Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!
I love this month...when a whole new year and all it’s potential lay ahead! I think for me, it begins with my gardens.(no real surprise there, I guess) My seed catalogues arrive just before Christmas and I only take a quick peak at it, before I tuck it away until the holidays are over. Because of the size of my gardens and the amount of plants we grow, I have to make a pretty detailed garden plan. Crop rotation is the main reason, but also planning out just what we are going to plant and how much of it. Honestly, it is my FAVOURITE part of gardening! I love busting out the graph paper and sitting down with pencil and ruler, along with the seed catalogues and my notes from last year’s gardens. My gardens, on paper, are perfect! The tomatoes are perfectly staked and planted 18" to 2 ft apart, the cukes and zucchini are hilled and planted 3 ft apart, the carrots are in perfect rows, 5 inches apart and the mesclun is sprouting and protected from flea beetles, under a floating row cover. I can see it all in my mind’s eye. No weeds, no bugs, only healthy, strong transplants, and soft green shoots of newborn veggies! I can see past the snow banks and the ice pellets, to the crumbly brown soil and the vibrant green leaves of spring...
That’s not to say I don’t like the winter. In fact we are making a point to do more enjoying and less hibernating this year. We have already managed to get out on the pond a couple of times now for a skate. We’ve got our bench set up cushioned with some wool blankets, hockey sticks and net at the ready, and a plan to set up a bonfire pit and hook up some lights for night skating. If the ice on the pond cooperates, we hope to be out on the rink every day. We also plan on doing more snowshoeing this year. Hubby got a pair for Christmas and now Aidan and Greg and I can do some trekking in the woods, equipped off course, with a thermos of hot tea!
I love this time of year because it makes me slow down and gives me a chance to reflect on what I want to accomplish this year. I have already started working on some ideas for my flower beds this spring and will be planning out some additions and changes to them. I want to collect and dry more flowers and herbs for teas and want to make some ‘bath teas’ as well. And my driveway garden needs an overhaul and rethinking. I’ve got a few plans for the yard as well, starting with our bonfire pit and then the path to our back garden. There are so many possibilities ahead!
So here’s to a happy, healthy, productive 2009!

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