Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 was a year

It was actually a wonderful year in GWI-land, though the number of posts might not seem to reflect that; a decision to post 3 times each day on Garden Rant left me too busy to do as much here as I usually do. That’s over though, so I hope to post more in 2009. Hence my resolution, and here’s a brief look at what happened in 2008, gardening-wise.


In January I celebrated my indoor plants as I always do, adding better lighting to the upstairs plant room. With the addition of the plant room (installed in late fall 2007), the house gained new inhabitants for the winter season, including a large banana plant, which grew slowly all winter. I noticed that it was a good two feet higher when I finally took it outside in warm weather.


And as I do every February, I had indoor hyacinths and specialty narcissus, like the Golden Rain (above). Garden Rant got a nice story in the Washington Post, which boosted our readership a bit. It seems to have gained a level ever since. I also learned what a spathe was.



It seems like we were gone for most of March, on a trip to Sicily, where we were right next door to a beautiful public garden, blooming even this early in the season, But we didn’t even have to go those few steps. The hotel where we stayed was abundant with bougainvillea, wisteria, and other flowers. For other photos from our Sicily trip, go here. As usual, I ordered a boatload of plants from Select Seeds, Bluestone, and even a few monster colocasia from Plant Delights. My experience since then with Bluestone has forced me to reluctantly reconsider ordering from them. The plants are just too small to make it under my generally unfavorable conditions.




Just days after returning from Sicily, in early April I was off to Austin, for the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling. This was really fun, though over all too quickly, and I didn’t feel like I got to know people nearly as much as I had hoped. For that reason, I look forward to the next Fling this May. Could Barbara/Mr. McGregor’s Daughter be pointing in the direction of Chicago, where she gardens, and where we’ll all be in May? See the rest of my Fling images here.


In the early to mid-spring, the species tulips came out on schedule, including some new varieties—I add new ones each fall—and this lovely white erythronium. I received my first composter, though I must admit that my compost did not have enough moisture in it; what I got was really more like leaf mould. I also gave a talk on summer bulbs at a local gardening center; now there I do have some expertise.


May and June usually flash by in an orgy of plant buying, though the best show came from plants I had had for years, such as this viburnum, above.. Many of you were interested in my explanation of how Gardening While Intoxicated got its name. And then—OMG!—I received a Blogs of Note designation from Blogger. My visitation remained in the thousands daily for at least two weeks, and some June posts received 71 comments or better, which is very unusual for me, though not for many of you. It’s kind of sad to think of it now that it’s all over. I figure I got it for the name. Otherwise, almost all of my June posts were about roses, as they should be.



Will I ever have much to talk about in July other than Garden Walk? No, and that’s only natural. Thousands of visitors in one weekend would be enough excitement for any gardener’s month, and in 2008, I was also pleased to see fellow Ranters Susan and Michele once again. I would love it if more of my garden blogger friends would visit during Garden Walk; it really is fun. I’m getting to the point now, too, where I can get away from my own garden for longer periods. As always, we went to Carolina for our beach fix; this year I saw dune replenishment in action.



It became clearer than ever that August and September are the best months of summer in Buffalo. Some of October too. The weather, though wet, was balmy, and the flowers were glorious. We took a weekend trip to Georgian Bay and briefly visited Sonnenberg Gardens, where we were awed by its mysterious decay and beauty. In September I went on my usual bulb-buying frenzy. The variegated colocasia shone in the late season garden, and for the first time, I actually attempted to save it for the next season. I think I really got into Plurk in August, having been on Twitter for some months.



In October I was inspired to post a rather long bulb FAQ in the hopes of inspiring other gardeners to do more with bulbs, and in November I continued to buy and pot bulbs. I see also that I posted about two great local museums, the Corning Museum of Glass and Buffalo’s new Burchfield-Penney facility. And here are my fall color shots, from a particular perspective.


And here we are in a more than ordinarily cold and snowy winter, with the usual quirks. In the space of 10 days we went from a good foot of snow cover to nothing and back again. I hope it stays. By GBBD I will have a new crop of narcissus, some amaryllis, and real progress with the hyacinths. And maybe some cross-country skis.

16 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yes, you had a busy year. It has been delightful following along.

Kathy said...

Love that erythronium

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

LOL! Actually, I was pointing at an Osage Orange. 2008 was an amazing year. You've been quite the bulb evangelist this year; you've encouraged me to force bulbs this winter, which I haven't done in a long time.

MA said...

I really loved the photo of the side garden with the lilies blooming against the great color of your home. Wonderful. Happy New Year. See you in Chicago!

EAL said...

I love that picture of you MMD. Really looking forward to Chicago, MA!

Carol said...

Thanks for the trip back through the year, GWI-style. It was quite a year, wasn't it?

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Katie said...

I can never remember when I did what! Great post.

Layanee said...

This is the kind of 'Year in Review' that I can really enjoy! The seed catalogs are arriving in droves and the short days are including their perusal. Hope to actually attend the next 'fling'! Time will tell!

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Really enjoyable to see what you did/blooms etc. during the year. You are one of the few people I know who's been to Sonnenberg. We've been at least twice and I keep hoping for a miracle of rejuvenation. And loved the Burchfield post (as a former Buffalonian and an artist). What a one-two punch with the Albright across the street.

I see on your profile you like minimalism in music and the 19th century in novels — come visit Wisconsin and you can listen to music with my husband and we'll discuss novels. All of us will do cocktails: on the deck in summer and by the fire now. We've hit the usual season's snowfall total here in Madison; I continually remind myself how good it is for the garden.

Pam/Digging said...

Spring Fling was a whirlwind for me too, even though I also enjoyed Friday and Sunday with some early- and late-stayers. I'll be going to Chicago with that in mind and will plan to have Friday and Sunday there too, if at all possible.

See you then, and happy new year!

Frances said...

Hi Elizabeth, 2008 was very good to you is so many ways! Deservedly so, too. You have been an inspiration in the bulb department, particularly lilies of all kinds. Thanks for that. It was great to meet you in Austin too, and hope we can chat a little more in Chicago!
Frances

flowergardengirl said...

I can't wait to see the bulbs bloom. I have enjoyed seeing your post and I'm reading even when I'm not commenting. Happy New Year!

Rhonda said...

I love reading the re-caps of what everyone did in 2008. When you are in the moment, it doesn't appear that you've done much but keeping a running record/journal helps me see the "whole" picture.
Take care and have a great 2009!

LostRoses said...

Elizabeth, how nice to see the highlights of your year so neatly wrapped up. I don't know how you do everything you fit into your life but I admire your stamina!

EAL said...

It is very nice to see you back on the blogging scene, Lost Roses!

Sheri said...

How beautiful! I love your gardening skills. Thanks for posting the highlights of the year!