Thursday, January 1, 2009

Garden Blog Year in Review, Part One

There have been some really good years that I dreaded to see end and a few others that I have been glad to see go. 2008 has been an interesting and somewhat difficult year for me. There have been many wonderful things that have happened but also a lot of heartaches, disappointments and scary times. Most of the disappointments were with other people and all I could do was sit back and watch people that I love and care about hurt. Some people I know have lost just about everything this year; marriages have ended, people have lost jobs, some have lost their homes, and many have had health issues.

The tough economic times gave us a personal blow when my husband lost his job and even though he found another one soon after, it is still in the same industry. One that is really struggling right now and the fear of another job loss is always there.

Because of all of this, there were times when I was really feeling down and had difficulty blogging. I have wanted my blog to be a happy place for me and others. A place of refuge from controversy or problems. Others have told me how their days are brightened when they visit; that is my goal and it makes me very happy to hear it.

The down times affected my energy level and there wasn't as much gardening done this year. Not only that, but in May, after 21 years of being home, I got a part time job. That cut into my gardening time as well as the blogging time, as I adjusted to working outside the home and keeping up with a large house and the garden.

I don't really like sharing a lot of personal stuff on my blog, but I couldn't help thinking back and reflecting on these things as well.

Now for the more positive side of 2008! In January I started on our Home Owner's Association and was elected Vice-President. One of my immediate goals was to change the interpretation of a rule in our Covenant Restrictions regarding the planting of any perennial over 18 inches. I posted (or rather, I ranted) about this in January. I am most pleased to report that as I pressed this issue, nothing in writing could be found to show where this silly rule came from, and we all agreed that there was no way to enforce it. So, there is no longer a requirement to have things over 18 inches approved by the Architectural Committee, and even better, backyards are pretty much free from planting restrictions. Victory was sweet!

I tried outdoor winter sowing for the first time.

I was definitely more successful with my indoor system than with the outside winter sowing.

I even over-wintered four gerbera daisies which gave me beautiful blooms all winter.

In February, Jodi from Bloomingwriter, had us do a "Where in the World" post to tell about our communities. I enjoyed telling about our lovely town of Noblesville.

In March I went to the Indianapolis Patio and Garden show.

By March I am so ready for spring and this show is like a one day spring vacation for me.

I did a lot of bird watching through the winter months,

and was thrilled to see a bluebird checking out the bird house. I had a problem with house sparrows and the bluebirds wisely chose not to nest here after fighting for days with the sparrows over the house.

In April we had three ducks that were frequent visitors to the patio for the bird seed.

After a dismal spring in 2007, I was delighted that the weather cooperated and the blooms on the trees were spectacular.

I started my new job the first part of May.

Also, during the month of May I visited the Butterfly Exhibit at White River Gardens

and the zoo.

It was during the month of May that I found "George" in the Milkweed container,

and I had lilacs for the very first time.

Well, it is long past mid-night of the new year, and this post is long enough already. I'll finish part two hopefully tomorrow.

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Wishing you a wonderful new year then. There's bound to be some bad times ahead, but I think we all should focus on what we have that is positive, and embody the good feelings we want to experience in life. Everything in Life is definitely a learning experience.

It looks like you had a good year overall though and your photos are very wonderful and I'll be back to visit your blog soon.

Aiyana said...

What a great review! Your photos look like greeting cards. They are spectacular. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Sue Swift said...

Enjoyed your review - and it reminded me to do one myself.Your photos are, as always, stupendous.

Just dropped in to say Happy New Year - hopefully one which won´t bring the worries of last year.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I will certainly be looking forward to another year of your fabulous photos Robin. I don't mind hearing your shaky times as well as the good time. After all that is what friends are for...venting and positive feedback so you can get through those scary times. I hope this year has few of those shaky times and you have a Happy Healthy New Year.

shirl said...

Hi there Robin and a very Happy New Year to you too :-)

Well done, Robin, the first part of your review shows greatly the diversity of a gardener’s year. What beautiful images and thanks so much for sharing them with us throughout the year.

Here’s hoping that 2009 will be an upward one. All the best :-D

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Robin, I wish you a bright and wonderful 2009! May the disappointments be behind you now. We aren't just fair weather friends, so it's okay to talk about the clouds, too.

Your bird photos are always a special joy for me.

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

A New England Life said...

