Gardens Eye Verse-January

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. ~ Jim Ryun

Everyone seems to roll out their resolutions around the New Year.  Some folks are very passionate and work hard on these resolutions.  Then there are those of us who try.  We really, really try.  You can see what I was “Gonna Do” last year.  I was about 50/50.  It can be stressful trying to meet these goals you set for yourself so I have decided that I am not setting goals this year.

Now before you starting thinking how is that possible, it really is about perspective.  I have read a few posts (Zen Habits; Be More With Less) recently about going goal free.  Its more about going with the flow; making choices not goals; creating a list of things you’d love to do.  When you make choices to do things they can easily turn into a habit.

So I am beginning to work on things as I feel like it, and setting myself a few reminders for things I must do at work.  Now if I do decide to do things it is because I want to, not because I have to or feel pressure to improve.  It is not improvement but a choice for me to explore something and cultivate healthy habits or habits that bring me joy.  It has been a hard concept to accept myself, but I have done a much better job these days.   So I put my choices/love list to paper in an effort to keep the creative juices flowing; to keep the joy front and center.  In this way there will be less likelihood that the negatives will sneak in often.

So in 2012, I choose to be:

*Happy– do the things that make me happy as much as I can



-designing with wildlife and the planet in mind

*Healthy-again these are habits I practice because I choose to

-be gluten and sugar-free because then I feel good, less pain in joints and none in stomach

-exercise will be harder because of all the joint pain; starting with 5 minutes a day and adding 5 minutes each week; biking in basement or walking; starting yoga

-I enjoy so many more and different foods that I am choosing and getting more in the habit of eating healthy

-I get to grow more foods I enjoy; more seed starting of veggies I will be growing this year

-hoping to lose weight through these healthy habits and choices, and boost my immune system more

*Live in the Moment

-find happiness in those little moments

-seeing the sunrise and sunset

-noticing the wildlife around

-doing what I want as I want

-discovering more things I like and noticing life more

*Simplify Life-this will be next weeks post

My biggest challenge to this list is boredom.  I cannot tolerate doing the same thing, the same way for too long.  Some routine activities must be done especially at work, but I am looking for pleasurable ways to break up the boredom and engage the mind.  Sometimes it is good to have a routine without getting bored with it.  It is when I am bored that old, bad habits rear their ugly heads.


I started 2012 with a nasty cold virus, but I made a point out of getting out in my garden.  Perfect time to join in with Carolyn@This Grandmother’s Garden for her Walk in the Gardens monthly meme the first week of every month.  And there was much to see.  The weather has been ebbing and flowing from spring-like weather to winter.  Days of 40s, sun/rain and puddles all over the water-logged garden given over to frigid temps in the 20s and lower, wind howling and snow blowing.


It was the one of the least snowiest Decembers on record with only 6.6 inches of snow when we normally get 32 inches in December.  Last year’s record snowfall for December led to one of the snowiest winters.



Here’s the garden New Year’s Day 2012.  We are expecting cold frigid winds again this week with possibly 10 inches of snow.  I have to say, one pro for the snow is the plants would be happier and fewer would be browsed by the deer.  The con is the voles would start their destructive tunnels under the snow.  Oh well, it is what it is.  Above is my newer rain garden overflowing its banks.  Looks like we will be expanding it yet again and taking out more grass.


Gardens Eye Verse

The poems this month evoke sights and sounds of cold winter storms that we find in January.  I hope you enjoy the images they may conjure for you….


Snowflakes glisten

descending, suspended

in mid-air as if

time is standing still-

catching on

leaf and blade,

green gone

to white.





Do you hear the sound

of the wind whipping round,

all the snowflakes swirling down

to light upon the ground,

as they pile up around

everything found!




As you can tell the best shots of my garden are the back yard.  Love the snow in the back yard.  I hope you enjoyed a few of the spring blooms from the 2011 garden sprinkled throughout the post.  I am joining Katarina@Roses and Stuff for her Blooming Friday meme.  This week is Remembrance.  Very timely for me.  Needed to remind myself what it will look like soon.


Next week I will have an update on the Herb and Seed Growing Experiments, plus my garden gift from Santa.

