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Sunday, December 31, 2006

One Gardener's Resolutions for the New Year

I resolve…

To win my war against the rabbits who seem to outwit every plan and strategy I come up with to keep them out of the vegetable garden. I just know I am smarter than they are and THIS will be the year that I get a decent harvest of green beans before they eat all the plants. And because it is winter and all things now seem possible in the summer garden, I will throw all caution aside and again try to plant edible soybeans, a crop which so far the rabbits have devoured completely nearly as soon as the seedlings emerged. That’s how confident I am that I will keep this resolution.

To only buy seeds that I am completely (mostly) sure I will sow this spring. There is a certain magic in seeds, isn’t there? You hold that little seed in your hand and wonder what it can become, even in one season. I find that seeds are irresistible in the winter time. The seed catalogs are full of adjective-laden descriptions and touched up photos of the plants they are to become and you convince yourself that in your own garden you can grow them, and they will look as pictured and be as described, even if you don’t have quite the proper light, soil or climate for them. I’m not saying I have ever bought seeds for plants that clearly would be inappropriate for my zone 5 garden, just that it would be easy to get seduced by the descriptions and pictures in the catalogs and be tempted to do so.

To use all the vegetables that I grow in my garden and not let any of them end up in the compost bin or be left hanging on the vine when we get the first frost of fall. I will eat what I can, preserve some of it for winter eating, and give away what I can’t eat. And, I will try some new varieties of each type of vegetable that I grow because last year I tried a new tomato called “German Johnson” and loved it so much that I saved some seeds for this year. So, there must be other varieties of vegetables that I should try, that I might find to be better than the “tried and true” varieties I plant each year. Yes, I will experiment in my garden!

To leave a few areas of the garden a little less tended so the garden fairies and flower sprites have a place to sleep during the day, undisturbed. At least when the weeds grow faster than I can pull them, that will be my reason for those out of control areas in the garden, those little wild spots that always seem so difficult to tame.

To pick more flowers to bring inside to enjoy and to plant more annual flowers just for cutting. I can have fresh flowers inside every week in the summer, if I spend just a few minutes cutting them and bringing them inside. Why is it that I only want those cut flowers inside in the winter, when it costs money to have them?

To take advantage of any decent day, when I am not working, to spend some time gardening, even if that day is after Thanksgiving and before Easter, when my natural inclination is to think “the garden is closed due to winter”. There is much that can be done on warm winter days in the garden, especially weeding and mulching. And, no, I did not write this one because I feel guilty for not having spent some time this past month outside, when we had so many nice days, perfect for being outside and tending the garden. Okay, maybe a little bit guilty…

And I won’t refer to gardening as ‘working in the garden’ because how can it be ‘work’ if it is enjoyable? That’s just a bad habit, an unclear means of communicating. I think it scares off non-gardeners from wanting to try to garden, because too often we refer to it as ‘work’. Would one say ‘working at my loom’? No, the weaver would say ‘weaving at my loom’. It should not be ‘working on my painting’, it should just be ‘painting’. It should not be ‘working on my wood carving’, it is just ‘carving’. Therefore, I resolve there should be no ‘working in my gardens’, just ‘gardening’ or ‘tending to my gardens’.

To not buy a new hoe unless it is substantially different from any other hoes I have, unless it is an antique hoe, or maybe one that is just enough different from the others I have, or it is a hoe that comes highly recommended. But only under those conditions will I get a new hoe.

To give anyone who visits my gardens a start or two of some plants. I’ve greatly benefited from and enjoyed pass-along plants, and so I want to ‘plant it forward’ for other gardeners or would-be-gardeners who come through my garden gate this year. I have plenty of plants that I could spare a divide or two of or a cutting from.

To overall enjoy my gardens all year long, however they turn out.

What are your New Year's gardening resolutions?

Happy New Year from May Dreams Gardens

19 comments:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Your comments about seeds and their possibilities made me think of the way I've always thought about new notebooks and sketchbooks. I can't tell you how many times I've purchased a new one before the old one was even halfway used, just for the sense of potential. Now that I think about it, I have purchased packets of new varieties of the same kinds of seeds (particularly lettuces) for the same reason.

I also laughed at all of your conditions for "to not buy a new hoe..." I think you might just want to give up on that resolution! ;)

Happy New Year!

