Marty's Garden, Late December 2022


The year is almost at an end, soon we welcome 2023. The gardening year has come to an end as well. Days are short, but they are sloooowly growing longer again. While many states have seen record snowfall in the last weeks, we haven’t had any yet. For this I am grateful as early snow tends to hang around forever. I can handle snow by January, and February, it goes with winter. Even snow in March and April is part of the Northeastern climate, but at least snow in April disappears quickly. By then there are plenty of early blooming shrubs and bulbs, which can handle snow without a problem, and you know better days are just around the corner.


For the first time EVER, I managed to make my Amaryllis rebloom. Just in time for a belated Thanksgiving dinner with friends it bloomed with four large flowers, and then a fifth one opened at few days later. By now I only have the last flower wide open, but I know I can make this bulb bloom again come next year. In the basement I have a second bulb that is just starting to grow its first leaf and with luck this one too will bloom sometime in January or February. Amaryllis is a long-lived bulb, but when they don’t rebloom and only grow leaves, the “fun’ of having them around for years grows old pretty fast. Now that I have unlocked the secret (3-4 months of dormancy before potting them up again) I will be looking forward to yearly blooms around the holidays. Yeah!


Gardening this year, the Memorial Garden for my sister Truus came into its own. At the same time the sharpest edges of my grief were blunted by working in it and seeing it grow. Next year should be even better.


As I look forward to a new year, there is lots of promise in the garden. Foliage of spring bulbs can be seen all over the garden. In my mind’s eye I can see puddles of yellow daffodils and blue grape hyacinths where I now only have leaves.  Witch hazels show thick buds, just like my magnolia. I know the witch hazels will bloom with abundance: they can handle just about anything nature throws at them. I will keep my fingers crossed for magnolia blooms rather than blasted buds due to a late frost (or even a not so late frost).


Houseplants brought indoors in fall are being cared for in the basement. I also dug up and relocated heuchera (‘Plum pudding’) which were in a sunny spot NOT to their liking. They are much happier now on the north side of the house. A tiny bit of root missed when repotting decided to grow where it fell. It looks good there so I will leave it alone. I had plenty of roots left over so I potted up 12 pots and put them under lights in the basement. They are doing well too, and next year I will find room for them in the garden.



I look forward to a new year, hoping for magnolia blooms. May your New Year be happy, healthy, and floriferous too!