Wrapping Up The 2011 Gardening Year Ilona Erwin Dec 27, 2011 3 Comments

Hello Dear Garden Loving Friends!

We are at the cusp of the year, and I greet you as garden-loving, rather than gardening, since some of us -as John so wisely remarked to me- have had a few barriers to doing as much as we might have wished in the garden this year. For some of us it is our health or the slowdown of age, for some it was the wild weather patterns that prove how little control we truly have. I suppose there are a whole spectrum in between, but whether we have have a banner year of bloom or a baneful one, we still remain those who love our world of beautiful gardens... something is always beautiful.

Ohio broke its precipitation record, and it has been rain, rain, all through fall and into December. We dug some post holes yesterday and the water table is very close to the surface. Postholes? In December you say? Yes! We have a new dog (story will follow), and he needs the sight barrier of a fence. So we are using a temporary snowfence along the back of the yard.

Hellebores, and Heavenly Weather

That brings me to the other point of fact: I gardened and did yard cleanup in December! And not my old Midwest Grit of " gardening in any weather", but with beautiful warm temperatures and comfortable garden conditions. For the first time, I had Christmas Roses (Hellebore niger, HGC 'Jacob') that bloomed beautifully in all its pure white glory. The rain and occasional frosts kept the flowers drooping, but they caught my eye from the window and I had to investigate. At first it seemed like white paper or a bag in the garden... but then I ventured out and saw their blooms! Caught in a picture for you.

I don't know if you are a longtime reader, if so, you may remember the story of my Christmas Rose Hellebores ...originally bought on sale as indoor plants and then put into the outside garden on the off-chance that they would survive. See my Christmas Roses indoor pictures here.

White dogs and white flowers to make up for the lack of that other white we wished for: a snowy Christmas.

The "Puppy" Our new "puppy" turned up on the doorstep right before Christmas. He was scraggly from rain and looked like he had taken a dunk in the ditch, looking forlorn and undernourished and BIG. No collar and no one who wanted to take him in. We decided to give him a chance, since we had wanted to get a dog for the past year. He looks and behaves like a textbook Great Pyrenees -except doesn't bark so much as reputed. We have had five people voting on the name and it has been a real challenge to come to a consensus.

Right now I am calling this huge dog, "puppy". My kids are used to naming the cats- and they come up with the most outlandish names possible, I have held out for something more dignified, since the dog is a serious guy. So far he behaves in the garden, but I expect some territorial marking signs on my bushes. Fairly benign with the scaredy cats, who perch on the roof and give him the eye. They are slowly back to their haunts as long as he is out of sight.

The Garden

This year the prairie patch proved to be an asset.

I did not plant new bulbs this year, although I had wanted to.

Was able to weed the entry way and the "Look Into Garden" reasonably well.

Compost pile and the vegetable garden will have to wait for spring to get in order.

Mulching will wait, didn't get to it.

The bushes, including the pyracantha were put in shape, although I think I will reduce the firethorn even more this spring.

I look forward to the new growing season, and am going to put more of my plans together during January month- what about you?

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© 2011 written for Ilona's Garden Journal. An excellent blog.
by Ilona Erwin

A gardener, blogger, writer, who has been blogging here since 2004, and writing for my website, Ilona's Garden since 1998.

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  1. Nice post Ilona: Thanks for the plug. Great Pyrenees sounds like his name should begin with Sir like "Sir Puppy" or "His Majesty". Whatever you name him I am sure it will be appropriate'

    Have a wonderful evening,

  2. Gardening in Ohio this year was terrible. Nothing did well at all.Although I got some cleaning up done the mulching never happened here either. I am glad to see this year behind us and wishing for a better year ahead of us. Happy New Year to you.

  3. Yes, Lona...the only consolation for me is that I was gone so much that I didn't mind the garden being "under the weather".

    John- I love the "Sir"... but we all started calling him 'Centurion', and after the strong wills of our family finally coming together I fear raising any doubts. Still- I might venture there, or as some of our favorite animals have had nicknames we might go in that direction.

    He is very strong willed and fits right in. I am going to take some time this coming week and work with him to be a bit obedient to me- starting with "heel". He definitely has his breed's stubborn streak, but he is good natured.


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