Celebrate the gardens of last year

Published 9:00 am Sunday, December 28, 2014

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

It’s time to celebrate the gardens of last year for their beauty and the serenity they provided. As I look back over photographs of the garden, I am amazed at how well they performed under adverse weather conditions. They were so resilient and seemed to just bounce back after the cold wet snap we had in early spring. When the tulips and daffodils started blooming, the gardens were transformed from winter to spring and my heart was filled with joy again.

Seeds were planted and I watched with bated breath as they sprouted from the dirt and bits of green were everywhere. Such a tiny miracle that the seed would grow into a lovely flower later in the season. Those cosmos would stand tall swaying in the wind with pink flowers that would grab my attention when I walked into the garden. They look so frail with their dainty stems and I am in awe.

Cosmos covered with dew sway in the breeze while dill grows behind them. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Cosmos covered with dew sway in the breeze while dill grows behind them. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

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As the roses regained vigor — after a harsh winter when I thought I had lost all of them — and buds formed on them, they just seemed to shout out at me to come and celebrate the season along with them. The newly-planted rose in the whiskey barrel was absolutely breathtaking with more than 30 blooms at one time on it. The flower carpet roses were the ones that shocked me as I had to cut them to the ground after all the winter kill that was on them. One day I noticed how they were growing and there were green leaves on the branches. I babied them and daily would check on them as I talked to them and coaxed them into growing just a little bit more every day. One day I noticed buds on them and I jumped for joy because I knew they were going to bloom again.

Each season in the gardens brought more and more beauty and fragrance to my yard. Birds sang with such abandon to their mates and I knew once again a miracle had been performed in the gardens. If you asked me which season was the prettiest, I would tell you all of them because they all have different flowers blooming during their season. You could never pick which child you loved the most and the same holds true in the gardens. They were all special.

There are always failures but they are far outweighed by the successes, and by the end of the gardening season they are all but forgotten. On a brighter note, for those of us who have grown impatiens for many years until the dreaded powdery mildew struck them, we now have an alternative that hopefully will be available locally this next year. With the introduction of big bounce impatiens — that is a cross of several different impatiens species — it is very resistant to this fungus. Also, bounce has a smaller variety that grows 14 to 20 inches tall and they both come in a variety of colors.  Hallelujah!

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

Every day when I am working in the gardens I find so much joy in the beauty that surrounds me, and, even though it requires a lot of back-breaking energy from me, it is certainly worth it. Knowing that I helped to create all of this loveliness with the help of God always makes me feel wonderful. Gardens are so relaxing and meditative that I always feel rejuvenated when I sit back and just enjoy them.

With another garden season ahead of me I have been busy making notes on photographs of the gardens of things that need to be changed or plants that I want to add. What would I ever do without all of my notes and photos of the gardens? Finally, I have been able to spend some time reading all of those garden magazines that were piled up next to my chair while finding some wonderful ideas that I want to incorporate into my gardens from some of them. Hopefully you too will take some time this winter and think about your own gardens and what you can do to make them more beautiful.

“In seed-time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” — William Blake


Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at carolhegellang@gmail.com.