No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. ~Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
When I looked back over the year, I was surprised at some of the moments of beauty in the garden. Perhaps it was because I didn’t write about it or share many photos of it, or just that my attention was required elsewhere. My first blog of the year was in March and the second was in November, a long stretch of time without words, without pictures. It seems fitting at the end of the year to share some of the garden moments from April to October, the missing moments of the garden.
It was a turbulent year from the start, with weather alternating sharply between freeze and thaw, blue skies and gray, sunshine and fog, rain and snow. I cut some forsythia buds before a March snowstorm and brought them into the warmth to bloom.The gateway to the garden changed quickly over the seasons, from a sudden snow in early April to the lushness of June. (click on any photo to see a larger image in the gallery)
Once through the gate, the steps and hillside leading to the lower garden went through the same transformation, from a hint of the garden to come to the lush growth of early summer.
The lower garden, distinctive in its concentric circles, transformed quickly in April beginning with the flowering of the weeping cherry in April then slowing down through the lushness of June and into late summer. By then, the deep transformation of the garden beds through months of pruning and removing unwanted plants left only the Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ and the native Phlox paniculata blooming.
There were some beautiful moments where flowers took front and center throughout the seasons.
Drastic weather events continued in June, when a tornado ripped through our neighborhood for 15 minutes, downing hundreds of beautiful oak trees. We suffered little damage on our property, losing one tree and another one injured, but our neighbor’s oaks crashed across the road and into our driveway, hanging by the electric lines. Until the power was turned off, we were trapped in our property with live wires in our side yard. Eventually, we were able to creep through the downed trees and several days later, they were cut down by the electric company and removed by the township. We were lucky to escape with only inconvenience and little damage to the gardens; others were trapped in their wooded properties for weeks, only able to leave by foot.
The upper deck became a small sanctuary during the summer as my garden helpers and I worked on a long overdue transformation of the garden beds. The bees and butterflies found their way up to the blooms and the cherry tomatoes were a sweet treat on hot summer days.
By October, a few plants were still in bloom, the autumn crocus, some roses, but the season was coming to an end.
I had two cataract surgeries in October, restoring my sight and my ability to take and accurately edit photos, something that had been difficult this year. Fortunately, I was able to shoot photos with my cell phone and press my finger to the surface to focus! It has been a challenging yet rewarding year of sudden starts and stops, crazy weather, loss of loved ones, yet also a year of renewal and regeneration both in my garden and in my self.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~Lao Tzu
I leave you with my favorite photo of Angel from this year, as she stood beneath an arbor of roses. May all good things come to you in the new year, my dear readers – thank you for your patience with my absence on these pages and your kind gift of time and attention. May the year of 2022 bring you great blessings and joy!
What a year you experienced! I’m sorry to hear about the tornado damage to the area, and glad your place was spared. And that your vision has been corrected, such a marvelous thing to happen. Your gardening is always so wonderful to behold. I’m glad you’re able to blog once more and look forward to reading even more when you can share.
The forsythia is a favorite from way back… as my sister used to say, “It’s “for-sythia”–a play on my name, ha!
Thank you Cynthia. Yes, it was quite a year; this year is already shaping up to be better and I am full of hope and excitement. I love forsythia (for-cynthia?) – it is one of the first things to bloom here and adds so much cheer after dreary winter days. I usually cut some in bud and bring them into the house to bloom early – such a treat!
It’s heartening to hear that you feel life will be greater rewards this year. As for forsythia–how pleasureable a thing, that you carry out this small ritual!
These are all so beautiful, (except of course the post-tornado ones!), reminding us that there’s beauty in every season. May beauty continue to bloom in your gardens throughout this year as well!
Thank you, Mary, for your kind words.
From those freshly beautiful forsythias shining in the window to beloved Angel under the rose arbor, thank you for deciding to post this. We missed your garden views, Lynn, and this is a great way to make up for it. I love the garden views!
The tornado, the loss of your mother and Angel, and world events like the pandemic made 2021 an intense year. The Lao Tzu quote is a good one for it. I’m happy to hear about the cataract surgery. Let 2022 bring relief and joy!
I was very happy to see the end of 2021, Lynn, for all of the reasons you listed. The brightest spots were regaining my vision and having such good garden help to renew the garden – I’m actually looking forward to the coming garden season! Glad you enjoyed the garden views; I’m planning a series on how the garden came into being this winter while I plant seeds and dream of the blooms to come.
I love that idea, it’s good to hear that you’re playing with ideas like the garden history – I mean herstory – series. You have lots of great photos to work with. All the work you put into the structure of the garden will make it easy for the viewer to see how it changed over the years – and then there are your flower closeups. It’s definitely a book and I bet you’ve thought of that. But maybe this is the way to begin, here on WP.
p.s. The woodland peony and wild rose are very appealing. 🙂
So many choice plants, so well cultivated. Great photos as usual. Again my favourite is that view through the gate into the wood, especially ‘Foggy Garden’. A little mist always adds so much to a photo. Have a fruitful garden year, Lynn
Thank you, Richard. We had many days of fog and mist this past year, always adds that feeling of mystery and veiled beauty. I admit, ‘Foggy Garden’ is one of my favorites too!
