Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Year in the Perennial Garden

January 2008. The garden is quite bland, though you can see the 'bones' and leftover grasses from last year.

March 29, 2008. We are starting to green up with sedums emerging. Some daffodils are showing as well. Pink hyacinths surround the crabapple tree.
April 24, 2008. Sedums are large, and many other perennials are coming out of hibernation.

May 6, 2008. The irises, snow in summer and dianthus are all in full bloom. The 'Hicksii' yews and nandinas are putting on new growth.

May 18, 2008. Now the irises are pretty well past, but the roses are beginning to bloom. The daylilies and 'Chocolate' eupatorium are also prominent.
Late June/Early July 2008. Daylilies, sedum, and coneflowers are all in bloom. The garden is mature now. Mid July 2008. Now the 'Goldsturm' makes a brave appearance, the daylilies are passing, but the coneflowers are still going strong.
Mid August 2008. Now the Eupatorium purpureum, aka Joe Pye weed takes center stage, the sedum is in full bud, brown eyes and coneflowers till hanging on. We can just see the zebra grass in the back of the garden getting quite large. September 10, 2008. Here most flowers have gone by, the only noticeable remaining flowers are the sedum and a bit of the Joe Pye. The garden is still mature and full though.
October 9, 2008. Not much has changed in a month, but you can see the sedum has bronzed, and leaves are falling everywhere.

October 27, 2008. The garden is still pretty much the same, but the skeletons of the past flowers are taking more prominence in the garden. The nandina berries are turning red now.
November 6, 2008. More skeletons and more color in this picture. Here we have mature red berries of the nandina, and in the background you can see the vivid red of the white crepe myrtles; which are still quite small since they are newly planted. You can't really see the zebra grass blooming, but it bloomed beautifully this year.
December 3, 2008. The garden is finished for this calender year though we see plenty of skeletons from flowers gone past. Don't let the picture fool you! There is still life here just waiting for the warmth of spring to bring it all to life once again.

I will try to do a "Yearly Series" each year. I like seeing the changes in the garden in a consolidated manner. I am not sure which garden I will do next year. Any suggestions from you all? Foundation? Greenhouse? Hydrangea? Center Front? Shrub Border? Picket Garden? Heuchera Garden? Woodland Garden? Crabapple Garden? I see it will be a hard choice! This garden was easy since it is the oldest garden and in such a prominent position in the landscape-I hope I figure it out for next year. Happy Gardening all year!

in the garden....


  1. I love progression pictures and this post is wonderful. This is a good idea to do if you want to figure out what your garden needs to fill it in at a particular time.

  2. Hooray, double again! :-) I vote for the heuchera garden, I would love to see all of yours as they change colors through the year. I was just thinking about the year end round up too, wondering how to present it. I don't think I have a picture each month of the same spot with the same perspective like you do, that it perfect to show the changes that occur, and what improvements can be made too. Well done, Tina!

  3. LOvely to be able to see the garden as it bursts into growth, peeks and then subsides, it looks very lovely.

    Id like to see the Woodland or Crab Apple garden I think.


  4. Nice pictures, I sometime forget to take them, cool to see how the garden grows. I'd like to see the woodland.

  5. Tina, I am feeling greedy and want to see all your! Any chance you can wrap them all up as this year winds down? Gail

  6. I love the transition photos. I am amazed at how gardens change and evolve in sometimes just a few days.

    This posting helped me visualize your garden better since I didn't find all the wonderful Blotanical bloggers until late August. I'm catching up! :-)


  7. Cindy, Thank you! I once went to a lecture where the person had a winter picture and a summer picture. I thought how cool! So I tried it out this year. More so a progression but it is interesting to have a visual to keep track of it all. My goal for these dreary days.

    Frances, Thank you so much! I really love this garden and all of them. I was glad to document them. You need to do that in your gardens too. One spot. It would be great. That heuchera garden is SO overdue a posting. I have more than a dozen varieties all in the same area in rows. I have actually been evaluating them. Some way better than others. Like that Palace Purple, not my favorite for sure. I'll try to get it in. It is near the woodland garden so I may incorporate it at some point. You come visit and you can see them all and give me much needed advice.

    Zoe, Thanks. They are cool pictures. I have your vote for the woodland garden. I am surprised as my sister also wants to see that one. I better get snapping:)

    Dawn, Two votes for the woodland. Good to know.

    Gail, Ha! That would be one marathon post! Why don't you plan on driving up here and seeing them in person? I'd love for you to come sometime. Spring is an awesome time here, but I am pretty flexible.

    Cameron, Coming late to blogging does take a bit of time to catch up. It is a part I actually like-getting to know the other blogger and that takes time. This is one of my gardens. I have one acre and the grass is slowly disappearing. This garden just happens to be the oldest (5 years). Though, it always changes, as most things in the gardens. Glad you are getting to know them all. I truly love yours.

