Wednesday, January 1, 2020

This Month in the Garden January 2020: Happy New Year & Reflections of a Year Past

January 2019 (Left to Right: Skyland's Spruce Seed Cone, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Blue Globe Spruce and Nellie Stevens Holly Berries)
Welcome to This Month in the Garden and a Happy New Year to all! January is good a time as ever to reflect upon and celebrate the year past and welcome a new gardening season ahead. I cannot remember such a mild start to January for quite some time. The start of 2019 was a bit of a roller coaster ride with temperatures fluctuating from the 50's some days to 30's the next. There were plenty of in between days to enjoy the outdoors.
February 2019 (Left to Right: Sparrow Visitor, Skyland's Spruce, Hellebore  and Junipers 'Gold Lace')
The past few winters in the garden have been unpredictable (to say the least) and February of 2019 was no exception. Between the end of January and start of February, temperatures have experienced a fifty-nine degree fluctuation, with daytime lows in the single digits (6 degrees) at the beginning of the month to temperatures topping off at 60 degrees by February 5th. Snow was scarce, with the exception of a light dusting, and the garden showed signs of both winter and spring.
March 2019 (Left to Right: Hellebore 'Shooting Star', Hyacinth, Skyland's Spruce and Sedum)
The month of March started off with the first significant snowfall of the season on March 4th with approximately 3-4 inches of snow. The garden was definitely confused from the temperature extremes throughout the winter months, but once the snow melted, perennials and bulbs could be seen emerging around the landscape.
April 2019 (Left to Right: Purple Crocus, Hellebore, Forthysia and White Crocus)
After an uneventful winter, April came in with full force as crocus, Magnolia, Forthysia, Pussy Willow catkins, Hellebore, Hyacinths and Daffodils came to be. Even the pollinators were out working away. While there were plenty of blooms to be seen, the April temperatures were cooler than normal, and this gardener wasn't quite ready to go full force just yet, but there were frequent walks around the property to take in what was blooming!
May 2019 (Left to Right: Hellebore, Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow', Kwanzan Cherry and Azalea)
I must say that May was one of my favorite months of 2019. Steadier spring-like temperatures in the upper 50's to mid-upper 60's with frequent rain showers had arrived, causing the garden to come to life. Vibrant new foliage with hues of pinks and greens had emerged and blooms were abundant everywhere. There was a party going on in the garden. I think the winner for best May blooms were those of the Kwanzan Cherry in the backyard, but the blooms of Azalea, Ajuga weren't bad either!  Even the Hellebores were still blooming, which added to the spring display.
June 2019 (Left to Right: Peony 'Bartzella', Kousa Dogwood, Knock out Rose and Allium 'Globemaster)
The month of June brought temperatures in the 70's with frequent night time precipitation, and something new to enjoy every day. Blooms of Peony, Salvia May Night, Magnolia Royal Star, Allium, Roses, Rhododendron, Azalea and Iris embellished the garden with their presence. The Peony 'Bartzella' definitely wins the prize for best blooms, along with the tall spikes of Allium 'Globemaster', but I cannot resist the blooms of Knock Out Roses and Dogwood, which always amaze me.
July 2019 (Left to Right: Pool Garden, Mophead Hydrangea, Weeping Norway Spruce and Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit')
After a rainy June, July brought temperatures rising up into the 80's with humidity and sunny skies. Blooms of Hydrangea, Roses, Daylily and Echinacea were abundant in the garden and everything appeared so green! The garden behind the pool was exceptionally green with the foliage of Leucothoe, Hosta, Japanese forest grass and spreading yew, which were all so full and lush! The blooming perennials added even more color to the landscape. 
August 2019 (Left to Right:Stargazer Lilly, Dwarf Rudbeckia, Echinacea and Rozanne Geranium)
The month of August brought temperatures in the 80's and 90's with humidity and occasional thunderstorms, as the garden went through its fourth round of blooms. The usual Dragonfly visitors abundant at this time of summer seemed to be exceptionally huge, as I watched them as they would dance across the backyard! Blooms to be seen included Rozanne Geranium, Coneflower, Stargazer Lilly, Rudbeckia, Stachys, Astilbe 'Sprite', Platycodon (Balloon Flower) and of coarse...Crape Myrtle!
September 2019 (Left to Right: Pentas, Rozanne Geranium, Sedum with Painted Lady Butterfly and Variegated Liriope)
As the late summer garden slowly transited into fall mode, temperatures that were in the 80's and 90's dropped into the 70's by September, with a feeling of autumn in the air. There were still plenty of blooms to be seen, along with some surprises, and even some unexpected visitors! The big surprise for this month was the first Hummingbird Moth I've ever seen up close and personal. He seemed to become very attached to my dwarf butterfly bush that resides in a container on the patio. Blooms in September included those of Butterfly Bush, Liriope, Rozanne Geranium, Daylilly 'Stella D Oro'(after rejuvenation), Sedum and the yellow blooms of the newest addition...Dwarf Solidago.
October 2019 (Left to Right: Montauk Daisy, 'Stella D Oro' Daylily, Succulent Planter and Dried Coneflower Seed Head)
The October garden was a great time of transition. While temperatures were in the 80's just  a few weeks before, they had moderated into the upper 50's to mid-60's with a feeling of autumn crispness. While the 'Stella D Oro' Daylilies were still blooming, Montauk Daisies and Chrysanthemums had now joined in, Dogwood were producing their colorful red fruit, pumpkins were out and grasses were showing their decorative plumes.
November 2019 (Left to Right: Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Coral Bark Maple, Sedum 'Thundercloud' and Astilbe/Lamb's Ear)

