It’s the end of the year and nearly the beginning of the next. Time to reflect on time passed and make future plans.
First the future plans.
I spent some time this morning noting garden-related events in my 2012 calendar. Winter and early spring are wonderful months to expand gardening smarts and unearth gardening inspiration. Much discovery can come from books, here’s some of my recommendations, but sometimes you just need to venture out to see and hear from gardening aficionados. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of garden talks, presentations, symposia, meetings, conferences and shows to get the house-bound gardener’s creative sap flowing.
The Connecticut Gardener website offers a regularly updated list of gardening events planned from early January onward at sites all over Connecticut. Check them out early since many talks and classes have pre-registration deadlines. Current listings cover January through March.
Those interested in organic land care and organic farming and gardening should regularly check the events page of CTNOFA (Connecticut’s chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association). Also check out the educational reading material available via CTNOFA’s resources for gardeners link (on the website’s left sidebar) and the Homeowner’s Corner links (right sidebar) at the Organic Land Care website.
For my reflection, check back on January 1, 2012. The first of each month is GOOPs Day – GOOPs stands for Gardening Oops. I confess some of my gardening mistakes or mis-steps in hopes of preventing others from walking the same path.
GOOPs is an open party, anyone can join. So if you have a gardening blunder you’re willing to bone up to, resolve now to share your faux pas with me and other GOOPs participants on the first of each month.
Until then, one more look back at my version of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic Christmas poem, originally published last January.
‘Tis Days After Christmas, What To Do With the Tree
By Joene Hendry, in honor of Clement Clarke Moore
‘Tis days after Christmas and still in the house
Stands a tree in the corner that no longer sprouts.
Stockings unhung, now the chimney is bare
And the tree needs undecorating and disposal, but where?
The children are busy outside with their sleds,
Or elsewhere with I-Tunes blaring through their heads,
While parents reach gently, avoiding tree sap,
To store each ornament for its long summer’s nap.
The blizzard has passed, the winds have diminished
And outside there’s still snow shoveling to finish.
Yet the tree must come down, its lights cease to flash,
But what can one do besides throw it in the trash?
With sun reflecting brightly off newly drifted snow
That shines from outside the living room window,
New visions pop into your head and you cheer,
“We don’t have to make our tree disappear.”
We can use it outside near where winter birds feed
And decorate it anew with suet and seed
So chickadees and titmouse and juncos can roost
While other feathered friends seek their seed-eating boost.
Our tree could block the unlikable view
Of the propane tank or trash can or generator that’s new.
We could make it a surrogate, in a landscape hollow,
To illustrate the look of a new shrub to follow.
We could cut off boughs and place in a mound
Over perennials firmly frozen in the ground
To prevent them from sprouting up too fast
When early spring temperatures rise with a blast.
Then the branches, when taken from atop growing shoots,
Can head to the compost to give it a boost.
And the trunk doesn’t have to give up the ghost
If we use it next spring as a birdhouse post.
Our Christmas tree doesn’t need to end its use
In a brush pile or as municipal refuse.
We’ll set an example. We’ll use every part.
Let’s make tree recycling a post-holiday art.
Garden thoughtfully and stay safe.