December 30, 2016

Twelve of My Favorite Things (2016)

Are you hopeful for the year ahead?

The 18th century English architect and landscape designer William Kent offered sage advice: "Garden as though you will live forever." Gardens give us hope—for ourselves and for the generations to follow.

In that spirit, I contemplated simple gardening joys of this year that I hope to see again in 2017. For the past several years, I've created lists of favorite garden and nature "things." They help me appreciate each moment and each season in its time.

Here are my reminders for the next 12 months:

january

Songbirds of many species are common in my winter garden. I hope I'll also see a few rarer visitors, like this fluffy Common Redpoll, who stopped by last January.

february

If there's a temporary thaw in February, I'll watch for moss stalks and flowers reaching for the sun.

march

Will the graceful Snowdrops bloom in March? They're always among the first flowers to appear each spring.

april

April will bring more new life, with unfurling Buckeye foliage and the leaves of other trees.

may

I do hope a few Indigo Buntings will visit as they migrate north in May.

june

June should bring bright colors and sunny blooms filled with pollinators.

july

Butterflies, like this Northern Broken Dash, will be plentiful in July.

august

August will be golden with blooming Black-Eyed Susans near the lake.

september

I hope to watch Monarch caterpillars chomping on my Milkweed plants in September.

october

In October, Sandhill Cranes will migrate south and dance in local prairies and meadows along the way.

november

Frosty Oaks will form a magical carpet, as November turns its page to winter.

december

And in December, our avian "forever friends" will entertain with their acrobatics and spunky competitions.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

When I think of these simple pleasures, and many more, the year ahead looks brighter. Each month carries its own unique, simple blessings.

My wish for you in the year ahead is that you'll find many "favorite things" and gifts that will bring you much joy.

Happy New Year!

46 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos of each month of 2016 years. I wish you a happy 2017 years!

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    1. Thank you, Giga. Each year, each day, each moment brings a special joy. Many blessings to you in the year ahead!

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  2. That is an odd quote to me as an architect and landscape designer. We don't build building anymore to last forever (many don't even make 25 years) and gardens are always changing over time. Maybe plant a tree and it outlives us, but I must be missing more of what he authored. Very nice photo presentation, Beth. Just lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I guess the message is to garden, plan, and live with passion and hope. Not that things won't change, but that the effort is worth it. Perhaps that creating something of beauty and interacting with nature has its own eternal purpose, even if the physical aspects of it are ephemeral. :)

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  3. What a lovely retrospective of 2016 in your garden. Wishing you all good things for the coming year--and beyond!

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    1. Thanks, Tina. The garden is quiet, but much is happening--even now in winter. Blessings to you and yours, as well, in the months ahead!

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  4. I so look forward to your list every year....I will have to contemplate mine at some future date....but I agree. These beautiful things bring us such joy! Happy New Year Beth.....

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    1. Thank you, Donna. The joy of simple things keeps me going. As they say, "There is always, always something to be thankful for."

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  5. It's been lovely looking back over your year...
    Wishing you well in 2017..
    Amanda xx

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    1. Hi Amanda: Blessings for you and yours in the year ahead, too. Gardening is a special joy, isn't it? :)

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  6. How can a 'common' redpoll be rare?! ;-)

    Happy Near Year, Beth!

    Best wishes for 2017!!

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    1. Hey Aaron: They're apparently "common" around the very northern parts of the world, but not as common where I live, although we do see them occasionally. Cuties! Happy New Year to you, too!

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  7. Have you thought of printing a calender? Such enchanting pictures.

    I also wait for March, bulbs and planting time!

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    1. Oh, that's sweet, Diana. I did offer a calendar a few years when I first started the blog. A few people bought it. Seems most people (including me) use digital calendars these days. Blooming time for you; planting time for me...and then reversed. ;-)

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  8. You grabbed me at the beginning with Redpoll at your feeder. Love those little birds and I haven't seen one in a long time. Lucky you having one at your feeder. Seeing all the action in your garden makes me pine for the new year. Come on 2017 I am ready for you.

