Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Year in Bloom

This will be one of my last posts of the year. I thought that for this month's GBBD I would take a look back at the gardening year that was. I will start in May, because that is when spring finally arrived.


Here in Ontario, it seemed that winter dragged on forever. Usually, I like to get out in the garden in April, but the cold weather made it impossible. There was still snow flying when my husband and I stood in the back garden and marked out a layout for the new vegetable garden I envisioned.

Warmer days didn't arrive until May. Spring lasted about two weeks into the month and then the temperatures began to soar. Here are a few pictorial highlights:

Double Flowering Almond.

Korean Lilac

White Bleeding Heart, Dicentra spectabilis alba. I was so "in love" with my existing white and pink Bleeding Hearts that I added 3 new plants.  

A former birdbath in the back garden.

Oriental Poppy, Papaver orientale

Pasque flower 'Pulsatilla'


Peonies fill the front garden.

With the sudden heat, the garden made up for lost time. The peonies in the front garden actually bloomed right on time.

Meadow Sage Salvia, Nemerosa 'Caradonna' and a common Spirea in the background.

Deep blue 'Baptisia' and light blue 'Blue Star'.

Evening Primrose in the front garden.

A mix of June roses.

An iris that I inherited from the home's previous owner and self-seeding purple 
Rocket in the background.

The last of June's flowers.


Hosta and Daylilies

In July there was very little rain. I don't usually have to drag the hose out to water until August. This year it was so hot and dry, that I had to water every few days.

The garden in June had been all about peonies and roses. In July, the hosta, daylilies and spirea came into the forefront. Toward the end of the month, the phlox and brown-eyed susan began to flower.

The front garden. Roses are slowly giving way to Phlox and Brown-eyed Susan.

 Daylilies are a July staple. I have hybrid orange, pinks and reds.

In July, baby bunnies started feasting on my new vegetable garden. Japanese beetles mysteriously appeared and began to eat up my roses.

The back garden.


Phlox and Brown-eyed Susan has taken over in front of the white picket fence. Phlox paniculata 'Eva Cullum' and Phlox paniculata 'Laura Bright Eyes'

August started off with some much needed rain, and then the weather went dry again. The Japanese beetles moved from my roses to the Porcelain Vine in the back garden. 

In the vegetable garden, the tomatoes and herbs were doing great, but the beans and peas were bunny food.


A Tiger lily in the front garden. 

Pee Gee Hydrangea in the front garden.

Try to spot one of the dog's in the back garden.


Stonecrop 'Matrona' 

September was fair and warm, possibly my favourite month in the garden. I rescued some of my roses, which had become overcrowded with brown-eyed susan and did some front garden renovations to better space other plants. Aren't we gardeners always moving things?

Mixed phlox in the front garden.

Echinacea in the front garden is a favourite with the butterflies.


Sedum spectabile 'Stardust' was a new addition to my growing collection of sedum.

 October was all about finsihing-off half-completed projects, picking black walnuts 
up off the lawn, and raking leaves.

By mid-month, we several morning with light frost.

Thanks to the mild weather the Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne' bloomed well into the month.


November was unseasonably mild; great for those of us still planing spring bulbs.


December continues to be mild. We have had only had a light dusting of snow, which quickly melted. Is Mother Nature making up for the late spring start? I don't mind if winter is delayed, but it would be nice to have a white Christmas.

My thanks to all of you that have stopped in to visit throughout the year and left kind, encouraging comments. It has been a wonderful experience to visit your gardens in turn and get to know you better. 

After all is said and done, 2011 was a great year in the garden.

I will link this post to May Dreams Gardens Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. On Friday, I will also link to Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. To see other beautiful gardens from around the world, please click the links.


  1. I so enjoyed your year end round up in have a great skill with photography! The one photo of your picket fence almost buried in brown eyed susans...spectacular. A little garden envy here ))

    Have a wonderful holiday.

  2. I have started to say that i love almond and lilac, and then as i scroll down, everything is so beautiful till the end. So i realized these are your past previous blooms from May, i wish you have included how your garden looks like now.

  3. Your photos were just what I needed on this wintery, cold gray day :)

  4. What a great idea to do a re-cap of the year's blooms! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. This was a great post, Jen. I thought of doing a yearly look back too, but I bet you figured it out, it is hard to narrow down the images. You have so many pretty ones to pick from, I remember so many of yours throughout the year. Today, you have a gorgeous selection, and they brighten this dreary day. You are right about the spring-like weather today. The birds were singing this morning, but it is now raining like crazy and all is quiet. But, just like it always is in our northern areas, tomorrow is back to freezing. Happy GBBD.

  6. Wonderful images as always. Love the peonies - what do you use to fill their gap when they finish blooming the way Echinacea and Rudbeckia take over from roses?

  7. Your photographs are beautiful and your garden even more so! I am in awe!
    Happy GBBD :)

  8. Your garden is very well established. I enjoy looking at it season by season. Each season is so beautiful. Always colourful and full of live.

