A Gardener’s Repose

Whew! What a year! I confess I’m a little out of breath.

After more than a decade as a landscaper, I became editor of the Laidback Gardener blog in late 2022, continuing what my father, Larry Hodgson, started in 2014. So I traded the shovel for the keyboard, while continuing my design work to make ends meet. A lot of work, a lot of novelty, a lot of learning!

My garden suffered a bit! Not that I’d done much with it before, laziness obliges, but I forgot to resow certain things, like the lettuces, and I sowed the cucumbers so late that they didn’t produce. And the damn peas, why can’t I harvest any, and why do I keep planting them every year? I have to admit that with all these failures, there wasn’t much to eat in my autumn garden!

A Pleasant Surprise, a Great Success

Not that there hasn’t been something positive! Despite my neglect, I’ve had some great crops in the containers on my terrace: tomatoes, herbs and climbing beans. And what can I say about my drip irrigation system! I wouldn’t go back. It’s so easy to install and saves so much work, especially as I’ve been able to go away without having to worry about my garden. My stem hydrangea, which I salvaged from a building site and planted in a pot, survived the winter and bloomed all summer and into autumn, much to my girlfriend’s delight.

To tell the truth, I’m surprised at the success I’ve had, in spite of everything, both in my garden and in my work. That we have had, in fact. A little over a year since I took the reins, the Laidback Gardener blog is still going strong thanks to a small team of contributors and volunteers, some of whom help with the writing, others with editing, layout, Web programming, project management and so on.

Our new logo launched in 2023!

Some Challenges to Overcome

Despite all this success, we won’t rest on our laurels (because that would crush them)! There are still other challenges to overcome. Financing is a major one, and you’ll probably be seeing a few changes soon on the advertising front that will help us ensure the website’s longevity (I know, advertising isn’t sexy, but we have to live with it for now!). You too can support the Laidback Gardener financially; thank you to all those who have done so and continue to do so. We couldn’t succeed without your support and cooperation.

After a turbulent past year, for me as I imagine for you, crowned by a holiday season spent with friends and family, it’s finally time for the gardener’s repose. For me, it’s a chance to spend time in nature and enjoy our beautiful Canadian winter, my favorite season, as well as my father’s (two gardeners who love winter, it’s beyond comprehension).

During this period of calm, we can idly think about, perhaps eventually, preparing for our next gardening season. Shopping for seeds, mapping out our garden, reading about gardening (I know a good blog about it, by the way!). But, there’s no rush, good things take time and the best ideas come when we’re not looking for them!

And with that in mind, the main authors of The Laidback Gardener, Julie, Audrey and I, will be taking the month of January off. Don’t worry, we’ll still be posting daily, including several of my father’s gems never before published on this blog. We’ll be back in February with a rested mind to accompany you in a new gardening season.

Happy New Year, happy resting and happy gardening!

Mathieu manages the jardinierparesseux.com and laidbackgardener.blog websites. He is also a garden designer for a landscaping company in Montreal, Canada. Although he loves contributing to the blog, he prefers fishing.

5 comments on “A Gardener’s Repose

  1. Raisa Ghersi

    Every day, my first reading is the articles that you publish, many of your tips have been of great help to me, thank you!
    Happy new year to all !

  2. Checker Ives

    Repose is vital for restoring our energy, perspective and imagination. All necessary ingredients for a good life. Enjoy! We look forward to the new year and season ahead in due time.

  3. Your father would be proud with how you have carried forward on his brainchild blog. Enjoy your winter interlude. Looking forward to reading the blog again in February.

  4. Joan Kathleen Murray

    Found your blog s few months ago and am enjoying it immensely; a lovely way to start each day. I used to enjoy Larry’s writings in various gardening magazines so am delighted to see his byline again: purposeful and appropriate recycling! Enjoy your well-earned time off and all the best for the New Year.
    Joan Murray
    Oakville ON

  5. Lorraine Morgan

    Wishing you a relaxing January. I have just subscribed, not sure if the blog will be relevant for me as gardening, in a minimal way, in the UK, but time will tell.

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