05 January 2013

A New Year, a new garden, a soon to be new me?

Finally, it's 2013, a year I never dreamed I would be so glad to see. As many of you know, 2012 was my very own personal "annis horribilis", in which I not only lost my beloved partner, but also was uprooted from the home we made together and lived and gardened in for 13 years. I am well and truly grateful to be almost through that terrible "year of firsts" that comes after losing a loved one.

 So many of my friends, near and far, have gone through illness, death of a loved one, job losses and relocations, in the past year or two. Through my own experiences, I really, REALLY know how they feel and can say my mantra for life now is "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone we meet is fighting some kind of battle." It doesn't cost us anything to be kind to one another, although events in the world can often make us wonder. I have been so blessed by the kindness of my family and friends, and am determined to pay it forward in whatever ways possible.

It was difficult finding the time and energy to write blog posts sometimes in 2012. I was busy setting up and running bloominganswers.com, which in late December celebrated its first year of existence. It continues to be a work in progress, and of course it's only as good as the participation of its members, but I am optimistic that we'll continue to grow and bloom. Y'all are welcome to join--it is free, thanks to support from local businesses who advertise on the site. Everyone who joins gets vetted to make sure they're a real person and not a bot, but that's for all our protection.
 2013 finds me in a new location, as I have written before, with some mature shrubs and trees, some goutweed (!%$&@*&?!!), and otherwise pretty much a blank slate on which to create new gardens. So I'm spending time this winter planning and thinking and dreaming and slobbering over plants, books, websites, catalogues. You know the kind of thing I mean.
 In all this planning, I will be assisted by my loyal feline companions who like to supervise me when I'm at my labours...such as Doodlebug, here seen in his normal position crowding other things off my desk!
 And certainly I'll be doing plenty of container plantings, as I have done in the past, as portable gardens. These may be serving a dual purpose. I was supposed to have my first knee replacement on this past Thursday, but after 5 hours waiting at the hospital, they cancelled me and sent me home. No word on when the surgery will be rescheduled. IF they don't get it done well before spring, I may discover that most of my gardening will be done in containers, as my knees are seriously limiting what I can do these days. No matter. It's not fatal, and I will be a pain in the medical system's side until such time as they get the job done.
While I dislike making resolutions and tend to avoid them at every turn, I will say that I plan to do more book reviews this year, as I had somewhat slacked off from them along with everything else to do with bloomingwriter over the past year. Some of the books I'll be reviewing have been around for several years, such as Bill Terry's terrific books (one of which was published last year) on my beloved Meconopsis, or blue poppies. I'll be kicking off with Amanda Thomsen's terrific new book, Kiss My Aster!, which is definitely a winner for gardeners of all skill levels.

So that's it. No huge lists of resolutions, no retrospective on last year, no ginormous plans, other than to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one word in front of the next, one seed, one plant. I thought about shutting the blog down after seven years, but I still consider blogs valuable and useful and fun--and it's a way to give back to my loyal readers, and to encourage all of us to grow great gardens. Happy New Year, from me and the kitties to you and yours--may we all bloom joyously this year.


  1. Happy new year Jodi. I'm sorry 2012 was such a bad year for you. I didn't realize until I read your post you'd had to move as well. I hope things get better for you and look forward to following your progress on your blog.

  2. I would miss you terribly if you closed your blog. It is good to hear that you are settled into a new home. I hope that your knees are taken care of soon. What a disappointment not to have them fixed while at the hospital. Planters are good. Happy, healthy new year.

  3. You have been through a grueling year indeed Jody, and that you can smile and turn it into something positive bespeaks of your kindness and determination. I am hoping to turn over a new leaf as well - with a decided focus on my writing - my second, but somewhat lesser known passion in life. Looking forward to many communications with you in the coming year in response to the creation of your new gardens. Cheers dearheart!

  4. One foot in front of the other--that's good advice. And your mantra is so wise: "...everyone we meet is fighting some kind of battle." Sometimes people don't or aren't able to share their challenges, but all human beings face trials and tribulations. My hope for you is that you find some peace and fulfillment in 2013 after a very difficult 2012.

  5. I quietly followed you this past year and prayed that your heart will heal. I think of you often and am glad to see you are putting one foot in front of the other. Blessings and good things to you. Thank you for sharing your love of gardening with all of us.

    Pamie G. Texas Hill Country

  6. Jodi you are a strong soul to keep on with blogging and I look forward to keeping in touch via our blogs. I agree that kindness is always in order as we don't know the demons people we meet are battling.
    I love blue poppies, great photo.