The month of November started off with normal enough temperatures in the mid-50's, but temperatures rapidly dropped into the 40's with a downward plummet to 22 degrees Fahrenheit early in the month and some snow showers. The garden had transitioned into an array of autumn colors with hues of golds and oranges. We did get a number of milder days in the 50's as the month went on and unlike last November, it turned out to be one of the mildest Thanksgivings I can remember. December brought the first coating of snow on the 3rd, followed by another on the 11th and fluctuating temperatures from in the 50's one day to 30's the next. The shift in seasons is definitely evident, so the garden and I are adjusting.
December 2019 (Left to Right: Weeping White Pine Seed Cone, Azalea/Sedge/Heuchera Combo, Nandina domestica berries and Crape Myrtle Bark )
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for January and wish each and every one of you, my readers, all the best for a wonderful new year filled with good health, prosperity and happiness. As we welcome in the new year, be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday, Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.)
For winter reading and planning your 2020 garden... 
Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.


  1. Dear Lee,
    your garden is beautiful throughout the year, I love hellebore and crocus.
    Happy new 2020 year! It's a wonderful digit, I hope it brings you much happiness and your dreams come true.

    1. Thank you for you kind words Nadezda and Happy New to you and your family. Your winter garden views are a winter wonderland!

  2. WOW! I really enjoyed your gorgeous photos!

    Happy 2020!

    1. Thank you Veronica and thank you for stopping by my blog. Your photo of the fireworks is beautiful! Happy New Year to you and yours.

  3. Happy new year, Lee! Your garden is impressive year-round. I'm VERY envious of your June peonies. I planted an Itoh peony years ago and, since the first year, it's failed to flower but I remain hopeful! SoCal isn't peony country...

    1. Happy New Year Kris and thank you so much for your kind words! I loved the wide-views of your garden and especially love the fountain and meandering paths throughout. Everything looks so well tended and it is evident that you have such a love for what you do.

  4. Great post. Thanks so much for joining us this week at

  5. So much beauty, I'd love to live next to you - well except for the cold weather

    1. Thank you Carol! Winter does have its good points, but it is colder than I prefer sometimes!

  6. Really lovely photos! Thank you! have a wonderful week!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed them Cathy. Your pictures of the visit to the zoo in winter were sweet. Have a great week!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Shiju. Your photos never cease to amaze me. Each and every one is beautiful!

  8. Your garden is beautiful throughout the seasons.. thanks for sharing them and happy New Year

    1. Thank you and Happy New Year Judee! I enjoyed your photographs from the park and am glad you found out the name of the mystery plant!

  9. Replies
    1. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to my garden. The wonderful photos of your trip made me smile!


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!