Getting a Fresh Start: A gardener’s dozen of New Year’s resolutions

Carrots, garden, organic, Alaska, Kodiak Island, agriculture, macro, close-up, gardening, how to, tipsThe end of the year is the time that most of us associate with turning over a new leaf, making plans, and evaluating. Taking it one step further is territory where resolutions and goals follow. Hmm, I’ve learned (often the hard way) that if you don’t have a goal to shoot for, you’re more likely to miss the target.

“Honey, if you don’t try,” Mom would tell me, “the answer is always no.” So here goes…

1) To spend as much time in the garden as I do reading, writing and talking about it.

2) To donate more vegetables to the local food bank.

3) To grow something new from seed. For instant inspiration, head over to Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Fedco Seeds.

4) To introduce at least one person to gardening. Getting your hands in the dirt is a good habit to develop in 2012.

5) To plant more flowers for bees and other beneficial insects.

6) To sniff more flowers with my nose and camera lens.

7) To try at least one natural pest control that I’ve never used.

8) To have more faith in plants. “Plants want to survive and live,” reminds Amy Pennington, author of Apartment Gardening. “They will go to great lengths to make sure their genetic strain lives on. They don’t need constant monitoring—they just need a helper.”

9) To take better care of my indoor plants. It’s the least I can do for those who brighten my interiorscape.

10) To learn the names of (and photograph) more local wildflowers. Mid-June to mid-July is the best time to get out and botanize around Kodiak island. Once you’ve hung around wildflowers for a while, your garden varieties seem, well, tame.

11) To set the timer when I head outside to do some weeding. It’s easy to get distracted with all that cries for attention.

12) To learn or improve on some garden techniques like pruning, composting, or grafting.

13) To keep the wonder of plants, flowers, and nature in my heart, realizing, as the saying goes: “I am not the doer; I am a mere instrument in His hand.”

With blessings, here’s to a glorious year!

Marion Owen, photographer, organic gardener, Kodiak Island, Alaska

More resources you might enjoy:

You can find dozens of articles, tips, recipes and essays by Marion on her original website.

To enjoy more of Marion’s photographs (or to order canvas prints, mouse pads–you name it–using Marion’s photographs), please visit

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12 Responses to Getting a Fresh Start: A gardener’s dozen of New Year’s resolutions

  1. colleen says:

    Lovely blog set-up. If I could accomplish in a lifetime, what you plan for in one year, I would be a happy girl! Thanks for all the inspiration and knowledge so willingly lent to us. Best Wishes!

  2. Linda says:

    OOO, I am SO GLAD to find you once again! You are such an inspiration!

  3. Cathy says:

    Love #8 “…..they just need a helper.”
    Great list of plans! I’ll try to oin you on a few of them (long distance;-) ). I’ve been pouring over the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog.

  4. Cathy says:

    Oops mistyped my web URL it’s .net not .com sorry

  5. Vicy says:

    Marion, so happy you’re back, I missed ya! Happy New Year! Vicky

  6. Vicky says:

    Marion, So happy you’re back I missed you! Happy New Year! Vicky

  7. Patty says:

    Hi Marion,
    So good to hear from you again. Your snowflake photo’s are awe inspiring.
    Peace and best to you,
    Patty in Vermont

    • marionowen says:

      Hi Patty! I hear Vermont snowflakes are the best! Snowflake Bentley was an inspiration for me many years ago. I might have to fly over and hang out with my microscape-camera!

  8. Cora87 says:

    I never thought about planting flowers for the bees. Really, it sounds silly, but I didn’t. I’m so brand new to gardening–well, I’m not, but I’m pretty terrible at it, so am looking for good ways to learn to garden. I have a desire to feed my family organically, and purchase organic when I can. I’ve found a new resource and I’m hopeful it will give me what I need. Because I’m clearly not a green thumb like you are, I need something efficient and successful. Here’s what I plan to try; the reviews are stellar. Any advice would be great.;

    • marionowen says:

      This is very late, I know. If I was starting out, I would contact local gardeners, local clubs and the extension service for your area. Maybe there is a garden columnist for your local paper? It’s all about practice. Really. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I knew nothing about gardening when I moved to Alaska!

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