Advice and Lessons from 2008

Like many others, I find myself reflecting back on 2008 during these last few days of December.

I had a lot of fun in 2008, much of it already recounted in my annual Christmas letter posted a few days ago.

I learned a lot, too.

My lessons started out in January, with some advice on gardening from the garden fairies here in my garden. I wonder if they will have more advice in 2009? I expect they will, and fairly soon, as they don’t have much else to do in January but give out advice.

Back in February, I recounted the lessons I learned from my Dad about growing tomatoes. I will always a be a ‘staker’ when it comes to tomatoes, but in 2009, I plan to see how the other half does it, by planting one bush variety of tomatoes and caging them.

In April, I left my garden, got on a plane, flew to Austin, Texas, and after three action-packed days spent with wonderful gardeners in and around beautiful gardens, I brought back a notebook full of new ideas for my own garden. I hope to bring back just as many ideas when I meet up with other garden bloggers in Chicago in 2009.

Then in May, I learned the gardening lessons from the hoes. I don’t care what anyone else says about hoes, these basic gardening tools really get to the root of the matter, when it comes to gardening and life. I plan to do a lot of hoeing in 2009.

In June, I learned the lessons of the peas. I can apply these to most anything I plant and be successful. And to think I just share them with everyone for free! I think applying these lessons to my planting in 2009 will make it my best garden ever, or at least that’s my plan!

All I learned about life, I learned from the weeds in July. Well, it’s not all I learned about life, but these are good lessons to apply in 2009.

I’m looking forward to the New Year, and I hope you are, too.

For all of us, may 2009 be our best year yet in the garden and may the lessons be easy to learn, but teach us a lot.


  1. The fairies will speak fairly soon. How true!

  2. I hope the fairies will be kind in their lectures/demands/etc! Here's to an absolutely fabulous 2009!

  3. Hopefully we will "embrace" the lessons learned and all have a prosperous new year!

  4. We have fairies in our house, too. We have boo-boo kissing fairies, bathtub drain fairies, baby planting fairies... we've got 'em all. Now I just need to entice me some garden fairies and we'll be set!

    Here's to a great 2009! :-)

    ~Angela :-)

  5. Here's to the best year in the garden yet...until 2010. Happy New Year, Carol!

  6. lessons we take and recognize make us progress...

    Best 2009 Carol!!

  7. I am looking forward to all the lessons you care to share with us Carol. You teach in a way that doesn't feel like they are being hit over the head with a hoe to learn it. Happy New Year.

  8. Hi Carol, and a happy 2009 to you and your fairies. It has been a wonderful year and a pleasure to meet you in person. I hope there is room in the lecture hall when they decide to speak, for many of us are all ears! :-)

  9. Gardening always has something to teach those who are willing to learn. I will be most interested in following your tomato experiment. We've always caged our tomatoes.

  10. What an action packed year! I sure hope that 2009 is a little bit nicer, especially weather wise.

  11. Here's to hoping the lessons of 2009 will not be from the School of Hard Knocks!

  12. Thanks for all the links to lessons in your post. I love that you say next year will be your best garden ever. That's a resolution I think we all make, and make again every year. Happy 09!

  13. One thing I've learned this year is that there is always something new to be learned about gardening! It's good to be open to new ideas, too, and I'm impressed, Carol, that you are going to try caging a few tomatoes. After reading your post last summer, I decided I'd try staking some this year:)

  14. Lovely article and gorgeus flower!


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