Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Goals

Happy New Year! Now that we're in the first week of January, it's the traditional time to set goals for ourselves for the new year.

The personal goals are easy:

1. I want to complete my Master Gardener volunteer work, so that I can become a MG (I'm still an intern, as I've finished the course work but not the initial volunteer requirement of 40 hours).

2. I want to write my history of Iowa gardening book that I've been researching since October and started writing a few weeks ago. I don't think I can finish writing it before the spring gardening season begins and I get busy with that, but I think I can make a pretty good start if I continue working as I have been. And the longer I continue looking for garden photos and other research material online and in libraries, the more I will discover, so I'm not in a hurry to cut off that process, but I don't want to drag out the project for years. I guess I'd like the draft to be in good enough shape that I can start shopping it around to publishers by autumn.
The house and grounds of the wealthy Eldridge Rand, an early amateur
horticultural enthusiast of Burlington, Iowa,  shown in 1873.
Note the large greenhouse at right.

3. I'd like to get in better physical shape and lose a few pounds, like most Americans. I want to be in better shape by the start of the gardening season, so it will be easier to do garden tasks. The season starts in about three months -- I'd better start getting in shape now!

Gardening is hard work -- I'd better start getting in shape!
(wikipedia commons)

4. I want to be a better lesson planner for my children, whom I homeschool. Sometimes when I get busy with my projects, I let the lessons go on autopilot and I end up not having enough time to cover every topic that I want to before moving on. I need to do a better job of pre-planning, so I can cover more of what I think is important.
...or not!
(wikipedia commons)

5. I want to visit more gardens in Iowa this spring and summer. I'd really like to go to the Pella Tulip Festival in early May, and there are some beautiful parks and botanical gardens that I've discovered while researching my book that I'd like to see.
The Pella, Iowa Tulip Festival (

6. I want to read more garden books, and more books in general.

The garden books I bought at a large
booksale in October.

7. I want to improve my blogging skills and enthusiasm, and make my blog more enjoyable and interesting for readers. Equally, I want to do a better job of keeping up with reading other bloggers' posts, so I know what is happening in their gardens and lives. As with gardening, I tend to feel burnt out in both midsummer and late autumn, and I often need to take a break from both gardening and reading about gardens during those times, but I need to find a way to do it that minimizes my absence from both posting and reading others' posts.

I was shocked and greatly saddened to return from my autumn break to find that Lee May, whose blog I had followed for some time, had become ill with cancer and passed away in early December. To my shame, I had become so distracted researching my garden history book during October and November that I had missed his announcement sharing his diagnosis with readers, as well as his last, short post. This graphically illustrates the importance of making an effort to keep up with what's happening in other bloggers' lives, because blogging is being part of a community, not just writing posts.


Those are my main personal goals for 2015. But the goals for my gardens are harder, because I purposely haven't thought about them too much yet, so that I'll have something to think about in February and March when I'm tired of winter. Last year, I posted a list of garden goals on January 1st, but by March I had many more goals and had rethought many of the earlier ones. I will need to think about this some more before I commit myself online.

I look forward to reading about your own goals for 2015 -- I hope you will share them, because you don't know someone until you know what (s)he wants out of life, what goals (s)he is striving toward. Thanks for reading! -Beth


  1. Hi Beth, I wish you great success in achievement of your goals. I think you are an incredibly industrious person, what with home schooling, being a wife and mother, writing a book, and maintaining your many large gardens.
    Blessings, Beth

    1. Thank you for your very kind comment, Beth -- I'm sure you have just as much going on in your life: as a wife, serious gardener, writing your lovely blog, your numerous interesting travels that you share with us, and maintaining the many longtime friendships you have, for which I envy you. I much appreciate you being such a steadfast visitor to my blog! -Beth

  2. Beth I share a bit about my garden goals on my garden blog and personal goals on my new blog...both are listed on my profile and sidebar. Good luck with your goals.