Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Gardening Year in Review: Long Island

JANUARY GARDEN
As the year 2014 comes to an end it is time to look back and reflect on the garden once again for another year past.  Overall, 2014 was a good year for the garden but it didn't start off as any ordinary winter.  The first month of 2014 came in like a lion with winter storm Hercules on January 2nd. bringing a foot of snow and 10 degree F temperatures, followed by torrential rains and a warming trend...and that was just the beginning!

FEBRUARY GARDEN
By the time February rolled around we had already endured six snowfalls and the gardens were covered in a blanket of winter white. There was a stillness in the landscape with the sound of crackling in the background as ice fell from tree branches and the temperatures were so frigid that the snow and ice remained. The bark of the Coral Bark Maple glowed a pinkish hue under the snow for up to a month and a permafrost covered the gardens, yet the glistening ice was a beautiful sight to behold.  I worried a bit about the gardens but knew they would be insulated by the snow until the temperatures rose.

MARCH GARDEN
The month of March continued with snow flurries and winds but the winter that seemed would never end slowly started to disappear with each passing day.  The daily temperatures started to rise into the 40's and 50's after a seventh snow storm and frigid temperatures beforehand. The temperatures could not seem to stabilize and plummeted once again into the 20's right around mid-March. After the last biting cold there was a sight for sore eyes...the very first robins had arrived!  On March 31st. we had our last snow.

APRIL GARDEN

Spring at last...spring at last!!!  April arrived with temperatures in the 50's and  lower 60's with crocus and hyacinth bulbs making their appearance with their colorful blooms now awakening from a dormant sleep. For a while I didn't think they would ever appear but the last five inches of snow had melted quickly by the next day and the cold was gone. It was starting to look a lot more like spring and the blooms were appreciated more now than ever.

MAY GARDEN

 May arrived with tulips, grape hyacinth, azalea, spirea, viburnum and Thundercloud Plum  blooms and at last and the gardens were full with color. The temperatures had elevated into the 70's and even hit 82 degrees one afternoon, allowing buds to burst into wonderful blooms. Despite some winter damage on my hydrangea and Crape Myrtle, everything else in the garden weathered the harsh winter just fine. 

JUNE GARDEN

Now in retrospect there can be something said for a bitter cold winter with abundant snow.  The June blooms were the most vibrant I could remember, or maybe I was just so happy to see them...either way I was content!  The temperatures had finally worked their way up into the mid to upper 70's with a couple of days soaring right up into the 80's.  Spring had sprung and the gardens were putting on quite a display of color with roses, peony, salvia and iris.   My newest addition to the garden in June was Paeonia 'Bartzella'which you can see in the photo above (lower left corner).  I instantly fell in love with this plant with its beautiful yellow petals.

JULY GARDEN
 Almost every day in July was dry with clear blue sunny skies and much cooler temperatures than normal, staying in the low to mid-80's throughout the month.  My hydrangea had suffered from the cold after all with no blooms this season but the Tardivia Hydrangea on the side of the house made up for all the others. The Crape Myrtle also came back with a full set of blooms starting in late July while blooms of salvia, coreopsis, astilbe, daylilies, heuchera and hosta were abundant throughout the month.  All the memories of a horrendous snowy winter gradually faded from my mind.


AUGUST GARDEN
The month of August remained on the cooler side with temperatures in the lower to mid-80’s, unlike days in the upper 80's and 90's like in previous years.  On August 13th the drought was relieved with what seemed like a monsoon dumping 13.25 inches of rainfall which was the highest recorded rainfall we have seen here on Long Island in 500 years.   The long period of drought was over and the gardens became rejuvenated with blooms. New additions to the garden this August included Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' and Heucherella 'Buttered Rum', both which added much color to the garden.


SEPTEMBER GARDEN

September ended up having some of the warmest days of the summer during the first week with humid days and temperatures in the upper 80's.  The garden continued as if it was in summer mode and more blooms arrived such as fall blooming sedum and liriope which joined the already blooming echinacea.   These blooms eventually became the highlights of the garden.  As the month went on temperatures regulated themselves and dropped into the 70's.

OCTOBER GARDEN

 October signaled the end to summer as temperatures dropped into the 60's with nighttime temperatures in the 50's and a there was a sudden briskness in the air.  While the leaves were falling the blooms did keep on coming.  We hadn't had the high temperatures from summer that usually take a toll on some of the flowers.  October continued to produce blooms to this gardener's delight!

