Happy New Year to each of you, dear readers! It’s the first day of January, named for the god Janus, of the two faces. One looks back, one looks forward. This is the day in my journal ( my daily writing of the weather, the garden activity, the wildlife, life’s happenings, major events in the world, dreams and woes, and whatever else strikes me as worthy of note) that I analyze the year’s events and give it a thumbs up or down. Here on the blog, I mainly stick to garden topics, and it was definitely a thumbs up year in the potager.
2018 was a good year. I know parts of Europe had a terrible drought and areas here had floods. If not for the raised beds, the potager would have suffered much more from the abundance of rain. As it was, some plants did drown but mainly in the in-ground borders and beds. Thank goodness for the raised beds! Because of all the rain, I spent very little time dragging hoses. Things seem to balance out, if you look for the silver linings amidst the dark clouds.
There were no major projects this year, other than the new little poly-tunnel, and no major disasters. No gardens were added, but an effort to refine what was already cultivated was begun. Only four new crops were grown: leeks, parsnips, cannellini beans and black-eyed peas. Lots of new varieties of other crops were trialed and most were worth growing again. Four new black currant bushes were added, and nearly 1,000 more bulbs were planted this autumn…mostly to replace those that rotted in all the rains. Despite the weather, or perhaps because of the extra moisture, a new record of pounds harvested from the potager was established…693.5 pounds, topping 651 last year.
January begins slowly, a time to recuperate from the hectic holidays as I slowly “un-decorate” the house and tree, and store away the potager’s snowmen and garlands for another year. We’ve barely had a skiff of snow to date and today it’s a balmy 39 degrees F. Last year it was MINUS 8! Forecast is for temps in the 40’s for the next ten days. Will it balance out with bitter cold in April? No use fretting yet. It’s time to enjoy National Tea Month and browse through the seed catalogs to make the “must have” and “wish” lists. Time to check the pantry and see what we need to grow more or less of in the coming seasons, and to check the harvest journal records to see which varieties produced best. Then the seed orders can be finalized. There’s plenty of time to ponder and dream, to study and plan, to read and discover new ideas and designs, and I intend to enjoy every moment of it!
Hope 2019 is filled with blessings of all dimensions and scope for each of you.