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The Best of the Rest: 2017

Happy New Year, everyone! I can't believe it is already 2018. I remember so well when we reached the year 2000, and everyone thought the world was going to end!

I am partied out; no wild shenanigans for me tonight. Instead, I end the year working on a blog post, as it is time for my annual "Best of the Rest" feature. These are photos taken from my garden through the year that, for various reasons, did not make it onto the blog. At last, I present these never-before-seen images! (They may or may not knock your socks off.) 


February:Bright yellow Forsythia promises the end of winter and the arrival of spring.

March:Above top:Red trumpet honeysuckle grows on a fence that divides my vegetable garden/work space from the patio. Small photos above left to right: Japanese maple blooms; Alabama Croton bloom; Summer snowflakes (Despite the name, they bloom in the spring.)

April:Robin Redbreast

May:This Eastern Phoebe has nested at the top of a downspout outside my bedroom window for the past two years. I enjoy listening to the birdsong!

These succulents grow in a hypertufa pot on the patio. I bring them inside for the winter.


July:This variegated hot pepper is called a Fish Pepper.

August:An annual begonia that bloomed constantly in the woodland garden until frost.

September:Burford holly: The green holly berries promise bright color to come.

October:Bench in the fern glade

Dappled sunlight covers one of the woodland garden paths.

November:Spiders are good guys in my garden.

Look at the top of the pine tree to see a hawk nest. Hawks have been nesting there for several years now.

This is a young red-shouldered hawk who hatched in that nest; he is getting big!

December:The holly berries are red now!

One of our birdhouses during our December snow.

Night view of the arch by the patio, decorated for Christmas and covered in snow.

The year comes to a close. Winter sunsets are dramatic.

Did you have a favorite photo or month? 

Wishing you all the best in 2018, and if you encounter thorns, may you also find blooms and berries!  Deb


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Reader Comments (18)

Happy New Year Deb! I also spent the last day of the year on a blogpost. And wondering why I left it so late. The hawk is beautiful!

January 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Happy New Year Deb! I enjoyed the photos and the March one really caught my eye, as well as the gorgeous capture of the red-shouldered hawk. It’s funny how we bloggers operate. I also spent the last day of the year working on my This Month in the Garden post (which always posts on the 1st) and Year in Review, which comes out next week. Wishing you a fabulous 2018 with wishes come true!

That first picture -- it's a rock in the woodland garden, right? How did it come to be upright like that? Did you find it that way or position it that way?

Happy new year, Deb! I'm glad you didn't leave these photos on the proverbial cutting room floor. They're all wonderful but I love the photo of the robin most of all - he looks both at peace in his world and curious about what he may find there (some tasty worms I hope!).

January 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Hi,everybody and Happy New Year! I thank each one of you for your comments and for your support! Linda, yes that is a rock in the woodland garden. It came in a pallet of rocks I bought. At first I put it on its side, but then I decided I liked it standing up. Best wishes! Deb

January 1, 2018 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

That was fun! I am working on mine.

January 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

Dear Deb, I enjoyed looking at the unseen photos from your garden this year. I do have a clear favorite: it is the snow-covered arch decorated with the Christmas twinkle lights. I don't know why I am missing snow so much this year like I never have, so this one fits the bill. I am not sure though if I miss the cold that comes with it!
Anyway, wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year 2018. I hope it will be a good garden year as well.

January 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

So many gorgeous photos. Love seeing the year through your camera lens. Happy...

January 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLisa at Greenbow

My favorite of your photos in this post is when the spider turns around to show his scary side!

January 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Ruff Leja

Happy New Year, Deb! I really like your blue fence with the Honeysuckle growing on it!.These are some really nice images to reflect on the past year and welcome in the new one!

January 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings.com

Great selection of photos. Love the hawk and the eastern phoebe. Have a happy 2018!

January 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJason

All very nice pics! The honeysuckle one is choice :)

Two questions:

1) What sort of conditions does Alabama croton prefer/need in your garden?
2) Have you ever tried or thought of growing coral honeysuckle as a shrub or groundcover?

January 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Hi Aaron, Alabama croton grows naturally on limestone bluffs and will tolerate dry, poor soil, though it will also prosper in well drained, organic soil. It likes some shade but is heat and draught tolerant and will grow in zones 6-8. In my garden it is in a shady area but receives some filtered sun.The soil is clay that I improved with a lot of organic matter. If you want to read more, you may want to read my previous post "Alabama croton, a rare native." Just go to the search feature on the side bar and type in "Alabama croton" and you can get the link.

Regarding the honeysuckle, this one is a vine, so I have only grown it on a support. I don't know how it would do as a ground cover. It only grows to about 8-10 feet.
Happy New Year! Deb

January 4, 2018 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Thanks for your reply, Deb.

I read your other post on Alabama Croton. I've seen a great planting of the shrub at the Huntsville Botanic Garden last year. Definitely hope to try it at my Tennessee garden, though I'm not sure I have enough shade to keep it happy.

As for the honeysuckle, I know it's a vine that's usually grown on a trellis or fence (or tree), but was just curious if you've ever tried growing it as a shrub or groundcover. I've read it can function that way and have started trialing it myself as a groundcover with, shall we say, very limited success so far, but it's early days... :)

January 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Hi Deb, I also can't believe it's 2018 already. I think time speeds up the older I get! I love your photos very much and I'm not wearing socks because it's very very hot today (106 F!) but if I were, they would definitely be knocked off. Happy New Year!

January 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

Ooh lots of snow!

January 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

Love the shot of the woodland path in October, it's beautiful. There are many many of those red-brown spiders here in the fall too.

The shots of the red-shouldered hawks are absolutely gorgeous. Red-shouldered hawks are residents here too and have often nested pretty close to the house. I frequently see them carrying prey to the nest.

The shot of the holly berries would be perfect for the December or January page of a calendar!

January 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Happy new year to you! What a wonderful selection of photos. I particularly like the honeysuckle one and that dear Eastern Phoebe. Wishing you much happiness in your beautiful garden in 2018.

January 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Shoesmith

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