• Highlights of 2011 in the Sierra Foothill Garden

    by  • December 30, 2011 • Garden, Projects, Something different, Winter

    In evaluating the year, as folks often do as the New Year approaches, its nice to think back to some of the best things experienced in the garden in 2011. These are enjoyable thoughts and the belief that gardening adds so much to one’s life, as does exploring and learning new things, is confirmed as I look over my posts. Here are the best projects, adventures and discoveries of this whole year.  I hope you find something here to enjoy, too.

    Best Adventure
    Preparing for a trip to New Zealand
    The year started with a fantastic trip to New Zealand and a week long project to record some of the things I saw there that related to gardening and wildlife.

    Best Gardening Projects
    Midsummer meadow ‘The peak bloom’
    Beside the NZ trip, I’d say the highlight of my gardening year was the Meadow project that was so enjoyable and beautiful.  It was satisfying from the beginning research, to weeding, to the peak bloom.

    A New Zealand inspired California rock garden
    Gathering local rock allowed me to begin an interesting rock garden like the one I saw in NZ.

    Best Building Projects
    In which, I clean up my potting bench
    Building benches and paths of desire

    Best Garden Technique
    The story of California native gardens is the story of weeds
    This quote by Judith Larner Lowry inspired me to enjoy and value weeding even more than I have before. Nuts, I am!

    Best Freecycling
    Wangling wood chips from work crews

    Best Existing Native Plant
    A profusion of Pretty Face
    The native bulbs, Triteleia ixioides, were truly spectacular this year.

    Sitting…looking up at oaks
    Gazing up at our beautiful oak trees and learning more about them in general, helps me appreciate them as much as the lovely pines.

    Best Garden Pastime
    The ordinary and the amazing birdbath
    Western bluebirds in the Sierra foothill garden
    Watching the activity right out my windows has absorbed more of my time than I’d like to admit. Is that a good reason to live?

    Best Garden Volunteer
    Volunteer dill peeks in window
    A yummy surprise causes me to buy beer.

    Best Book Read
    Lester Rowntree, a hardy Californian
    This CA Native plant pioneer is a surprising discovery and inspiration. I think of her on our trips to the high country and know that I could not live like she, but am oh-so glad that she did live so.

    Best Before and After
    Then and Now– With all the wildness around us, these two patios allow us to venture out in all weather safely and beautifully. Sadly we have fewer deer than the first year,…I believe they don’t like our smell.

    Best Surprises
    Summer native discoveries
    Finding and identifying a new native plant was an ongoing hobby that was jumping up and down exciting!

    Best Blog Discussions
    Allelopathic Plants(What?) “I want to be aloooone” Manzanita, walnut
    Enough Miner’s lettuce for a salad Claytonia
    These two posts were fun to research and humbling in the end when my errors and misconceptions were kindly challenged. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all the additional facts. Oops! All part of the wonderful learning process.

    Most worthwhile series of posts
    A California native, served sunny side up Matilija poppy
    California Native Plant Week brought another challenging project where a different plant was profiled each day for a week.  Wooof!

    Best Overall Garden Topic
    Creating a long lasting garden
    My contribution to sustainable gardening would be if I left this place the natural beauty was preserved here for others to enjoy and the plants and design I add would only enhance it.

    Best Blog Housekeeping Tip
    How to make a blog archive
    Discovering how to make a blog archive of all the posts here so far is a handy trick and I love it!  It’s so easy now to refer to and find a certain post with this list.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.