January 2013 was the opposite of our beginnings in 2014. We didn't even have snow really until the end of the month. We were out in the yard working yet at the beginning of the year and in fact were still harvesting perpetual spinach from the unheated greenhouse.
Snow is here but so is a sunflower! Apparently there was a sunflower seed from the birdfeeder that made it into the compost and grew in one of the indoor pots I had a geranium cutting in. At the time it flowered, it was about 3 feet tall. The pot is on the bottom shelf of my plant rack and the stem grew through the wire shelves. A welcome diversion in one of the gloomier months of the year.
Two great things happen in March… Shannon's birthday with the annual trip to see the butterflies at Fredrick Meijer Gardens with my family and starting my plants for the garden. So excited to see the little green babies popping up. Makes me hopeful for spring when it is usually still snowy, dreary and cold out.
Many of the babies have graduated to pots and the grow light rack.
Meanwhile outside the fall planted garlic is up and growing nicely. Days are longer and warming up enough so I want to be outside.
Tomatoes potted up into 4” pots are too big for the grow lights now and we have moved them to our small, unheated greenhouse along with everything else that doesn't fit inside anymore.
|Bountiful Apple Blossom Blessings|
Wonderful strawberries this year. While we ate all the strawberries from our small patch, I picked several flats to freeze from a nearby organic strawberry farm. Definitely worth the work when we eat them in the middle of winter in a smoothie.
|Gorgeous Organic Strawberries from Beaver Creek Farm|
It is now warm enough for the basil to be happy and my pond graciously bloomed its first flower from one of my hardy lilies.
|Hardy Water Lilly|
Ah…. warm. Some might say too warm but that makes the tomatoes and us happy.
|Tomato Beds - Basil Pots|
My gardens are full of flowers and of course I couldn't narrow it down to just one. Here is a photo collection along with the little pond.
|Pot Man at Little Pond|
|My Messy Cottage Garden|
|Asiatic Lilies with Striped Grass|
Harvesting in earnest now… beans, cucumbers, onions, peppers, potato seed pods, summer crook necked squash…
Oh, and tomatoes, lots of tomatoes. It took awhile because we had a lot of nights when the temperatures dropped below 55 degrees and that sent our tomatoes plants into stall mode but they are finally ripening.
| Vine Ripened Tomatoes|
Since we had a lot of rain, the grass strip which is usually brown at this time of year is a lovely green and of course a few more flowers.
Sukkot was early this year and we spent two weeks in Missouri at Season Of Our Joy enjoying the fellowship, dancing and services. This is one of the dances that Shannon coordinated and created the garments for called Garments of Praise. It was a lot of sewing but turned out beautiful we think.
|Garments of Praise Dance at SOOJ|
We still managed to harvest quite a lot of tomatoes and peppers when we returned and that all went into many, many jars of salsa, which we are still enjoying.
|Makings for Salsa|
Oh, and the tomato plant that grew up through the second story deck to join my herb pots was over 10 feet tall. I’m sure its not a world record but it was for us!
|Tall Tomato Plant|
Snow… yes snow that covered the ground and stayed for a few days in October made me hurry to finish all the outdoor chores.
We harvested a bumper crop of apples, 8 five gallon pails of them, the majority of which we turned into apple sauce. We believe we have a Jonathan apple tree which is sweet and crisp. So yummy.
Not so yummy were our carrots. They were amusing in their shapes but they were a bit woody as we waited too long to dig them up. One of 2014’s goals is to do better with this.
Well, when one plants bulbs alone, there isn't much to take pictures of. It was a cold, rainy and snowy month and I put over 500 bulbs in the ground, either at the Holland Community Garden or in our gardens. The proof will hopefully come up in spring. ThanksHanukkah was blessed, all three parties we had and busy. I was asked to be apart of a program promoting the library called “Geek the Library” which was a lot of fun.
|Southern View From Our Deck|
|Azalea in Diamonds|
Hope you enjoyed our year in review. Share with us your most memorable garden experience from 2013. Please leave a comment.