Friday, December 30, 2011

Gardening Resolutions 2012

I did a so-so job on my gardening resolutions in 2011...what have I resolved to do in the garden in 2012?

1. Give it time and space.

I have been gardening at this house for 6 years, and in that time I've planted voraciously: natives, non-natives, garden classics, rare specimens, passalongs, impulse purchases, and everything in between. I've used an increasing amount of forethought as I have come to better understand the conditions.

But it's time to let the garden breathe. Let all those plants adjust, and then evaluate. Constantly cramming more in will not make this the garden I want it to be. Sure, lots of spaces need to be filled, but first I must step back and see what is thriving, what is struggling, and where something different should be added.

I know I want a couple more hostas and heucheras in my back shade border, and I want to add wild gingers (Asarum canadense) to form a groundcover in the misfit border. But aside from those, I have no plans about new ornamentals. (The veggie garden will of course get new seedlings, and is exempt from this resolution.) I need to work with what I have, which brings me to my next resolution...

2. Divide and conquer.

Sedges, zizias, toad lilies, and more are out of control! All that plunking of plants has resulted in some great successes that are now overgrown. I tried this fall to divide the sedges and zizias in the rain garden, but they were so bushy that I couldn't find the crowns of individual plants. Rather than destroy half the garden, I decided to wait until spring, when new growth gives away their exact locations.

Dividing what is already thriving will leave me with free plants (yeah!), and plants that have proven they can survive in my conditions. Now, if I moved a water-loving zizia to a dry, shady spot, it would struggle. But if I can squeeze divisions in blank spots similar to their original microclimate, that could make for a lush, happy garden that displays some unification in plants and style. What a thought! And speaking of style, resolution 3 is...

3. Plant decent containers.

Two years ago I made the effort to grow interesting containers, but in 2011 I reverted to my lazy ways. I plopped some coleus seedlings in pots with tender Habranthus bulbs, which failed miserably in the low light.

Not again! It's not that difficult to follow the thriller, filler, spiller recipe. I will likely grow coleus again for the filler, and I'm searching for sweet potato vine seeds to grow my own spillers. Just a little more effort in the annual section of a local garden center and I too will have beautiful containers again!

What about you? Are you making any resolutions, gardening or otherwise? Here's wishing you a very happy, healthy New Year!


Sissy said...

Happy New Year! I hope you are able to keep your resolutions, this year...I don't really make them, but I should!

Lona said...

Sounds like you have learned a lot from this year garden. We all need to take the time in the winter months to look at our gardens and plan for the spring. Sounds like you already are working on that plan.
Happy New Year and Happy Gardening.

Rose said...

Excellent resolutions, Rose! I recently looked back at my resolutions from last year and realized I only kept up with about half of them. This year I'm only making two--keep up with the weeding and watering. Those two alone should make a huge difference for me. But I really should remember your first two--I tend to want to fill in every bare space, too, and the result is sometimes a crowded mess:)

Happy New Year, Rose, and a happy New Year of Gardening!

Commonweeder said...

No real resolutions, but I am setting one big goal - to get an attractive and functional fence around the vegetable garden and make it safe from deer. And bunnies.

Jess said...

Plant decent containers should be on my check list. I can't seem to get this together right, and it always ends up being a pot of one thing that has taken over.

Garden seeds said...

Thanks for the post mate you have written it very well.

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