The Old Year Passes

Fast away the old year passes,
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses ~ from Deck the Halls

winter skyReflection and anticipation vie for my attention at this time of the year. Like Janus, for whom January is named, I look back at the year that has passed even as I look ahead to the new year to come. A busy fall semester and the hubbub of the holidays has kept me away from my blog until now, but in the lull before the new semester begins, I have been reflecting on this past year in the garden. It was eventful, partly because of the work done on the garden paths and the deck, and the day I welcomed visitors to the garden. I’ve created a few “time lapse” slideshows of the seasons passing in the garden as a way of sharing my memories of the year’s delights.

The gravel paths that were installed this summer have been a joy to walk on in all kinds of weather; more than ever, they define the shape and the structure of the garden.

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Some areas of the garden change more dramatically than others as the seasons bring new colors, new blooms, and new heights of growth. I was particularly happy with the border below the deck, set off by the new path, and the meadowy bed outside of the gate that I call the “herb circle” anchored by a terra cotta birdbath.

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Perhaps the most iconic element in the garden is the arbor that connects the outside garden to the garden hidden inside. Designed to echo the roofline of the house, its simple shape becomes the one unchanging element as the seasons pass.

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As for hailing the new year, seeds and plants have already been ordered and plans for the garden are in the works. I hope that you enjoyed the “time-lapse” images of the garden (all photos ©2014 Lynn Emberg Purse). A special thank you to each one of my visitors this past year, and especially my followers and fellow bloggers. May you have a new year filled with joy, beauty, and wonder.

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~George Santayana

43 thoughts on “The Old Year Passes

  1. This is a really great post. Seeing your garden through the seasons is fascinating! And it is very beautiful whatever the season. As an avid gardener I know how difficult that can be to achieve and how much thought and effort must go into it. Have a great 2015! Best wishes, Nicholas.

    • Nicholas, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment. There is never a day when I don’t want to spend time in the garden, even when it is bitter cold as it is today. I’ve been enjoying seeing your paintings and a glimpse at the process of how you develop your ideas.

  2. Terrific job using the time lapse slideshows to show off your wondrous green thumb, Lynn. And great to see you posting again in any capacity; I’ve missed your reflections.

    • Thanks, Kerry – the images were fun to put together and now I’m thinking of printing a guide shot for each major view so that I can line them up better next year 🙂 It feels great to post again; I’ve missed it. Can’t wait to catch up to your blog too; it is always such a pleasure to visit it.

  3. Lynn: Frank’s correct: your garden, at any season, just shouts serenity. If I can gather that from photos, reality must be overwhelming. But how do you do it all? When do you sleep? I am so impressed. You are such a talent, and I am so honored to have bumped into your life online. Happy New Year!

    • Eleanor, I love the phrase “shouts serenity” – that somehow seems very you! Fortunately, a teacher’s calendar allows for summer gardening, and for the past two years I haven’t taught any summer classes, leaving me immersed in the garden for months at a time. Also, this garden is 12 years in the making – lots of sweat equity – literally 🙂 Happy New Year to you too!

    • Thanks, Jason, for such a kind comment! I try to take shots from the same angle throughout the season; putting together these slideshows reminded me that I need to be more consistent in taking the photos throughout the season! I’m so glad you enjoyed them; I had fun putting them together.

  4. It was wonderful to see, and follow your blog through this year. I did not garden last year, and in fact let the entire small yard front and back go fallow. This year will be my 25th year here, and after a year off I’ll be glad to come back to it all with new ideas. Happy New Year!

  5. Lynn,
    You are so right about the paths defining the garden. I love paths and yours lead to rooms of beauty, thank you for that. My gardens are pretty sparse compared to all that lush green yours are displaying,
    peace n abundance,
    ps thanks for the visit

    • Tootlepedal, thank you. I have been inspired lately by the videos on YouTube of “Gardener’s World” and Carol Klein’s “A Year in the Cottage Garden”. Although our growing conditions are far different here, I am inspired by the devotion of British gardeners to seeing and supporting the beauty in their gardens every month of the year. Many years ago, I spent 8 glorious days visiting English gardens (mostly in Hampshire) with a friend and staying with friends who at the time owned Applecourt Gardens. The experience taught me many things – the value of structure, the allure of foliage as well as flower, and the mad passion for gardening that gardeners can celebrate through the year and throughout their lives. A happy new year to you and Mrs. Tootlepedal and may your garden flourish!

    • Thank you, my gardening friend. I am in garden dream mode, and entertaining the idea that I can continue to garden every month of the year. A greenhouse continues to loom in my imagination but in the meantime, I prepare seeds for germination for next year and plan for the coming bloom season 🙂 A wonderful new year to you too!

      • Mmm…a greenhouse – wouldn’t that be fabulous! I’ve worked in them – big ones, like at the NY Botanical Garden, and little ones, like a lovely older one on a small estate north of NYC. So many, many possibilities. Such a fantastic atmosphere they have in the winter, too. I hope you do it, and would love to see what happens in there!

      • I’ve picked a greenhouse out already; just don’t have the funds right now. The crumbling wood tie terraces in the garden need attention (i.e. new rock walls) this spring, but still, one can plan and dream 🙂

  6. Thank you for this beautiful garden tour: You are a brilliant designer, Lynn, and have composed a garden worthy of the large audience I’m sure you have found online: Hooray for the internet!

    Blessings on your new year and all of your gifts. In great gratitude for the ways you translate and share your arts! Joy to you and yours, from Kitty

    • Ah, Kitty, your comments are always such a light on my path. I found that I accepted the coming of winter with far more grace this year because I was happy with the garden’s progress and was ready to lay down the spade and hoe. So this winter it is more of “i am content” rather than “Eekkk! I’m not ready for winter yet!” I probably need to examine this dynamic 🙂 At any rate, there is joy as ever in the garden and sharing it with friends. The happiest of the new year for you and yours!

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