Friday, December 30, 2011

12 Gifts From the Garden

We gardeners give our time, efforts, hard work, and dedication to the garden.  What does the garden give back?  Joy, delight, surprise, anticipation, hope, exercise, education, and wonder, to name just a few non-tangibles.  But I wondered if I could come up with something even non-gardeners could see and maybe, just maybe, start to understand our obsession!  So, I decided to take a look back through my pictures, and join Diana at Elephant Eye's with a slight twist on her Twelve Days of Christmas meme.  Ready to sing?

On the First day of Springtime, my true love gave to me
One beautiful surprise in a crocus bloom:

I had forgotten that I had planted these crocus, and when they sprang up, I was so thrilled!  Almost beyond words, but not quite, as I quickly ran to my computer to blog about the excitement.

On the Second day of Summer, my true love gave to me
Two beady eyes hiding from me:

Bees and butterflies were becoming quite common to see in the garden, but this little lady was a complete and welcome surprise.  She watched me as I watched her, with mutual respect.

On the Third day of blooming daisies, my true love gave to me
Three butterflies lined up in a row:

Butterflies were plentiful in the garden this past year.  I loved seeing them.  Who wouldn't?

On the Fourth day of May, my true love gave to me
Four rose blooms framing the view:

Ah, my favorite time of the past year.  My garden was in its climax.  A glorious time!  I look forward to next year.

On the Fifth day the roses bloomed, my true love gave to me
Five petals on each Mutabilis bloom:

The catmint next to Mutabilis was a delight to me, and I began to fill the main rose bed with even more companion plantings.  Next year there may be another favorite companion - there's always something to look forward to in the garden.

On the Sixth day the roses bloomed, my true love gave to me
Six blooms on Perle d'Or:

My roses are growing and filling in the main rose bed nicely.  I hope next year it will be photo perfect!

On the Seventh month of the year, my true love gave to me
Seven trunks on the crepe myrtle tree (behind the bench):

Next year I'm going to actually sit on that bench and enjoy the view!

On the Eighth hydrangea bush to bloom, my true love gave to me
Eight tiny hydrangea blooms:

Hydrangeas are a sentimental favorite.  Even without the sentimental attachment, I would love their old fashioned charm.

On the Ninth stroll down the walking garden, my true love gave to me
Nine white echinacea blooms:

I should have bought tons of these!  I loved the touch of white in the garden.  But mostly I loved the way the butterflies loved them!

On the Tenth type of bulb, my true love gave to me
Ten purple alliums:

I wanted some alliums, and these were the cheapest I could find.  But the joy they brought was priceless.

On the Eleventh joy of springtime, my true love gave to me
Eleven alstroemerias:

I thought these were dead this past summer due to the drought, but they have sprung back up this fall.  I've learned to leave 'dead' plants in the ground for a while.  About half the time, they rise again!

On the Twelfth day of harvest my true love gave to me
Twelve crookneck squash:

Could anything be better than fresh vegetables from the garden?  I think not! 

These twelve gifts are just a small sampling of all my garden (my true love) gave to me this year.  Because really, it gives me something every day!  And I hope if you're a non-gardener I gave you the desire to become one!  That would be the best gift of all.

Which gift of the garden (from mine or from yours, listed or not) do you like the best?


  1. Wonderful post!!! The May pic of the riot of color is beautiful! I had no idea alstromerias would grow here. How cool is that! I have the same alliums and enjoy those in the spring :-) I love catmint near roses, as well. Actually anything gray next to roses...lamb's ear, Powis Castle artemisia, catmint. I used to have a Mutabilis, but it just is too big for my garden. It is such a pretty rose, though. I love single petal roses :-) Be sure to plant some society garlic near your roses for a healthy companion planting. Oh, and that spot of springtime makes me excited to see all of the daffodils I planted this fall spring to life :-) I now I'm anxious for spring, but the winter we've been having so far is okay with me...warm with a little rain mixed in. Hard to beat after the summer we had, right?

  2. The crocus - two perfectly balanced colours! Your society garlic, my Tulbaghia, is planted with the pink roses, where Chaim Soutine has bunches of buds!

