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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Remembering 2016

I always start to think about my yard this time of the year. We're in the shortest days of the year and although winter weather hasn't arrived quite yet, and I haven't had to worry about protecting my plants (which is great because I can take advantage of those christmas light sales!), I always find myself looking back at my garden last year and looking forward to spring right after the holidays.

It's kind of nice to think that in just 3 months I'll be back in the yard digging more holes and getting things all ready to go for another season. This is the time of the year that many wholesale plant nurseries start to set seeds for the annuals that we see in garden centers by late April. So I guess I am not the only person thinking about warmer days!

Anyway here are some of my most memorable moments from 2016 in the garden. I hope you all have a wonderful new year!!

A wintry scene from last winter

Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill Palm)

Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle palm)

Chamaerops humilis (European Fan palm)

Musa itinerans "Mekong Giant"
The last plant in the yard to emerge in the spring, I did not see my Mekong Giant until nearly the second week of June after it died to the ground during it's first New York winter. It had an amazing season of growth nearly doubling in size from the first year. 
July 2016

October 2016 

A Season Full of Blooms 

Crape Myrtle 'Zuni' planted in August 2010 as a small 3 gallon plant.

Crape Myrtle 'Tuscarora' looking like pink snow! 

Robert Fleming Hibiscus is a repeat bloomer.

Black and Blue Salvia is hardy in zone 7 with the right microclimate and blooms from Spring to the first hard freeze (April to November non stop!). This praying mantis was enjoying it! 

Costus Speciosus (Spiral Ginger) is such an interesting plant. It doesn't spread much. I've had it for 6 years and dig it up each fall. At most 3 stalks will come up throughout the season. A nice tropical filler though!

Hedychium gingers (Butterfly Gingers) are much more vigorous for me and the blooms smell absolutely amazing! 


Brugmansia and hyacinth bean

The hyacinth bean vine was new to this year!

Roses are beautiful and hardy! The multicolored ones is new to this year!

Passiflora incarnata is a beautiful and hardy passion fruit vine with amazingly complex flowers that bloom from spring to fall. Mine is still young and will spend the winter in the garage before being planted out in the spring. This was another plant that was new for me in 2016!

Clematis give a very similar look to passion vines but are much hardier! The only downside is that clematis only bloom in the spring. But the blooms are incredible.

Mandevilla flowers and mums in Fall

Pansies during the early summer 


The sad news is that 2016 was the last year for my Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus.  I will greatly miss the beautiful cheery blooms every June. It was getting too big in my front yard and the needles were leading into the house. 

2016 was the first year I grew a Heliconia for the first time! Hopefully I can keep it alive indoors.

2016 was a really great year for my plumerias 

I am definitely a sucker for pink cannas! 

2016 was the first time I took a hummingbird photo! 



2016 was the biggest year for Gardenias ever in my yard. I have 6 gardenia plants, 5 of them are hardy and stay outside year round. 

Frostproof blooms heavily in early summer and sporadically throughout the growing season

Crown Jewel blooms almost entirely in early summer but it blooms so heavily you can't even see the leaves! Very similar to azaleas.

My confederate Jasmine has been thriving as a potted plant. It goes inside when temperatures dip below 15F so it stays out most of the year. When it blooms in the spring and early summer the fragrance is unbeatable!! 

Another southern favorite, southern magnolias.

Tropical plants

My adondila had a great growing season this past year! 

A combination of foliage with ginger and elephant ears making up most of it! 

Farfugium and philodendrons are right at home under spanish moss! 

This was the first year in a long time that I grew a Queen palm. It's resting comfortably indoors for the winter.

Last year was another great one for colorful summertime foliage!

2017 you have a lot to live up to! 

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