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    1. They are cuties, aren't they? And so cuddly looking when they're puffed up against the cold. I haven't seen any this year yet, but the winter has just begun. :(

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  9. Wonderful post filled with great anticipation for days to come. Wishing you happiness in the new year 2017!

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    1. Thanks, Lee. There's always something to look forward to in the garden, right? Happy New Year!

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  10. Happy new year to you and thank you for the reminder of all the simple joys our gardens provide every month of the year!

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    1. Happy New Year, Peter! Yes, people with gardens or access to gardens are blessed with treasures every day of the year. :)

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  11. I love the thought of a new beginning in the garden. It is why I love a four season garden. I'm looking forward to 2017 and all the gardening surprises that await in yours and in mine!

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    1. Hi Becky: I agree. I enjoy the four seasons, too. Winter could be a little shorter, but it's fine through January. ;-) All the best for you and your garden in 2017!

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  12. Beautiful Beth . . .
    Inspired me to anticipate the joys of plant and bird, for 2017.
    Happy New Year

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    1. Happy New Year, Lynne! We have so much to anticipate with great hope. Cheers!

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  13. I just love your photos, Beth :-) Nature is my god, and hopefully will keep me sane through the next year.

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    1. Thank you, Cassi. Nature is a great gift to all of us, I believe from a loving God. Definitely not something to squander. Blessings to you in the year ahead. :)

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  14. Your beautiful pictures show that the gardening year is not just about flowers. Maybe that's what Kent meant: by gardening to attract pollinators we garden for the future. Happy New Year, Beth. P. x

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    1. Thanks, Pam. I think you're right: There's a bigger meaning to Kent's words. We don't live forever, but our care for the world--even in little ways--can make a big difference for generations to come. Blessings. :)

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  15. Great post and photographs. A happy new year to you! Look forward tor seeing you in DC, and I've been thinking about a Midwest Meetup in Chicago.

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    1. Thanks, Jason. I'm not sure I'll make it to the Fling this year, since I'm doing the Monarch sanctuaries trip. But I do look forward to a Midwest Meetup in Chicago. Happy New Year!

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  16. Just beautiful. Put all together they make a wonderful post. I especially remembered the frosty leaves, so pretty.

    Happy New Year!



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    1. Beth, lovely words, lovely pictures. Imagine having Indigo Buntings to visit--would love that. Best to you in the new year. Susie

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    2. Thanks, Shirley and Susie. Every month there's something beautiful in nature to witness. Blessings to both of you in the months ahead! :)

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  17. So many beautiful things to look forward to! It's great that you have that kind of awareness. Best wishes!

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  18. What a fabulous post to look back at the past year. May 2017 be happy and healthy for you and your family Beth.... Michelle

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  19. Happy New Year, what a fun idea. It is lovely to look back with you. Taking the time to ENJOY! That is very so key, just taking the time to notice to notice the beauty. So many of us are in such a hurry, this helps me remind my self to breath and enjoy when the world seems to make me rush.
    Love, Carla

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  20. Happy New Year, Beth! I'm trying to focus on the positive in the year ahead, too, and your lovely photos are a reminder of so many joys we have to look forward to in the coming months.

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  21. Happy New Year to you too Beth. You have some wonderful remainders for yourself.

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  22. A look back is a happy reminder of what awaits us as we move forward...and why we do this. Happy New Year!

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  23. You always have a positive take on things which is the perfect way for us to start the new year.

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  24. Simple blessings, like the ones you show from your garden, enrich our lives greatly if we take time to appreciate them Your Common Redpoll is uncommonly cute! Happy New year!

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  25. It's so wonderful to hear an upbeat voice! Bless you, Beth, we all need to embrace hope. Happy New Year!

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  26. Oh Beth - how delightful! I had a gardening friend who was still growing peonies from seed into his late eighties - truly someone who believed he would live forever. While he may have passed away, those peonies live on in many gardens around our community. Hope this year is a fabulous one for you and your family.

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  27. Happy New Year Beth! I haven't thought of doing the monthly summary, a nice idea. I just do this for my sunset shots through my window to compare the position of the sun in my horizon. I think i will do the 12 month summary for my hoyas! haha. Keep warm.

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  28. Happy new year! What a wonderful look back over the year. Your photography is really beautiful

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