  8. Good Morning All,
    What a wonderful post Tina. I love to watch a garden change throughout the yr. I really like this garden as it is so diverse in vegetation. The red berries really pop.
    I too would like to see your woodland garden. Of course I'm interested in the Heucheras. Or the Crab apple Garden. Really all of them.
    Have a wonderful day, All.

  9. Excellent idea Tina. Isn't it amazing when you look from month to month. Plants just seem to explode from May to July.

  10. I like the look back! It shows you very well when your garden peaked.

  11. What a great idea and it must be a great resource for you too when you want to plant something that has year-round interest.

  12. Is'nt is just amazing what a garden does in a years time?!! What a great way to keep track of things. I am with Gail and wanna see them all. Could never pick just one.

  13. Lola, Thanks! I can't believe everyone wants to see the woodland garden. Guess I'll be snapping away today.

    Marnie, It is amazing how the plants grow and change. I like the part where the ground disappears:) I have not sorted the seeds yet, but will by next week. I'll email you then and get them all out to everyone who wanted some. Today is garage cleaning day:(

    Dave, Yup, I would guess it peaked in mid summer. But I like the garden best in the fall when absolutely everything is so huge. These pictures don't show it though. Oh well.

    JGH, I have a funny way of ensuring year round interest, each and every season and month of the year I add plants. Some die, some I may move, but some make it and ensure that year round interest. It is finally (after about 5 years) paying off! Yahoo!

    Mom, Now you know you've seen every garden. I have actually posted photos from all gardens but the mailbox one (which stinks) so bits of them are there. It is hard to get the big gardens. This one worked so well since it is rectangular shaped and not so big. Hopefully I'll be able to work it for the rest. When you come there should be things in bloom. Have a great day. I am doing the garage. Yuck!

  14. What a great idea, thanks for the tour. I am amazed at how fast that sedum grew! You have a lovely garden, can't wait to see the garden you showcase next year.

  15. Great start to your 'yearly series'. So much can happen as the days roll by, more evidently felt through a series of photos. The summer months have brought out the best in your beautiful garden.

    So many choices for next year? Hmm, I'd love to see your Woodland Garden.

  16. A great post! It is amazing how quickly things start to grow once the warmth and sun arrive. As far as which garden you share next, well do as the Saint does with his menus at times. Close you eyes and just point one out. He gets some good meals that way... tee hee....

  17. It was fun watching your Perennial Garden progress over the seasons this year. Next year I would love to see your Woodland Garden evolve over the months. :) Great idea for a post today Tina.

  18. Nifty pics! Its great for gardeners to enjoy a year in a single post because we have to practice so much patience out in the real world.

  19. Nola, Thank you very much. Very kind of you. That sedum is a keeper for sure.

    Kanak, Thanks! Seems everyone likes the woodland garden and I am surprised as I did not expect that at all. I snapped some photos today. It will be a fun one-more natural. But I may do a few gardens, as I can keep up the photos.

    Racquel, Thanks too and Woodland it is. I am very surprised. You should do a yearly series as well. I am sure bloggers have done it before, though I haven't seen any posts. Have you? I'd love to see the monthly pics on other blogs too. I found it most fun here.

    WS, You are so right with the patience part. Now we can just look at the entire year and see the final result-no waiting needed. I need to really do it with all gardens I guess. Thanks!

  20. I love this walk through the seasons Tina! Great post!

  21. Dear Tina,
    What a beautiful garden! I love how you have created it to be a four season beauty!
    You are inspiring!
    I bet the butterflies love this area too.

  22. Nope I haven't seen anyone else do a post like this either. I may be able to break mine down by season from the photos but not by exact day or month like you did. Thanks for the great idea. :)

  23. Hi Tina, I enjoyed the progression of the garden. I know you will always have something different and unique --your yard is awesome! I am so by the book with my yard, hahaha. I like the plants to stay where they are supposed too --I didn't say they all listen now --hehehe. Every once in a while I try to move stuff to a different spot but I am not as good with relocating plants as you are. This spring I am so anxious to see how some iris will perform in there new locations. I do look forward to the spring when everything starts popping up --it is one of the best parts of gardening --all that new life.
    I hope Jimster is doing good --Boy 1 has two more finals tomorrow. And, he has a full day while the rest only have a half day.
    I'd love to offer you some cookies Tina but honestly every last one is gone, hahaha. I have to make more for Boy 2 tonight. I wonder if I'll ever have any left in the house for us to munch on?? I bake --the kids take, hahaha. The house does smell yummy afterwards though.
    Hi Lola, Nina, Jean and Skeeter:0) Hope you gals are ready for the holidays --it's such an exciting time of year. Sidekick can hardly wait for Santa and of course Girl Model is being a perfect little lady --wants Santa to think she is this good all year long, hahaha. Nighty -night --off to bake and get some kiddos washed and into bed.

  24. What a great idea, taking a pic every time the garden changes it's appearance, this was a really lovely post.
    Is that your boat on the right?

