Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013 -- The Shape of Things to Come

Happy New Year! I am looking forward to 2013. I haven't made resolutions, but I do have at least two major goals.

1. To eat healthy and lose more weight. I know some of you are probably curious about whether I am still pursuing my goal of having chickens. I am! But I've kind of abandoned the blog about it, which I called The 40-Pound Chicken Challenge. I did in fact lose approximately 10 more pounds in 2012, all due to diet changes. I've had a hard time getting excited about exercise. But I know, in my heart, that exercise is essential, so one of my goals for 2013 is to increase the amount of exercise I get, and to start exercising on a regular basis. I know once I do, I will lose more weight, and might even make it closer to my goal of losing 40 pounds.

2. To garden less. I know -- shocking, right?! The last three years here have been a non-stop marathon of garden design, bed installation, plant buying, seed sowing and planting. It involved digging lots of holes. So what I'd really like is a year where I don't make any big changes. No new beds, no new gardens, not a lot of new plants (notice I'm not ruling out buying new plants, but I do want to curtail the plant purchases somewhat.) I do have seeds I want to sow, because there are still plenty of holes in the current gardens. There are still changes I want to make to my garden, new beds I want to build, just Not. This. Year. I'd like to see what my gardening year will be like if mostly all I do is weed and maintain. Can I keep up? And will I actually enjoy my garden more if it is less work (and costs less money)? What do you think -- will this actually happen? Or will I have this same goal next year?

Anyway, those are my two big goals for the coming year. I'm optimistic. Although it isn't noticeable yet, the days are getting longer. And it's hard to be negative when there are so many signs of vigorous life out there.

There's plenty of budding going on out there. These Hellebores are poking up already. Gotta get the pruners out and take off all that old foliage before they get much bigger.

Primroses are flowering already.

Lobelia cardinalis




Sheffield pink Chrysanthemum

There are plenty of buds on my Black Beauty Elderberry.

Pink flowering currant haven't even lost all their old leaves yet, but already have swelling buds.

Native elderberry is budding plenty too.

Sarcococca/sweetbox has both flower buds and last year's berries.

Leycesteria formosa still has plenty of leaves and berries.

Last spring I stuck cuttings of black pussy willow into some leftover soil in a big pot. Looks like they took!

I did the same with a couple of branches of a honeysuckle that broke off. I haven't checked to see if there's roots, but the new growth indicates they are thriving.

In the fall I dug and divided Heuchera 'Snow Angel' and they seem to be still alive.

Same with Heuchera 'Tiramisu.'

I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful, satisfying, productive 2013. Goodbye 2012. Onward!


  1. Happy New Year, Alison! I wish you luck on both of your goals. Maybe we'll see more fine garden photography from you this year?!! I really enjoyed your December posts :) Cheers, Jenni

  2. Happy New Year Alison. I have similar New Year resolution as you. Lose weight, exercise more, (which is a real chore for me) and I also am cutting back on my gardening. Thank you for being a visitor to my blog I appreciate you.

  3. Happy new year, Allison! I wish you luck on your goals. Maybe relaxing in your garden means you can share more of your photography with us this year? Thank you for sharing your garden with us...

  4. Worthy goals, and the first one is very achievable. You'll be surprised how easy it will turn out to be. The second, not so easy. I have to say I can read your ambivalence in your words. You will not achieve a state of "just maintenance" until you are happy with your garden. Until you have that moment when you know all is just as you want it, you can't cut back on tinkering and working and changing things, even if that means big projects. Or endless projects. Or too much work. Or cost.

    So go for it and resolve to enjoy it all! Happy 2013.

  5. I like a nice compact goal list! I also have thought at times how wonderful it would be to just maintain the garden, not have a project. But somehow that hasn't yet happened. Here it is January 1 and I've already got two biggies lined up (remove the hydrangea and replant that area, remove lawn and extend the planting area there). I guess my point is that agree with Laurrie above, until it's "right" (or you stop seeing ways to improve it) there will always be a project. I wish you much luck in gardening less! (and of course, for both of us, I hope Laurrie is right about the exercise part too!)

  6. wow Alison, your garden looks like it is spring already. I saw a Heuchera 'Snow Angel' at Park Seed last year, what a beauty.
    I think you could have written my resolutions, if I were to write any. Last year lost 20+ pounds, (gained back about 10) and now am exercising more. Trying to corral my garden into being and not adding (too much). Happy New Year.

  7. I can't get excited about exercising either. I know it's important, but somehow it always ends up at the bottom of my to-do list. Good luck & congrats on your 10 pounds lost!


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.