Kind of like Time Magazine’s “Year in Pictures” only with a lot less funding.
It is traditional to reflect upon the year nearly gone before thinking about the one to come. What worked and what did not. What stands out as the best of the year, and what was the worst.
For me, December was all about Advent and Christmas. Getting ready for the big day. It was fun, but I am still exhausted by the preparations. Even so, rose care was also on my mind.
In November, grateful for the freedoms we all enjoy, I took an rose inventory, discovering that instead of ninety roses, I have eighty-three. Where did the other twelve go? To the great compost bin in the sky. One great truism is that throughout a gardener’s life, many plants come, and many plants die.
I finished planting the front garden, although I’m still not happy with the straight line of concrete edging on the bed.
The most important event of November, however, was the naming of my garden. Carol, that rock star of May Dreams Garden won my little contest, naming the garden Rosehaven.
The blog, Red Dirt Ramblings turned one year old in October, and like the infant she is, she changes everyday. RDR got a new, updated theme, which continues to be both beautiful and frustrating. It doesn’t like to play well with WordPress, which causes me some serious anguish at times. My advice is, if you use WordPress, to use a WordPress compatible theme and make a few alterations to it, or choose a designer who consistently works with WordPress. The theme should be expandable too because WordPress updates all the time.
HH and I took a day trip date and went to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve outside of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. In typical red dirt fashion, we ate at practically the only restaurant in Pawhuska, which served barbecue. Why am I not surprised?
Oklahoma was very warm in October, and I searched for signs of fall. Trees began to turn in early and mid-November, but I discovered American bittersweet vine, Celastrus scandens, growing in my empty lot across the street.
September was one of the best months of the year. I traveled to Anacortes, WA, and visited my friend Wanda, and her husband, Lindsey. I saw she’d transplanted well, which made it easier for my sad heart to accept that my best gardening friend had moved so far away. Then, HH and I hopped a very, small, very, scary plane to Portland, OR, where I spoke on a panel about successful blogging. While there, my blog cratered. I feared the audience would think I was a fraud, but instead, it gave me an opportunity to discuss how when bad things happen to blogs, you call your blog helper for assistance. I met up with GWA friends again and saw beautiful gardens, including those of Terra Nova and Iseli Nursery. I’m looking forward to the 2009 meeting in Raleigh, NC. Those of you who are writers or garden communicators should join the GWA and come with us. I promise it will be a trip you’ll never forget.
In September, I joined a group of bloggers as we took on HGTV because the “G” for garden is virtually nonexistent.
Things were definitely abuzz in the garden in late August, with every creature hurrying to store food away before winter. In honor of the Olympics, Mary Ann of Idaho Gardener threw a little “Going for the Gold” contest of her own. Rosehaven got some rain, which was news of its own. (Rain in August in Oklahoma is unusual. Twice in August is almost unheard of.)
HH and I built a pathway outside the front door to lead the rainwater and the eye toward the gate. I hope to get a wrought iron gate this spring. Maybe I’ll ask for it for my anniversary.
Also, in August, I received a visit from my friend Pam of Digging and her mother which caused a fit of Garden Visit Anxiety Disorder, otherwise known as GVAD. Recently, I looked back over her photos. I still maintain she made my tired, August garden look better than it really did.
At the end of July, Carol from May Dreams asked us to write about our garden mentors. I chose my Grandma Nita, who mentored me from the time I could place my muddy feet in her garden. My mother found some old photos, but I wish I could find the photo of her standing next to tomato plants a foot taller than she was. Those giant tomatoes were one of the reasons I was drawn to gardening. Another was standing at her side while she, organically harvested cabbage moths and caterpillars. For those of you who don’t know what I mean, she squished them. Ewww, but effective.
Where else but in blogging could you write about your garden mentor grandmother and other people understand? This was one of my most popular posts with twenty-five comments.
Throughout the year, I did some Sunday Strolling with Aisling of the Quiet Country House, and I frequently participated in Green Thumb Sunday, Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden, and Garden Bloggers’ Muse Day sponsored by Carolyn Gail of Sweet Home and Garden Chicago. All were great memes which got me out in the garden with my camera.
I wrote about compost and favorite plants like ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas and Reckamp daylilies.
In central Oklahoma, it was a beautiful summer with plenty of rain and temperatures that, while hot, were not unbearable as in years past. We’ve had three of these summers in a row, and we may be sorry in 2009. No one ever knows what will come.
My favorite post of the entire year was the one I wrote about visiting Elizabeth Lawrence’s garden. We were in North Carolina as part of our trek around the southeastern United States, and I got the chance to meet the woman who had saved Lawrence’s garden from ruin. I’ll remember that always. As part of the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club, we’d read Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond with Elizabeth Lawrence, and to get to stroll the garden I’d read about gave me goosebumps. The garden is now owned by a foundation, and I believe it is open to the public.
Like every other June, I was frustrated by grass and weeds. I hope the new gravel we put in the paths will discourage some of the invading Bermuda grass. However, the daylilies and roses were at their best at the end of May through June.