NOVEMBER GARDEN

In November the chill in the air became a little more prominent as temperatures dropped into the 50’s by day and into the mid-40 by night but overall it was a milder November than I can remember from the past.  The continuation of milder than usual temperatures extended the gardening season well into the fall.

DECEMBER GARDEN

December came in with some blustery and cold temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s and now the time had come for the garden to go to sleep.  It was a good growing season overall with lots of blooms followed by a beautiful and rather mild fall and a normal December temperature wise.  Our first snow arrived mid-December but was just a dusting that disappeared the next day with some flurries here and there.  It was a sign that winter is here, and as the garden sleeps this gardener dreams of next season! 

I see trees of green,
 Red roses too.
I see them bloom
For me and you.
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
 ~ Louis Armstrong

Hope you had a wonderful 2014 season and I look forward to all your gardening stories in 2015!


As Always...Happy Gardening and Happy New Year!

Linking with Today's FlowersFloral Fridays, Mosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage and Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved



28 comments:

  1. What a beautiful year in your garden! I enjoyed strolling through it this morning. Have a happy, healthy New Year and another wonderful year of gardening!

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    1. Thank you so much Dorothy. I also enjoyed your beautiful garden highlights from throughout the year and wish you all the very best for a wonderful 2015 along with happy gardening!

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  2. You've had a wonderful year of flowers Lee. It has been a great pleasure visiting your blog. Thank you so much and A Very Happy New Year to you and all those you love.

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    1. Thank you Denise and a very happy New Year to you and yours!

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  3. What a lovely gardening year.. I'm so glad I found your blog and look forward to seeing your garden in 2015.. wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year :o)

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    1. I am glad to have found you as well and have enjoyed your posts and visits! Happy 2015!

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  4. what an awesome year in review!!!!!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Debbie...Happy New Year and best always!

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  5. Year-round beauty, not a clunker in the lot. May the year ahead be just as satisfying, if not more.

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting Ricki and best wishes for a wonderful 2015!

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  6. I have so enjoyed my visits to your garden through 2014, despite all the weather and issues your garden has looked amazing every month!
    Here’s to a great gardening year 2015 – Happy New Year!

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    1. It has been a pleasure visiting your wonderful gardens each month of the year Helene! Happy New Year 2014 to you and yours!

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  7. Beautiful! So much to see year round. I wish you a wonderful new year!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Happy New Year to you!

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  8. Your collages are a wonderful review of your gardening year. Your garden is lovely through all the seasons! I love those February images!

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting Deb. I am sure now that our temperatures are plummeting that snow will be in the forecast soon!

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  9. I love your mosaics...beautiful.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and for your lovely comment. The mosaics are actually a good way of keeping track of the garden throughout the months and comparing year to year.

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  10. Happy New Year Lee...what a great retrospective of your garden...i am looking forward to those April blooms as we are getting hit with lake effect today. Our winter has been all over the place feeling like spring many days, but not today.

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    1. Happy new year to you Donna! It was pretty mild here until today but the polar vortex seems to have arrived with some snow flurries in the forecast for the next couple of days....brrr!

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  11. As I sit here with my gardens covered in snow I'm enjoying your year's review very much. I had to scroll back to the dragonfly - beautiful!
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Lee.

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    1. Thank you for hosting Judith. I enjoyed the photographs of the birds with your new camera. I am longing for summer when the dragonflies return as well. For now we will just have to enjoy the beautiful side of winter!

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  12. What a great blog post! I shall steal the idea quite shamelessly for my own blog :-) You know what they say: "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery."
    Thanks for participating in Floral Friday Fotos, hope to see your work again in this week's edition!
    (PS: Another Friday meme you may enjoy is Friday Greens: http://nixpages.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/friday-greens.html)

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    1. Thank you so much Nick for visiting and for your kind words. Also, thank you for hosting your enjoyable meme and I will be sure to check out Friday Greens. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  13. I loved all your photos, and the mosaics were stunning. That was an unbelievable amount of rain that you received after that dry period. Your gardens are spectacular! Thanks for sharing them with us.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed your visit Lisa. Yes....after a very dry summer the rains came down with record amounts and roads were closed everywhere due to flooding. It did alleviate the long drought though and rejuvenated the landscape and gardens!

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  14. Thanks for great photos which make a very fitting tribute to the year!

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    1. Thank you Jane! Now I can't wait until spring to get back out into the garden again...however... there have been sightings of me walking around taking photographs!

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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