Where to start – I read a blog today entitled, “I am feeling better now.” While the writer’s topic covered a different subject, it provided an avenue for me to share that I am feeling better now and sorry for the long absence away from the blog. It seems my body put me through some type of mystery illness that left doctors still (to this day) scratching their heads while I spent weeks in the hospital and the blog for Beyond Garden Gates sat on the proverbial back burner. My focus was to do what I do with my sick house plants…get them out of sick bay as soon as I could and back to shining brightly where they belong!
With that said, let me get back to my passion with fellow gardeners, in the dirt, with plants and all associated with landscaping. I have missed all of you, your comments as well as missing many required duties for preparing gardens for winter! Or are they required?
As with anything, there are lessons to be learned. This unplanned leave of absence will be a test of what plants are truly hardiest in this garden or can thrive on neglect. That is, neglect coming in the form of what mulch remains from summer to blanket the plants from freezing temperatures and snow here in the high country of otherwise sunny California? What insects will thrive since missing the first of three dormant spray times on fruit trees? Lastly, can I still plant the fall bulbs still in their packages waiting to go into the ground and still get flowers? Only time will tell the answer to those questions.
On a good note, I did find one of my favorite seed company booklets waiting in the stacks of mail just temping me to open and peruse the multi-colored pages just daring me to grab pen and paper to formulate springtime planting plans and focus on the joyful visions of a bountiful garden come spring.
The year is still new. Though the holidays are fading away, those dreams for more perennials, trees and shrubs are lurking about in our minds for spring planting. Seed packets are still a month in waiting before placing some varieties of their tiny shelled bodies into the warmth of soil and winter sun for germination. The plants outside may be dormant, but this is the time to forge ahead for dreaming, scheming and planning for brighter days ahead.
It is time to notice puddles from rainfall, check for low spots in the garden for improving drainage. Those dreams, schemes and plans may include rain gardens to collect water so you can slow it down, spread it out and allow it to sink in! Rain gardens can also send us scurrying to our resources to find which plants can thrive in such wet conditions during the winter months and survive drought conditions in the heat of summer.
I would like to take this blog time to acknowledge many people that did some extraordinary planning outside of their routine schedules. A special thanks to my family that went out of their way for their love and support. Thanks to those friends that took care of the ranch, my animals and plants while I was away allowing me to rest knowing all was well in their very capable hands. And I am lost for words for those praying for healing and speedy recovery. You have all touched this heart beyond measure.
A very belated holiday season to all of you. I am back and ready to tackle the next project. Are you ready to join in?
Have a great blessed weekend.