Never the Same Garden Twice

This year’s spring garden: unexpected joys, and things that make me go hmmm…

The lost Old Fashioned Sherbet peony that bloomed for the first time in 6 or 7 years. Joy!

The corpses of my 10 year old lavender bushes, usually impervious to winter cold, dead as doornails in the perennial bed. They’re not only merely dead. They’re really most sincerely dead. Hmmm…

The antique white peonies whose flowers are as big as your head. No. Really. They’re as big as your head. Joy!

The 10 year old redbud tree, nestled in its tableau of vigorously growing holly trees, dead as a door nail. I know they’re short-lived but… but… Hmmmm…

New leaves erupting from the crowns of hardy-to-minus-ten degree fig trees that survived the minus 20 degree winter. Joy!

The robins that follow me around the garden, gobbling up insects unearthed in the wake of my gardening spade. Joy!

Fuzzy green poppy buds, fat as babies fists, nodding on plants I thought would never bloom again because their roots had been disturbed by an enterprising vole two winters past. Joy!

Two 3 year old rose bushes, usually impervious to winter cold, dead as doornails in the perennial bed. I’ve seen rose bushes that were ill. But I’ve never seen a rose bush die. I’ve even tried to kill them on purpose. And failed. Hmmmm…

Henbane in my irises and Lamb’s Quarters in my raised beds. Come here, Jesus!


My teenage son’s happy whistle while he shovels topsoil and compost into the wheelbarrow, sparing my arthritic back a week of disabling pain. Joy!

Getting the damned front bed ready for its transformation into a shade meadow. Joy!

The UPS man arriving with packages labeled, “live plants.” Joy!

The end of the university semester so that I can get back to the garden, and get back to blogging! JOY!



21 thoughts on “Never the Same Garden Twice

  1. I am so glad to have you back! I have missed your posts. This is a miraculous time in the garden. I also lost a lot of plants this winter, but some of them have surprised me. One beloved rose bush had survived for many years but appeared to be completely dead this spring. I cut it down to the ground and low and behold, it has started to grow again. My greatest loss was my dear rosemary bush that was five years old and taller than I and four times as wide. That one did not come back.

  2. Ginger Goolsby says:

    I live in East Tennessee and lost two rosemary bushes this winter…one that was several years old. Kathy, at Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm outside Clinton/Oak Ridge, TN, told me that they have been unable to keep up with the requests for rosemary plants…seems almost everyone’s rosemary died last winter. My lavender also died..most plants completely and one that is so deformed that it will have to go also. Here in East Tennessee I think the culprit was not only the cold but also the fact that it was a very wet winter.

    • Sho'Nuff says:

      That’s my diagnosis too. Rosemary is never hardy where I am in Southern Illinois… I can only guess that my lavender couldn’t handle so much the alternating wet and cold. This is why I was so surprised my fig trees survived. By all rights, they should be dead too… but you never can tell about micro-climates, even in the same garden. Say! My asparagus took a bit of a beating too! Do you grow asparagus? How did yours do?

  3. Kami Landy says:

    sorry about the lavender. I’m always sad if I can’t keep it.

  4. I lost quite a few plants, too, but have been surprised at all the ones that seemed to have enjoyed the cold. Here’s a shrub that would do well in your dry shade: snowberry ‘Blades of Sun’. Shorts aster will also thrive in a partially shady spot. Your front garden already looks wonderful! But a happy teenage garden helper? Incredible!

  5. Joy to the organic gardening community, too! Great to have ya back!!! We lost a few herbs, too, and a shrub here and there. Will not have as many hydrangea blooms this year–have to cut them back hard but next year, hopefully, will be better & bloomier! All the snow helped some, hurt others–just happy to have gotten through it and the yard seems greener than ever. Wishing you best of luck with all your new plants! PS, I planted the tomatoes outside 2 weeks ago. Did *not* make the same mistakes as last year. (Will probably make *new* mistakes this year, mind.) 😉

  6. Luisa says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!

  7. Barbara says:

    Lovely post! Happy gardening to you :-D.

  8. Finally getting time and healing enough to catch up and what a joy although I am sorrowful for your losses. I have had many of the same losses. I miss my fragrant peonies that I did not take with me to this garden. I am happy to share any plants if you see that I grow them. Just let me know and I cannot wait to see your new garden growing.

  9. Robbie says:

    beautiful flowers blooming in our organic garden:-) I have lost lavender, rose bushes ,too this year! This below freezing weather this year really gave a beating to our gardens…I am north of you , so enjoying all your beautiful blooms! we are few weeks behind, but catching up:-) I bet it smells wonderful in your garden!!!

  10. Robbie says:

    beautiful blooms in your organic garden-oops:-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s