The January Blues

Kerri’s flowers

January, 2019

For some time now, I have considered starting a gardening blog. My hesitation was rooted in fear. The fear remains, but here we go…

I am not sure who my audience will be, but my hope is to discover at least a few kindred spirits out there. Together, we can walk the garden path and learn from each other. 

I have been gardening for at least 25 years. Possibly longer if you count the time I spent watching my father plant tulip bulbs, marigolds, and other flowers outside our front door. A few years ago, with the help of my local county extension office, I took classes, and obtained my master gardener certificate. This only showed me how little I really know about gardening. The world of plants and how to maintain them can by overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you! I believe everyone can find joy in gardening, even on the smallest scale. 

I have always felt a connection and sense of wonderment when it comes to putting a plant or seed in the ground. I have transformed 3 yards of my own into gardens. I experimented and failed time and time again, and expect to continue. 

My medium is flowers. I have never felt the same connection to vegetables and fruits as I do to flowers. I love herbs as well. I always tell people that vegetables are too much work. I don’t know if they really are too much work, but rather it is not work I want to focus my energies on. Besides I need an excuse to go to the farmer’s market. 

7 years ago, I moved to West Des Moines, Iowa and into a lovely home with a decent size yard. It was “landscaped” with an all to common combo of junipers and bayberry bushes, not to mention layers and layers of small river rock as mulch. I will discuss my intense dislike for these rocks later and likely more then a few times. 

I always start thinking about the spring in January. For in January in the midwest anyway,  there is little to do otherwise. I could concentrate my thoughts on the 6 or so inches of snow on the ground and the single to below zero temps outside, but that would only send my mind down a dark hole that is difficult to climb out of.

I never tire of seeing plants work their way up through the recently frozen and snow covered ground in the spring. When my children were of the age that I could hold their attention for a few minutes, I would drag them outside in the spring and point out the brave souls that were risking coming above ground and possibly blooming. Let me tell you, they know what lilacs smell like and can probably tell an iris from a daisy(fingers crossed…). 

One thing that can be done in January is planning. Planning how to design your garden, the type you prefer, the type for your lifestyle and home, and the type for how much time you wish to spend maintaining it. 

There are no hard and fast rules. Maybe you just want a few containers of flowers on your deck or porch. On the other hand, maybe you are considering digging up a sizable area of your yard in the spring and starting over. Either way, you are gardening and you are creating. 

I decided since this is my first blog entry, I would keep the content fairly general. I am prepared to help with general plant info, pruning tips, pest control, and very basic garden design. You can expect a blog post about every 4-6 weeks. I open always open to suggestions and requests for topics to be covered. 

If you live in the midwest and are just trying to survive the next several weeks, but fancy some garden exposure, I recommend thumbing through seed catalogs or reading about gardening. Below I have listed some of my favs. 

My next blog post will discuss garden tools-what you need and what you can give to good will. I will also discuss cleaning and maintenance of said tools. 

Thanks for joining me! Until next time. 



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