I hope you, your family, your pets and your plants are all thriving, alive, and well.
As for me, I'm recovering from a busy holiday season and am relaxing in bed with my two loyal felines. I can see a few trees from my back garden out the bedroom window and the weather is cool and crisp in Portland. There is sunshine mixed with some hazy fog and it's beautiful out right now.
What a great time to be thinking about gardening.
It's still seed shopping season so I'm continuing to dream today about the months ahead. I'm making plans for the garden.
The list so far isn't a long list, but that's because it's 2014 now and I'm planning on working and traveling a lot more this year. The list must be manageable.
There will be plenty to post about and to follow again. I'm dedicated to being a garden blogger and communicator. My only hope is to expand my writing a bit more beyond the blog.
So, here's what's on the menu for 2014.
1: Edit. Edit. Edit. Then edit some more.
There cannot be enough said about editing. I don't plan to make this place picture perfect—and definitely not matchy-matchy—but it will be edited. I'm eternally nothing more than a wild Bohemian at heart and my garden needs to better reflect that back to the world. Gardens are, after all, somewhat a reflection of what's going on inside of us in a deeply aesthetic and often personally spiritual realm. That is when they're personal gardens, and not simply designed to function as low-maintenance or move-in ready. Mine is not yet as intimate as it will be, but I'll get there.
I also want to better define a Bohemian Garden, or maybe you might already call it an Artist's Garden. A whole thesis could be written on this and maybe that's what I'll be starting this year. Who know!?!
Gardens need more categories and words. I'm beginning to realize how limiting many of the definitions can be so it will be fun to use my art criticism and aesthetic theory for some good. I honestly cannot wait.
2: Finalize a design for a fence along the back of the the garden.
This is of the utmost importance. Anyone who knows me knows that this has been a thorn in my side for many years—pretty much ever since I moved into this house. The design challenge is upon us and I am so excited about it finally happening. Sure, I would love an 8-foot stone wall, but since that's not going to happen, what other options are there?
3: Plant lots and lots of seeds again this winter and spring.
Seeds have stories and a provenance. A Bohemian Garden is a Collector's Garden, but instead of having scientifically collected data and facts, there are stories too.
4: Expand the herb garden and redevelop the kitchen garden. (We're looking to rent community garden space again too. We have a lot of heirloom and Italian veggies we're looking forward to growing.)
Well, a girl has to eat right?
In all seriousness, for me, eating foods I've grown matters because I'm an Oregonian and an Italian-American. It is traditional for my family to eat what it grows, or else to purchase fresh produce. It's respectable and honorable. This is my heritage and a part of who I am and where I come from. Self-sufficiency was important to my pioneering relatives. It is important to me too. I am looking forward to writing more kitchen garden and cooking posts here too now. I've got some skillz in that realm that I've seriously underemployed for many years.
Then there is the extra added value of being able to have produce you can't buy at any grocery store or farmers' market. That feels good. It's like going on a major expedition to bring back something very special to share with others. I am getting hungry just thinking about the cooking plans I already have for the garden harvest of 2014.
5: Creatively redesigning some space for outdoor dining.
Sharing a meal with a spouse, family, and/or friends is what good living is all about—especially when you grew some of it yourself. (Or caught. More on fishing some other time...)
I sound kind of Italian, but I am kind of Italian. Food is very important to me, and so is the community of sharing built around food. It is what makes a good life a great life.
6: Add a lovely European-style flower box to the front of the house and dress the place up a bit.
The uncertainty of my time spent in this house is coming to an end. It's going to become my home in 2014, and I'm looking forward to making it a place that brings comfort and calm, peace and pleasure to my family, friends, and most of all, to me.
2014: The Year of the Bohemian Garden.
Hope you're looking forward to this as much as I am.