In coming weeks I hope to explore colors and the garden and some of my favorite natives.  Please join me at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens for my latest post going live this Thursday January 5th.  It is the thrilling second part of my Favorite Fall Natives.  Not to be missed.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.  So drop by to check out all the blooms this Friday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


  1. Gail says:

    Donna, I loved this post and thank you for the links~I read both of those posts, too. Happy New Year to you. Thanks for the how to comment reminder! xogail

  2. Donna says:

    I do not make resolutions, but like you do the things I like and feel make a difference. The health changes are always the hardest, yet the ones most needed. I find taking care of others a priority and taking care of me way down on the list. You posts are always a reminder to look within and enjoy that which is around.

    • Donna says:

      I have never been good at resolutions Donna so I decided to look at it differently…I have been finding it is important to take care of the care-taker too…as vitally important!! I wish you a joyful New Year in which you have time for you!! Here’s to making a difference in 2012!!!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Our gardens are so far apart but in the same plight. Heavy snow last year… only a skiff in the valleys this year. Still hopeful more will come. Your words “I find taking care of others a priority and taking care of me way down on the list” echo in my heart as well. We both need to make this the year of taking care of ourselves… otherwise we will be of no use to those around us. Oh but it is so much easier said than done.
    Let’s cheer each other on!

    • Donna says:

      Carolyn, it is important to take care of ourselves and this year I am making it a special priority as I said to Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk. We are due for a major snow event today and tomorrow…the deer were out last night feeding so I knew the forecast was real…here’s to health and happiness in 2012!

  4. Elephant's Eye says:

    The sun has set and we have heavy black cloud hanging over the mountain. Hope tonight or tomorrow will bring us a little more rain. Cape town needs that water in the dams for summer.

  5. b-a-g says:

    I don’t make resolutions but I’ve kept a post-it note in my diary for years – on 31DEC I aim to write down one major (life-changing) thing that I made happen the year before. This makes me feel like I’m on track despite being pulled in all directions by others.

    • Donna says:

      I love this…as you reflect on the year you celebrate one major life-changing thing you made happen…I did a bit of this on Dec 31st but I like the emphasis on one major thing…so meaningful..thx for sharing that!!

  6. Laura@PatioPatch says:

    the softness of the blue Muscari is a poem in itself. Resolutions work best for people like me who need discipline – with the softly softly approach I just swim off the hook or worse, just melt away like your snow. Determined to be less like a butterfly this year! Lyrical words and images for the start of 2012 – hope it’s a good one for you.

    • Donna says:

      Ah Laura you noticed that gorgeous flower…can you tell it is one of my favorite spring bulbs? You are one of a rare breed who actually can make a resolution, stick to it and accomplish it!! Bravo and I wish I could do that…here’s wishing you a garden full of wonderful resolutions!!!

    • Donna says:

      Thank you so much Hanni… I like the idea of the fresh start too!! Are you still moving? I wish you a wonderful New Year wherever you garden!!

  7. Jim says:

    I do like the idea of going goal free. Goals do keep us from living in the present. But your ideas to exercise more and eat better will keep you rooted in the present, along with your gardens.

    I’ve never been able to simplify anything, probably never will. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    • Donna says:

      I am hoping you are right Jim…I plan to work on simplifying as I get closer to retirement…I’ll let you know how I do…next weeks post is my plan for how I hope to do it…we shall see…Happy New Year!!

  8. PlantPostings says:

    I have to admit, I rarely make formal resolutions. But there’s usually a theme in the back of my head about how I want things to change. I should probably write about it, but that seems more stressful. The New Year is a great opportunity for a fresh start! All the best to you this year, Donna!

  9. Catherine/ A Gardener in Progress says:

    I like your idea of writing the list of things that you love and working at making them into habits. And you are so right about boredom. I’ve tried picking up a couple of new hobbies to keep my mind busy during the winter.
    I love your poem and the pictures are perfect for it.
    Happy New Year!

    • Donna says:

      Catherine how sweet..I am so glad you like the poems….boredom can be such a kill joy sometimes…wishing you a fun winter with your winter hobbies!!

  10. Kay G. says:

    Snow looks so beautiful…somewhere else! Being from Georgia, I like to see it but then, I am ready for it to melt. Your snowy photo of your garden is lovely.
    Happy new year! Happy gardens!

    • Donna says:

      Kay thank you. As I get older I like to look at the snow for a couple of months and then it wears thin…here’s to a wonderful New Year in our gardens!!

  11. HolleyGarden says:

    I rarely make resolutions, but I like hearing what others are doing. Sometimes I realize I should be making resolutions! I love the way you have categorized your choices.

