2020 Garden Retrospective

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Looking Back At 2020 In The Garden

The first two months were dominated by hellebores and winter daphne. Then I posted Middle March 2020, mentioning how much I missed seeing my Gentle Yoga students that morning.

Middle March Blooms

It was a changed world. The wellness center where I taught closed that week temporarily and I used my reawakening spring garden as backdrop for several meditation videos.

Southwest Corner – Iris, Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Days turned into months.  Although the wellness center eventually re-opened with some virtual and some limited in-person classes, out of caution I have not yet returned to the studio.  And though for now my yoga classes no longer exist I have kept my teaching schedule on my calendar. Nostalgia? Optimism? Inertia?

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Stock

With teaching on hold I turned more fiercely to the garden and, as probably true for many of you, it became my refuge.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

The garden brought frustrations but those were greatly outweighed by rewards. Growing and nurturing seeds and plants connected me with nature and beauty.

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

And sharing the garden through this blog kept open an avenue for relationships—keeping me grounded, bringing in joy. Thank you for playing along.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

In A Vase On Monday

Throughout the past year searches in my garden sometimes yielded precious few flowers from which to fashion weekly Monday vases; however, frequently there were ample flowers—even a choice; and occasionally an armful of flowers made for a joyous bounty. This is one of my favorites.

Mother’s Day – May 11, 2020

I have assembled a gallery of In A Vase On Monday contributions for the entire past year. This is one other favorite.

Purple And Other Flora -June 8, 2020


Between May 30 and November 16, 2020, a variety of butterflies graced the garden, beginning with this gorgeous male monarch.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

The butterflies I saw this year are not particularly unusual in my area but some I observed for the first time, including this Viceroy.

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

I was particularly thrilled to see this Pipevine Swallowtail. Last year (2019) was the first time I had seen one.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

More butterflies and other pollinators were featured in Garden Benefits, Butterfly Sightings Today, October’s Beginning, Garden Delights and other random posts, as well as on  iNaturalist.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

A Week Of Blooms

In November I began creating a retrospective of sorts for this past gardening year, sifting through hundreds of photographs so I could join Cathy at Words and Herbs in sharing in A Week Of Blooms. She suggested it might be just the thing to dispel the gloom of increasingly dark days as we headed toward winter—and it worked. It was fun seeing flowers from other gardens and I enjoyed creating these seven daily entries.

  1. Anemone from February 27, 2020
  2. Snapdragons in the northern border and penstemon in the meditation circle
  3. Southern Side Path in April
  4. Three weeks of Peonies
  5. Shasta daisies
  6. Dahlias May to November
  7. Irises

I especially enjoyed looking back at the irises, the floral highlight of my spring garden.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

So many plants have yet to be mentioned but they will come around again. The cycle of the garden begins again.

22 thoughts on “2020 Garden Retrospective

  1. Cathy

    Yes, looking back is looking forward. 😃 Have a very Happy New Year Susie and I hope you will soon be able to hold your yoga classes again. 🤗

    1. Linda Casper

      Thanks for the lovely posts and beautiful pictures throughout what turned out to be a most difficult year. Best wishes for 2021.

  2. Alicia

    A superb picture of the Monarch! I don’t think I’ve seen a pipevine swallowtail in my garden, although I always feel the need to have an ID guide in my hand when faced with black swallowtails with blue markings. Buckeyes are one of my favorite butterflies. They are so colorful.

    I love your purple gladiolus. Such a rich color. Your daylily looks like ‘Chocolate Splash’. It has that same deep burgundy color.

    Here’s hoping for more change to normalcy in 2021. Happy New Year.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Alicia. The purple is intense–it’s Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’. I found a chart that suggests ways to ID those swallowtails (then I try to confirm on iNaturalist) as some are nearly impossible for me. I like buckeyes too and this year I saw more than usual in my garden which was fun. Just looked up daylily ‘Chocolate Splash’ and it does look similar. I bought this from a grower in Fayetteville–my sister took me to his daylily farm–and at the time I didn’t think to record the name. Best in upcoming year!

  3. Frogend_dweller

    This is a lovely reminder of the positive and beautiful things that contributed to 2020. Your irises are wonderful! I did manage to return to studio (or in my case, village hall) Pilates classes for two short months in late summer, but we are back to Zoom again now. Nevertheless, I still find them worthwhile. Best wishes for 2021!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks so much. So do you teach pilates? Glad you were able to have class in person at least for a while. My husband’s health is very sensitive so every time I considered giving it a try, I heard about increased cases being reported and decided I just couldn’t take a chance. Thank goodness for zoom. Take care and enjoy a great new year.

  4. krispeterson100

    I love your Floral Design Gallery, Susie. That was a great idea. It highlights your floral design skills and I wouldn’t be surprised if the wellness center contacts you to lead both yoga and design classes once the pandemic is finally under control. I’ve been furloughed as a docent by our local botanic garden since late March and, as no tours are on the garden’s schedule for the foreseeable future, I’m not sure if or in what capacity I may return to volunteer work there. I’m also not sure it feels like the best use of the volunteer hours I have to offer anymore but I’m holding off on new opportunities until our infection rate is under much better control in any case.

    Best wishes to you and your husband for a safe, happy and healthy new year.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Kris! I’ve done a gallery for every one of the seven years of Monday vases. Have found it helpful to look back occasionally at them. I know the rise in case numbers is alarming so we have to continue to be patient. You would be a wonderful docent. I know that from wandering through gardens with you at the Fling. Good health and happy gardening to you and your husband!

  5. Cathy

    A wonderful retrospective – especially enjoyed the butterflies – I hope your yoga studios will come to life again in 2021! All the best.


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