2019 Garden Retrospective

Iris ‘Orinoco Flow’

The garden has not been tended properly for several years but it continues to nourish me.

Hellebores and daffodils bring the garden to life in January and February, leading the way toward iris time which generally marks the garden’s peak.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

This year irises bloomed April 5-May 4, or at least that when I photographed them.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) May 2, 2019

Iris hybrid  May 2, 2019

Peonies, zinnias and other flowers have their season too though helping to keep some interest going well into late fall, when camellias take over.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ and ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ May 1, 2019


Zinnias and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) August 12, 1019

For expediency I tried to skip from peonies to zinnias! I should have known better. Whenever I try to choose among flowers, “But what about the…?” becomes my next thought.

What about anemone, muscari, columbine, monarda, gardenia, hydrangea, lamb’s ear, the redbud, the dogwood, asclepias, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, or what about Virgie’s old-fashioned rose, the same one my mother and grandmother grew.

Rosa (Rose) -Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose  May 13, 2019

This year I put effort into growing dahlias; photographed butterflies in the garden and serendipitously stumbled upon a rare one for North Carolina; and created a variety of floral vase designs using foliage and flora gathered from just outside the back steps.


Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ with Phlox September 12, 2019

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’


Most posts this year were weekly, scheduled for Mondays so I could join Cathy at Rambling In The Garden in sharing vases of cut flowers In A Vase On Monday. I rarely hesitate to sacrifice flowers from the garden. Bringing them indoors and working with them is a pleasure—a creative opportunity. See the 2019 Vases and those from prior years.

Heat Wave -June 3, 2019


Summarized in a mid-August post titled Summer In The Garden I documented a larger than usual variety of butterflies and other insects this year. They were not always easy to photograph, but they were fun to chase. iNaturalist is a valuable resource for help with identifying these garden visitors.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

On a one hundred degree day in early October, while waiting for a Monarch to settle and pose, I snapped a photo of a closer and more cooperative subject. It turned out to be a fortuitous sighting of a Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis), a rare visitor to this state. [If you missed it, you can read about my duskywing saga.]

With only two other previous sightings of Funereal Duskywing in North Carolina I was pleased to have my photos included on the Butterflies of North Carolina website with the annotation in the comments section that “The most significant NC record was of a male photographed by Susie Moffat in her garden in Chatham County in 2019; the duskywing was nectaring on lantana.”

Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis)

Looking Ahead

Goals for the coming year include visiting more gardens, growing more from seeds, reviving the meditation circle, perhaps weeding and definitely appreciating my garden a little more for what it brings to my life.

Importantly, through this humble garden blog I am able to stay in touch with gardeners and other friends near and far.  Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!


23 thoughts on “2019 Garden Retrospective

  1. Kris P

    Beautiful photos, Susie! I admire (and envy) the bearded Iris and peonies, one which I struggle to grow and the other I’ve almost (not quite!) given up on growing. I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful garden next year. Best wishes for a new year filled with wonder!

  2. Christina

    A very Happy New Year to you Susie. I loved your review; it is often only when we look back that we appreciate just how lovely our gardens are. I know this year has been a difficult one for you so an extra thank you for the inspiration your Monday vases bring. A very big hug to you dear friend.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      So happy to hear from you Christina. Yes, we were anxious to kick 2019 out the door and are hoping for a calmer year. The garden has been a source of guilt and frustration as I haven’t had time to even think about its needs, so I was amazed looking back at how giving it had been through the past year. Miss your posts but I trust you’re doing well. Sending love and hugs to you and R.

  3. Chloris

    A lovely post. You inspired me to look back through my photographs and enjoy all over again my garden in 2019. I hope 2020 will be a wonderful year for you and your garden.

  4. tonytomeo

    Ha! You put black and white iris together too! White is my favorite color, but the black iris are SO rad too. I am not so proficient with color, but thought that black seemed a bit to dark to go with the rich colors. I will not mix it with white, but will put a colony of black between two colonies of different white.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Tony, I agree with you about white flowers–I love them too. I also prefer not to mix the black and white, rather to clump them nearby each other.


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