Goodbye, 2017

You were the best of times, you were the worst of times, 2017. I’m sorry to see you go, but will be happy to see a new year begin, with all its possibilities. Let’s focus on the good stuff.

Our #1 Dot had a pottery show and sale in January, showcasing her oil can series. When I got mine home, I discovered that a tiny majolica plate I’d found at a thrift shop years earlier made a perfect lid. Voilà, I now have a teapot for herbal tea. The split handle keeps the teabag tag secure. Serendipity.
My ‘Moonlight’ amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bloomed in time for Moonlight to win the Oscars.
At Canada Blooms in March, four of us, side by side, each won the same hose – separately – in a draw. Darling Sarah (left), the wonderful Margaret Bennet-Alder (centre), the beautiful Margaret Mishra (right), and me. Bing, bing, bing, bing. Yes, we are hosers.
Weather-wise, the year gave us a lovely, long, drawn-out spring. Aaaaaall those bulbs I’d planted last fall paid me back with remarkable beauty, April through June – an extra-long display.
Spring cleaning, I found a message from my younger self. This “wise old olk” listened.
The Microgarden put on its very best June finery. Thank you, weather.
Later on, I became an accidental peanut farmer, courtesy of an industrious squirrel and a windowbox.
Gloriosky! This year, I saw the first Monarch caterpillar I have ever seen in the city! Hooray.
Three weeks in Ireland this summer was a break to remember.
Our crazy mixed-up weather in 2017 gave us a mild summer but a scorching hot, dry September. With hail. All that lush spring growth was cut off at the knees. The unexpected is our new normal.
The maple leaf wreath I wove together in 2016 was still looking pretty chipper a year later.
Against all odds, 2017 was a white Christmas. As I write this, we’re breaking a 50-something-year record for cold, with temps and windchills in the sub-20s & -30s. Thank you for that blanket of snow!

Other wonderful things happened this year. To name a few: we won awards, were interviewed on CBC Radio, and took over the Toronto Gardener’s Journal – which we’re happy (and relieved) to say has almost sold out in just two months.

We’re thinking only great thoughts for the year ahead and hope you are, too. Happy New Year to you and yours! May all your garden dreams come true.


  1. Wonderful summary, thank you for reminding me of the long cool spring, and crazy hot Sept.

    1. And thank you, Jessica, for being such a loyal reader. It’s amazing how quickly we forget the weather, isn’t it?

  2. It was a hell of year, wasn’t it Helen – and I’m so fortunate to have experienced so much of that with you! Ahhh, the hoser girls 😉 Gotta say, it came in SO handy this summer. Next year – or I suppose it’s actually “this year now! – I’ll have to take a page from your book and bring a buggy 🙂

    And I so love that “wise old olk” – those are the keepsakes that are truly worth keeping. Happy New Year, Helen!

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