November 2011 Garden Revisited

Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.  Author Unknown

What a difference a year makes… take a look back to 2011. Does it make you happy?

Duck Cove Photography has a post titled, Do What You Love. Brian mentioned GWGT in the post and I am very honored. But that is not why I am linking back to the very well written and illustrated blog. I believe you will like his photography work and the almost spiritual way he looks at life and nature.

The way he looks at life can be found in his reply to my comment where Brian said, “To me happy is momentary and dependent on a feeling. I believe Joy is a lifestyle.” I never thought of this before and thought it a very interesting and profound perspective. I think you might too.

Mums from 2011 – I have these lime green mums budding right now in the November garden and if November holds with 60° weather (very unlikely), maybe will see them this year too.

Looking into the past is oft a mournful thing, seeing what is gone and not always to return. Return is based on many factors, but not one of wishing and desire.

The magenta Sweet Alyssum did not self-seed, yet the white and lilac did this year. The Japanese Maple did not attain the vibrant red of last year.

One thing guaranteed is that the future holds change. Looking back a year makes one think a lot about what was and plan for what is to come. These scenes are long past, but to look ahead into November for this year, there is anticipation of what is to become. Anticipation brings a bit of seasonal cheer. A little bit of Joy to brighten the days. I believe there is joy in both past and future and here is what science has to say…

“The past and future may seem like different worlds, yet the two are intimately intertwined in our minds. In recent studies on mental time travel, neuroscientists found that we use many of the same regions of the brain to remember the past as we do to envision our future lives. In fact, our need for foresight may explain why we can form memories in the first place. They are indeed “a base to build the future.”  Discover Magazine April 2011

The Trollius ‘Golden Queen’ rebloomed earlier this year than last. I already know it will not be in the November garden because so many plants were ahead of schedule in 2012.

There was a lot of blooming joy to be had early in the passing seasons. But there will still be much to see I am guessing as the beds lay to rest.

Just looking up. The air is clear at this time of year and skyward images can delight or amuse.

On a blog that I read daily, Photofocus, the author talked about the camera being a time machine and he said, “The point of all this is that what we do as photographers is very important work. We are in the memory protection business – which is just another way of saying we’re in the time travel business. We can help people remember their favorite moments in life.” Scott Bourne

And looking down, we see a lot that is sure to be the same.

How true, do you believe it so in gardening? How often do we look at the past unless we photograph it. Do the images take you back to the moment where you not only see, but hear the sounds of the garden, taste the fresh sweet vegetables and smell the floral fragrances? Can you remember the feel of the soft Spring earth? Or do you just look forward and dream of what is ahead?

The vibrant golds have appeared for 2012 and you will see them next post. The garden is planned for color year round, but varies from year to year based on weather. The pear tree has not yet been clothed in gold as in the 2011 image below, but looks to have some red and orange.

Gardening is more about the now and about the future. What is notable from the past is garden activities, those special moments with family, the times we had in activity.

So how do you look at the past in your garden? Do you fondly see the small and simple things of interest whether they are important or not? My next post on the November 2012 garden looks at the small and simple things in a similar fashion as here.

On Saturday, you will see images of what is in the garden from November 2012. I will be taking those images with my small Coolpix camera, as I need real practice before my trip to the Caribbean. Another great quote leads off the post.

This post will occur monthly as a look back into the garden past. It will be a series to welcome in each new month of the current year. It follows in the footsteps of a very popular post of mine from earlier this year, My Garden Year in Photos, which will still occur in January. That post had an unexpected clicking component, and was a photo packed visual montage of images. It was one of my favorite posts to make too.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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40 Responses to November 2011 Garden Revisited

  1. Shirley says:

    I like your comparisons with the past colors in the garden, especially noting the slight differences. Without the record we might see them as the same each year.

    My “past and present” is more about “before and after” with big projects making big differences in the landscape. Not the subtle changes of an established garden at all.

    • I too make big change as a designer. I often disregard the past in certain cases with a clean sweep. But the changes from year to year, especially in a new garden are worthy of recording to see from whence it came. They lay groundwork for the future. But most of the images today look at change a little deeper, more on the level beyond our control. Nature makes for change and does it in surprising and unexpected ways on occasion.

  2. Thanks for the continuing treat of your photos, Donna. I’m always in awe! Thanks for the gift of your time travel and your wise perspective. I can’t wait for the next post!

    • Oh, the next post will not be as colorful I think. The garden is beginning the long rest and blooming is getting sparse, but that does not deter me finding something worth a snap even if I am the only one that thinks it worthy. I am glad you read the words of the post. I found the findings of science and the professional photographer’s words thought provoking. Time travel through the mind and through the lens… what an interesting thing to ponder.

  3. Andrea says:

    I fully agree with you, but I am not very happy as I don’t fully like the results of what i do! Not all things are under control. I have to do more to get shots like yours, haha! I might sound like kidding, but I am not. I guess it is contentment which i should have more of, not happiness from what i do! How are you?

