nest in trees. Spanish Missionaries hung gourds out for them to nest in. The swallows of San Juan Capistrano are famously reliable about their schedule, and return on the same day annually.

            • It is confusing here too Tony. The German word for housemartins (Schwalben) sounds like swallows to me, and I still can’t really tell the difference when I see them flying! In the UK there are swifts too, which look very similar -just to make it harder for non-experts like me!

  11. I can always count on you to write an inspiring post and to concentrate on the positive. So many good things to celebrate. The moon bed is a triumph. I hope that 2021 will be as rewarding and I look forward to seeing my garden developments.

    • Thank you Christine. I must admit I have found it hard to be positive at times in the last year, but this blog has given me the opportunity to connect to so many wonderful people who write such lovely comments (๐Ÿค—) and that keeps me optimistic for the future!

  12. Your garden is developing wonderfully well, thanks to all your hard work. Like Eliza I have tractor envy! All the very best to you and yours for 2021! And have a peaceful harmonious new year’s day savouring what you’ve achieved and the good things to come!

    • Thank you Cathy. I hope you have had some time over the holidays to savour what you have achieved with your garden too! Now is the time for considering and planning for the next season. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy New Year Cathy!

  13. What a good thing to do for this year. There are good things, we just have to look for them.
    I love the before and after picture of your garden. It came out just beautiful!!!!!!! You must be delighted with it. Happy New Year Cathy!

    • Thank you Cindy! Yes, everyone agrees it was a terrible year, but so many people have also had positive experiences too. Wishing you lots of good things in 2021 Cindy! ๐Ÿค—

  14. Certainly a year to remember Cathy despite all the relentless grimness of it and as you say there have been some good things throughout. Your tomato crop looks fabulous. For me the best garden memories were a bumper pear harvest and all the morning coffee breaks I enjoyed sitting out and chatting in the garden with himself, something we rarely do in ‘normal times’. Wishing you a most happy and healthy new year and enjoy your garden!

    • Thanks Anna. The extra gardening projects this year also meant lots of tea and coffee break chats here too…. definitely another highlight! Happy gardening in 2021 Anna!

  15. I so very much enjoyed reviewing ten good things from 2020, and I think you probably had many more you’d be glad to share! I also bought a little mini-greenhouse. This was the year we went into gardening almost full time! LOL! Best of 2021 to you, my friend. You are always a joy to read, and I really do appreciate the beauty and joy (and recipes) you contribute. โค

    • Thank you Debra! Some other good things unrelated to the garden in 2020 wee the long chats with my Man of Many Talents, and with my parents and sister on Facetime. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  16. This was really interesting to see and read, Cathy – I am so glad it has been such a positive year for you in the garden. It was good see more of your plot – and as you say, your oval bed looks brilliant! Here too it may well have been the best ever year in the garden too

    • As much as I missed travelling to the UK in 2020, it did make planning easier. It is always tricky going away with seedlings and watering to be considered!

      • YES! Not being away from young seedlings and the vagaries of weather – I hadn’t considered that before, but that was definitely a positive ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. We already had a garden tractor (from 1976!) but were recently inherited a newer tractor with a front loader and it’s a game changer. It’s so nice.

    I’m so envious of your tomato harvest!

  18. What a lovely idea to post the 10 most positive things of 2020! I’d never seen your oval bed. It looks absolutely stunning, wow! It’ll be interesting to see how it fills out and changes over the next couple of months. I’m glad you were able to enjoy the peace of your garden. How big is it at all? One of my highlights was certainly the Paulownia which flowered for the first time. Best wishes for 2021, Cathy xx

    • Hi Annette, the garden is in hibernation with our temperatures hovering around freezing and a dusting if frost and snow everywhere. The oval bed will get some annuals planted in it again in spring, but I will be focussing on the Moon Bed and a new project in spring! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ How lovely to see your flowers on your Paulownia tree! We also have some Paulownias… two baby ones which are still in pots and have been brought inside in a cool room, and one about as tall as me. No idea if we will ever enjoy the flowers as they are so sensitive to frost, but we hope the trees will survive and provide some nice shade one day!

  19. I love the tractor! Perhaps I need a bigger yard just so i can get one too ๐Ÿ™‚
    The oval bed is wonderful, I don’t remember seeing it before, and it’s so fun to fill a bed with annuals and see them take off that first year. Sometimes I think I should clear out a few of the established beds just to get that new garden feel!
    You’ve had a busy year, and I love the idea of a top ten to show just how far you’ve come.
    All the best for 2021!

    • Thanks Frank! Yes, the oval bed had lots of annuals for its first year and will have cosmos and cleome again this year. Hopefully the perennials will start growing more this year, as I will be concentrating on the newest bed and another project this spring! Wishing you fun and joy in your garden for 2021!

  20. Lucky lady to live in an area with good soil and a reasonable climate. I live near the coast in Cape Town South Africa; soil is literally beach sand, climate is arid and the wind blows like mad! gardening is difficult to say the least. I really enjoyed your post.

  21. Cathy, I felt your happiness as I read each of your ten good things in 2020 (or was that my happiness for you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Even getting a tractor is an exciting time in any gardeners’ life! We bought a mini excavator early in 2020 – plus a new ride-on mower – and the two have been invaluable assets throughout the year.
    In my garden, I am particularly happy to have finally cut through an unruly section at the far back of our yard, with the help of the mini excavator. We finally found our back boundary fence after 26 years of living here! I have great plans for the area, but will have to wait until the heat of summer is over before I can begin my planting. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy New Year! โค

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.