Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A look back at 2011..

Is 2011 really almost over? I can hardly believe it! I also can't believe that it was way back in November of 2009 that I started working on The Year Round Vegetable Gardener and it has now been released (it's becoming widely available in the US and will soon be in Canada too - I promise!) At the time, I knew the book would come out late 2011/early 2012, but that seemed a lifetime away. Yet, here we are and 2012 is looking like a busy year - I have over 40 events/lectures/book signings, etc already booked and many more to come. Plus, I need to finish book #2, which is due in Sept (to be published by Storey Publishing in 2013). 

I also love to travel and I was thrilled that 2011 brought some incredible trips. From the springtime gardens and markets of France and Belgium to the heat of Indiana and Kentucky in August. The US trip introduced me to 499 of my fellow garden writers from across North America and it was so much fun to meet those whose work I have enjoyed for years. I also have become a blogger on the Proven Winners website and my first post will be published on the site in just a few days!

Although I had less time for my own gardens this year because of travel and work, we still managed to enjoy a bounty of garden fresh veggies during all 12 months, thanks to our sneaky season extenders. Here is a bit of a visual tour through my 2011!

All the best to you and yours for a prosperous, happy, healthy and veggie-filled 2012!

Europe 2011!

Monet's garden on a warm April day.. truly a paradise!

Forget-me-not's and tulips - a classic combination.

Every corner of the garden was a perfect picture!

I just couldn't get enough of the spring blooming bulbs!
Is it real or a figment of my imagination? Mont St. Michel was a highlight of the trip.
The markets of Bayeux, France!!

Black tomatoes in the French  markets

I so desperately wanted to take some of these veggie seedlings home!!

A big surprise - Howard Dill pumpkins (from Nova Scotia) in Bruges, Belgium!

Garden Writers Annual Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana - Aug 2011

The lovely Penny O'Sullivan, who co-wrote The Pruning Answer Book and is the author of The Homeowner's Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook. LOVE her!
Watch out - it's the Canadian contingent at Garden Writers! From left - me, Kathy Wood, Donna Balzer, Steven Biggs (Donna and Steve co-authored No-Guff Vegetable Gardening) and Donna Dawson, the genius behind
I loved this mischievous little dude that was tucked in an Indianapolis garden.

Doug Oster, Jessica Walliser and me at the Garden Writer's Convention.  Love Jessica's book, Good Bug, Bad Bug and Doug wrote Tomato, Garlic, Basil and they co-wrote Grow Organic. 

Indianapolis Slow Food Garden - a succession planting of arugula

I thought this was a charming sign stuck in the sweet potato bed!

My favourite kale - over 4-feet tall in Indianapolis!

Back home - my garden! 

A late autumn peek under one of our mini hoop tunnels. 
Painted lady runner beans - thanks to gardeningbren!

February carrots - a super sweet winter treat! 
This is my neighbour's garden - honest!! :) Great idea though..

We let our annual poppies seed throughout the vegetable garden.

Love these crazy double poppies..

This nasturtium from boasted a very unique colour combination.
Hort East 2011 in Moncton, New Brunwick! I went to meet some of the readers of Gardens East magazine!


  1. Happy New Year to you too!! What a great overview of 2011.

    Guess what Santa brought.."The Pruning Answer Book". He thought it was just the easiest book to understand. Thanks to Penelope (Penny) and Lewis.

    Pleased your painted ladies bloomed so well..lovely photo and lovely photos of all the rest.

  2. I received your Year-Round Veggie Gardener book for Christmas and have been buried in it since opening it. THANK YOU for taking the time to write it! It is so very inspiring!

    Of course I want to try EVERYTHING but, as I have a life- and gardening-habit of biting off more than I can chew, the simple plan A is to start leek seeds indoors in Jan, carrots outdoors in our cold frame in Feb, and dream as much as I want.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Happy New Year to you and your family.

    From Susan in Muncie, Indiana, about an hour northeast of Indianapolis.

  3. Hi Susan - Thanks so very much for your kind comments! I really appreciate them! If you'd like me to send you a signed book plate, just e-mail me your address at! :)

    I so enjoyed our trip to Indianapolis this past summer. You live in a lovely part of the world and I think it will be a busy one with the Superbowl coming up soon!!

    All the best to you in 2012 and thanks again - keep me posted of your progress in extending your season. I'd love to see photos!



Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)