  3. No wonder you are dreaming of spring, after revisiting your summer blooms! It is such a different world in winter-- but we have our seed catalogs...

  4. What a fun twist! And that crocus bloom is stunning!

    Wishing you a Happy New Year :)

  5. Holley, your ingenuity knows no bounds. What a great excuse to go back thorough your photographs. You'll be glad to hear I didn't sing it...

  6. What a lovely post! What delightful, wonderful gifts from your gardens.


  7. Ah, delightful! I can't pick a favorite--but maybe if you push me, I'd pick the Crocus. It's a stunner, and such a welcome sign of spring! Great post!

  8. I would pick the four roses, but I would actually pick the view they are framing---glorious. Happy New Year.

  9. What fun! You have a beautiful garden, so lush and full of wonderful creatures! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You're right, I might just have to put a pretty urn in the spot that nothing works in. I'll keep at it becasue, "There's always next year"!

  10. Awesome post. One of the reasons I started reading garden blogs and then started one myself was because non gardeners REALLY just don't see it. Any of it, in my opinion. And I think the more you garden the more your minds eye grows in garden senses as well.

  11. ps. will someone please explain to me why allium bulbs are so dang expensive???

  12. Your garden looks so lovely, thank you for the wonderful pictures. I love the profusion of perennials in your May picture, they are just dazzling.

  13. I love the crookneck squash. I grew them last year and know how nice they are.
    Best wishes for 2012.

  14. Toni - I am anxious for spring to come, but hope the rains don't stop! Looking at old pictures really makes me miss the blooms!

    Diana - The crocus is one of my favorite little blooms, too. Just doesn't last long enough!

    linniew - I often wonder if we would appreciate all the blooms if we lived in a continual state of May. Looking back, it really makes me appreciate that time of year now that it's gone!

    Mark and Gaz - Happy New Year to you both!

    Janet - It was fun trying to find the right number of blooms for each day. Not as easy as I thought!

    FlowerLady - The garden really does give us a gift every day, doesn't it?

    PlantPostings - I keep looking for the crocus bulbs to come up, but I suppose it's a little early yet. But when I see them again this year, I'll be just as excited as last year!

    Carolyn - I don't know why I didn't take more pictures when the garden was in that full-bloom state. I love that view, too.

    Leslie - Those creatures are just a great side effect of growing flowers - one I never thought about until they started showing up! But now I like seeing them as much as I like seeing the blooms (well, almost). ;)

    Jess - It really is nice to find others that share this passion of gardening. As for the allium bulbs - I haven't figured that out, either! I really want some giant ones, but cringe when I see the price!

    Masha - Too bad May can't last for several months!

  15. Bridget - Couldn't leave out the vegetables! I still have some stuff canned that I'm eating on, but I'm looking forward to having fresh vegetables again next year!

  16. The Perle d'Or roses looks so sweet and lovely. Your post reminds me that I have some allium bulbs that I still haven't planted. :)

  17. Holley - Love the garden in climax photo. I like your informal planting style. That's what I'm aiming for.

  18. My favorite is that bench one with the trunks of crepe maple - but it's that red salvia (I think maybe Hot Lips?)that's growing beside it that I adore the most.

    Have a Happy New Year!

  19. The praying mantis and the Hydrangea and ... oh heck, I love them all! Your garden is a constant inspiration to me :)
    I wish you a Spectacular 2012 Garden!!
    Regards, Christine

  20. Clever weaving of twelvetide into your words and garden flowers. Especially like the bench view with that hot clump of Salvias
    Happy New Year Holley
    Laura x

  21. That was so great.
    I especially loved the three Butterflies in a row. You were there at the right time.

    I just started reading your blog a few days ago and have really enjoyed it so far.

  22. Beautiful post and even more beautiful garden! I can never understand why everyone is not as obsessed with gardening as I am.

  23. GirlSprout - I planted even more allium bulbs this year, the cheap ones again. I just love them! One day I'm going to splurge on those big, fat, gorgeous ones!

    b-a-g - From the few glimpses I've seen of your garden, you have been successful!

    leavesnbloom - Yes, that's Hot Lips. A bee magnet! Happy New Year!

