What is January without resolutions? Getting to the far side of the holidays in and out of the garden often leaves me feeling overwhelmed, overdone and over the top. Perhaps this is why so many of my resolutions are variations of cutting back, cutting down and clearing out. January in its essence is simplicity. Photo: The full moon falls on the cusp of the New Year 2010.
To the naked eye – our plants and gardens in large part go dormant in the month. But beneath the soil – where it really matters – life is good and busy. Water sources are being recharged, root systems are extending and renewing themselves for the above ground growing season to come. With the help of the annual crop of seed and plant catalogs to dream over on rainy, snowy days, we as gardeners rejuvenate ourselves with yearly planning and scheming. With the help of our standard winter chores such as pruning trees, shrubs, roses and vines, cleaning out tool sheds and cleaning up tools, we as gardeners take stock of where we grew last year and where we hope to grow this year. With the help of long nights and frosty mornings, this spare time of year helps us to see our gardens beyond the plants. Photo: A December snowfall in Grass Valley.
As I consider my new year’s resolutions – the image of a t-shirt sometimes worn by my 8 year-old child keeps coming to my mind: on the shirt are the words: Sun, Soil, Water, Air, Green Plants – Each Other : Gardener. These are the words I am resolved to take into the New Year with me. As a gardener, the passion my brain came hard-wired with – gardening – necessarily works hand-in-hand with the sun, the soil, the water, the air the green plants and with my larger community – my resolution is to cultivate and tend to each with all possible care. Photo: Oak leaves frozen in the winter surface of a garden rain barrel.
Every New Year’s Day, I like to turn the compost pile. No matter where I live, how cold the weather or how full the schedule, I like to get out into the garden and turn the compost – its steamy, textural earthiness shows me very concretely where I have been (see there – yesterday’s coffee grinds, eggshells and carrot peelings). Without fear-tactics or desire to cause trepidation, my compost shows me where I am going. How I hope to get there is up to me. Photo: Lace patterned bark in winter.
As usual, the many fine horticultural and gardening related organizations in our region can help me keep my resolutions – show me how to get where I hope to go as a gardener with all possible care – with classes, workshops and events intended to help me grow as a gardener as I begin my winter gardening tasks: Photo: Bare oak branches spread put against the pale pink-and-gray winter sky like watershed lines on a map.
Jan. 2 in Chico, the Butte Rose Society hosts their annual 10 a.m. Rose Pruning Demonstration at the Stansbury House, downtown Chico.
Jan. 8 in Davis, the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Master Gardener program hosts a Fruit Tree workshop covering bare-root selection, pruning and maintenance.
Jan. 9 in Redding, Wyntour Gardens has the first of many workshops this month on – Fruit Tree Pruning and bare root planting.
If you really want to extend yourself as a plants person, consider attending some portion of the Northern California Botanists Symposium being held Jan. 11-13 in Chico and this year focusing on Botanical Treasures in Northern California.
Learn more about rainwater collection in full-day workshops led by Gringo Dave’s Landscaping and Irrigation in Redding on Jan. 16 and 30.
Jan. 28-3 in Chico, the annual Snow Goose Festival can teach you more about Native and Agricultural plants specifically to benefit migrating waterfowl.
More details as to the locations and costs of these workshops as well as many more gardening related events are at the Monthly Calendar of Regional Gardening Events. Photo: Grass and sedge seed heads capture winter raindrops at the McConnell Arboretum and Gardens at Turtle Bay in Redding.
If you or your gardening organization have an event you’d like posted to the Gardening Events Calendar, simply send an email with all relevant information to Jennifer@jewellgarden.com.
Did you know I send out a weekly email with information about upcoming topics and gardening related events? If you would like to be added to the mailing list, send an email to Jennifer@jewellgarden.com.
In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California and made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In A North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time. Podcasts of past shows are available here.