2 Jan 2015

2015: A graceful New Year

~ Frosted Purple Sprouting broccoli in the Veg Patch 30th December 2014 ~

Having my face slapped about with two days of face-chilling frost was the absolute best finale to 2014.  That bitingly crisp freshness coupled with clear bright blue skies felt like the perfect wintry pause between one good year and the next.  Am I being optimistic?  Yes! Always. But there is definitely a sense of confidence in the air for 2015 - I guess a good year will do that. Other blogs are buzzing with gardening plans and hopes for the coming year - trips, garden visits, seeds to be sown. Here, too, I hope to build on 2014.  Every year of gardening brings fresh insights and knowledge; I've got winter veg growing again - kale, broccoli, cavalo nero, spinach. The microclimate induced by growing between two blocks of flats means that I still have parsley, mint (just), thyme, sage; my cape gooseberry has lots of green lanterned fruit which I hope will ripen early next year.  I know to watch out for rosemary beetle (my plants are looking very ragged) and to grow my tomatoes in a line, not a cluster. This year I'm determined to make space for cut flowers so I need to re-evaluate the space.  Last year there was a new flush of estate children who declared an interest in joining in and learning so space will have to be found for each child to have a little patch to call their own.  It's all possible but first I have to move some plants and draw up some plans and now is the perfect time to do it.

So, here we go! 2015 already.  Both in the past and this year, I've read other blogs choosing a symbolic word for the year. Previously I haven't been able to single out one particular word that might be meaningful to me but as I reflect on the past year I realise that it was a year made special by the people I encountered.  Some of those I met through social media, some have become familiar to me through this blog, some are from my local community, some from college and others are long standing friends.  All of those people, to my way of thinking, embody my word for 2015 and the touchstone which I'll strive to carry forward with me:



It's a lovely word with nuanced meaning; my favourites are to have poise, decency, respect, generosity, kindness, to enhance, to favour and to enrich.  All qualities which I feel I've been on the receiving end of, certainly through comments and meetings. So when I next find life getting a tad annoying, I hope to take note of this one word, pause (give myself a moment's grace) and respond in a gracious manner. I'm not one for any horoscope malarkey but I do have one or two of the Aries attributes and I swear one of my Irish ancestors must have kissed the Blarney Stone more than once!

The frost had gone by the morning of New Year's Day but I wanted to use one of my frosty veg patch photos to greet the New Year in.  I kept thinking that the photo reminded me of something and, look, there it is - a Union Jack, brassica style.  How very British!

So after a quiet and relaxing Christmas and New Year which suited me very well, I'm now looking forward to 2015 and wish everyone a productive and successful New Year! 

My first snowdrop (ever) is almost out! 


36 comments:

  1. A very Happy New Year to you too Caro.
    May it be an especially graceful growing season for all of us.

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    1. Thanks, Jessica - gosh, I hope so! I have a good feeling about this coming year!

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  2. A nice, reflective post to start the year off, and I like the word, and name, Grace.
    Happy new year and let's hope that we all have a good, and floriferous, gardening season. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks, Flighty - Happy new year to you too and yes, let's hope for a good year! C x

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  3. I love your choice of word for 2015, in fact I love it so much that I gave Eleanor it as her middle name. Happy new year and all the very best for 2015.

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    1. Thanks, Jo - Your daughter is very lucky in her name, it's a lovely choice. Happy new year to you too.

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  4. Positive as ever, Caro! Glad to see you're growing British broccoli... Hope your plans come to fruition nicely. Maybe one day you could write about how exactly you manage to control / deploy / resist the enthusiasm of the young gardeners and what you get them to do towards the maintenance of the garden?

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    1. Haha, yes, lovely true Brit broccoli - I'm really looking forward to my PSB and I have romanesco cauliflowers to look forward to after that. I will certainly be writing about the young gardeners in due course - I had a couple of them to 'help' me on Sunday last but I'm working towards structured gardening sessions as this works much better than ad hoc requests for jobs to do.

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  5. Happy New Year and good luck with the children's patches. I'd be happy to include them in the example gardens of my The School Vegetable Patch website or include guest posts by the children on the school veg patch blog if it is of any interest to you. Sometimes children can be encouarged if they feel someone else is interested,

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    1. Thanks, Sue. As bloggers, I think we sometimes forget how excited children can get at being featured on the internet. I'll be writing up the gardening sessions once they start and will keep you posted. Thanks for your offer!

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  6. I'm loving your intro and the upbeat optimism of your post Caro, inspiring! Wishing you a fabulous New Year!