    • Donna says:

      I like peeking in at this time of year to see what others are doing too…never feel pressured to make resolutions…just think of some ideas of what you might like to do and then choose what you want…hope your New Year is marvelous!!

  12. Elaine says:

    What you wrote about is exactly what I’ve been thinking. Last year was difficult. I have no expectations for this year, just keep moving on….Your garden does look beautiful in the snow. Happy 2012!

    • Donna says:

      Happy New Year Elaine…so glad you like the garden in snow…it looked even better today with more fluffy snow…I find many times I have to just keep making the baby steps to get through some things…here’s wishing you a wonderful year moving on and up to what ever your heart desires…

  13. Cat says:

    Happy New Year, Donna! I’ve found that resolutions don’t work too well for me either. I like your idea of just slipping into a list gently. No worries if things don’t get done…sometimes something more interesting that what’s on the list comes up! Spontaneity is good too 😉 Thanks so much for all your visits to TWG during 2011. I really appreciate all the thoughtful comments you take the time to leave. Best wishes for a joyous 2012.

    • Donna says:

      Happy New Year Cat…I love the spontaneity this list allows…it has been my pleasure visiting with you through your wonderful blog…looking forward to 2012!!

  14. Debbie/GardenofPossibilities says:

    Donna, Happy New Year! I like your idea of thinking in terms of choices, not goals. I’ve been working my way towards that philosophy, too. No matter what the ‘goal’, it really is about the choices we make each and every day. I also like the notion that if I do make a bad choice, there’s another option to make a better one coming right up.

    • Donna says:

      Happy New Year to you too Debbie….so glad you like the post…it is such a better philosophy to make choices and having options…here’s to making those wonderful choices in 2012!

  15. Liz says:

    Hi Donna,

    Sorry to hear you’ve been ill, I hope you’re getting better now though!

    I’m glad to hear you haven’t had much snow yet, although as you say you do have some forecast to come… I’m unsure if that’s a good thing or not given that you have to decide between voles digging or deer eating your plants! Eeeek, I couldn’t imagine facing the same problems here!

    • Donna says:

      I am feeling much better Liz. We just finally got about 8 inches of snow today and bitter cold in the teens with wind chills below zero….now we deal with the voles….oh well at least the damage isn’t too bad usually.

  16. alberto says:

    Hi Donna, the picture with your garden covered in snow is amazing! I hope you get well soon and start digging… Or taking other pictures of snow in your garden!!! 😉

    • Donna says:

      Thx Alberto. We had more snow today but I could not take pictures because I had to go back to work…it is dark when I leave home in the morning and return home at night…I am sure I will have more pictures though…thx for the well wishes. I sound sicker than I feel right now.

  17. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I vowed to be more accepting, both of myself, and life this year. Not a resolution, but in fact a reason not to make one. I find they tend to make me lose sight of the bigger picture. Resolutions are too much about forcing change, and I prefer when change comes about more naturally, and beating myself up if change doesn’t arrive on schedule seems rather counterproductive. I get bored too, so variety, be it in the garden, or in life is so important. Here’s to simply being happy, and healthy in 2012. Happy New Year!

  18. Dee says:

    Donna, I thought this post was splendid. I like your choices instead of goals. I gave up on resolutions a long time ago because I always felt so low when I didn’t achieve them. I am also trying to go without sugar. It’s day two, and I feel the effects of withdrawal, but I’ll keep with it. Happy New Year. I want to join you and Carolyn in photographing my garden the first week of each month. How fun.~~Dee

    • Donna says:

      Dee you have been my role model for going gluten free…I have been sugar free for a couple of months now and feel great. It is hard to do at first but then it gets easier…the hard part is sticking to it. So glad you enjoyed the post. I love Carolyn’s meme of a Garden Walk and excited you will be joining. I am hoping to do a seasonal celebration meme…more on that later!!

  19. Christine @ The Gardening Blog says:

    Hi Donna!! This is a lovely post! I think you have the right attitude, don’t set goals – it can get stressful if you have too many set things you need to achieve in a year! Your garden looks really lovely in winter … love the snowy pics 🙂

    PS: Hope you are feeling better!

  20. Aimee says:

    I am a fan of your categorical approach to things you’d like to work toward in 2012! I find that a broader stroke in that department works for me too.

