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New Year's Resolutions Can Increase Garden Enjoyment

Bring flowers, fruits, and herbs to the indoor spotlight for the appreciation of the non-gardeners who will only see them there.

I don't make many New Year's resolutions any more, since I have broken so many. But in the garden they make good guides.

Most gardeners need to relax and enjoy their gardens more and worry about them less. Here are some suggestions for ways to do that.

I'm going to concentrate on appreciating the flowers, fruit, vegetables, interest, entertainment, privacy, shade, and all the other good things the garden gives and just think of the weeds and problem spots as necessary side effects.

Make a garden walk part of as many days as possible. Put a snippers in one pocket so you can snip off small branches that have grown over your path overnight or pick some flowers. Put a plastic bag in the other pocket in case there a bit of fruit or vegetables that need picking. But mostly just enjoy checking out the newest buds or blooms or sprouting seeds. You can come back later for a work session if needed.

As often as you can, make that work session a ten minute one. It still amazes me what a difference 10 minutes can make: planting a few seeds, starting a new worm bin, cutting off deadheads. Besides that, it keep up your interest and enthusiasm. Sometimes that runs low even for me.

I am going to aim to "be able to walk around every plant" as some of the gardeners I've interviewed have mentioned. That takes constant thinning in my garden, but that is okay. If there is a plant that you know I need to thin and you'd like a start, email me about it and I'll let you know when I pull it out, so you can come get it. I say this because by now many of my readers are familiar with my jungle.

Since I am running out of room for new plants, I plan to reduce the population of some that have spread beyond what I need of them. Some I will place in other parts of the garden, but many will go out by the road with a Free sign beside them.

I will try to keep the paths wide enough for a wheelbarrow. My husband doesn't like for any plant to reach out and touch him, and they reach much father after a rain. I had them nicely widened for the visitors in November, but they have closed in some since then. On my own I would let them be until I couldn't get through, but I'll try to do better.

East Palaka holly is full of berries for most of the winter. Resolve to look more closely at the fine details.

I've always both saved everything I can use for mulch and gathered everything I could that others put out for the trash. Since people have already started raking and bagging leaves, I got my first trunkload before Christmas and plan to get as much more as I can. Between now and when the last leaves fall in March is the best time, almost the only time anymore, for gathering, so I'll store some bags where they are least conspicuous and use many at once.

I look forward to visiting as many of your gardens as possible for future columns. If I have promised to come and haven't yet called for a definite appointment, email me when you and your garden are ready and we will set a date. Your garden doesn't have to be perfect, as you already know if you've seen mine. But most people want me to come when something special is in bloom.

We can pick a day and time when we both are available and it only takes about 45 minutes, sometimes even less, sometimes more if we get carried away. I most often don't go into the house at all or only to walk through and I never require food or drink on such occasions, just a walk through you garden and someone to tell me about it. It is great fun. I have a most pleasant job. I get to meet the nicest people in the happiest places.

What I love about gardening is that it gives you time for solitude and also many opportunities for meeting friends and sharing the plants and the fun. Thank you to all of you have done that for me. May you all have a healthy and happy New Year and may all your gardens be a place of joy.

Catch the sun

It works through our gardens like a spotlight moving slowly all through the day.