My Big & Small Focuses for the year, and how to maintain focus on a big scale

Another year has passed. I apologize but I must say it. Although the garden was a better show this year than the last, my personal year sucked. I lost someone special to me, I succumbed to major bouts of depression and anxiety at Christmas time. But those feelings are beginning to slip away a little, and I feel that is due to the days becoming longer again. Every fall, as I see my daylight being robbed of me, I feel as though there is not enough to get accomplished. I need to figure out how to hone that and embrace the darkness as my time to retreat inward and plan. I know every summer, while sweating my butt off, I vow to NEVER be sad that I can’t be outside.. because I could finally come in and plan my upcoming moves.

I also took up running back in November. I took home my dad’s treadmill over the fall, and it helped me immensely with my stress. There is something about a run that burns through all the stress. I also lost a bit of fat, gained a bit more energy to get more done, and I don’t want to strangle people as much *smug grin*

But then Christmas comes. And then that gets put on the back burner again.

But now? Now is the time. I drink lots of tea. I think about what I want to do this year. And once I’m done that, we decide what we want to grow and eat.

It may be downsized next year, but this year I decided to focus a little harder on my property via Projects. I will have 3 large focuses, and 5 smaller projects.  This way I won’t flit mindlessly from one place to another without finishing something, however, the large focuses may not become complete this year, especially the circle. This is where I test if my husband is reading. I need your help, manimal! Everyone, ask Manimal how he’s doing as he helps me with my projects! 😉

MY BIG 3 Focuses:
1. Finish the Path to my shop – So that entails sowing seeds and planting the lavender for my lavender hedge on one side, and weeding, mulching and filling in (if needed) my rock garden/daylily bed. We also need to get a path laid over the sunbelt that has sat there for so long. This is a half finished area..but still possibly achievable. The good news is I found a somewhat affordable, easy to maintain option that we’ll be working on this summer, using concrete molds. The affordability of Geek/wish is a wonderful thing!

2. Begin cutting into the turning circle – This is probably going to be 2018’s big project to finish. But I have some shrubs to remove, small trees to fell, and plant a few things that I want to get a head start for next year (like my Pagoda dogwood). 2017 is the official year to begin that. I might even look into powering the area so I can get some nice lighting.

3. Have 2 raised beds built in the veggie garden – Raised beds are soooo much easier to tend. So I’ll be doing that. Hopefully a fresh start will get me ahead of the weeds too. They’re some nasty here. I say two, but I am very receptive to all of them being built. But we all know that money for soil doesn’t grow on trees. So I’ll only build what we can fill, and finish the others in 2018.


My 5 Smaller or ongoing minor Projects:

  1. Finish the garden around the deck. This one is almost done too actually. I just need to ensure everything planted will get along fine where it is, and if not, move them, or shuffle them over.
  2. Continue to collect rhododendrons for the forest and plant.
  3. Healing Deck garden (this will be something we will discuss as summer goes on. An Idea I had while spending some time in a hospital garden last fall. We also may be fixing up some of our decks this year. This is mostly going to be a research effort for now, but I think this is the right year to do this.
  4. Continue to poke around and attack the goutweed. Winning the war would be ideal but I’m only a cautious optimist.
  5. I want a path looping through the perimeter of the whole property to create a definite flow. I might explore my options and start a few paths this year. Maybe. Maybe not.

That’s what I’m hoping to get done this year…

The other thing I ask myself is “how can I maintain enough focus to try and give each garden area the attention it requires? How does one budget time in a large property full of gardens? It’s not bomb proof but I do it by breaking it into zones and devoting a week to each zone, but walk every zone every day. Don’t like it? Get rid of it. Run out of things to do in your zone that week? Find new things to change. Stare at it. Make plans. Divisions? Etc. That’s how I do it.  I also walk around either while taking notes in a notebook or jotting them down on my phone’s memo app. It requires a lot of discipline, but if you note all the things you want to do, or thoughts and feelings, it helps you to re-center your focus.

Next week is a break, I’ve got to do some work on the shop. When I’m back I will do a post about my winter tasks, seeds etc. And since it’s been a little mild the last few days, maybe I’ll see if I can cut away some grass in the turning circle. Hope you all had a happy new year, and I hope to have some photos to share next week.