We all know we never fulfill our New Year’s resolutions. NEVER. Just take a look at how I failed miserably with my 2011 gardening resolutions.
I bet if you did your research, you would find that more lettuce is eaten the first week of January than any other week in the year. We convince ourselves THIS will be the year we will stick to our lofty goals. Sure you will.
After saying all that, I cannot resist setting my own gardening “goals” (sounds more attainable than “resolutions”) for the new year. It kick starts my enthusiasm to start planning as we enter the dead of winter. A chance to dream of spring and emerging bulbs.
So without further ado, I give you my five step gardening plan for 2012:
1. Expand, expand, expand – As I’ve mentioned previously, I live on a large lot (2+ acres) that was a blank canvas when we moved in back in 2004. It’s been a slow process to expand the garden out into the yard. I blame it on lack of time, the fear of deer and poorly draining soil. As a result, I have way too much lawn to maintain:
Besides the desire to cut down on the lawn maintenance time, I really want to lure visitors (kind of sounds creepy) further out into the yard. I want to add more paths and “destinations” that will encourage you to want to explore more.
This is the view out of the back of my home and for years I’ve planned on creating a woodland garden underneath the only mature tree on my property. I’m thinking benches and deer resistant shrubs and grasses:
2. Foliage, foliage, foliage – The reality of my garden situation is that I have clay soil that does not drain well and my yard is infested with deer and rabbits. That does not lend itself to a garden full of flowers. The key is to focus on foliage with contrasting colors, shape and textures. I can strategically utilize flowers where possible (damn you spring plant catalogs and your beautiful flowers), but the focus and theme will be on the foliage:
3. Take advantage of raised beds – This is a simple one. Raised beds eliminate the poor drainage issue and allow me to grow herbs and vegetables I normally could not. Like an idiot, I completely ignored an existing raised bed I’ve had for years and it looked like this most of the year:
No more. I’m imagining rosemary, thyme, cilantro, chives, tomatoes, etc. I mean seriously, my wife is a world class cook and I’m not providing her with the necessary fresh ingredients.
4. Give up on the plants I know will not thrive – It is all about survival of the fittest and if you can’t keep up, you’re gone. So …
Good bye Phlox paniculata:
Good bye Weeping Cherry Tree:
And good bye Geranium ‘Brookside’:
5. Visit more gardens and get my ass inspired – For reasons unknown, I have not taken advantage of all of the public gardens at my disposal and that is a friggin shame. I’m missing out on so much and that needs to change. This past summer, I finally made my way to the New York Botanical Garden and what an experience it was. I felt energized by all of the displays and was immediately inspired to experiment:
So there you go, my 2012 gardening resolutions are out there and now the pressure is on to actually see that I meet these objectives.
Happy new year to you all and we’ll do this again in 2012!