  9. Look at the beautiful flowers this year it's nice, but regret that they no longer exist. But the great consolation is that next year will bloom in succession, as in your description. Yours

  10. OMG...what a BEAUTIFUL post...just love that shot of the picket fence and surround transports me right back to summer :-)

  11. aloha,

    beautiful show this morning with your whole year review with all your beauties - gorgeous

    thanks for sharing your flowers

  12. Bravo! for the garden and the photos.
    Can hardly wait for the encore performance.

  13. Oh my goodness, these are so beautiful, and your timing could not be more perfect. It is so gray here now. :-(

  14. Your gardens, front and back, are so beautiful. It has made me long for next Spring!

  15. Thanks Jennifer for bring in a lot of color to the dark and grey days. They are a treasure to my eyes. I wish you a lovely christmastime and wish you all the best for 2012.
    gr. Marijke

  16. Jennifer, I love all the plants I see here, all the pictures ... and I will keep visiting your garden again and again. Thank you, for sharing all this beauty.
    Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year !!!
    Greetings from Greece !!!

  17. Jennifer, your garden is beautiful! The front garden with the picket fence looks like a magazine centerfold. After looking at nothing but brown and gray the past few weeks, it was a delight to see all these colorful blooms. I've been wishing for a little snow for Christmas, too, but now you've made me long for spring! Happy Bloom Day and Happy Holidays to you!

  18. Well, that was certainly a beautiful blast of colourful delights! Thanks. ❄

  19. Jennifer, what wonderful memories of a beautiful garden. This is the time of year I begin to get excited about the next year's garden. I know it is early but it keeps me interested.

    Happy Holidays, Eileen

  20. WOW, what a gorgeous display of your garden through the year. How fun to look back! I had to laugh about your comment about gardeners always moving things. I just finished moving some perennials last week. Always looking for that perfection that keeps seeming to elude us. From the looks of your garden, I think you might just have hit on that perfection :-) Thanks for sharing your lovely garden. Merry Christmas.

  21. Hi! We would like to send some newly collected larkspur seeds to you. Hope you don't mind mailing us your address. Our email address is written in our latest post. Hope you get to plant more cherry tomatoes next spring in your veggie garden.

  22. Your photographs are stunning! I know how hard it is to capture that one pure shot. You do it so well. And your garden is a thing of beauty. Have a wonderful holiday season and we'll see you again in the spring!

  23. Hey Jennifer,
    What a glorious way to cap of the year. The poppy, pasque flowers and the last arrangement just sang to me. Thanks for sharing your year in review with us.

  24. Wonderful post Jennifer. Such fun to relive the garden year with you. I had forgotten about those sweet little bunnies! Can't wait to see my evening primrose next season after looking at photos of your gorgeous blooms.

  25. Your garden is stunning. When I began designing my big garden makeover this fall, I definitely had your garden in mind. We have so many of the same plants but yours always always always looks better!! You are a true source of inspiration for me! :o)

  26. Spring may have arrived late for you but it looks like in the end it was worth the wait! A very good year in the garden indeed. This overview was a veritable feast for the eyes. You have such a wealth of color and blooms in your garden.

  27. Thanks for your comments everyone. I always enjoy reading your thoughts.
    Karen, you had a question about my peonies. I was lucky to have inherited a full bed of peonies, when we moved into this house. I have left them pretty much as I found them.
    They look great in June when they are covered in flowers and then remain a neat green mass for most of the rest of the season. To add a bit of ongoing interest into that bed, I have added a few roses that repeat bloom, a deep blue salvia and a pretty pink veronica in front of the peonies.The only time that I find the bed unpleasing is in the winter. The peonies die right back to the ground, leaving an unattractive bare spot. Often, I have wished I had a couple of evergreens to anchor the bed and make it look nicer year round.

  28. I would say you had a GORGEOUS garden year Jennifer! Every time I see your front garden it takes my breathe away. Merry Christmas and all the best for another amazing year in the garden in 2012!

  29. What a lovely garden you had this year! I'm envious of your little plot of Eden! I get very little sun but manage to have a nice amount of color in my garden. Thanks for the memories, I always start looking at my garden pictures about now and I see you do too!

  30. Gorgeousness! :)
    Your photos are truly beautiful and your garden even more so!

  31. Stunning! I grew many of the same in my Colorado garden (similar growing zones?), but without your lovely picket fence :) I would love to sit in yours with a glass of lemonade and good book :) Fantastic photos!

    Happy New Year! XOLaura

  32. Hello Jennifer, I come here often to see your superb garden and photos but I rarely comment. This time I shall. You have one of the most beautiful gardens I've seen. The care you give to it even during our draught this summer shows your passion in tending to making your world a nicer place. And thru your blog, our world :) Thank you for all your work in creating this blog and brightening our day.

    All the bestest to you and your 3 plus one pup in 2012.


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