“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day. It’s a new life…” Nina Simone
I suppose it would be more conventional to write chapters 1-25 first, if I were to write a chapter per year of how horticulture has informed my life. With a nod to how we all began, I’d like to let you know what we’re planning for 2014.
Chapter 1: Chris and I began Avant Gardens when we were asked to install a cut flower and herb garden for a local bistro. That was more than 25 years ago.
Chapter 26: (the first paragraphs…)
Grow. Isn’t that an optimistic word? What other word or phrase has the same meaning? Move forward, awaken, gain awareness, obtain height, expand. Grow? a simple powerful four letter word, and it perfectly sums up what Chris and I chose to do with our lives after we were hired by that bistro owner mentioned in Chapter 1.
We can’t help but grow at Avant Gardens in 2014. It’s a given…we will have many new plant offerings to tempt you. As always, there is an emphasis on uncommon selections which will look good for a long time in your garden. Besides plants, we are growing new ideas and new ways of sharing them. We are in the process of redoing and are just weeks away from debuting our new website. Not only will our online plant catalog have a beautiful new look with very useful search features; our new website will begin to showcase the evocative garden landscapes and stonework which Chris Tracey has designed and installed in recent years. We also want to share some beautiful images of our own innovative, ever changing planting schemes and stone features here at Avant Gardens.
I have been feeling a growth spurt of my own. Many of you know me as the head honcho at the nursery and the main voice behind this blog. Recently, I have become more involved with the garden design services of Avant Gardens. After taking on a few sweet projects this past year, I realized that as much as I have invested my heart and soul in operating a nursery, I really miss designing and planting new gardens. There has been one obstacle: I need time. In order to free up more time for client meetings and executing drawings, we are going to have a more limited visiting hours schedule. We will keep hours much the way other mail order nurseries function: Open House Weekends through out the season, and always, be open by appointment. As in the past, we encourage our local customers to place will call orders with their preferred pickup date if they would like us to reserve special plants for them.
There are more growth spurts calling me (which may provide some lively blog discussions). I’m considering keeping bees, I really want to have a more ambitious vegetable garden, I’m hoping to make time to practice my painting skills and pay homage to what’s in season by creating “out of the garden” botanical arrangements. All too often I have been a gardener who can get so bogged down with the chores that I am not enjoying the wonder that surrounds me. The growth spurts which are calling me are actually ways I will address this. Each is an expression of garden celebration. My new year’s resolution is to make a regular practice of celebrating our garden…winter, spring, summer and fall.
Now tell me, how do you plan to grow and celebrate in 2014?