Sunday, November 9, 2014

A look back at Gardening in 2014

Entryway to our front door, the Rose Trellis 
As Fall of 2014 winds down, I just stashed away my last digging fork and managed to crack my favorite spade shovel in half. At least it was during my last transplant of a native Red Cedar. I only had to use half a shovel for the last scoops of dirt. Such is the life of a gardener, wearing out tools and putting holes in gardening gloves.

One variety of my Grandmother's Peony collection
I seemed to stay around the house a little more this year. This tends to happen as plants get established and regular insect visitors come around more and more. My Grandmother's Peony collection is coming along so nicely that I transplanted (what I hope to be) the white doubles to a new section of my front flowerbed. This bed looked really good this year and pollinators tended to hang out here more than other beds in the yard.

One of our Eastern American Toads on guard for pests
My vegetable garden was a disaster and shockingly the only tomato plants I had success with were in pots or sprung up on their own beside the well fertilized chicken coop. Pepper plants grew and grew producing a lot of fruit this year... I gave up on trying them in the garden and now only grow them in pots on my very hot upper deck. They love to bask in the sun.

Just this year I discovered that Kousa Dogwood bear fruit.
Tiring of planting veggies that never produce or get eaten by critters, I switched my focus to fruit. I now have a nice assortment of Black Raspberries, native Blackberries, and Thornless Blackberry plants. I finally have an Elderberry that has made it past the deer and rabbit nibbling stage and actually saw some berries this year. My lone Blueberry plant is doing very well and I transplanted it to a more open spot, holding my breath that I did not kill another one.  My Fig had a few teeny figs this year as did my favorite grape, the Muscadine. I never have paid attention to the suggestion to dig up old Strawberry plants. I just let them keep laying down new extensions of themselves and seem to have some fruit to enjoy. I even decided to transplant native Strawberries 2 years ago and man have they taken off. I adore them (this is the wild berry that has white blooms - not the yellow blooming tasteless aggressive plant that is most often found in yards).

Freakiest bug of the year, Crowned Slug Moth Caterpillar
The only fruit damages that came about late in the season were to my Sickle Pear tree and my Peach trees. Darn those deer. Obviously someone has been having a good time rubbing their antlers on my young trees. I should have known better to leave them unprotected and alone in the back field - my fault really. They are not dead yet but they might never recover.

Lovely assortment of Dahlia's from Ted's Garden
My friend Ted has an amazing assortment of plants. A collector of Dahlia bulbs, you never know how many or what variety you will discover in late Summer. This is the first year that I noticed he has two Persimmon trees in his yard (the Latin name means, Food for the Gods)! He has been nice to share some fruit with me. In the past I've tried using the fruit in cake and cookies but have never found a pleasing way to use them until this year. They are a great addition to my morning oatmeal and to pancakes! High in Vitamin A & C and found to be a cancer cell killer! Ted's yard bursts with color and variety, I love exploring and each year I seem to find another interesting plant.

Spending Fall on the trails around Monticello
It's always sad to see barren Winter approach but I do love sitting beside the wood stove planning next years gardens and adventures. My garden beds will spring up refreshed full of new grow and energy, I hope to feel the same way!

~ Rebecca
One of the best flowers to grow, Foxgloves

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