End of Part I. If you’re still here, thanks for reading such a long entry. In a couple of days, I’ll post Part II.
Annie in Austin
Happy New Year, Dee! It was fun looking back with you to see how far both you and the blog have come in the last year. Although like Carol, I’m jealous about your trip to Elizabeth Lawrence’s garden, I do appreciate the way you shared the visit with all of us.
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Thanks, Annie. Happy New Year to you too.~~Dee
Dee, I love your walk back through the year. I have been doing something similar with my blog, but not as a post – just for personal reflection. I love how you managed both personal reflection and an interesting post. I remembered a lot of the posts you referenced, and enjoyed the photos you shared here.
Thanks for letting me know you had posted this! 🙂
warm wishes for a wonderful year ahead,
Aisling´s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Seeking Shelter
Happy New Year, Aisling. I look forward to more Sunday stolls with you.~~Dee
Oh, honey-bunny, what a grand year you made for yourself. Next will be even better. And as for weeds and grass, remember the gardener’s friend– Roundup. Or, on the less chemical side, turning the blind eye and being happy. 🙂
CurtissAnn´s last blog post..Fast Away the Old Year Passes…fa, la, la, la…
Helen - patientgardener
What an eventful year you have had – I hope 2009 is as good for you.
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
I loved your Elizabeth Lawrence post too, but I also really liked the Reckamp post. (I am a recovered Hemeroaholic.) I’m also looking forward to part II of your year in review.
Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog post..What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been: 2008 in Review
Hi Dee and Happy New Year! It has been such fun to get to know you and your garden…the new blog look is wonderful! See you soon for part 2! gail
Gail´s last blog post..May All of You Have Enough This Next Year
Carol, May Dreams Gardens
I’m still jealous as all get out that you got to visit Elizabeth Lawrence’s garden. Someday, I will visit it, too, and maybe you’ll be there with me, along with all the wonderful friends we’ve met because we blog about our gardens. This was a very enjoyable post, and I look forward to “part 2”.
Happy New Year and may 2009 be the best year yet in and out of your garden!
Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog post..Happy New Year!
What a joy to walk along this garden path with you and remember the year’s top stories.
Okie Sister´s last blog post..‘Twas The Night After Christmas
A lovely re-visit of the year in your garden. I especially love the photos of the dock and Nita. Thanks for sharing, and have a happy new year in that beautiful garden of yours.
Susan Tomlinson´s last blog post..Cautiously optimistic
Hi Dear Dee, I love that you are going back through the year, something a little different, I would never have thought of it. And your note about our friend WordPress, you are so right, they like to keep us on our toes! 🙂 Your travels and garden are fascinating, as are your renovations, lucky you with a contractor in the family. Can’t wait to see part two!
Have the most wonderful year in 2009, my friend.
Frances´s last blog post..Year End Wrap Up 2008-Part Two
Lisa at Greenbow
It was fun tripping down memory lane with you Dee. I will look forward to the rest of the story.
Happy New Year, Dee!
I’ve mentioned you on today’s (Jan. 1st) post for ESTHER IN THE GARDEN.
Hope that’s ok.
If it isn’t, I’ll change it.
(I’m hoping you’ll enjoy it though.)
Esther Montgomery´s last blog post..HAPPY NEW YEAR
A great review of your year! I look forward to reading the rest. You’ve done what I had planned to do on my blog, but alas. I didn’t get around to it.
Wishing you a wonderful New Year!
Aiyana´s last blog post..Hello Dolly–Hello New Year!
Brit' Gal' Sarah
Love the new look and this post, Happy New Year Dee!
Happy New Year, dear Dee. . . I feel lucky to be part of your world, esp. in Sept when we met in Portland. Can’t wait to see what 2009 will bring you, your blog and your creative endeavors, much love, Debra
debra´s last blog post..Gardener’s Resolutions
What a nice walk through your garden year (part 1!). I feel like I just read some of that and can’t believe it was most of a year ago! Happy New Year!
Leslie´s last blog post..Garden of Lights
Dee, it looks like you’ve found your signature garden name and blog look this year. I enjoyed reading about it again and look forward to part 2.
Happy New Year!
Robin´s last blog post..Fiesty Birds!
You had an eventful year so far Dee! Can’t wait to see part 2. Happy New Year!
Racquel´s last blog post..New Year’s Traditions
I so love that brick pathway you created! And your log home. Your surroundings. It’s all perfection to me. What I aspire to. I’m so glad to have found my Red Dirt Sister!
You have a lovely new name for your garden and a great new look for your blog. What other changes will 2009 bring? I’ll be reading to find out.
And yes, I’d love for you to visit me in Austin. Come down anytime!
Pam/Digging´s last blog post..2008—A Year in the Garden at Digging
Lovely retrospective, Dee. Thank you for sharing. I am still especially impressed with the wonderful new pathway! Imagine how Rosehaven will look a year from now. Now five years from now. Now ten years from now. Amazing to think of! Happy New Year! Hugs! Kathryn xoxo
It’s a lovely thought to imagine it all, isn’t it? And, look at all the wonderful friendship we made this year. Hugs to you too.~~Dee