No Resolutions

2022 has been quite a year. There are a few things and demagogues that I wish would die along with it — one look at the headlines will tell you what and who I mean — but that’s not likely to happen and it’s out of my control anyway. So let’s look at something I can control, sort of, maybe: my garden. Gaze upon it, in all its muddy glory.

During the past year I have been making friends with people who are actually knowledgeable about gardens. The last time John Hoyland came over the trees were not in and the roses, pruned for years by an annoyed Julien armed with a hedge trimmer, were held up by huge boards. I promised myself I wouldn’t let John, who I could swear was working hard to Not Say Anything, see the place like that again.

And he won’t. The boards are down and, with the best training Youtube videos can provide, I have been pruning and thinning like crazy. The trees planted last spring survived, with only a mildly scary spike in the water bill, and look set to leaf out in spring. The maples are in, four to each section nearer the house. I think they will provide shade starting this, their first, year. The ground cover, candytuft, is almost completely in. It looks pretty happy so far. Still no decomposed granite for the walkways, but Kieron is looking into it.

This is what I started with. Later, during construction, the green disappeared.

So now I’m worried about the birds, not that there are many of them right now. Maybe the feeder and fat dispensers are well placed. Probably not. Suggestions?

Now prepare to dive into your favorite tipple, with friends or a trashy novel, and get ready for what promises to be another strange year.

12 thoughts on “No Resolutions

  1. Looks like good progress is being made and I learned about candytuft which I recognize but didn’t know the name. I found out, per Wiki that the name “candytuft” is not related to candy, but derives from Candia, the former name of Iraklion on the Island of Crete. That satisfied my inner pedant.

    It looked like Jacques was searching for his outdoor feeder – why should birds get all the goodies? I don’t a lot about bird feeders other than hummingbird feeders but I think the birds generally like to have good lines of sight and open space around them so your set up seems pretty good. As to “fat feeders,” I thought you were talking about me. Which brings me to New Year’s resolutions of which I have none and want none.

    Once again our challenge this weekend will be to stay awake until the entry of 2023. I think that will require an afternoon nap which will be nicely facilitated by afternoon glass of wine. It’s cold and very rainy (by SoCal standards) for the next few days so hunkering down sounds like a wise strategy.

    Happy New Year to you, yours and a special 2023 scritch for Jacques. Oh, and amidst all this landscaping, don’t forget the vegetables!


    1. You’re planning to stay awake? Hahahaha. Why? The afternoon glass of wine, I can get into.

      The candytuft — iberis sempervirens, I think, or near enough — should work out well. Drought-tolerant, no mowing and it grows thickly enough to snuff out the weeds. Or so they say. Sounds ideal for California. I’ll report back in summer.

      Here is a sneak preview of my veggie report. Onion sets were planted but are probably rotting in the ground, it having been so rainy lately. Seeds from Kitazawa and True Leaf have been ordered snd were delivered to San Francisco friends. They in turn will deliver them to me in two weeks’ time. I’ll probably turn them over to Julien this year, but I’m less than thrilled, let’s say, with what comes back. By next year I hope to have a little greenhouse or, in desperation, a polytunnel, so I can screw everything up all by myself. So. San Marzanos, three varieties of salad tomatoes, okra, Japanese eggplant, pak choy, little gem lettuce, these strange red carrots, and I forget what else. Can’t wait.

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  2. Love all you are doing. We are spectacularly beat about the neck and shoulders regarding our bird feeder. The damn squirrel can out fox us at every turn, AND is eating out out of our retirement funds. We moved our feeder…..cemented on a pole away from trees, but alas he/she can fly . We know..caught on our critter cam. Next step…ugly baffles top and bottom. My only New Years resolution is to finally out smart the really smart, greedy squirrel. Just saying! Happy New Year Lynn and Jacques!

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    1. Yes, I’ve read the baffles are the way to go. I’ve seen a squirrel here from time to time, but only one and s/he doesn’t stick around. I hope all this food doesn’t change that. Spring, when I put out the hedgehog food, could be a real headache.

      There is so much to go! I focus on one area at a time. There are some other spaces that are not blog-ready, to put it mildly. Stay tuned. Bit by bit, it will happen.

      Susan, you might want to follow the link to John Hoyland’s site. It is geared toward England and France, so not all that useful in California, but he is a gardener to the bone and writes beautifully.


        1. OMG, it’s like they designed it for me! If, gods save me, I had to move back to the States, I’d try buying a van and begging them to let me park it there. Or maybe I’d join the ladies at the Vedanta temple. Either way, I’d want to volunteer at Lotusland every single day.


  3. Gardeners know what patience means! Your garden is definitely making progress and will look wonderful in the spring. One good hing to look forward o in the new year, anyway.

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    1. On a personal level, I have a lot to look forward to. On a global level, scary. My plan is to keep embellishing my little cocoon. My blog will read like Dr. Pangloss is my ghostwriter, I know, and I know how lucky I am, but it’s all I can think of to do.

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  4. The garden design really enhances the house….and maintaining it, the trees, plants and, with luck, veg, will keep you busy in your cocoon in the year to come. It feels like a tin hat year ahead….

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  5. You aoready made much work and i seems me you still have much work to do next year! But I’m sure it will be very satisfying!
    Love the last picture very much, the light and thwe colours of the fading landscape are beautiful, great emotion.

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