THIS WEEK’S EMAIL NEWSLETTER (WHAT? NOT ON MY LIST?) WAS MORE letter than news (though I suppose there is some news; more on that in a moment). With crusty, 20-something-degree serious frosts upon us and the garden almost put to bed, it seemed like a good time to say thank you all for your visits, comments, and endless pieces of great gardening and life advice along the way so far in 2009. It also seemed like the right time to ask how we should spend the winter–together, I hope.
The philosophy of A Way to Garden–and my philosophy in 25-plus years of digging holes–is that the garden is a 365-day companion, and that the season never really ends. With that in mind I will continue posting (though, like last winter, on a slightly lighter schedule than in April through October) and also sending newsletters in the hopes that you, too, like to keep talking and thinking plants no matter what the weather has in store. (Register to receive them by clicking here.)
I have been stockpiling photos of hot perennials and woody things we haven’t covered yet; taking notes on such topics as which varieties of chard and kale were best of the several I grew; prepping more FAQ pages on key how-to topics; researching how those of us in the East can fend off a repeat of tomato troubles next year, if that’s possible. And more–more of the usual stuff and unusual stuff I plan to keep producing even if it snows from tomorrow until Easter. (Bite my tongue.)
I hope you will tuck in, too, for the duration, like the woolly bear caterpillar in that discarded bird’s nest up top.
And now my news: I handed in the first draft of my next book, due out in about a year, on Thursday afternoon. It was the longest piece of writing I’d ever attempted (more than 70,000 words so far, likely to grow as we edit it), and also the most personal. It’s a book about dropping out, at midlife and in peak career; about trying not to be afraid about lost prestige or about money–or about snakes and electric storms and whatever else rattles my cage.
It is a story about starting to realize a dream I’d had for more than 20 years but always been to afraid to try–to live in my rural garden fulltime, and return to the personal creativity that got lost in my executive years in publishing. It’s a book about letting nature be the guide, finally, and listening to its signals; about looking for (and finding) some peace.
This garden blog–A Way to Garden dot com–was the first thing I “created” in the aftermath of my old life. It is the most precious “possession” of my “new” life–largely, because of how welcome and connected all of you make me feel each day, even as I sit alone in Nowheresville at my old table (above) littered with all my writing stuff, pondering.
I cannot thank you enough for holding my hand, albeit digitally/virtually, these many months. So put on your mittens and let’s keep the connection going; what do you say? If there are topics you want to read more about, shout them out in comments or email–I’m listening. I will be here. As will Jack the Demon Cat, (looking surprisingly domesticated on his favorite new windowsill below).