Well, turn out the lights, the year is nearly over. Time to think of new things and see what changes occurred last year at the Red Dirt Ranch. Last January, I was dreaming of spring and greenhouses when I heard a bird sing. A bird is singing right outside my window even now. I still don’t have the greenhouse, but I am a lot closer to my savings goal than I was last year. I shared a few writing tips which might or might not be helpful. It was a cold January unlike this December which has been so mild I feel like an Austin blogger.
In early February, we had more snow than I’ve ever seen. Twelve point five inches–fell at one time on my land. It caused our temperatures to plummet to negative 17F the following morning. I’ve never been so cold, and neither had my crapemyrtles. Every one of them died all the way to the ground. No more trees. Bushes now grace the garden instead. February, being the most boring and cruelest month in my garden calendar, I dabbled in a bit of fiction. Maybe, one day, we’ll return to Elizabeth’s pioneer world. I also decided we needed a week of book reviews to cheer us up. I started with Ivette Soler’s, Edible Front Yard. A few days later, I reviewed Erica Glasener’s Proven Plants, Southern Gardens. Garden Book Review Week ended with and I shall have some peace there, by Margaret Roach. Finally, thank goodness, the hellebores stopped in to say hello.
In March, I could feel a change in the garden. The weather was fine, and the plants couldn’t wait to grow. I spent my Wednesdays in quiet time and enjoyed books and other things away from the computer and keyboard. I’ve noticed this year, that with a laptop, my iMac, an iPad and iPhone, it is harder than ever to break away from electronic devices and the Internet. I think it’s call the Net for a reason, and I’m as guilty as anyone. I wonder what it does to our society when no one looks each other in the eye anymore because, instead, they are focused on their hand-held devices. We went to several movies last weekend, and I saw lots of people nearly running others over because they didn’t “see” them even though they were right in front of their eyes. People seem to be more rude than in previous years, and I wonder how much it has to do with our immersion into electronics. Or, perhaps, I’m just getting older. It’s something to contemplate another time. March was so warm that I begged the little garden to wait. I knew there would be another day below freezing, but it wouldn’t listen. The ‘Lady Jane’ tulips began to bloom in earnest by the end of the month as did the daffodils.
A new and gorgeous cultivar of redbud, The Rising Sun™ came to live and grow at the Red Dirt Ranch. It seems to have survived our awful summer. I can’t wait to see that new, chartreuse foliage again.
In April, those Sovereigns of May, the roses, showed us their displeasure. Poor things. The winter was almost too much for them. On Easter Sunday, it rained. This is news because it was the last rain we had for months and months. We didn’t know it, but the drought had begun.
I was also fortunate to visit the garden home of P. Allen Smith with several other bloggers and a bunch of sponsoring companies. It was an interesting visit, and if Allen asked me to come back to see the rose garden of truly, historic, American roses, I would definitely return, probably with bells on, whether my visit was paid for or not. It was a weekend of scrumptious views under a cloudy sky.
Ah, May, sweet May . . . first, I tumbled down the daylily rabbit hole. Then, I faced the fact that the very cold winter had killed all of my climbing roses down to snow level. Later, I would discover the crapemyrtle trees were the same. It was a sad time in my garden because some of those roses which died completely, were very, very old. They had graced my arbors for years, and it was a very naked garden last spring. ‘Cl. Old Blush’ has since recovered, and I replaced one of the ‘Zephirine Drouhins’ with an American wisteria, Wisteria frutescens. I also replaced ‘Cl. Pinkie’ and ‘Don Juan’ with another American wisteria, a Kentucky cultivar, W. frutescens var. macrostachya ‘Blue Moon.’ I think the blues will be pretty and perhaps hardier in our difficult climate.
Then, Guthrie and Piedmont faced tornadoes. Our home, far off the beaten path, was spared.
I’d love to say June was nice, but it was one hot and humid mamma jamma, so between mulching and watering, I read Heirloom Bulbs for Today and really loved the storytelling in it. Some of us simply fall in love with gardening for the plants, but many others fall in love with plants because of their associations with people we love and remember. In June, it’s all about the daylilies, and luckily for me, the worst heat didn’t hit until after Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. My garden was a confetti-strewn paradise full of the color only daylilies can bring to the south.
June was full of busy days of family visits and finally staining the log cabin with a spot of color. It looks much, much better now.
If you can stand a Part II of our end-of-year review, I’ll walk it with you in a few days. Happy New Year 2012 my friends. May the weather be kind to you this year.