Monday, January 4, 2010

Report on 2009 resolutions

At the beginning of 2009 I made myself a list of resolutions for my plant hobby and specifically for my blog.  Some of these were pretty well upheld.  Others - not so well.  Here's how I did:

  1. Post 2-3 times per week. This task went pretty well - most of the time.  But a couple of projects kept me very busy in my "free time" which reduced the number of posts.  The biggest project was the building of my greenhouse, which gave me plenty of fodder for posts, but not much time for writing them.  I also started several very big posts that just never got complete enough to post.  All in all, I posted 100 times during the 2009 year.  The first half of the year I posted 61 times (about 10 per month).  The second half of the year I only posted 39 times (6.5 per month).  I have made myself a "schedule" of upcoming posts and I hope to be more regular once again.

  2. Review 1 book per month. I reviewed 7 books this last year, so I probably should have set this goal to be semi-monthly.  My reading and writing are always fighting for my free time.  This last year, both of them were neglected in favor of projects and trips.  I foresee several books being covered over the next couple of months: Black Plants by Paul Bonine, The Amazing Aglaonema by Frank Brown, Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon, and One River by Wade Davis.

  3. Write a "trip report" once per month. I wrote 8 trip report posts this last year.  I probably could have written two more, but 12 would have been a stretch.  This category works well as once a month during the "growing" seasons, but I don't travel much when the temperature is below 50F...  The only trip we have planned for this next year is to St. Louis.  But that trip will definitely have a good trip report, seeing as our 2nd IAS MidAmerica chapter meeting will be held at the Missouri Botanical Gardens!  I think we will be working in some other fun, nearby trips, as well.  And I never posted about our foliage drive in the Fall of last year.  I might just post that in the next month, so stay tuned!

  4. Write a "project" post once per month. I actually wrote 17 project posts this last year!  This was by far my most productive category.  That production is due mostly to my greenhouse building project.  One particular project I have been planning is my first oil painting.  I've not really ever painted before, but I have an idea for a painting that I really want to do this year.  I just bought my easel, paints and canvas and I'm looking forward to creating my first piece.  I'll share that painting here, if it turns out halfway decent.

  5. Start my Asarum collection. This never got off the ground this year, but my birthday and Christmas added some green to my wallet, so I might just order some Asarums soon and start my little collection.

  6. Grow some of my own food. My first potato crop was a success, but also left some room for improvement.  I know what to do differently next year and hopefully have better size and quantity in my crop next Fall.  I'm also hoping to start a couple of hardy kiwi vines this coming Spring.

  7. Vigorously plant figure 8 bed. Due to our Spring vacation to Hawaii about the same time that we should have been planting and watering our sweet potato vine in the figure 8 bed, I don't think "vigorous" is the apt description.  The good news is that my sweet potato plants produced large underground tubers, which I dug up and plan to plant this Spring.

  8. Fertilize. I think I have only fertilized my plants once, around the middle of the year.  So it is probably a good time to sprinkle some pellets over the soil again.  This is new to me, so it's good I made this a resolution; at least now I have a reminder whenever I check to see how I'm doing with my resolutions.

  9. Recreate corner garden. Last Spring and Summer we added several perennial plants to the corner garden that are colorful and should work better in the full to part sun that is being received in that bed.  I also added some Fall-blooming bulbs which were nice to see blooming well into November.  This Spring will reveal the success our perennial additions.  I might also add a couple of Daylilies this Spring as they are the most likely to succeed.

All in all, I had moderate success with my resolutions in 2009.  I guess it is good to aim high and push myself.  This year, I will likely be aiming for the same goals, with the exceptions I noted above.  My top priority will be the first goal: post 2-3 times per week.  Wish me luck!


  1. Good job in 2009! Your oil painting sounds quite interesting. I will be waiting to hear more....