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It was no surprise to NC Triad gardeners that 2016 set world records (again) for the warmest year ever. It was a HOT one and our NC Piedmont summer seemed to last forever! Our first frost in Summerfield did not come until mid-November, a month later than average, but by November I was grateful for the mild temperatures.
If there was ever something to renew your spirit after a fierce political season, it is the beauty of nature. I harvested the last ripe figs on November 8th. My “Bloomathon” azaleas were still gorgeous. Camellias had begun to bloom even as my summer annuals were still holding their own. Here are some late season beauties of which I never tire.
This Dahlia called ‘Boom Boom White’ grew 7′ tall with 4″ blooms throughout the season. It was a standout with castor bean pods and black pearl peppers.
The pink double “Bloomathon” (Oh, WOW!) reblooming Azalea.
Having passed a milestone birthday this year, I am starting to feel that I am much a reflection of my late season garden. There is still beauty but less of the enormous energy of youth. I will not be offering gardening classes this year as Jim and I are embarking on a major downsizing endeavor. It will include building a new home in Summerfield, one story, with solar energy, giant windows, a salt water swimming/lounging pool (theraputic in every way!) and a diverse 4-season garden of predominantly shrubs, trees and a meadow enhanced with even more native species.
While I profess to needing a simpler lifestyle, Jim will swear that I just ran out of space to garden on our current acreage! Regardless, the next couple of years will indeed be an adventure, and I invite you to follow our journey. I will still be accepting speaking engagements offering private garden consultations.
Best wishes to all of you for a New Year that keeps you safe and happy. May you be blessed with a space in nature that feeds your mind, body and soul, and the time to pursue your passion.