2020 threw more curveballs than we could catch. We found our world on sand and we were shifting around trying to get our bearing! In the process, we missed so many things that we can’t get back.

Yes, 2020 changed us, but we learned and we grew and in many ways, we did get our “bearing”… we had new ideas, we found new ways. It’s what we do.

My prayer for 2021 is that God will take what we have experienced and learned and push us forward “to exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine.” It’s what He does.


Do you know what was the biggest surprise of my 2020 garden experience? I thought that with all the extra time in my garden …  the garden would be the best ever!


The worst late freeze in the history of Indiana happened on Mother’s Day weekend. And we had two of those freezes setting the tone for some big disappointments. I lost many of my established lilies and several of my peonies didn’t have a chance. To save as much as we could, we turned our garden into a  pot and tent village —- but in a garden this size, you just can’t cover everything.

Japanese Beetles came to visit in mid-June and I saw the last one on the first of September… a record for sure! Actually, we didn’t have as many as we do some years … but they just hung on! (More on the beetle attack and treatments here.)

More “varmints” than ever also came to visit. Raccoons, deer, huge groundhog, and squirrels (oh so so many squirrels digging things up and ruining every squash and pumpkin plant!)

In the good news/bad news department… we had two huge cats. These didn’t look like house cats or even barn cats. These were cats on their own if you know what I mean! While they tried to make homes in our raised beds and created havoc for the birds, we did notice that since their visits, we had NO moles or voles. Coincidence? Maybe. But, it was nice to be spared all the tunnels!


Ghislaine de Feligonde (A Hybrid Multiflora rambler that dates back to 1916.)

I purchased mine from High Country Roses.

This was her third year and she covered the side of the potting shed beautifully. AND though she is primarily a one-time bloomer… She did repeat a few times with limited but very welcome blooms.


Blue Angel and Etoile Violette covered the arbors so beautifully and made the June garden extra special.


These two roses proved to be excellent companions!


Except for a few blooms in the back, all of the roses in this picture are Easy Elegance roses. They are power bloomers!! Calypso, Music Box, Little Mischief


I turned my largest raised bed into a cutting garden and the previously mentioned large “wild” cats tried to make their home in this bed. The seeds and seedlings didn’t have a chance so I replanted with what I could find… (not easy to do when most everything was closed down during the early season). I went from Plan A to B and then no to C. But, the goal was achieved, I ended up with loads of flowers and it was fun.




Since my daughter lives in England now, I became infatuated with Dahlias and planted several. I loved them. Most did very well… so well that they toppled as I did not provide enough structure for them. This one toppled elegantly over my potting table! I loved her there.

She grew in a pot beside the bench… but topped beautifully on the bench for the support I did not give her…


One of the best additions to the garden was my new work area THYME OUT.

In 2019 we started transforming an area that had become overgrown with the horribly invasive Japanese honeysuckle into a large workspace for me. Originally, there was one potting bench there. But this spring Mr. G built me two work tables to add. I named it THYME OUT and used it all summer. I can’t wait to get back out there!

Occasionally at least one of the tables was tidy!
Great place to make a big mess!
And, a great place to store tools, pots and garden things!


Like many of you, for the last several years I have been intentional about choosing a word of the year. Last year it was actually 2 words: Every Day (Read more here.). Boy, I certainly did not know what “every day” would bring!

This year I am picking 3 words…


I’m not looking for fireworks. I am looking for something to build on that gets us to the ultimate destination. Praying the virus is conquered, our world begins to open, and people will be together.

I don’t want to miss a thing.

I can already predict my 2021 highlight… the day my family is together again. SAVOR I WILL!

Happy New Year my friends.

15 thoughts on “BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Happy New Year!

  1. Wonderful post! Living in southeast Ohio, I certainly identified with your Spring woes, the Japanese beetles never seeming to leave, critters especially groundhogs. But once things started blooming, it all was worth it – even with the extra work and worry. I love your work area! Happy 2021!

  2. Happy New Year Teresa. Glad to start 2021 reading about your garden experience last year. Same freeze problems and beetle battle here. Yes to this year :slow …steady….savor. 🌹

  3. Great summary for 2020. Beautiful dahlia at the potting bench. Great color. Cats in the garden do have positive benefits like some extra natural fertilizer. Maybe not exactly where you would place fertilizer. But yes their biggest benefit is mole & vole control. Before outside cats, moles and voles were terrible and I lost many roses. For the last 10 years our neutered and spayed brother and two sisters have eliminated all moles & voles. So I tolerated the negative things and feed them daily so they don’t bother the birds too bad. I’ve also seen a reduction in squirrels. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden and Happy New Year!

    1. Hello Him, We are now certainly believers in cats in the garden! Mr. G is allergic to cats so hopefully these guys hang around! Sure missed coming to the Biltmore this year! Happy new year to you and your family!

  4. The gardens and flowers are a welcome sight! We had an invasion of voles this year, tunnels everywhere. We are in our cold rainy season now, but there are still plenty of tunnels about. May 2021 be a better year for us all!

  5. I hope the garden keeps on thriving! And that the mystery cat continues to be a boon without being a bad kitty.
    Good luck on the new year, and congrats on making it through the last one!

  6. It is a bummer that, while gardening so suddenly became so popular with those who never experienced it before, some of us had such unusual difficulty.
    Our summer vegetable garden was going great, but then dried up while we were evacuated for the fire. It recovered somewhat, but was never quite the same.

    1. Yes, So sorry that you experienced the terrible fire. Most everyone I know dealt with some kind of unusual conditions this year. Glad the garden nurtures in good times and bad! Looking forward to 2021!! Happy New Year!

  7. I have the same rose two of them, ghislain de feligonde, they aer very beautiful and so hardy. my roses did great this year and I thik it was was my chickens, they eat allthe bugs and fertilized my beds last year, and this year they ate alot so that I only seen a few japeanese beatles, compared to times in the past. your flowers are so beautiful too. love them. my chickens are my pets and they get spoiled as much as I can, lol, sorry about some of the damage winter can be a meanie.

  8. A happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous New Year, 2021, to you, Mr. G, and your family! Thank you for the recap of past seasons in 2020. Your photographs are just lovely as you are a great photographer! Another good shrub with pretty foliage and red berries is acuba which goes well with all colors. It is a hardy shrub that I think you will enjoy having on hand for the perfect accent plant once it becomes established in your garden. I have camellias in bloom now (winter roses) that are just beautiful. And my holly trees are loaded with berries this year. My pansies and purple ornamental cabbages are just stunning? I am praying that the deer do not find them this winter. Do you have deer where you live? I hope not. Merry “Old Christmas.”

    1. Acuba looks very pretty but a little tender for our area. Best of luck avoiding the deer. We have 3 come right up to the potting shed last week. I love camellias but … they don’t like our cold weather. I have buds on my hellebors and look forward to the blooms. Enjoy your winter blooms!

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