    What an incredible difference in the photos of your garden 1 year ago…same thing here, although snow is not in our forecast as it is in yours. We’ll see what happens!

    Your mention of the voles reminds me of one of the first essays in ‘A Sand County Almanac’ – one of my favorite books and authors, Aldo Leopold. Ah, Winter!

    • Donna says:

      Aimee so glad you enjoyed the post. We had a bit of a storm but we are slated for a warm up for several days and rain…seems to be the pattern this year…I have the Leopold book in a To Be Read Pile…can’t wait to read it!!

  21. debsgarden says:

    Hi Donna, I enjoyed the look at your January garden. If we had that much snow every business and school would shut down, and then we would talk about it for years! I appreciate your choices for 2012, good ones for all of us. Happy New Year!

    • Donna says:

      Deb I am so glad you enjoyed the pics and post. That little bit of snow is nothing. We had about 8 inches yesterday and all was normal here. We average 120 inches a year but this year we had 6 inches in Dec and 8 in Jan so far.Happy New Year!!

    • Donna says:

      I know what you mean…We will lose the snow this weekend with temps back in the 40s though I hope not all 8 inches…living in this area our plants depend on the snow…it is pretty and as long as the storms are too bad I can live with it….not for 4 months though…2 maybe 3 at most!!

  22. Foxglove Lane says:

    I sense a real mellowness in your wish to go with the flow. I agree nature teaches us most about this. How little control we have slowly dawns! I think your path is clear and I learn from you in many ways whenever I pause here with you. Greetings and thanks for all your support , from a wind blown island in the middle of the Atlantic:~)

    • Donna says:

      Ah but a most beautiful wind blown island….I enjoy reading your blog and have grown to look forward to our visits…I am most humbled that you learn when you visit…it is the greatest compliment you can give a teacher like myself. I wish you peace and joy this New Year on your soulful journey!!

  23. The Sage Butterfly says:

    Some of your wishes have crossed my mind this new year as I think about how I want my year to progress. I think these are areas in which I often tend to dwell, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. I hope your new year wishes come true. Happy new year!

  24. Heather says:

    Donna – good for you to try to live in the moment and simplify. What a strange winter we are all having – no snow here either. Looking for to your next simplification post.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Heather. I am looking forward to getting ready for the stages and phases by purging and clearing…the simplification will be the hardest…

  25. Beth says:

    Donna, What unusual winter weather we are having! And I’m loving it! We have had very little snow and cold in my midwestern state. I love your snow picture, and love your gazebo too.

    • Donna says:

      Beth I am enjoying not having to drive in bad weather but I do miss some of the snow as do my plants…my gazebo was a dream come true when I designed the garden…and with all the mosquitoes we have it is a nice place to rest without worrying about getting bit to death…they just love me!!

  26. bjorgnin says:


    A lot of interesting points!

    Like to join the Blogger’s Sunday Walk on January 8th?
    Read more about the event on my blog ;:OD)

    • Donna says:

      How nice to have you visit….I enjoyed your blog and am intrigued by your Blogger’s Sunday Walk. I usually post Mondays and this Monday’s post is set although I can easily have a picture from Sunday with a bit of description to join in…will you do this monthly? I like to schedule things so I can make sure I don’t miss any of the memes I want to join…thx for the invitation!!

  27. Jen says:

    Donna, your back yard is so private, and lovely. We have had some unusual weather up here also, at least that’s what they keep reminding me.

    I am sure that the North Okanagan is going to get it’s fair share of snow, it’s yet to come.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    • Donna says:

      Thx Jen..I was just thinking of you and hoping you were doing OK…maybe it is a good thing the winter is mild for you this year…it may help with your move…soon I hope 🙂

  28. Island Threads says:

    hello Donna, good luck with your new 2012 life style, like you I need to lose some weight, I love the beautiful pale blue macari at the top of this post, every where in the north seems to be having a milder winter, keep warm if the snows come, Frances

    • Donna says:

      Thx Frances…good luck to you this year in all your endeavors…it comes in waves the cold weather…a few days warm in the 40s and then back to the 20s and 30s…

  29. Jean says:

    Happy New Year, Donna. This is another wonderfully thoughtful post. (I love those powder blue Muscari in the first photo.)

    • Donna says:

      Jean they are my favorite muscari. So glad you liked the post. I am continuing it this week with my Simplify mantra for the year. Glad to hear you have some time to rest as the new year starts.

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