It’s December and I finally have time to write again. This has been an unprecedented year and I hope next year will be better. The beginning of 2020 had new gardeners wanting to learn how to grow their own food. Everything from building new raised beds to the sale of seeds skyrocketed. I started my preorders for tomato plants in late March and sold out within four hours. I had to plan for a second planting to keep up with demand. With Covid starting I had to rethink how I did business. I normally hold a plant sale in the garden in early May. Now I couldn’t have people visit. I started taking online payments and delivered the plants myself. I loved it! You know why? I got to see some amazing gardens on my travels to drop off plants.
Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate in June and plant growth was delayed. The cold rainy weather in June also brought with it mildew and tomato blight. Both fungal diseases started to show up on plants in July when the weather was warm and humid. For new gardeners they wondered if they did something wrong. I hope they’ll try again next year. We can’t control the weather but I’m sure there were a lot of disappointed gardeners. Fortunately spring crops like lettuce were in great abundance with our cool spring weather. Gardeners juggled trying to get their warm weather crops in the ground without pulling out the lettuce that should have already bolted. Space was at a premium until the hot weather arrived.
The cold June weather set back many crops so harvests were later than normal and some plants just didn’t do well. I usually harvest tomatoes and save seed but this years crop didn’t have enough genetic diversity to save seed. I am grateful that I have lots of seed from previous years to use next season.
I had planned a garden based on wedding flowers but all weddings were cancelled. I now had more than enough flowers to bring into the home each week. Since we were spending more time at home I added new garden beds, one in shade and one in full to part sun. We excitedly bought new plants based on a garden design I drew and I can’t wait to see how everything grows in the spring. It’s funny the garden looked its best when no one could visit.
This fall we did some structural changes by removing the large cold frame from the other side of the yard. It had been installed by the previous owner and she planted climbing roses to cover it. We had been decreasing the size of the frame over the last two years as it was too high for us to reach and care for the climbing roses properly. Ladders are out of the question at our age. We needed to simplify the garden. So what we will do in this area? First the hardscape will go in, perhaps a pergola and an arbor. In the spring more garden beds will be created so I can continue to grow flowers. We already have nine raised beds for vegetables so that’s more than enough for the two of us.
We also redid the floors of the garden shed which was a huge task but we had a friend to help. New fences were built along the water to keep the grandkids safe. There is one more fence to be built next spring. Our project list for next year is a lengthy one.
Even though we couldn’t travel I throughly enjoyed being out in the garden each day. I realized that the garden brought me peace in a crazy world. Mother Nature is predictable for the most part. Plants break the soil in late winter, leaves develop, birds sing and nest in the garden, flowers bloom and the sun shines. I could count on these things in the garden when we didn’t know what the future would hold. Each day brought something new to explore in the garden.
As I write this I have a stack of seed catalogues to read and I’m planning next years garden. I will grow what we love to eat but I will also grow lots of flowers again. I am looking forward to a better year in 2021 and hope the best for all of you. Stay safe my friends.