The featured speaker at the Connecticut Horticultural Society's September meeting was Margaret Roach. You all know her from her blog A Way To Garden, and from her Martha Stewart editing days.
I went to hear her speak and to see slides of her beautiful garden in upstate New York.
She was a delightfully entertaining speaker. The slides were familiar to me --- I have followed her blog since she began it, and have seen many of the plants and views featured in her posts over the years. But it was her message that caught my attention: the 365 day garden is a joy all year.
She launched her talk by saying that autumn causes many people to lament the "end of the season" or to regret that it's time to "close the garden". But to her a garden shines every single day of the year. You just have to go beyond perennials.
Fall and winter are as beautiful as other seasons and something is always, always going on out there if you look and if you design for it. Even dreary late spring is enjoyable when her beloved frog boys emerge from under the mud and come back to entertain her with their antics.
I really related to her talk. In my own garden the most glorious season is fall, and it doesn't feel like the end of anything. It feels like a continuation, only more colorful than the summer bloom period.
Winter is cold here, and long, and damn poor for napping in the hammock. But it is a wonderful season in the garden, with woody plants and dried seedheads taking the stage, and evergreens for color, and interesting sights in every landscape. If you garden with more than perennials and flowering annuals, you have a 365 day garden.
A new acquaintance once learned about my blog, and asked me "but what do you blog about in the winter?" I was a little stunned. I blog about my garden in the winter. I didn't know what else to say. Then it dawned on me that to her a garden was a flowerbed or vegetable patch. When it was done blooming or producing, you closed the garden and the season was over.
Not in my garden. I was so glad to hear Margaret Roach articulate what I feel. My garden is a great place to visit and see and even blog about all year long*.
* Except for three weeks at the end of March when icy mud oozes everywhere and vole tunnels snake through every bed and an unrelenting brown color won't quit. I try, but those three weeks simply do not fit into the 365 day garden.
They don't. What I have here is really a 344 day garden.
Just being honest.