2018 New Year’s Day–My Annual I’m Gonnas

Posted by on January 1, 2018

Each year, I like to write about my hopes for the new garden year. It surprised me to learn this was my ninth year writing this post!

Remember last year when I was looking for a change? No? Here’s a refresher–after three books in the previous seven years, plus having finished the renovation of Helen’s Haven the year before, and last year, getting Bee Better off the ground, I was looking to do something else. I found it.

Last year, I wrote about wanting to work in a public garden. And just like that, I got a job at Fearrington Village. I’ve never been happier. In my year there, I have re-designed each of my gardens and have picked up a team project with Zac to do the HWY Beds, Silo Beds, East Lawn Garden, and Pecan Trees Bed. I has been a grand adventure. I wouldn’t want Zac to blush, so I hope he doesn’t see this, but Zac is the absolute best work colleague I’ve ever had, and I’m talking about 40 years in the work force. He is only 26 (in life years) but he has already lived an eternity, in part because of his awesome parents. Well, it also takes an awesome child to recognize awesomeness when the see it. Zac did just that. We have (hopefully) two years together and then he plans to open his own restaurant. In the meantime, I will learn as much from him as possible.

I’m not even sure writing about other’s people gardens any more. I thought scouting and writing these garden stories was in my blood, but with so many changes, it has become a burden. I’ve lost track of the number of editors I’ve had to breaking 😉  I’ll leave it to others who hope to make their mark. Twelve years was a good run, writing for Southern Living, Our State, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Gardens and many others. I know many writers who would love the chance to make it to the big leagues, and here I’m walking away. I need that time to write about Bee Better!

I’ll continue to share maintenance tips and Monday Morning Gardeners Roll Call tales through Gardening With Confidence, plus posting the monthly Garden Sustainable Maintenance Practices for the Southeast.

I’m not interested in doing any more books, unless the offer is exactly what I want; however, the chances of that are slim-to-none. Publishers are only looking for titles that sell, and the content, more often than not, is just another basic beginning gardening book. It get’s old. The title I want to sell is about sustainability. Publishers would rather have a celebrity insect–bees or monarchs–so they sell twice as many books. With sustainable gardening practices, every creature, great and small, wins. I’ve really had a wake up call, although it was been my life’s work.

What to Expect in 2018

Last year’s goal was to create a Bee Better video course to reach and educate more like-minded people. It will require a grant or donations of $7,500.00. We are committed to finding the money. We have met with a professional videographer and hope we can put their services to work for all of us in Ecoregion 231. Unfortunately this didn’t come to pass. We are still hopeful in 2018

We’re also super excited to present five Bee Better forums and wine. We switched to Saturday afternoon, since so many of us wanted to be in our gardens in the morning.


The 2018 Saturday morning (5:00 PM) meeting dates and topics are:

We have had such a successful first year, with everyone sharing ideas, asking questions, answering questions, providing  ideas, and the fellowship of the Bee Better community, we will once again offer our membership for 2018.

With a tax-deductible donation of $25.00 annually, member benefits include a gathering of like-minded gardeners for late afternoon lectures March, May, July, September, November, in the Bee Better Teaching Garden, located at Helen Yoest’s home, 3412 Yelverton Circle, Raleigh, NC 27612. Non-members are invited to attend each lecture with a $10.00 donation per session.

We found our Bee Better meetings were like an open forum; a place for an exchange of ideas. Everyone learns something, no matter their gardening level. And gardening levels will benefit, from the very beginner, to the northern transplant gardener applying their talents in our clay and climate, and the super talented all-stars. There is never a stupid questions. Although Helen Yoest puts together a handout, this is just a starting point for the subjects where we can dig into. We hope you will consider becoming a member in 2018.

At each meeting, we raffle off gardening books. Last year’s books included, Pollinator Friendly Gardening, WEEDS, 101 Organic Gardening Hacks, and Real Food. We will continue this again in 2018. Also, the last meeting of 2017 we shared plants from the Bee Better garden. The ones depend on what needs thinning out.


The 2018 lecture series, held on the following Saturday afternoons at 5:00 P.M., features topics on:

March 3— Best honey and nectar perennials for the European Honey Bee

May 5 —Mysteries of the Monarch

July 7—Host Butterfly Plants For The Triangle

September 1—Hummingbird Migration

November 3—Pollinator Planning for 2019

It is my hope through education and opening the Bee Better Teaching Garden, homeowners can see first hand what other like-minded gardeners and nature lovers are doing to Bee Better. Helen Yoest, Director. @HelenYoest Click to Tweet!

2018 is the start of a Bee Better program to Pledge to Bee Better! Please add a comment!

We are offering a free Badge for Blogs within EcoRegion 231.

For a nominal fee of $25.00, we will also send you a weather-proof signs saying you have taking the pledge to Bee Better.



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