Thursday, December 27, 2007

GWI does 2007: a very good year indeed

Some of the local blogs do retrospectives at this time of year. For the ones who cover Western New York happenings, this can be depressing at worst and funny (in a gruesome way) at best. Fortunately, since I strictly maintain a gardening focus, I don’t have to talk about local political follies, horrible things going on in the world, family issues, or my many personal problems. I spare you all of these things to bring you only my gardening experiences. Believe me, the other stuff? You don’t want to know.

I join Garden Rant! Woohoo! There is sort of a regimen—I post twice a week whether I have something to say or not—but that’s actually what’s good. It forces me to look outside my own garden and think about the bigger issues affecting all gardeners. And find out about cool garden-related stuff that’s happening around the world.

As usual, I order a lot of stuff from Bluestone Perennials and Select Seeds. Glancing over the orders, I can say that the most successful plants (plants only were ordered) were the verbena bonariensis, geranium Rozanne (which pretty much bloomed all summer), and the chrysogonum. I expect good things in future seasons from the other plants. Nothing died, anyway. As for the Select Seeds order, all 40 plants were fantastic, except for the brugsmansia. The rudbeckia triloba variant was probably the most amazing. All annuals or biennials of course. My forced hyacinths came up, as always, and I posted one for Bloom Day, which I join (right word?) for the first time.

We vacation in Naples, Florida, where a year-round growing climate seems to be pretty much wasted on routine corporate landscaping. A century plant breaks through the cactus house at the Botanical Gardens, and I visit a few garden shows.

I am sure all you Northeasterners and Midwesterners remember early April and that wonderful freeze we had, which almost ruined my hellebores and did ruin my erythronium. I become one of the very first member/owners of Urban Roots, Buffalo’s first gardening co-op. Since then, I’ve bought some great plants, mulch, soil, and other supplies there. Three possible contractors come to give us pond quotes and designs. We choose the one who says he does all his sketches as he works, but his ideas seem closest to our idea of a natural-looking water feature.

May is when it all starts happening at once, especially this year when we had hardly any rain and 80 degree temps quite early in the month. The pond is finished. I love it right away. All the plants arrive, plus I have to replant the ones displaced by the pond. The wisteria blooms unseen, trapped between old vines and new foliage. Still haven’t solved that problem.

After several lackluster seasons, I have the biggest year for roses I’ve ever had—the dryness, the heat. Garden Walk planning is in full force and controversies over selling plants rear their tiresome heads. The Select Seeds annuals do their stuff, especially the Red Bedder nicotiana.

Lily time is here, and all decide to bloom pretty much at once, thanks again, I guess, to the wacky dry weather. At the end of the month, the Garden Ranters arrive for Garden Walk, plus a few other bloggers and lots of media folks. A glorious time is had by all. Ranter Susan is kind of shaking her head over the wild Buffalo gardeners. Or maybe just me.

Ron officially becomes my garden mentee (that's garden guru Sally Cunningham with him), and we visit nurseries and online vendors, buying up perennials for about 70 new beds he has planned for his suburban property. Prairie Glow rudbeckia bursts into orange, red, and yellow splendor and is absolutely amazing. I start to order bulbs.

I raise hell on and offline about my friend Jean Dickson’s garden, visit the Botanical Gardens to enjoy the best late summer flowers I’ve ever seen there, and order more bulbs.


I advocate here for species tulips, participate in Blog Action Day, and start to plan an upstairs plant room/semi-greenhouse (still in progress).

The upstairs plant room receives fancy, unsustainable flooring; I wait the longest I’ve ever waited to get my bulbs in, but eventually do; and my many exotic varieties of paperwhites get their most elaborate pottings ever.

Snow starts early this year, but no freak storms. The hyacinth bulbs seem a bit behindhand, bud-wise, so remain in the root cellar. I install twitter but don’t have much to say on it and we have a great Christmas, with enough Veuve Cliquot to last the entire hors d’oeuvre, dinner, and dessert courses. Not to mention rum punch, burgundy, and spatlese reisling. Certainly enough to toast all my fellow garden bloggers and wish them a successful 2008 in their gardens and everywhere else.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Despite the drought it sounds like you had a good year. Carry on...and Happy New Year.

Susan Harris said...

Oh, it's definitely not just you. As a group, Buffalo gardeners are crazy and exhausting.

Carol said...

Sounds like 2007 was a good year for you and your garden. Best wishes for an even better 2008 garden.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Ron said...

I'll always remember 2007 as the year I got the gardening bug, and I can't possibly thank you enough for everything I've learned from you in person and online. Life-changing, it's safe to say.

Here's to an even better 2008.

Ron the Mentee

Pam/Digging said...

Congrats on a great year, Elizabeth. I'm impressed that you've been able to keep up your own blog as well as contribute regularly to Garden Rant.

lisa said...

Great review! Happy 2008!!

Rees Cowden said...

Hey Elizabeth,
I ran across your site this afternoon (I think it was the title that caught my attention ...)
and was pleasantly surprised. It looks like you've had an eventful year. Building exceptional gardens is my passion and has been my life's work I feel for you up north who have to wait out winter to play in the dirt. Keep up the nice job...

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