Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Gardening in the time of Covid


This past January 23rd, I traveled up to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to judge the roses that were part of the Biltmore International Rose Trials.


To many it seemed strange to be evaluating roses in the middle of winter and folks wondered what in the heck there was to see. I explained that as part of the trials, we judged four times a year and in January, I was looking for vigor and diseased foliage.


It took no time at all to eyeball the few dozen bushes in the trials and write down my observations. So before long I was off to admire all the gorgeous plants blooming in the Conservatory. Then I took a spin around the garden gift shop to see what treasures I couldn’t live without.


Little did I know it would be my last trip to the Biltmore and my last evaluation after almost nine years as part of the International Trials. We did not know then what was lurking around the corner.


It was business usual in late January and early February when the hellebores bloomed. 



By late February my pansies needed to be refreshed and the local garden center was happy to oblige with some perky new plants. I was already thinking about spring and all the perennials I wanted to add to the garden. 



That garden shopping spree never happened.


Instead, when we were in lockdown, I had to be content with the garden as it was. But I am not complaining. I am grateful. Having my little patch of earth to tend was a blessing in strange, difficult and sometimes frightening times.


No matter how disconcerting the news, the garden chugged along, unveiling the pleasures of spring with each passing day.


The clematis bloomed. 





Then the roses. 



                       'The Lark Ascending'



                                 'Edward Degas' 


And in the forest, I found intriguing new discoveries like the Barometer Earth Star (Astraeus hygrometricus) fungus.



The hydrangeas were the best ever. The daylilies, too.






Dahlias and coneflowers are now signaling summer is on the way out and fall is in view.



What will happen in the next few months? Unfortunately, my crystal ball is on the blink. 




But the garden will be there, getting ready for its long winter nap. 

And I will be grateful.
















Dproulx said...

So beautiful and inspiring. All the things you might have passed by if you had new things to plant and tend to. What a gorgeous metaphor for life. ❤️

Lynn Hunt said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comment!I'm so happy it inspired you.

Lucille Johnson said...

I wish for the great of success in all of our destiny endeavors

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, I think many people have stories similar to yours. We only made our first trip to the garden centre this year in September, I would have been several times if not otherwise. As you say though, the gardening and gardening continues and preparing the garden for winter to be at its best when it wakes up in Spring is an optimism that goes beyond daily troubles.

Lauren Chevalier said...


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Nikki said...

Such a crazy time. At least the flowers were still able to bloom and provide some color and optimism to life!

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