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.
This year irises bloomed April 5-May 4, or at least that when I photographed them.
Peonies, zinnias and other flowers have their season too though helping to keep some interest going well into late fall, when camellias take over.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!