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Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year! I hope this post finds you healthy and happy. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus with my writing, but hopefully the new year will get me back on track. While I was still attentive to my garden all fall, I do most of my writing in the evenings and I got distracted the last few months watching all seven seasons of Game of Thrones with my husband. (In case you were thinking about watching, it was just as great as the kids said it is and the final season can’t come fast enough!)

But, that’s done and most shows don’t require that level of attention so I have my evenings back! We also did a fair amount of traveling to see visit the kids and out of town family and I’ll share some of the highlights of those trips in the next couple of months.

Lastly, I got a new laptop and the transition was pretty straightforward except for switching from Apple iPhoto to Photos. I procrastinated for a long time since I had everything organized so nicely in iPhoto for my blog, but it was time to convert. You’d think it would be as easy as say “Go”, but for a bunch of reasons, I couldn’t get it to transfer properly. Eventually I did it, but I’m still dealing with photos scattered about in a bit of a disorganized way. Does anyone use a photo manager to organize your photos? The edit features in Photos are fine, but I don’t love the organizational options.

What have I been up to in the garden? Well, like many of you it was a very strange fall with warm temperatures well into November keeping things green and growing well past normal times. Great for the vegetable garden, but probably not so great for the trees and shrubs that really need to get ready for winter. Here’s some of what I was harvesting the end of October.

I spent a lot of time this fall watering to be sure the plants were ready for winter (First Too Much Water, Now Not Nearly Enough). But, with temperatures hovering around 0°F for some time now, I’m not sure how the plants will tolerate this winter no matter what I did.

With all this cold weather, I’ve been going through a lot of bird seed trying to help the birds survive this extreme weather. Glad I bought lots of seed at the fall seed sale at my local Wild Bird Unlimited in Lisle, IL. By the way, they are currently having their January Feed sale, so if you live in the area it’s a great time to stock up. They even store it for you until you need it.

My new gardening adventure this year was planting leeks. Leeks are one of my favorite foods to cook with and growing them seemed intriguing. I’m already looking where to buy my starter plants this spring, so it definitely worked out well.  A post with more details will be coming soon.

Right now, all snuggled warm in my house I’m enjoying all the teaser emails from the seed companies and the catalogs that are starting to come in. What new vegetables to grow? What new gadgets to buy? Check out my Vendors and Resources page to see where I like to order from. I’ve recycled all the Christmas catalogs to make room for them. I have a couple of areas that need attention so I need to find some time to research what will work best in these areas. One is the swale area that seems perpetually wet, then of course dries out mid summer.

The other is under the new magnolia that replaced the Freeman maple tree that died a couple of years ago. The hostas are doing fine in the new found sun, but the ferns have gone crazy! Not sure the species, but in the shade they were kept in check, but they’ve proliferated out of control in the sun. And they are hard to pull out! Word to the wise, be careful where you plant ferns!

I look forward to sharing you more about what’s up in my garden and where I’ve been, but in the meantime I wish you all a Happy New Year and Go Bills!

While I live in Chicago, I grew up in Buffalo and will always be a Bills fan.  This has been an exciting year for us!!