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!