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    1. :) xx Thanks, guys! Glad to have inspired you! Wishing you both a fabulous 2015 and looking forward to seeing your posts as they appear! Caro xx

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  7. What a lovely post to start the year Caro. Grace is a quality I always value very highly where I find it. I'm wishing you a good growing year, and a happy year too. CJ xx

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    1. Thanks, Claire - much appreciated on all counts as I know grace is a quality I will need this year. I'm really looking forward to the start of the gardening year and have been out digging and tidying already! Wrapped up warmly, it was an absolute pleasure to be outside! C xx

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  8. A brilliant photo Caro of frosted purple sprouting broccoli - the head looks like a nestling precious jewel. Just looking at it gives me itchy fingers. I had to smile at your chosen word for 2015 as my name Anna is derived from the Hebrew name Hannah meaning 'grace'. I like your thoughtful definition of the word. It sounds as if you are over your cold and ready to enjoy that first ever snowdrop and everything else that graces your garden this year. A most Happy New Year to you! xxx

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    1. Ah, you should see the broccoli heads now, Anna - slightly larger and a very tempting prospect indeed! I'm pleased to know the origins of your name as I have a niece called Hannah - it's lovely to know that she's connected with the word grace. A very happy new year to you too, Anna - I hope it's a very very good one for you! Caro xx

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  9. Happy new year to you! Have a wonderful year!

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    1. Thank you Endah - and the very best to you, your family and your garden too!

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  10. Wishing you a very happy and successful gardening year in 2015. Sarah x

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    1. Thank you, Sarah - and to you too. Many thanks for your lovely picturesque coastal posts, always a pleasure to read and I look forward to seeing how your garden progresses this year!

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  11. I love your word and all it's meanings, what a great choice. How lovely that children will be encouraged to garden, I shall look forward to hearing more about their progress!
    What a sweet little snowdrop, I must go and see if I have any popping their lovely little heads out...
    All the very best to you and yours, have a fantastic 2015.xxx

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    1. Aw, thanks Dina. Lovely of you to say so. I think I shall need a lot of grace when gardening with the children at the start but they're so enthusiastic that I feel the time is right! This is the first year I've grown snowdrops - I've spent too many years admiring them in other gardens and on other blogs so I'm thrilled with my emerging flowers! Wishing you and yours all the very best for the coming year, hope it's really good for you. Caro xx

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  12. How wonderful to enter the new year bolstered by the one before, and most particularly bolstered by positive encounters with people. Grace is a marvellous watch word, though I am not sure slugs, snails and rosemary beetles should expect it. Very exciting to have estate children interested in getting involved, I really look forward to seeing how that, and your cut flower patch, pan out.

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    1. Thanks, Janet - lovely comments, although I take your point about slugs and snails! I encountered a few while digging last weekend and they were spared just this once. It's easy to appreciate the people around us when we gardeners have such a good blogging community. I'm not sure I'm excited to have the children involved but I feel it would be churlish to curb their enthusiasm! Possibly a whole new generation of gardeners in the offing?! Wishing you a really good and successful 2015. Caro xx

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  13. Happy New Gardening Year and I've nominated you for a blogging award.

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    1. Thank you! I'm heading over your way to investigate the blogging award although may not have time to respond but it's much appreciated regardless. Wishing you an excellent gardening year!

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  14. Happy new year to you. Let's hope 2015 brings near perfect gardening conditions (perfect would be asking too much), lots of time to spend digging, pruning and planting and, of course, huge harvests!

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    1. Ah yes, perfect gardening conditions sounds good to me! For me that would mean less visits from cats and foxes together with having triple the amount of space - then I really could have huge harvests. Of course then perfect conditions would have to include a head gardener …. Nope, it's never going to happen! Haha, better make do! Wishing you all the best for 2015. xx

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  15. A lovely post. I like the idea of stepping back when it all gets a bit much and thinking in a more gracious way, something I'd like to do too. How exciting that the children are interested in gardening. Wishing you a fabulous 2015 and hopefully we can finally get to meet this year. xx

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    1. Thanks, Lou. I've already had occasion to use my touchstone word - and I'm pleased to say it's working rather well! I'm hoping that by gardening with the children, I can also carve out some space for gardening on my own - I do like a bit of contemplative peace and quiet when gardening. Yes, let's hope we can finally meet up - that would definitely make it a good year! Wishing you a very successful 2015 and looking forward to reading all about it. Caro xxx

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  16. A lovely post to start the new year off, full of optimism and enthusiasm A happy new year to you too.

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    1. Hi Chloris, thank you. I'm hoping for great things this year in the garden!

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  17. Hi Caro,
    Grace is really a lovely word and may your 2015 be graceful, productive and successfull.

    I am pleased to see your first snow drop blossom, dramatic!

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    1. Hi Yang, thank you - here's hoping and I wish the same for you. More snowdrops and a hyacinth are not far behind in flowering but we can still have bad weather in mid-January.

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  18. A well chosen word, Caro. And when the pigeons, badgers, mice and bugs have eaten their fill and left me a little something in my veg patch I shall try to be graceful about it! (But the attitude of gardeners is one of optimism - the year ahead is always going to be the most prolific!)

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    1. Thank you - and hello! We're all plagued by garden pests of one sort or another (mine is foxes and cats, but at least those two keep the pigeons at bay!) and I remind myself that even slugs are part of nature's rich tapestry (while putting out slug traps for them). Wishing you a prolific gardening year - and thanks for dropping in to comment! Nice to meet you!

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Comments on my posts are much appreciated and help to build an online community of blog friends. Everyone is welcome! I love to discover new blogs so please leave a comment to introduce yourself.
Caro x

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