Well, what with the recent screeching turn in the weather, it’s beginning to feel like the 2018 gardening season is wrapping up. Moreover, I just spent a few days organizing my photos from the year, which reminded me of all I saw, did, and didn’t do. Therefore, seems to me it’s as good a time as any to review Garden Year 2018.

Things that Made Me Whoop

  • Removal of perfectly attractive, incredibly healthy evergreen barberries. There are only so many times your hands can be pierced by 2-3” barbs the likes of hypodermic needles before something drastic has to happen.

  • Whirlwinding through Plant Delights Nursery, Duke Gardens, NC Arboretum, JC Raulston, and the Biltmore in the face of a hurricane. Great horticulture, and good food and drink too. Tours of Chicago gardens before that. Of nurseries and gardens in Delaware since. Good year for seeing cool things.
  • Further infatuation with pollinators, and more and more even other insects.


  • Monarda. Never really paid much attention to them before. Got to make up for lost time.

  • Heavy, heavy crops on pawpaws and persimmons. Not that I’ll eat many of them, but just because.

  • The continuing and increasing coolness of naturalistic horticulture on the city scene.

  •  Aesculus parviflora ‘Rogers’. Always liked it. In 2018, I finally fell in love.

Things That Made Me Curse 

  • Losing my Yellowwood. Some idiot who looks a lot like me planted it underneath the      power lines and then was shocked, shocked I tell you, when it grew too big and the        utility company came along and hacked it all to hell. Soon after, with a tear in my eye, I had to put it down.

  • Losing more of my sun perennials to shade. I’m finding myself spending more of my time eyeing some of my trees and stroking my chin.
  • Piniella invasion year ten. Can’t rid myself of that stuff! I rue the day when I lusted after this plant.

  • My lawn. After years and years of neglect, it’s finally looking neglected. Not sure what changed. And not sure what I’m going to do. If I had to guess, I’ll try some more procrastination.
  • A leaking swimming pool. Kept wondering where all that water was going until the day my neighbor called to ask if had a water main break. Now his lawn, which has always been perfect, looks worse than mine.
  • Heat. Holy crap! Like laying asphalt in the Deep South all summer kind of heat. Brutal!
  • Heavy, heavy crop of fruit on my ginkgo. It’s going to smell really foul around here soon, and, I’m telling you, most of that will be the ginkgo’s fault. Not mine.