  7. I am so sorry. Your last year pretty much mirrors my own. In February I lost my beloved sister. The last family member of my generation and my complete confidante. In July I had to put my husband in a nursing home, Alzheimers dementia. I have no-one left to help run my farm, the grandchildren are now leaving the nest and nesting themselves. It looks like I will have to move from my very own valley of 500 acres, where the sun and moon rise in one window of my bedroom and set in the one on the opposite wall. The wonderful garden I had established on a stony, bare paddock, is dry and sere and only the hardiest trees and shrubs still survive. That's life. The sun still rises in the morning and sets at night. We are in for a dilly of a fire season and have already had temps over 111F. Somehow we have to take it all in our stride and go on. I cannot weed anymore so all I have is mainly in pots.
    My heart goes out to you across the seas and continents.

  8. Hi Jodi,
    I didn't realize you moved as well. After so much in one year, I'm sure a quiet year will do you good. All the best for 2013. :)

  9. Wishing you peace and strength as you walk, step by step, into this new year. I am not a 'real' gardner, but love the flowers, their colours and designs, and have a pitiful little flower garden which I love dearly, because it's mine to tend. Keep on blogging. It means so much to so many. Blessings.

  10. Hello Jodi, Happy New Year and happy new beginnings! I am quietly following you and knew what happened. Blogging really makes real connections in emotions and thoughts, and we seem to know another so well, because most of us are so sincere here! There are already studies that shows these things to create our well-being, and thoughts are energies that can be transfered, so in blogging we are also proliferating love, peace and good intentions. We all go to transitions like your partner, it is just a matter of time. We are thankful you didn't close your blog because we will not know anymore what happens to you, and of course we will not see those lovely articles and photos, haha! Take care

  11. Jodi, I love that mantra and certainly learned its importance when I lost my dad...I wish you a new wonderful 2013 wherever it leads you...I am glad you kept the blog going.

  12. I think I am safe in saying it can only get better. Glad you're gonna continue with this blog. It's such a treat to read and usually a feast for the eyes.

    I have a teeny, tiny city garden. Much of my gardening is done on the deck. I look forward to being inspired with ideas on container gardening.

  13. Dear Jodi, what a delightful way to start the day with my coffee...to open my email and see your blog :-)

    I too have the "Be Kind" mantra enveloped with a watercolour of three beautiful tulips and framed over my desk. Some people do make it easier to follow than others, but I do my best ;-) You, of course, just bring out the very best in people which makes it easy to want to help you.

    And to others who have been suffering as well, especially Arija, hugs from afar. Have faith that our treasured gardens will be reborn someday by another passionate soul.

    Jodi, thank you for continuing to publish this blog, even with the pain you have. I have learned so much from it and the Bloominganswers site, and from your patient explanations to my often 'questionable' questions!

    Stay strong as always and continue to spread your wisdom like good seeds in the wind. You are a treasure.

  14. Even the new property has goutweed! some things never change do they ;) Thank you Jodi for continuing to keep up the blog and BloomingAnswers despite all that has befallen you this year. You are an inspiration. I sincerely hope this year is a better one.

  15. Dear Jodi, I wish you the very best in 2013--a year filled with happiness and good health and no unpleasant surprises. Your sentiments are so true--no matter how bad things may seem to be sometimes, there is always someone much worse off than we are.

    I see that I'm not the only one with a feline computer assistant:) Good luck with your surgery and hope you're able to get back to gardening soon.

  16. Sorry you have had such a horrible time, I hope 2013 brings you many happy surprises.

  17. Ahhhh Jodi, I, too, have had a difficult year although not as traumatic as yours. I have been thinking of you and reading a bit here. Life moves on and the new you is an evolution. May you continue to thrive and grow while finding peace and happiness in the here and now.

  18. Jodi girl
    I wish you the most positive and happy days, weeks, months, and yes years to come.
    You are entering a totally new phase in your life after such sadness and deserve only the best to happen for you now.
    I hope the new home (even with that nasty goutweed) will truly become a cozy nest for you and all the feline kids .. they are happy no matter where they are as long as they have you girl!
    I'm glad you are going to keep the blog going .. you need breaks from it, but it will be there for you when you feel like being here.
    Best of wishes for this new year !
    Joy : )

  19. Dear Jodi, You have such a wonderful positive attitude even though you have been through so much. You are an inspiration! I wish you a peaceful, happy 2013! P. x

  20. Happy New Year, Jodi, and an extra special wish for happiness in your new home and garden. I'm sending positive thoughts your way that your knee replacement happens soon. It would be so great to get to the spring gardening season with your new bionic woman parts in place and functioning well! -Jean

  21. Hi Jodi! I hope 2013 will be kind to you and all of us. Keep blogging, please!

  22. Oh, I'm glad I made it to this post, too. I'm sorry to hear that your move was not a voluntary one. I hope this year goes much better for you, and that you heal in all the ways you need to.


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