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:
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.
If there's a temporary thaw in February, I'll watch for moss stalks and flowers reaching for the sun.
Will the graceful Snowdrops bloom in March? They're always among the first flowers to appear each spring.
April will bring more new life, with unfurling Buckeye foliage and the leaves of other trees.
I do hope a few Indigo Buntings will visit as they migrate north in May.
June should bring bright colors and sunny blooms filled with pollinators.
Butterflies, like this Northern Broken Dash, will be plentiful in July.
August will be golden with blooming Black-Eyed Susans near the lake.
I hope to watch Monarch caterpillars chomping on my Milkweed plants in September.
In October, Sandhill Cranes will migrate south and dance in local prairies and meadows along the way.
Frosty Oaks will form a magical carpet, as November turns its page to winter.
And in December, our avian "forever friends" will entertain with their acrobatics and spunky competitions.
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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!