  25. What a great way to chronicle a year in the life of a garden. I look forward to seeing more. Any of your gardens will do. Just one question: did your boat ever get out? :))

  26. Linda, Thanks so much.

    Sherry, Thanks. I do have lots of butterflies and birds. A favorite reason to garden. This time of year they are especially attracted to the garden for the food. It is really when gardening pays off as birds frequent most yards when it is warm, but not when it is cold. That is why there is so much for them and they do come and visit. I must get to know them like you though:)

    Racquel, My pleasure. This year I am going to be more diligent in the photographs. It was fun and I think you will like it too. The month thing is neat since the garden changes so much, but seasons work too. Looking forward to seeing yours.

    Anonymous, Jimmy was just telling me he was not happy they had to cancel school on Tuesday, hence the full day tomorrow. I thought they were all full day this week anyhow. Oh well, the break is almost here. I am happy for that as Christmas is so close! Don't worry on the cookies, not like I need anymore. Haha.

    Shammickite, Thanks very much. Yes and no on the boat, it is hubby's boat, by default everything that is his is mine too. He loves that boat and does take it to the lake in the summer time. There is a saying about boats, "The best boat is your buddy's boat." That is my thought exactly on the boat thing. The boat is actually parked on concrete, the garden goes nearly up to the concrete parking pad. That boat is a thorn in my side since it blocks it my garden. Urrr. I will have a picture of the boat on the blog tomorrow.

    Christine, Thanks very much. It sure looks like the boat is a part of the garden, but it is actually parked right next to the garden. It occasionally gets out:) but is mainly used as a special something posted about tomorrow. Thanks for asking.

  27. Tina,
    This kind of post is right up my alley! I've done that with individual plants, and have some pics of amsonias through the season in the ready for a post. I have also thought about doing it with whole beds.

    I'm thinking you could do a monthly post of the monthly pics of your gardens.

    I think it's awesome that you are able to reply to each commenter. I try to, but frequently have trouble with it. I want to make my reply to your comment on my first snow post here. Thanks for agreeing my house is photogenic. :o) What warmer state were you in?


  28. Great idea, Tina! I enjoyed seeing the seasons changing in your garden. I vote for the Woodland Garden next year...or maybe the Hydrangea garden...oh, I'd just like to see them all:)

  29. Hi Sue and Rose,
    Sue, We went to Georgia (to visit Skeeter) and then to South Carolina to see my oldest daughter (by one minute) graduate from boot camp. It was very warm compared to Tennessee let me tell you. We were burning up in our turtlenecks. Doing a picture of all gardens once a month would be a great idea too. I kind of like that idea. I would LOVE to see your amsonias. I really like these. I have not been successful propagating them though, so for now I have only one. I work hard to respond to everyone and enjoy every minute of it. Lucky I am a FAST typist (lots of good practice:). I think the conversation is most important-two way, at least here. It has become second nature and I have really gotten to know a lot of great folks, like yourself.

    Rose, You are in luck! I went out and photographed the woodland garden yesterday. Now I have to pick the right vantage point as the garden is bigger than my camera can photograph. It will be a fun one. I so TOTALLY surprised just about everyone wants to see the woodland garden. I am getting my creative juices flowing for displaying it as it has some neat plants, including cast iron plant that LOVES it there.

  30. This is my favorite garden of yours. But you know that. I hope you have a good christmas.

  31. What an absolutely rip-roaring idea, Tina! I can literally see your garden come alive and 'flesh out' before my eyes. Cool!

  32. Tina, that was so much fun! I love seeing gardens change through the seasons....

  33. Hey, Tina, I'm catching up after a few days of travel and "settling in" (which in my family means non-stop partying). I love this post, and I'm kind of with Gail--I wouldn't know which to choose, I learn so much from all of your gardens! I'm going to try to put some blog time in before Thursday, but in case I can't, let me say now that I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. C.

  34. Hi Cosmo, Welcome back and I'm happy to say hey! I figured you must be busy. It is that time of year. Don't even worry about catching up. I am so glad you like the garden pictures. I think next year I'll do the Woodland Garden. I was out there today raking leaves from my neighbor's house and hauling no less than three 12x16 tarp loads of good leaves just for the woodland garden. Gee you would think with the trees they would shed enough leaves, but no, it is not true. Do you have a woodland garden? I recall you have a lot of trees. Mine is young but like any gardener, I just know NEXT year is the year it takes off. Ha! How familiar is that for us all?

    Merry Christmas to you too!

  35. Hi Tina
    I loved this idea and how well you carried it out. Since for me process is more important than end result (which is fleeting anyway), this focus on process is purr-fect!
    Merry Christmas

  36. Hi Catmint, I get the idea you must really like cats-or just the plant catmint? I am glad you liked this post. It seems to be a hit amongst most who have viewed it. You are right, the plants are here for such a short time-the growing is what pleases me too.

    You have a great and Merry Christmas!