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.
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 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!
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.
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.