January 1, 2013

Twelve Months of Awesomness

JANUARY - Mixed greenhouse pickings on a cold, winter day made for an interesting composition to start the new year off with.

Here is my look back at the 2012 garden. I was going to skip sharing such posts, but as I filed my images from the past year I found looking back at some of these images inspiring, so I felt you may think so as well. So here are three posts showing some of the highlights from last years garden. Later this week, I will share a quick recap of those study projects from 2012, the highlights as well as some of the failures. Then I will share what study project ideas I am thinking about working on for this coming year.  As most of you know, I like to choose a few projects to deep dive with - such as what I did with the English Sweet Peas this past year. If any of you have any ideas for projects that you might like me to attempt, please let me know. 

In many ways, these garden projects are like New Years resolutions. Plants that I have never been able to grow successfully, most likely because I never really took the time to research exactly what their needs are. As with my Sweet Pea Project, I decided to grow as many varieties of Spencer Sweet Sweet Peas as I could find, and then attempt to grow them in the most proper way, often the results are so rewarding, that the effort of time and labor pays off. Sometimes, as in my Japanese Morning Glory project this past year, I ran out of energy, became lazy and the results showed. But more on those later. For now, the best photos month-by-month of 2012.

JANUARY 2012 - Starting the New Year off inspired by a book I purchased as a Christmas gift to myself published in 1805, when domes covered floral displays, apparently to keep 'poisonous gasses', which people believed could be emitted from fragrant flowers, from entering the bed chamber.

FEBRUARY - A Valentines Day arrangement of camellias made it to one of my chalk board pieces. Oh, I do love my Camellia collection. I think it might be time to join the American Camellia Society.

MARCH - By March, the alpine troughs were beginning to come to life. This Primula marginata bloomed an entire month earlier than the previous year due to the lack of snowfall.

APRIL - For Easter, I picked various wildflowers, hellebores and some small bulb flowers from the alpine garden, arranging them in vintage milk glass ( white jadite) spice bottles.

MAY - Spring arrives full force, with bees, ducklings and wildflowers. Baby ducks, turkeys and geese share a pen in the new grass as Joe works the bee hives.

JUNE  Brings Poppies. Papaver rhoeas bloom in savory tones in the warm, June sunshine.
Also known as Shirley Poppies, these annual poppies were one of my annual study projects last year. In a future post, I will be sharing more of these projects from last year, as well as some ideas I am tossing around for 2013.

Some of the fantastic Shirley Poppies that captivated most of June. That is, until the Sweet Peas began to bloom.

JULY - Our Mid Summer Garden Party to Celebrate the Sweet Peas Blooming

The Sweet Peas bloomed just as we were celebrating my friend Jess's departure from work to start her own design business. Our summer Solstice dinner features locavore selections and garden produce. Best of all....the sweet peas cooperated and reached peak bloom on this warm summer evening in the garden.

English Sweet Peas are a favorite of mine not only because of their colors, but also because of their fragrance.

AUGUST - Olympic Spirit as expressed through our garden.

SEPTEMBER - We visit the New England Poutry Show and add some Barred Plymouth Rocks to the heritage breed fowl collection.

OCTOBER - A trough of autumn blooming rare bulbs that I brought with me to the North American Rock Garden Society annual meeting in Pittsburgh, where I was a guest speaker.

NOVEMBER - Chrysanthemums seemed to be everywhere, and these exhibition varieties were very choice as I photographed them at the annual Chrysanthemum show at Smith College.

DECEMBER - The greenhouse, last week before our first snowstorm of the winter. Still messy, but I was in the middle of picking up the garden during my Holiday break from work. Today, with a blanket of deep snow, and howling winds, then entire garden has been tucked in for a long, winters nap.


  1. I love your floral collages, sweet peas, and fowl! I dream of being a farmer some day and having farm animals running about (probably won't happen but I can dream!).

    I look forward to another year of awesomeness from your blog!

  2. A great round up of 2012 Matt! May 2013 be just as successful, vibrant and bountiful as the last.



  3. What an amazing year! Stunning photos.

  4. I love your blog so much! As a designer (and newbie gardener), I appreciate the time you take to make your blog and photos artful; reflecting the true beauty of your garden. Very inspiring! Keep it up, I can't wait to read what's in store for you in 2013.


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