Garden Moments 2012

What are great garden moments?  The shock of realizing after the first snow in January that the garden is entering its black and white phase-like it or not.  I cannot really explain why this constitutes a great moment-it just is. 

A great moment could be as short as the blink of an eye, or as long as 20 minutes.  Moments any longer than this- which are not necessarily great moments- have to do with dental appointments, grocery checkout lines, designing, fixing a zipper, or designing.  Moments that seem to go on forever have to do with traffic jams, speeches, meetings, and the sky in the dead of winter.  This wet and snowy February day, the color was unexpectedly rich and warm.  A warm winter moment.

Great moments in the garden are not necessarily that momentous.  It could be the first time you hear the birds singing in the spring, or the first sign of the hellebores and crocus pushing forth in March.  It could be the sun that bathes a landscape in jewel like light just after a rain.  It could be that moment when you realize that a tree or a bench would be strikingly better over there.  It could be that triumphal feeling that comes when a seed finally germinates, or that heady pleasure that spreads all over everything on a beautiful summer day.  It could be the day you decide without fanfare to become a gardener.  It could be the first day you drag debris to a compost pile.  It could be the moment that a long sought after vine arrives in the mail.  Or it could be that moment in March when it became shockingly unclear whether the dogwood buds would survive the hard frost.

Every gardener’s great garden moments are individual.  My garden is the color of lush in April.  I spend a lot of time drinking this in, after the winter which is always too long.  Nothing much to see here,  but that atmosphere of anticipation is palpable.

Talking about gardening is how gardeners relate to one another.  Our warm 2012 winter, and the relentless spring hard freeze made for a lot of anxious talk in my circle.  But in the talk, there was community.  We were all equally miserable, frustrated, and vocal over it. Roses blooming in May made me nervous.  Roses blooming only intermittently, a disappointment.

Of course my most precious garden moment in 2012 was that day in June, in my garden, when I told Rob and the store staff that I had put the store in trust for him.     

July belongs to the hydrangeas.  How I love them!

In August, the annual containers shed their adolescent gawkiness, and begin to look grown up.

In September, the containers are bursting at the seams.  This moment, coming after an entire spring and summer bringing them on, is pure pleasure.

In October, the color is as crisp and sharp as the cool air.  My Norway maple sheds leaves like crazy for a month.  The day I quit raking them up was a surprisingly beautiful day indeed.  All the yellow on the ground made for a moment.   

This might be my most favorite photographic moment of the gardening year.  The end of the season color of the asparagus and rose canes- perfectly melancholy. 

Not ever having chosen to have an evergreen garland at the holidays before, I was surprised at how very much I liked it.  Cozy is good when it’s cold and December.  Having a garden-good every month of the year.


  1. Jane Cruickshank says

    I love 35!

  2. I just finished taking down all of our Christmas decorations. Once again your beautiful blog was the reprieve I needed. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Amber, it did take a while-going through pictures, and trying to reconstruct the season. The hardest part of working in a garden related industry is being absorbed with work such that you miss what is going on. One of the reasons I enjoy writing this so much is that it forces me to try and see in a way I can then communicate to other gardeners. Thanks for reading, Deborah

  3. Beautifully stated. As your long-time fan and admirer, your blog has given me the tips and encouragement necessary to implement my own interpretations of your work to my suburban Washington, DC garden. I’ve had many more great moments in 2012 than is typical, in large part because of you. Thank you wholeheartedly for your effort in sharing your talent. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013, and I hope your great moments are legion.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Many thanks for this Sharon. Hoping for great moments that are legion-what a beautiful way to say it. Happy New Year to you, and your garden. Deborah

  4. Yup, that asparagus is crazy-lovely. Well done!

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