Garden Highlights of 2011

Happy New Year everyone!  You’ve come to the right place – I’m tinkering with the look of the site and trying something new.  It seemed right to time it with the arrival of a new year.   Feedback is welcomed!

So…2011 was the first full year we’ve spent in this apartment.  It was my first chance to see the yard and garden in Spring, my first chance to really track the sunlight in our yard over the season, and my first chance to see where my blooming “gaps” were – with regard to both location and timing.

It was definitely a year of experimenting and learning.  Some things didn’t work out so well:  the new and very expensive tree peony that died, the Cupani sweet peas that I think I (gasp) killed, and the sturdy and well established hydrangea that didn’t bloom this year.

Other plants were very happy and made a spectacular show:  the fall-planted bulbs, the azaela, the Larkspur, Lavender, Persian Shield, Ajuga, and most of the Hostas.  The herbs are STILL growing. The Sun-Gold cherry tomatoes were the prizewinner of 2011, producing pretty much non stop for months.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the highlights and accomplishments:

Campanula did well for me and actually bloomed again in late summer!

Growing strawberries in hanging baskets allowed me to position them where they got full sun – which I would not have been able to do growing them in the ground.   Once they were done, I planted them in the ground to overwinter and will try them again in baskets this year, provided they do come back.

Making more wire compost bins so that I could keep up with compost, mulch, and leaves.  This was a big help!

This cold frame was easy to put together using an old window.  I have arugula and scallions growing in right now and will put it to good use this spring too.

The lilies were gorgeous this summer – show stoppers, as you can see.

Getting two half barrels to use as planters was a major coup.  The best part is that they were free!  Our landlord makes wine and offered to cut a few in half for me to use.  Some casters on the bottom and a few drilled drainage holes later, they made great containers for my tomatoes and herbs.

I had fun growing herbs and succulents in containers.  They definitely needed to be watered much more this way, but it was nice to be able to fill in empty spots in the yard with some color.

How great it was to be able to try so many things to help me figure out what I do and don’t want to do again in the coming year.  Lots of thoughts are slowly forming themselves into gardening goals for the coming season…which I like to think will be here before we know it.  🙂

13 thoughts on “Garden Highlights of 2011

  1. Aimee I marvel at the gardening you do in your urban setting…You certainly are an appropriation to many other gardeners and a model for what urban gardening can be…I look forward to your gardening goals in 2012….

    • Thanks, Donna! 2011 really was a complete experiment. I feel a bit more prepared this time around (I hope!) and eager to up the ante in the veggie and perennial department. 🙂

    • Thanks! There’s always something to learn. It’s nice to have a better handle on what I’ll skip this time around, what I’ll stick with, and new things to try.
      Happy New Year!

    • Thanks, Carolyn – hanging the strawberry baskets was my only option…we wouldn’t have enough sun otherwise! They did dry out quickly but keeping them stocked with ice cubes helped (time-released watering while I was at work during the hot days). This year I may try to rig up some self-watering hangers…as long as the strawberries come back!

      The cold frame was really easy. I like that it can be easily lifted and placed wherever I most need it, again as the sun moves in its course over the season. Simple and cheap and handy!

    • No…they definitely are not. He gave me three halves total and I’m hoping to get another one from him this summer…we don’t have a lot of space to plant in the ground (too many tree roots, shade, etc.) so containers are the way for me to go and barrels are the best!

  2. Pingback: Taking a Lesson From An Old Garden « Hydrangeas Blue

  3. I love the new layout on the blog, it looks great! And I am so jealous of your garden! We have black thumbs, nothing we planted this summer really grew (although to be fair, we were very lazy about tending to it). Maybe we’ll do better this year!

    • Thanks, Sara! Still playing around with the visuals here on the site a bit, but glad to hear you like the layout.

      It was a strange year for most gardens this past year, it seems. I had a lot of things that didn’t do well either. Here’s hoping the coming year will be better for us both!

  4. I am curious to see if that tree peony might return after winter. It may have sacrificed its top growth when its reserves were used up blooming and being transplanted at the same time. Perhaps there is some vigor remaining in the root system and you’ll see a new shoot coming up…

    Stranger things have happened.

  5. Pingback: Taking a Lesson From An Old Garden | Hydrangeas Blue

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