Through the Year 2016



January My Street Corner–I do love winter’s long blue shadows.



Late February-Early March  The catkins of American Hazelnut  (Corylus americana), formed last summer, elongate and spill their golden pollan, showy in the still drab landscape.


In March, Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) is the first to bloom in my patio garden.  It pushes up new blossoms through a tuft of last year’s foliage, now wine colored.


It is followed by  Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadense) along with the ubiquitous, non-native Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica).


April brings more woodland wildflowers.  Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucularia) blooms amongst the stunning Bloodroot foliage.  Ephemerals, they emerge, bloom, set seed, then die back, flower and foliage; not to be seen again until the following spring.

savanna-garden-2016An overall view of my savanna garden as seen from the west side public sidewalk.   The pink flowers of Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) dominate partial shade gardens this month.


June–Eastern Beebalm (Monarda bradburiana) is a recent introduction to midwestern gardens.  Native to the lower midwest and southeast, its low-growing stature and attractiveness to pollinators has made it extremely popular.  I planted some in my west side gardens and, as you can see, they are spectacular.  Growing 18”–24” tall, they thrive in sun or part shade.


July–One never gets tired of Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), the heart of every midwest garden.


August–Difference between my front yard and the rest of the block.  Showy Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa), Prairie Baby’s Breath (Euphorbia corollata), and Prairie Dropseed  (Sporobolis heterolepis) are in bloom in this garden.


Asters dominate the September-October gardens with glorious lavenders, pinks, white, and royal purple.  Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum leave) and New England Aster (S. noveae-angliae) are pictured.


October  Mixture of the colorful leaves of Wild Gooseberry (Ribes missouriense) in foreground and American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) in the background.


October my Red Oak (Quercus rubra) just beginning to color,



10/31  Tigger came to my house to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween


November  The 4-8’ tall, majestic copper Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)  always stands tall and straight.

Oddly, I did not take any photographs of my gardens last December.  So, instead, I am sending a special photo sent to me from Door County from my friend, Pat G;


One of the school houses at The Clearing Folk Art School.  They have wonderful classes.  On the campus there are many maples, beech and birch trees along with the pines and cedars.  Also, there are some stunning views of Green Bay from the  bluffs which are part of the Niagara Escarpment.

A special place…

Happy New Year to all.

8 Responses to

  1. Sue Harney January 9, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    I never noticed that winter shadows were blue until I saw a painting. Now I see it all of the time. Art is so great for expanding perceptions.

    • Pat Hill January 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

      One of the better features of winter;

  2. Suzanne Massion January 9, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    Thank you, Sue Harney, for noticing the blue shadows of winter. They are long because the sun is so low in the sky. When I paint winter scenes, depending on whether the light is cold that day (shadows will be a warm blue). If the light is warm then I paint the shadows a cold blue. Just a bit of art info from an impressionist artist’s standpoint. Thanks, Pat, for making us all appreciate the dance of the seasons.

    • Pat Hill January 9, 2017 at 7:41 pm #


  3. Teri McDermott January 9, 2017 at 10:09 pm #

    Hi Pat,
    Beautiful reminders of the seasons. I’m quite a gardener, too, and actually our garden is my passion! My parents lived in Arizona for over 20 years, but I would never, ever live there. No change of seasons, and everything is beige, brown, or off white. Even though January and February is not great here, looking forward to Spring is wonderful. And the gold finches are already turning red, so maybe we’ll have an early Spring? Who knows! Thanks for keeping me on your mailing list!
    Cheers, Teri

    • Pat Hill January 10, 2017 at 5:03 am #

      I’m with you–I like the 4 seasons.

  4. Jason January 10, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Great review of the year! Love your little Tigger!

    • Pat Hill January 10, 2017 at 11:23 am #

      So do I.

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