Our 2015 Garden Year

The year is almost over and I thought that it would be fun to do a bit of  reflection on our garden year. I considered limiting this post to simple photos without words, but I started to fuss about whether to include just the immediate garden or the garden, yard and basement or garden related activities that didn’t necessarily happen here. In the end I thought that there’s too much to say and so I’m just going to talk!

January started out pretty typically with dustings of snow and the ground freezing… pretty much what we expect here in New England.

And then it started to snow…IMG_7935

And it didn’t stop snowing for many weeks…IMG_8054

It went a little crazy going into February…IMG_8159

Fortunately around this time the seed order arrived!
seed order

And the orchid bloomed beautifully…IMG_8136

And we did puzzles, lots of puzzles…IMG_8152

By March we had snow farms in Salem.  The snow had to go somewhere!

Michael and I had some much needed respite at the Boston Garden Show.It really felt like spring had sprung.

And then, just when we thought we’d never see them, the first crocus leaves appeared…IMG_8431

In April,  seeds started to germinate under the grow lights in the basement…

And lettuce could be planted! This was kind of a late start for lettuce. I’d have planted it in March if the ground had started to defrost.IMG_8530

The snowdrops finally appeared!IMG_8533

By May the seedlings were ready to be transplanted, but we had to hold off because it was still unseasonably cold.

Our new chicks were adolescents by now, ready to take on the world!IMG_8613

And toward the end of the month the iris bloomed.IMG_8913

By June the onion sets had been planted and were really taking off. The tomatoes tried to, but it was cold and not too sunny…

The lettuce was ecstatic. Lettuce loves cold and not too sunny…IMG_9031

The perennials seemed to follow their normal routines despite the temperatures.IMG_9153

In July the onions were  thriving…

Along with purple opal basil that had seemed to disappear right after I originally planted it in early June. You never know…IMG_9244

As August began the tomatoes still struggled…
And we went on a week long vacation to a place that was packed with Rose of Sharon, hydrangea and arbors. IMG_9275

Finally, in September the tomatoes came in..IMG_9511


And were ready to be stored away for the winter…IMG_9705

The zinnias took over the area in front of the fence.IMG_9495

And the peppers were popping!IMG_9510

I remember saying that this was the year of the onion for us. I planted them from seed in March and they exceeded my expectations. We ate all of these white onions and have moved on to the red variety. I may plant a third type this spring.
In October this tomato came in weighing about three pounds and resembling a pumpkin. It was so hard to cut this one up!
The zinnias still danced…IMG_9603

while the leaves in our woods turned color.IMG_9729

In November I saved bean seeds for next year..

And harvested the last crop of carrots for Thanksgiving dinner.IMG_9841

The frost came and overtook the swiss chard.IMG_9826

But not for long, it came back a few days later!IMG_9829

December was so warm that the herbs continued to thrive..

The dill and Christmas lights coexisted happily together. dill

And the broccoli that had bolted earlier in the year produced florets for  soup! IMG_9964

Finally,  a hellebore landed on my table. IMG_0016

Which left me wondering about it’s future. Can I plant this outside? It seems like I should wait until spring. What do you say hellebore growers? This is a new one, full of promise if it survives the winter in my house!

2015 was a very hard year for me personally. We lost my mom to cancer in late August (hence the absence of photos and posts this summer). She loved to garden and enjoyed ours whenever she visited. I like to think that she’s nearby and will be out there with us as the years go on.

New seeds catalogs have started to arrive already. It will be fun to see what the new year brings to The Salem Garden.

There’s interesting possibilities on the horizon.

I’d like to thank all of you for visiting here often, enjoying the garden love with me, and for sharing your gardens and gardening experiences with me and my readers.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2016 in the garden!

Lots of love, Michele




  1. Maureen Whitman says:

    Lovely recap Michele. I think that one of the best things we can do is follow the seasons and honor them for what they are. Your gardening is a great way to do that. Cheers to you and your family and best wishes for a fabulous 2016!


    1. Hi Maureen! Thanks for visiting and commenting! I love being in sync with the seasons, even when the weather is confused about which season we’re in, lol. We’ll have to have lunch on a day when your here in Salem for school. All my best to you and yours!


  2. daseger says:

    I enjoyed this seasonal review! So sorry to hear about your mother and best wishes for a blissful 2016. PS. I love hellebores and plant them every year after the holidays but they never come up for me–but I suspect you’re a better gardener than I!


    1. Thank you Donna, and happy that you enjoyed the review. We’ll have to figure out hellebore cultivation! Wishing you the very best in 2016!


  3. Dawn says:

    It was so nice to look back on your gardening year, Michele. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. She will always be close to you in your garden. {Big hugs.} I adore your photos of flowers blooming against your picket fence! I would love to try hellebore in my Midwest garden, too. Wishing you a lovely New Year! ♡


    1. Thank you so much Dawn.. Mom will always be close. I’m working on understanding hellebores, so I’ll be sure to pass any new tips on to you. I think that you could grow them if I can. I hope that your safe and dry. It sounds like there’s lots of concern for all of you in the midwest right now. Sending you lots of love, Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely recap of the year but sorry to hear you lost your Mom. I’m thinking maybe a couple of her favorite plants in your garden or transplants from her house. 🙂 My Mom loved Johnny Jump Ups and Pansies so I always think of her when they show their beautiful little faces. 🙂


    1. Hi Judy… yes, I’m lucky to have plants from mom’s house, both inside and outside. I also have some beautiful large rocks from the woods around her house. all of these things are very comforting! Happy New Year! Hope all is well with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Plants and rocks = a memory garden. 🙂


  5. So glad you have your garden to reflect on and so sorry about your mother. It’s so hard to lose your mom. Prayers for peace for you and your family. Happy New Year!


    1. Thanks Brenda, it is hard. Peace and a Happy New Year to you too! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review of your gardening year.


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