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Down To Earth Gardening

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It's hard to believe that the New Year is already here. What a year it has been! I can't help but reflect back on the past year's accomplishments while eagerly looking forward to the year ahead.

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As I look back on the past year, I have to say that taking this position at the Extension Office has been a major accomplishment on a personal level. I had no idea how my family would handle my working after being home with children for the past six years. I'm busier than ever, but am the type of person that gets more done if I have more to do. It has forced us to get on a schedule and work together as a family to get homework done, showers taken and out the door on time.

On another note, I have also accomplished staying married after a major kitchen remodel, this taking place over the past four months. I have to admit that I have gotten my husband into a lot of messes over the past 15 years, but we will never do another kitchen remodel. Once you go through one you get to join an elite club, sort of like childbirth; no one understands how bad it is unless you've been through it.

In the coming year I am planning on expanding my vegetable gardens. Placement, layout and selection all have to be rethought. I have been looking out at the somewhat blank slate that the snow cover affords me, trying to think outside the box. Yesterday, I asked my husband how hard it was to move a Rainbow Play System, but after the look I received I may have to rethink that plan. That's OK, it's going to be a long five months before I can act.

I am curious to see how my foundation plantings are going to fare in the coming year. It will be three years since we had all the foundation plantings, rocks and plastic (two layers!) removed from the beds. They have been replanted and are going to be hitting their three-year stride, so I'll be able to tell if I got the spacing right or if the Ninebark is just going to take over. Also in the coming year, I am contemplating moving one of my huge Annabelle Hydrangeas, getting serious about composting, growing pumpkins with my sons, planting more trees and starting my hillside garden project. A girl can dream, right?

So as we say goodbye to 2008, I also bid you farewell. As the year comes to a close, so does my temporary position. What I have loved about being here is the interaction with the public, the detective work, and that I have started writing again. I don't know what I'll do next. Maybe I'll follow through with my threats to my family and write a book. The New Year is like a garden; fresh, clean and full of anticipation of what will happen next. Thanks for your time. It's been fun.

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