Getting a Fresh Start: A gardener’s dozen of New Year’s resolutions

Carrots, garden, organic, Alaska, Kodiak Island, agriculture, macro, close-up, gardening, how to, tipsThe end of the year is the time that most of us associate with turning over a new leaf, making plans, and evaluating. Taking it one step further is territory where resolutions and goals follow. Hmm, I’ve learned (often the hard way) that if you don’t have a goal to shoot for, you’re more likely to miss the target.
“Honey, if you don’t try,” Mom would tell me, “the answer is always no.” So here goes…
1) To spend as much time in the garden as I do reading, writing and talking about it.
2) To donate more vegetables to the local food bank.
3) To grow something new from seed. For instant inspiration, head over to Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Fedco Seeds.
4) To introduce at least one person to gardening. Getting your hands in the dirt is a good habit to develop in 2012.
5) To plant more flowers for bees and other beneficial insects.
6) To sniff more flowers with my nose and camera lens.
7) To try at least one natural pest control that I’ve never used.
8) To have more faith in plants. “Plants want to survive and live,” reminds Amy Pennington, author of Apartment Gardening. “They will go to great lengths to make sure their genetic strain lives on. They don’t need constant monitoring—they just need a helper.”
9) To take better care of my indoor plants. It’s the least I can do for those who brighten my interiorscape.
10) To learn the names of (and photograph) more local wildflowers. Mid-June to mid-July is the best time to get out and botanize around Kodiak island. Once you’ve hung around wildflowers for a while, your garden varieties seem, well, tame.
11) To set the timer when I head outside to do some weeding. It’s easy to get distracted with all that cries for attention.
12) To learn or improve on some garden techniques like pruning, composting, or grafting.
13) To keep the wonder of plants, flowers, and nature in my heart, realizing, as the saying goes: “I am not the doer; I am a mere instrument in His hand.”
With blessings, here’s to a glorious year!

More resources you might enjoy:
You can find dozens of articles, tips, recipes and essays by Marion on her original website.
To enjoy more of Marion’s photographs (or to order canvas prints, mouse pads–you name it–using Marion’s photographs), please visit

No Comments

  • Cora87
    January 17, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    I never thought about planting flowers for the bees. Really, it sounds silly, but I didn’t. I’m so brand new to gardening–well, I’m not, but I’m pretty terrible at it, so am looking for good ways to learn to garden. I have a desire to feed my family organically, and purchase organic when I can. I’ve found a new resource and I’m hopeful it will give me what I need. Because I’m clearly not a green thumb like you are, I need something efficient and successful. Here’s what I plan to try; the reviews are stellar. Any advice would be great.;

    • marionowen
      May 19, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      This is very late, I know. If I was starting out, I would contact local gardeners, local clubs and the extension service for your area. Maybe there is a garden columnist for your local paper? It’s all about practice. Really. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I knew nothing about gardening when I moved to Alaska!

  • Patty
    January 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Hi Marion,
    So good to hear from you again. Your snowflake photo’s are awe inspiring.
    Peace and best to you,
    Patty in Vermont

    • marionowen
      January 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Hi Patty! I hear Vermont snowflakes are the best! Snowflake Bentley was an inspiration for me many years ago. I might have to fly over and hang out with my microscape-camera!

  • Vicky
    December 29, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Marion, So happy you’re back I missed you! Happy New Year! Vicky

  • Vicy
    December 29, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Marion, so happy you’re back, I missed ya! Happy New Year! Vicky

  • Cathy
    December 29, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Oops mistyped my web URL it’s .net not .com sorry

  • Cathy
    December 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Love #8 “…..they just need a helper.”
    Great list of plans! I’ll try to oin you on a few of them (long distance;-) ). I’ve been pouring over the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog.

    • marionowen
      December 29, 2011 at 4:50 PM

      Thanks, Cathy. I’ll check into the Baker Creek catalog. Have a wonderful New Year!–Marion

  • Linda
    December 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    OOO, I am SO GLAD to find you once again! You are such an inspiration!

  • colleen
    December 29, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Lovely blog set-up. If I could accomplish in a lifetime, what you plan for in one year, I would be a happy girl! Thanks for all the inspiration and knowledge so willingly lent to us. Best Wishes!

    • marionowen
      December 30, 2011 at 8:10 AM

      Thanks, Colleen. We are all connected! Have a wonderful and fully-blessed New Year! Cheers, Marion


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