January 30, 2017

My Gardener's Monthly for January

In the greenhouse, the camellias are well budded, and nearly bursting with bloom.

As I lose myself in a number of 19th century gardening books and magazines, it strikes me how similar the content in this gardening blog is to these now defunct publications, (I hope that this isn't some big hint that I have been overlooking!). Thanks to Google books many of these journals have now been scanned are are searchable providing hundreds of articles about everything from the perils of steam heating greenhouses and stoves to how to collect and preserve plant specimens while journeying on a steamship. 

January 23, 2017

My Garden Projects for 2017

Each January I share a list of the garden projects I plan to undertake in the coming year. Here are about ten things I am looking at either collecting, growing to perfection and covering in detail on this blog.

People sometime ask me -
"How do you keep coming up with ideas?" And the answer is, I don't think that I will ever run out of new gardening projects or ideas, for my back-up list is so long, that it might take 300 years to accomplish all that I wish I could do. I blame this relentless drive on - my mother. I remember her tearing pages out of gardening magazines , knitting patterns and and recipes Better Homes and Gardens, and then organizing them into 3 ring binders.

My dad who was an artist, was no better. He kept hundreds of images in manilla envelopes - all torn from various art magazines ( and ok, if you really knew him - some pretty ladies from Cosmopolitan) and he organized these  all by subjects or topics - written in sharpie on the outside of the envelope. I still find stacks of "Dogs and Horses". 'Womens Hair', 'snow scenes' and 'floral patterns'. This was indeed 'early Pinterest'. (and BTW - Why the hell didn't I invent that site?).

January 20, 2017

Moving Forward

Seed catalogs provide hope during these dark days of winter.

Hope arrives no matter what the weather, politics or even life tells us. As some of you have noticed, I've been neglecting this blog for a few weeks. The now reason can be shared.

We lost Joe's nephew Curtis to a heroin overdose here in our house where he had been living for the past year. These events are a bit like auto accidents,  suppose surreal would be cliche yet accurate way to describe the experience, yet 'numbing' and hopeless seems to sum it up better. Losses like this while not exactly a surprise, are never openly expected, as hope always seems to be just within reach, and one never wants to imagine anything else.

In this case, Curt was on his third day home from rehab, perhaps at his most vulnerable time, he was expressing such hopefullness and even chatted with me that morning about how he was so grateful that we were helping him and how he never wanted to go through this again, and how he couldn't wait to get the shot that would make this all a bit easier.

I've learned so much about those suffering form addiction over this past year since Curt moved in with us, and although he had been sober for over a year at the time when he moved in, we both knew that the risk was always high that he could relapse, which happened three times between the Holiday season and last week. Curt leaves three young children (one toddler) and so many who loved him, Not to mention that at a young 36 years old, the entire future. Frankly? It just all sucks.

I've started about seven posts which are all drafts, they range from my special projects to what I am ordering this year, eventually I will complete them. Sometimes, life just gets in the way. Please bear with me as we heal and reconstruct our lives over the next week, as we rejoin with family and try to get things back to a relative normal.