Sunday, January 31, 2021


One positive thing that the dreadful pandemic that has so profoundly impacted our nation and the world, is a renewed interest in gardening.  Walking about my neighborhood I witnessed so many homeowners doing gardening projects and starting their own vegetable gardens.  As a landscape designer I was also  kept busy with consultations and installations.  

As Elizabeth Lawrence declared in her  A SOUTHERN GARDEN book, there are two months of winter here in central North Carolina -January and February and that even during those months there are many pleasant days to enjoy.  This winter has been mild with no appreciable amounts of snow, but ample rainfall.

My daffodils are already up this year and I've seen some older established ones in bloom in neighbor's gardens.   The blooms on my Prunus mume 'Peggy Clarke ' have formed but several below freezing nights have given them pause.  Edgeworthia, aka, Chinese paperbush is in full bloom and the blooms of the Chinese Snowball Viburnum still linger on the bush .  

Last Fall I edited my backyard boulder garden, removing shrubs that had overwhelmed their space and replacing them with lower-growing evergreens  and long-blooming perennials that give more structure to the garden.  

  A few of my long-blooming perennial  favorites -'purple knight ',  lambs ear, autumn sage, sedum, euphorbia, Japanese roof iris and perennial mums.

I'm pleased to say that my garden now has year round interest with something blooming or evergreen each month of the year.  My plan for this New Year is to plant more wildflowers in the roadside garden, replace a grapevine with an evergreen flowering one  ( Carolina Jessamine ? ) and start vegetables early from seed.  
I also need to work on my frontyard rose garden .  I have tried various cultivars but none have done that well despite planting them in a raised bed with recommended soil preparations.  The Camellias in that bed have done very well and I know there's enough sun for roses .  I have avoided planting the sensational 'Knockout ' roses that are so widely popular because I prefer something out of the ordinary.  Oh well, I haven't given up yet and will attempt once again this New Year with different varieties in my search to find the right one.  

Here's to hopes for a better, brighter New Year in which we defeat and put behind us the devastating  plague of last year.  I wish you good health and happiness.

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