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)
Arbor in April Snow
Arbor after snow
Fog through the gate
Arbor in May
Arbor in June
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.
end of April
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.
Daffodils and tulips
Blossoms of purple sand cherry
Lungwort and geraniums
Historic bearded iris
Lilac ‘Miss Kim’
Clump of iris
Allium ‘Purple Sensation’
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.
Trees hanging on the wires
Storm cuttings blocking our drive
Clear skies after the tornado
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.
Towers of flowers
Bee friendly plants
Sweet potato vine in September
Cherry tomatoes in July
Cherry tomatoes in August
By October, a few plants were still in bloom, the autumn crocus, some roses, but the season was coming to an end.
Single flowering dahlia
Rose ‘Blushing Knockout’
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!