Less Noise, More Green: Starting 2015 with a clean slate

Monday, January 5, 2015

Starting 2015 with a clean slate

Out with the old and in with the new!
Are you ready for a new year? 2015 seems so full of possibilities, doesn't it? January is one of my favorite months, full of dreaming and planning for the year ahead.  For the Japanese, New Years is the biggest holiday of the year.  There are many Japanese traditions surrounding this holiday but I am especially drawn to oosoji, which roughly means extensive cleaning.

I made simple holiday centerpieces this year with greens from the garden.

In the weeks leading up to New Years, Japanese homes, schools and places of work are given a complete scrub down. It is the equivalent of our spring cleaning tradition but I love the symbolism of a clean start to the coming year. It is literally a clean slate and for the Japanese it also means the repaying of debts and getting their financial houses in order.

The tradition comes from the Shinto belief that houses are visited by kami (gods) on New Year's Day and the cleaning welcomes the spirit.

The two dwarf junipers in my front garden were decorated for the holidays.

For those of us who celebrate our own traditions at the end of December, spending the week leading up to the New Year cleaning might not be practical. Once the trappings of the season come down, which for my family is New Year's Day, cleaning and purging the house seems like a perfect way to move beyond the excesses of the end of the year and to create the mental and physical space to embrace the year ahead; letting go of the year that was and meeting the new year fresh.

Red Cabbage adds winter interest to the garden

2015 will see some changes for us as a family with my daughter leaving to go to college. We also have some plans for our house and of course the garden! I am excited about some of the challenges that lie ahead and the idea of creating the mental and physical space to meet those challenges is inspiring.

Peppermint Swiss Chard adds winter interest to the garden
Peppermint Swiss Chard is still going strong and adding a pop of color to the garden!

I have lots to share about my gardening goals for 2015 and how we plan to move closer to meeting our sustainable living goals. I hope that you will continue to visit me here to share in that journey.

Tuscany Kale is  hardy  through the winter
Tuscany Kale is one tough plant.

May 2015 be a joyous year,containing less noise and more green for us all!


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