Life certainly does throw us curves, doesn't it? I'm sorry to hear you have had such financial stress. I know the feeling all to well, as do so many others. Let's hope 2009 will bring a little more prosperity to those who need it.

Your photo's are a wonderful sight though and they bring a smile to my face. I don't know about you but Photography always calms me down, and I love seeing what I came up with when I load my photos on the computer.

Have a wonderful New Years Day : )


Diana said...

Robin - what a nice review of your year. I think it's good that you can post about all the things in your life - I think it's helpful to share and work through the tough things and we certainly feel like your friends. Your blog is a wonderful place that brings much joy to others, something of which you should be very proud in many ways. And it's wonderful for me to see "what's up" just 15 minutes from my in-laws and my DH's family home. Wishing you and yours all the very best in 2009. Peace.

Gail said...

Dear Robin,

It has been an interesting year full of ups and downs for many of us! Your blog is a joy to visit and your photos are a delight....what ever you feel comfortable sharing is okay with all of us...

Happy New Year Robin...thank you for a year of beauty and your wonderful bird and critter photos!


Debbie said...

Robin, I always, always look forward to reading your blog, but I totally understand about having a hard time blogging when you are feeling a bit low.

Can't wait to see the rest of your gardening in 2008 posts.

Edith Smith said...

I enjoyed reading your blog, especially where butterflies and photography mixes. I own a butterfly farm in Florida (Shady Oak Butterfly Farm) and also enjoy the mix of butterflies and photography. Your photo of the two Julia butterflies at the exhibit you visited is nice! ~Edith

Cyndi in Alabama said...

It HAS been quite a year, hasn't it? This year marked for me the chance to see you again - Yea! - and the fruits of your labor. Your efforts have paid off and your "oasis" is as beautiful in person as in your wonderful pictures!

Many blessings in the new year!

Anonymous said...

What a full year you had in thus far in 2008! Happy New Year Robin, it's been great getting to know you & your garden through your blog!

Katie said...

Thanks for sharing some personal sentiments about 2008. I am glad that 2008 is over and look forward to seeing what 2009 has in store for us and our gardens!

I especially liked it when the ducks visited your patio.

Thanks For 2 Day said...

Hi Robin,
When I first started blogging in Nov (2007) I found your blog (somehow)--and visited frequently because of your wonderful photography. I was taking photos with a camera that wasn't producing great photos...and I had so many beautiful things I was taking pictures of(my garden, birds, butterflies, etc.) Finally, for my birthday in March (2008) my husband bought me my first really nice camera (Nikon D-40X, with a 300mm long lens) and I suddenly had a new world opened up to me. I have since joined blotanical because I have many photos I'd like to share (most of them are still on my computer, though--in files--because uploading them and writing posts takes up SOOO much time). My photography has been something I'm working on--but not hard enough:( (I still haven't even read the user-manual).
Anyway, I've enjoyed meeting some very interesting people, including you (!) and I'm so happy you've been writing some newer posts lately! The photos are amazing and I have NO idea how you get them to be so perfectly gorgeous! Now that you are posting more, I will be visiting more! I hope 2009 is mostly smooth-sailing for you and yours (it will never be 'totally' smooth, for anyone;)
Happy New Year, Robin:)

Decadent Housewife said...

Found you through Pollywog Creek. Love your photos! Wish I could keep my cat indoors though.

Granny Susan said...

Robin, I pray for you and yours a blessed new year. I will look forward to following your blog as you have time and energy to write and post pics because it always blesses me to visit "Robin's Nesting Place." Happy New Year!!!

Martha said...

Your blog is beautiful and heartfelt.

You could sell your photos if you had any time beyond your part time job.

Wishing you 365 meaningful days ahead in 2009.

Pam/Digging said...

Way to go for getting that restrictive rule in your HOA overturned! I love it when gardeners get on HOA boards.

May 2009 be better for you and your loved ones than 2008. Happy New Year, Robin!

Brad@Container Gardening said...

Happy New Year. I'm new to your blog and a former Hoosier. Went there to visit during Christmas and do miss it.

I love your pictures!!

This is my second year of Winter Sowing. So far so good!!

Keeping my mind in the dirt. said...

What gorgeous photos! I just found your blog and now plan to follow it.

Betty Jo said...

More gorgeous photos! What camera do you use? I have a Canon 20D and am thinking of getting a point and shoot as well in order to have something smaller and lighter to carry around.