MrBrownThumb said...

LOL,

You got me thinking about making some resolutions of my own. You know if you can't eat all the veggies you grow you can see about passing them on to a local food bank.

I think on my list I will add that I will grow some food. I'm sure we'll go through it and it won't be a problem for us since we're always buying toms, and lettuce and I'm always craving some kind of veggie.

Good luck with your resolutions.

MrBrownThumb

carletongardener said...

Resolutions. Wow! I loved reading yours.

My son always used to insist on a weedspot, where dandelions and whatever-came-up grew wild. It was fun. I will have a wildflower area this year.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

rusty in miami said...

I like your Resolution list the rabbits don’t apply to me and I don’t have a problem with hoes but overall is a good list to stick too.
Happy New Year

Sissy said...

Cheers, Carol! A wonderfully positive look at the new growing season!
(pass along this way, would you???!!)

Naturegirl said...

May your New Year be filled with good health,much love,happiness and inspiration! Happy dream gardening!
hugs NG

GirlGoneGardening said...

Good luck with your resolutions ;)

Meanwhile, Tag, you are it. Check out my blog to see what you have to do ;)

Kathy said...

What's wrong with saying "working in the garden"? You just have a bad attitude about work. Who says work can't be enjoyable? With our constant striving for "labor-saving devices," we've somehow brainwashed ourselves into thinking that jobs that take physical exertion are bad. And then we get fat and out-of-shape, and then buy expensive exercise machines to give our bodies the work they need.

I'm not trying to pick on you, and I haven't thought this through all the way. But it seems like our lives get more and more compartmentalized: this is work (bad) and this is recreation (good) but they're both exercise, for crying out loud! And I am a great one to compartmentalize, myself: this is gardening season, this is not. So, I am addressing this to myself as much as you.

And your point is that our language shouldn't give the impression that gardening is onerous. But on the other hand, it can be quite physically demanding (depending on what you're doing), and I wouldn't want to whitewash that, either.

Carol said...

Kathy, I love the physical exertion of tending the garden and lawn. But, I think non-gardeners are put off by the "work" of it all, even though they would not hestitate to go to a gym and work up a good sweat. By referring to it as "gardening" or "tending the garden", I'm trying to get others to realize gardening is good exercise, good physical exertion.

Ki said...

Ha,ha, guilty as charged on buying new garden implements and seeds. I've about given up planting a vegetable garden. If it's not the birds attacking the seeds or tomatoes, it's the rabbits or groundhog or deer and maybe some other unseen critter. No resolutions for me as I don't keep them. Better to just enjoy the garden and plants imo.

Clare said...

Good luck with the rabbits! Yes, gardening is a rewarding and pleasurable activity and work is usually something we do because we have to! Happy New Year!

Colleen said...

I don't know about your hoe resolution....that's like me promising not to buy plants before I officially have a place to put them.....


Happy New Year!

Sigruns German Garden said...

I wish you a happy new year and a good garden saison 2007!

Sigrun

Gary said...

I never say I work in the garden. I just say weed, transplant, edge, mow,ect. Since I never do any of those unless I really feel like it, I don't consider it work.

By the way, I bought my shir after milling around in the parking lot about twenty minutes. And yes, that picture is recent. Lots of flowers do well in the ground unprotected here in Houston. My favorites are dianthus and violas, though I like some others as well. Those two colors of petunia in my blog photo are my favorite petunia colors.

LostRoses said...

Carol, you are so inspiring! I'm such a lazy gardener that I have to confess I don't even think much about it until I see the flats of annuals in April! Which is always too early around here.

I love your comment about leaving an untended space for your garden fairies and flower sprites, and I think I'll use that as my excuse from now on!

Beverly said...

Happy New Year:)

Leslie said...

I started calling it "playing outside"...first as a joke and then I realized it was true...

Annie in Austin said...

Happy New Year, Carol!

When I had a rather large front garden at our last home in Illinois, people would comment, "It's beautiful but it's so much work!"
I'd reply that cleaning bathrooms, washing floors and doing laundry was work - like Leslie, being outside in my garden, even when covered in mud and sweat, felt like play. Most of the time here in Texas, it still does!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kate said...

Great resolutions let's do it!!