The January Garden (With A New Camera)


How can it be January 5th already?  I’m unquestionably behind on everything… this is no way to start!

I haven’t sorted out all the New Year’s-fresh-start-cleaning I had planned (rather embarrassingly, the fridge still has leftovers from Thanksgiving in it!), I am painfully behind on getting the Spring issue of PITH + VIGOR ready (I am still accepting submissions, if you are interested, read here) and I haven’t even really fully sorted out my goals and resolutions – well, actually I partially have – but a plan to make them happen remains totally non-existent.

withered crapapples january 4 2016 rochelle greayer


frozen crabapples on a winter sky january 4 2016 rochelle greayer

But despite this somewhat demoralizing set of facts, I am undoubtedly in the freshest, most ready, frame of mind that I have been in quite a while.  Why?  I don’t exactly know – but I suspect you can only be in the fog for so long before fog just naturally goes away.  Or maybe it is because I have taken some baby steps (probably indecipherable to anyone but me) that have started to create momentum.

the winter garden firepit january 4 2016 rochelle greayer
hydrange limelight frozen to the house january 4 2016 rochelle greayer



And I have needed some momentum lately.  Momentum to write more, momentum to plan, momentum to reach out to others, to break old habits and make better new ones.  So this post is really quite simple – it is about keeping up the momentum.

miscanthus gigantea against the winter sky january 4 2016 rochelle greayer

I got a new camera and it is a really stellar piece of equipment.  It is a Canon 70D and it is light-years better than my 10-year-old Canon Rebel that was (I think) the first generation of that camera.  The garden is treacherously covered in thick ice-snow (even with the extra 15lbs I intend to lose as part of my momentum spree, my feet don’t break through the crust) and I nearly broke myself and the camera a few times while shooting around.  But with frozen fingers, and my trusty companion (Zippy) I persevered.

zippy the bull terrier on ice snow (trying not to fall) january 4 2016 rochelle greayer

This is a meditation of sorts that I plan to do at least once every 5 days.  I’ll get better with the camera, my observations, and hopefully will notice a few things that are just waiting to be discovered and develop some rhythm.

So, here it is, documenting the first in a series.  The garden on January 4th 2015 – with a new camera that I don’t fully know how to use yet.  The aim – the capture the micro-season that is right now.  I’ve shared some other images on instagram as well.

cold curled rhododendrond leav

As I look through these on my computer screen, I am just amazed at how easily this camera captured such crisp clear images (compared to my old camera which was having serious auto focus and granularity issues that I really struggled to overcome).  I see plenty of room for improvement, but am so grateful to have the tools at my disposal that will allow me to continue to grow and expand my skills.

Dogwood berries january 4 2016 rochelle greayer

winter container garden january 4 2016 rochelle greayer

I am working on a post to look back over everything that happened in 2015 – but I have to admit, there is a big part of me that doesn’t want to take the time, I’d rather barrel ahead.  But I think putting to paper all the things that I did will be something that I will be glad I did later.  It is something I’ve wished I’d done many many times in the past.

callicarpa berries january 4 2016 rochelle greayer

Do you take the time to review – either yearly or monthly or maybe even daily?  I have made it a habit in my life to never look back, go back, or allow for regret – it’s just not in my nature, probably to a fault.  But I recently read Erin’s post about her year (though she makes me feel horribly under-achieving) and am ever more spurred to take the time to review and look back… as my momentum builds I think it will help me to look forward.


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About Rochelle Greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. Ken on January 8, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Love the shape of your fireplace/stove, keep up the momentum!

  2. Hanne Schrødter on January 19, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    I loved the terracotta pot with Birch logs and straw. That was a beautiful decoration that suited and emphasized the season.

    To look back or not. Sometimes useful and rewarding, sometimes just keeps you awaken at night.

  3. Ace Gardener on January 21, 2016 at 7:14 am


    Love to see environmental beauty! Nice Capture!

  4. Clear Gardener on February 1, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Following the ever so repeated by self-help books advice to write down your goals and display them as a constant remainder worked unexpectedly well for me. But the best part is that moment, when you have accomplished something and are able to scratch it down – sometimes it is small and only partial to your big goal, other times is huge. By that process of over-viewing and going back in time I learned to decide the big tasks into smaller ones, since the motivation grows when you feel you’re getting closer, but can work backwards if the task is overwhelmingly big and you strive to accomplish it in one go. Gardening may be the best one to both learn patience and be able to observe the results of your work. And when it comes down to capturing the moment – that’s a blessing. I loved your pictures, felt hope and warmth, despite the cold weather they depict.

  5. APT Rubbish Clearance on April 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

    nice article and pictures

  6. Gjergj Pepaj on May 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Amazing photoshoot! Professionally made.

  7. Good Guys Gardening on August 21, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    oh How those lovely plant died? I feel upset when such thing happens with me.

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