One of the best things about setting goals instead of making resolutions is goals seem less tied to a specific date. We can set them anytime we want to sit down and make some plans.
Those darned resolutions seem so "tied" to January 1st that the pressure is on to come up with some good ones before that magical date, if indeed you are going to make some resolutions for the new year.
Well, no pressure here, I'm working on P.L.A.N.T.S. goals! And I'll take my sweet time about it, as we still have January and February to get through before much outside gardening is going to happen here in Zone 5.
But already I know that one of my goals is going to involve bonsai.
(Bonsai on display at White River Gardens in 2006)
I've always admired bonsai and wanted to have a few bonsai of my own. I've even made a few feeble attempts to have one. I've looked at mature bonsai for sale, but they always made my wallet hurt. Then last year I purchased a tree seedling that had been grown to become a bonsai tree, but it didn't make it through the winter, or more likely, it didn't make it through the cold spring.
In spite of these failed attempts, I know I'd like bonsai partially because of all the tools that seem so essential for caring for bonsai, or at least I would make them essential! Special pruners, scissors, brooms, rakes, tweezers, wire cutters. I love the idea of all these special tools and using them to care for these special plants.
And now I have new motivation to learn about bonsai.
One of my nephews has decided that he wants to grow some bonsai and has been asking me a lot of questions about them. He plans to start with ivy because he read somewhere that it is a good plant to start with, that you can get it to look like bonsai relatively quickly. On Christmas Day he showed me his tiny ivy start, planted in a tiny bonsai tray. He said in a few years, maybe we could compete against each other in a bonsai competition. My! He's read a lot about bonsai.
It would just not do if I was not able to answer his questions and speak with some assuredness on this particular gardening topic. I have a reputation as the family gardener to maintain! Plus I've always wanted to have some bonsai, so I'll use this little 'competition' as my motivation.
So, that's my first P.L.A.N.T.S. goal, to learn more about bonsai this year, and have at least have one bonsai plant that I am successful with.