Hi composer: Long time. Great to see your gardening passion still so expansive with beautiful results.
Hi Jean, thanks for stopping by. I loved your reminiscences of your childhood neighborhood. Happy New You to you!
Appreciate the drop-by, composer. Stay healthy!
Enjoyed seeing your garden through the 2021 season. I look forward to seeing how it matures and how the features continue to change. You’re hard work so many years ago is really paying you dividends in this lovely sanctuary. Happy New Year Lynn!
Hi Kate – it is fun to look back over the year and see the progress. I hope you are taking lots of photos of your garden – it has come so far in such a short time! Happy New Year to you too!
Thank you for the gift of your stunning garden photos through the seasons. I just returned home to find the water turned off at the mains. Two days of 38C heat and the plants have crisped, but your post has given hope; reminding me of regeneration and blooms.
Coral, so sorry to hear of your problems but so glad that this post gave you hope, it is all about regeneration and beauty. Wishing you all the best, and thank you for stopping by.
Nice to hear the cataract surgery worked so well!
It was great, don’t need glasses to read, take photos or drive – wonderful! Happy New Year, Margy!
In some ways I wish I had cataracts that could be fixed!
I know what you mean, Margy; I felt that way for quite a while. Our health insurance won’t pay for the surgery until you can no longer function; I should have had this done 2 years ago. But it is really a blessing and the procedures are so advanced and quick, so much better than they were 20 or 30 years ago when my father had his done.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden with us. So much to be thankful for and so much that gives us all joy. I can see why that photo of Angel is a favourite.
It was my pleasure, Jude – I love being able to share. Sweet Angel loved to stand there to sniff the scent of the roses.
A lovely post. I loved seeing the same parts of your beautiful garden at different times off the year
Thank you, Chloris. It was fun to put together those photos, so glad you enjoyed it!
I am new to your blog, I enjoyed all the photos of your beautiful garden, lovely quotes and photos of Angel, dogs have always been a part of our life and garden. Best wishes for 2022.
Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment, Gerrie! So glad you enjoyed the post and best wishes for a wonderful new year.
I loved this tour of your garden year. Thank you.
Thank you tootlepedal, here’s wishing you a wonderful new year in 2022!
I hope the end of 2021 and all of 2022 is as restorative for you, Lynn, as the above images are for the rest of us in real time.
Happy New Year!
I wish the same to you, Kerry; as always thank you for your kind words and continued friendship. Happy New Year!
It is wonderful to see these beautiful photos of your gardens spanning the whole year. You bring us images of life in all its vibrancy, and they bring me hope.
I am glad your surgeries went well and that you managed to get through that difficult storm without too much damage. It was frightening. We had a big tree limb down, but were also fortunate not to have lasting damage.
Thank you, Carolyn, so glad you got enjoyment and hope from the garden photos – that is why I post this blog 🙂 All is well here, I have “weathered” the year in spite of the increasingly erratic storms here, glad your trees withstood the wind as well. I wish you all the best for 2022!
Pennsylvania’s not a place I think of tornadoes hitting. I hope they’re indeed rare there.
Happy “new eyes” to you, and a satisfying 2022.
Alas, our normal 20 a year has risen to over 90 a year. Such is the result of climate change. I wish you a wonderful new year as well!
Such a beautiful and thoughtful review, Lynn; thank you so much. Your garden is such a glorious work of art. I love visiting it and never leave even these virtual visits without a lifted and lighter spirit.
For some reason, our forsythia at this location have never bloomed, except for frowzy dud at the base that quickly evaporate. It’s been so frustrating, after the beautiful blooms we had at our former home. So, it was heaven to see your vase brimming with their beauty!
The photo of Angel is so very, very touching. I came to feel such love for her these past many years, and sure do mourn her absence and send you gentle peace in your adjustment to it. Like Murakami wrote, there are memories we can never rub away. (And wouldn’t, if we could.)
Happy your eye surgeries were successful! Joy to all your visions, views, and profound insights in the year to come! Sending love. xoxo
Your words are always so welcome, Kitty – synchronicity – I was reading your blog as you were reading mine. Prepping these photos really lifted my spirits – I had forgotten the beauty of the garden amidst all of the difficulties of the year so this was important for me too. Someone once told me “create what you love instead of what you think you should create – then others will love it too.” Wise words. And Angel. I felt her nearby this morning so I had to include that photo, her sweet face raised to smell the roses. All is well here, I wish you a beautiful and joy filled new year.
Thank you and yes, I love our synchronous visits. And yes-yes-yes: Create what you love.
Thank you ❤️
Thank you, Kim.
On this gloomy gray day, your post has lifted my spirits tremendously, Lynn, thank you!
Seeing the first days of spring and imagining the smell of the earth as it warms and hearing the first migrants returning, and then on to the lushness of summer, is such a balm!
Wishing you all the best in ’22.
I’m so glad it brought thoughts of spring to you, Eliza. Our days here have been relentlessly gray so it is always a relief to edit and post photos from more colorful times. Wishing you a beautiful and bloom-filled ’22!