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It is a normal weather pattern for central Ohio to plumb the depths of single digit temperatures with little or no snow. It is equally expected for gardeners to go into planning mode during the deep freeze of January.
Reviewing the last year has made me realize that I’m more prone than ever to the unknown vagaries to mess up my well laid plans. It is enough to tempt me to have no plan at all, but to be ready for whatever capricious direction my weather takes me.
The summer was so hot I could not even go outside for a period of time: no weeding, chores, or even cleaning up outside the air conditioned environs of a couple rooms.
On the other hand, the autumn was truly a gardener’s gift, with pleasant temperatures and clear skies which allowed for a bevy of those undone projects of summer to come to completion. Not all surprises are unpleasant ones.
Vacation Plans and Gardening
Another snafu (which I am not complaining about, simply stating) is how traveling can interfere with progress in the garden. Depending on the time, the weeds won’t wait, and attending new plantings may create a conflict. Should I order new plants knowing that I may not be able to properly care for them?
- The best way to proceed seems to be lots of plan A, plan B, and Plan C scenarios.
- Mindfully following lessons I have learned from a lifetime of gardening: get as much done as early as possible.
- Look for late winter/early spring opportunities of preparing the ground, getting tools ready, and setting up the yard for summer enjoyment.
It may be too early to plant or pull out the patio furniture, but clearing last years growth, tilling when possible, winter sowing, even edging can be done. Pruning is a usual activity for that time of year.
On a Sad Note
Winter’s thrall is not only for hopeful planning, but to assess the past. My beautiful Bantam rooster met his demise as fall turned to winter last year. During broad daylight hours he became a meal for a predator who made off with his head. The hens were out in the yard, but he apparently was guarding the coop.
It is very sad because we loved his beauty and personality. He was the companion of our Banty hen, the pair of whom my husband liked to call “George and Martha”. Poor Martha… he had saved her from a Hawk early in the spring, but now his heroic days are done.
Speaking of the chickens, they are no longer laying with regularity. We have kept them cooped up since George’s demise, and they will be reaching their two year mark this spring; two possible reasons for their egg laying hiatus.
Back to Garden Planning
Where was I? To order or not to order?
- I have decided that I will order some seeds that I have had a notoriously difficult time finding in the past. I received a ‘Select Seeds’ catalog and several things that I want in this years garden are available there… one being Mignonette.
- I will purchase a few trees this spring. Small ones.
- I will need builders sand for some projects…. must remind husband, well before.
- Since I ordered seeds, it makes sense to start some of my own plants indoors.
- Considering whether to buy a replacement rooster.
I am trying very hard to keep my plans small, simple, do-able. Becoming overly ambitious and complicated is my Achilles heel. That lesson was relived over the holidays.
The Simple Life
We don’t really need to be entangled in the grandiose and complex. I don’t want to romanticize a simpler life, and I don’t mean the usual way it is understood. Old fashioned is not necessarily simpler, neither is homesteading or growing one’s own food. All that matters is what streamlines our lives in accordance with our own resources and means.
I think what I mean by a simpler life is one that is balanced, lived in moderation, lived well.
My plans will be influenced by that aim in 2017. Do you have plans, ambitious or otherwise? Have you ordered plants and seeds? I noticed that some selections are already being “sold out” for the season.
Lessons from this Post
- Chores can be done during winter thaws
- Simplify garden plans, take vacation absence into account
- Order plants and seeds now, for best selection
- Plan to enjoy life, as well as work