    Christine - That little mantis and I spent quite some time together. I actually saw her several days in a row, on different roses. I hope I see her babies next year! Happy New Year!

    Laura - I placed that bench where I could see the bird bath, but I rarely sit there. I need to find time to sit and enjoy the views a bit more. Happy New Year!

    Meta - I couldn't take a picture of those flowers without a butterfly on them! They were definitely the butterflies' favorite. Thank you for your sweet comment.

    garden girl - haha I think most people that are not obsessed with gardening have just never tried it! There's just something about digging in the dirt that I think is universally appealing.

  24. What a great way to wrap up the year!! I wish you and your family the best for 2012. Happy New Year!

  25. So nice to see a look back at all the colorful blooms of the year during such a brown winter time! The crocus is absolutely adorable. I love the white markings on the purple. And the picture of you garden in full bloom in May is awesome! I aspire to have such a garden. Before too long, hopefully!

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year's!

  26. Holley, your post touched me, because I could feel through your writing and photos how much you love your garden and the endless joys it gives to you! I would claim exactly the same for my garden :-). Your photo from May is just amazing. What an abundance and beauty! Thanks for another great post.

  27. Cat - Happy New Year to you and your family, too!

    Indie - I can't wait to see the crocus peeking up in the garden again this spring! And I look forward to my rose bed finally filling in, too. Happy New Year!

    Christina - I do love that photo from May, although I knew at the time the moment would be fleeting. I do think that gardeners find joy in each and every bloom, no matter how big or small.

  28. Fantastic. I love all the flowers you are growing and the photos you have taken. Do you use lots of fertilizer? If yes, please let me know what type. Thank You. Happy New Year :-).

  29. KL - I'm a pretty lazy gardener, so once a year I usually throw down some Osmocote Plus granules. Have a Happy New Year!

  30. Very creative all these but that crocus is amazing and I just love alliums and the echinaceas I adore about as much as the critters...Happy New Year Holley!!

  31. May 4th. my fav. Lots of color and loveliness. Happy New Year and hope 2012 blooms as beautifully.

  32. I love the seventh month pic too. It's stunning!

  33. Ooh I don't know if I can pick just one gift... I definitely like to harvest edibles and flowers, I love the gift of beauty all around me, I enjoy the smells and sensations of a walk through the garden. I take so much joy from the garden, it's all a gift!
    Beautiful photos there, my favourite is the perky little crocus you started with.
    Happy new year!

  34. I didn't realize you had alstromeria growing in your garden. I've only ever seen these at a florists shop, lucky you to be able to grow them! They're one of my favourite cut flowers.

  35. Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is a good one for your garden with lots of rain for all your beautiful roses.

  36. Enjoyed strolling through your garden year!! Wishing you a 2012 filled with hope!

  37. Wonderful 12 days..... I like the roses best...all of them.

  38. Donna - I think we gardeners love all the gifts and surprises of the garden!

    GWGT - My favorite, too. Happy New Year!

    Carol - That bed is supposed to be predominately red. Sometimes I think I have failed, because I have put so many other colors in there. But when taking a picture of it, I realize it really does have a lot of red in it - yeah!

    Ruth - You're right - those things photos can't duplicate - the sensations and smells - and sounds - of a garden. Happy New Year!

    Marguerite - I love them, too, and was a bit surprised to see them for sale at the garden center. Since then, I've seen Alistair of Aberdeen Gardening growing them in his garden, too.

    Marcia - Oh, I hope we get lots of rain this year, too! Happy New Year!

    Chris - I wish the same for you this year, too!

    Mimi - Ah, yes, the roses. They are such wonderful plants to have in the garden.

  39. I love it! So creative :) Photos of your garden is just what I need this chilly evening :)

  40. Yael - Happy New Year! What a perfect thing to hope for in the garden! I hope the same for you.

    Happy Homemaker UK - Isn't it wonderful to go back and look at all the blooms? So thankful for the invention of the camera!

  41. Really love to see these garden.Flowers looks gorgeous and attracts butterflies toward it and create a very natural environment.I think presenting flowering plants is a great gift idea to please gardeners because it help them to enhancing the beauty of garden.

  42. Lovely version of the 12 days of Christmas


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