The Garden: A Year of Study


“To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.” Oscar Wilde


To say, for me,  this year sped by is an understatement.  I was to retire and then couldn’t.  I was to have time to travel, garden and write, but that evaporated due to my job.  My mother’s health was failing, and she continued to have serious issues.  Illness from stress and a crazy workload overtook me as well this fall and I was miserable.  

My typical response to all this would have been to withdraw.  And while I did somewhat, I decided to try and work through all this DSCN2875by expressing gratitude (which was my word for 2013), which I found helped.   This fall I incorporated meditation as a daily practice, and we bought a TreadClimber that the hubby finally assembled (It was quite an ordeal).  Now I have to get in the habit of using it.

I also took a couple of e-courses.  One course was Living with Ease with Sandra Pawula@Always Well Within.  She is repeating the course January 6th if you are interested.  I learned some wonderful stress reducing techniques.  The second course was with Tess Marshall of The Bold Life called Thrive-Living Life Fully.  Both Tess and Sandra are amazing teachers, and I have been blessed to know them and learn some valuable lessons from each.  This quote is a perfect compilation of what I have been learning and feeling of late:


“Be not the slave of your own past-  
plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep,  and swim far, 
so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience, that shall explain and overlook the old.”   ~Ralph Waldo Emerson



It seemed easy when I was looking for a new word to represent my path in 2014.  If I have learned anything recently it is to keep moving forward, to work through obstacles, whether placed by others or by me, and to keep focused on one thing at a time.  To be able to do all this, I would surely make progress.  So here is my focus for 2014…..



Mantra:  By taking small steps as I work toward one thing at a time….slowly


It is easy to come up with a word to describe your focus for the year; it is another to be able to keep the forward movement going.  I frequently start things, but never quite make the progress I was hoping for due to discouragement, moving too fast and burning out.

Making the beginning is one third of the work.  ~Irish Proverb


And while getting started is a big step, how do I keep myself going while avoiding self doubt.  Having plans and keeping them DSCN1730simple helps.  And making sure to have fun is essential.  Taking time to replenish oneself and getting out in nature all are ways that help me continue to make progress with my personal goals.  And I think these will serve me well for my garden projects too.

So as 2014 starts, I am rolling out my new garden projects.  And my next big project is to do nothing.  Well it seems like nothing since I am not going to be planting many plants or bulbs in spring, and I did very little in fall.

I have realized I need to spend more time observing the garden beds as if I just moved in.  And really that won’t be too hard, after all the garden has been left on its own to languish for a few years especially in the back.  And I have removed some non-native plants and replaced them with natives, but the plan was hurried.


So I have decided to make a slow study of my garden.  Watching it grow through the seasons, capturing images, recording data and learning more about the plants and growing conditions so I can see what may need a redesign, some renewal or refurbishing.

For longtime readers of my blog, you know that my life and my garden an inextricably entwined.  As I make this slow study of my garden, I can’t help but learn so much more about myself and my personal goals as well.  I know for my gardens to thrive they need regular maintenance that has been neglected.  Things like:

  • soil replenished and top-dressed
  • weeds pulled so plants have room to grow
  • organic fertilizers applied
  • beds edged to stop the encroaching grass
  • divide overgrown plants

And while I work in the garden doing regular upkeep, I will be thinking about the care I need to do for myself.

The blog will also go through a few changes.  One you see here is the change in its look, and there will finally be some new pages.

Oh and I have some great news.  I have been asked to be part of another team of bloggers at Vision and Verb.  You may recall, I did a guest post back in September.  This amazing team of diverse women from around the globe do some amazing things and write beautiful posts.  I hope you will visit me there as well, and get to know this team and blog.


So as we close 2013 and celebrate the New Year, I hope you enjoy this little verse about my journey for 2014!


Moving forward

Slowly along a path-

With a sense of hope and

Renewal welling up.

Inside filling me

With a burning desire

That shines bright

Radiating all around.

A deep sense growing,

Flourishing, strong, thriving!

Donna Donabella

***I included these sunrises from throughout 2013.  I thought they were perfect for the dawning of a New Year!


Next up on the blog:  Next Monday, I will continue to reveal some plans for Gardens Eye View, the gardens and me.  I hope you will continue to follow in 2014, and I thank you for your readership.

I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my latest post.  My next post will be on January 7th.

I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.  My first post will be on January 22nd.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.

sharetheloveI am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2013.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.