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….

 

3.

…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!

โญ๏ธ๐Ÿฅ‚โญ๏ธ

In a Vase on Monday: Seven Years, Seven Grasses

Congratulations go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden today on the seventh anniversary of her wonderful Monday meme!

๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿ†๐ŸŒป

Each week gardeners scattered across the globe join her in putting materials from their gardens in various receptacles and sharing them. It is always a pleasure to have flowers indoors, but this week Cathy has challenged us to create a vase WITHOUT flowers!

Fortunately this is relatively easy for me at this time of year, as my grasses all look gorgeous right now. And there are seedheads still standing too.

I have several different Miscanthus now… above you can see Red Chief and FederweiรŸer. Those small black seedheads are Rudbeckia fulgida from the Sunshine Bed.

Are these fireworks?!…

I saved some of my Allium seedheads earlier in the year, and they still have a slight pinkish tinge to them. Really sparkly in the sunshine.

Whereas this Allium below is completely grey, although I find it just as pretty. Next to it is an Echinacea seedhead. I have plenty of these dotted around and have only removed those that were toppling over.

Here is another one next to some bushy Pennisetum…

Another seedhead I love is this one… Queen Ann’s Lace. Like little stars.

And Scabiosa ochroleuca also has very pretty seedheads.

I also used a sprig of Hypericum for its berries, although they are rather dark. In front is some annual Briza, saved from last year.

I think I have four different Miscanthus in the vase, along with some Panicum, Eragrostis and an unnamed pinkish one which was also saved earlier in the year. All the names are recorded but I can’t recall all of them. I love grasses so much though that more will be added to the garden in the future.

It was fun putting this vase together. I haven’t added any water to it as these will all be dried and saved (except the Hypericum) for future winter fillers!

Many thanks to Cathy for keeping this lovely meme going for so long now. It has brought such joy over the years, and has often given me something to focus on in difficult times. (Especially this year!) I love sharing my vases and seeing other creations from fellow bloggers. Sometimes they are abundant, with masses of gorgeous blooms, sometimes minimal, introducing me to new plants, and always a lovely way to link up with gardeners near and far. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Do visit Cathy today to see her celebratory vase.

And have a good week, especially if you are in a lockdown again like we are. Keep smiling and carry on gardening as long as the weather permits!ย ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

 

In a Vase on Monday: September Stars and an Anniversary

I got a message from WordPress the other day to congratulate me on my blogging anniversary. Guess how many years….

Nine!

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My goodness, how time flies!

To celebrate I am sharing my vase of asters today for Cathy’s meme (Rambling in the Garden).

The purply pink ones are a novae-angliae aster calledย Septemberrubin.

The white ones are what they call wild asters here, but are actually Erigeron, growing on the edge of the woods and at the roadsides.

Naturally I had to add a few grasses. After all, it IS September and they are at their peak; Miscanthus, Panicum and Pennisetum.

 

The wonderful September weather is set to change soon, so I am busy outdoors the next few days to make the most of it. Looking forward to some rain though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a good week!