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!