    • Andrea, you need more confidence in your yourself. It is what you see and produce that is important, not what others do in which you compare. Your work has improved monumentally in the last year and you give yourself little credit. You get many comments from viewers telling you how wonderful your work is and that is is beautiful. Maybe you should listen…

  4. Indie says:

    I like to think that life just keeps better and better, just like my garden (hopefully!) I think part of joy is being contented as well with the place that one is in. I know gardeners always tend to look at those weeds and problems in the garden. I have to tell myself to focus on the small beauties in life!

    • I too focus on the small visual pleasures, along with all the other senses too. I find the weeds the most interesting characters in the garden, serving wildlife and all the interesting forms that weeds take. Many perennials lost some of the good qualities from the weeds in which they came, like the ability to serve wildlife.

  5. TufaGirl says:

    “Memory protection business”… I love it. I do love the clear blue skies this time of year brings. Seems to make everything fresh again.

  6. It’s nice to look back at our gardens. I sometimes forget and have to look at pics. Other times I remember so vividly due to a smell or some small sight.

  7. lucindalines says:

    Those pictures are great, but your opening quote really caught me.

  8. Brian Comeau says:

    Thank you Donna. I appreciate the mention again and also very pleasantly surprised at my comments on joy. Glad it was helpful for a few folks. You are also correct that I do look at life from a very spiritual point of view. As a Christian my faith in God and Jesus is the most significant part of my life. It’s my appreciation for all of His creation that is a primary inspiration in photography… and hopefully most things that I do. 🙂

  9. Karen says:

    Hi Donna, it is obvious that you do what you love. The beauty comes shining through in your photography and your landscaping.

  10. Barbie says:

    Love the garden friends gathering seeds. The autumn colours are spectacular.

  11. marilyncornwell says:

    Such wonderful images of the fall garden! Beautiful!

  12. b-a-g says:

    I thought the squirrels in my park were tame …

  13. skeeter says:

    I snap a lot of “before” and “after” pictures in the garden. I am always adding new things here and there. I find it difficult to remember things when they were so small as they are so large now with years of growth. I am ever so grateful for the computer files to took back time and time again. Something I have forgotten about but have in those pics…

  14. I use many of my photos are a reference for sun/shade or previously planted bulbs or tender perennials. Love your gorgeous photos.

  15. nicole says:

    You so are in the memory protection business Donna! Those bright green mums are wonderful! So fresh for this time of year!!! It is the past images of my garden that push me further into what I can do in the future. The small steps which others may never see are huge triumphs for me! Great post!

  16. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, I like the notion that joy is a lifestyle and that photographers capture life’s special moments.

  17. igardendaily says:

    Gorgeous, this entire post! The thoughts it provokes and the images. The bit you mentioned about people using many of the same regions of their brain to remember the past and imagine the future really makes sense to me. This is because I feel people tend to remember the pleasant things of the past more so and when thinking of the future imagine “how green the grass will be.” So, it makes a lot of sense that both of these experiences can be manipulated a bit in the same kind of way. Anyway, a little tangent there but I truly love your blog and hope to get more time this fall and winter to read it.

  18. It is interesting to look back and reflect. I end up doing that near the end of the year. Our projects for the garden are almost complete, but we still have quite a lot to do. And the weather the past few years has made us look at things differently as well and plan accordingly. A very nice post, Donna.

    • I think back but rarely remember without photos. You are right on the weather. I too planted the front yard anticipating the weather we had over the last two summers. I almost count on drought now.

  19. Going Native says:

    Thank you for a great post. I try to learn from past experiences or apply an inspiration from the past into my current reality. Photography helps that. I take photos that capture colors or textures that I want to incorporate into my life or that I find beautiful. I don’t so much look at past photos to see what my garden did last year, though it is interesting. –

  20. I was thinking this past week how my garden was this year compared to last…I was looking back and comparing as well…I love taking pictures to capture the moments in the garden that are fleeting and so different from year to year and day to day…the very cold weather now in Nov makes me think it may be a much colder month than in years past…or maybe I will just not worry about the weather and just enjoy the day!

  21. catmint says:

    wonderful post Donna, echoing thoughts I have been having very recently, and those I have often in relation to the garden, and to life lessons all learned through the garden. I see taking photos as a snapshot in time and started the post to record the story of the garden. Looking back is bitter sweet, lots of conflicting feelings. Joy might be a lifestyle but I don’t think that means you’re never unhappy.

  22. Carolyn says:

    Love your thoughts, Donna. To me, happy is the feeling that comes from eating chocolate… total bliss! (and so fleeting.) Joy, however, is deep and abiding… spiritual. The feeling that comes from within after rendering a kindness or lifting another. Thanks for the food for thought!

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