An informal survey of some favorite gardening buddies has produced some funny, timely and, yes, practical resolutions we should all consider in 2008. And, thankfully, none of these will take as much willpower as putting down the cookies.
One friend tells me she’s only going to plant things where they belong this year, not where she wants to make them grow. That’s good advice because it saves a lot of digging and/or pruning in the long run.
As I’ve said before, if I had a dime for every poorly placed plant in my yard, well ... you know the rest of that story. She’s also going to fertilize more. I’m adding this one to my list, as I’m sure my soil is depleted. Last summer’s drought and heat didn’t help either, as it wasn’t much fun in the garden.
Another friend said she’s not going to let the weeds get her down — literally or figuratively. She’s going to try not to let them drive her crazy when they sprout. Since she hurt her back weeding, she’s bought a little wheeled stool that she’ll use when she weeds, making the task more orthopedically friendly.
A fellow tells me he’s bought a reel mower — you know, one of the “old-fashioned” ones with no motor. Well, everything old is new again, because the rotary mowers are eco-friendly as well as healthier to use than their gas-guzzling, noisy relatives. The mower takes care of two resolutions: green gardening and more exercise.
One of my favorite gardeners swears she’s going to quit buying new plants for one whole year. This one I’ll have to see to believe. I think she’s addicted. However, it is a good idea to observe the garden before you plant. If you wander through your garden just for fun, you’ll be more likely to see spots that need new plants or that need some work. And you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor as well.
Going green is one of the common cries among gardeners for 2008. “No more Round-Up!” “Less grass, more wildflowers!” “Compost, compost, compost!” “Use more native plants!” “Purchase a rain-saver barrel!” “Attract more butterflies!” These are ideas all of us should adopt as resolutions next year.
One young mother wants to teach her children to garden. She’s starting a little vegetable patch for them, because her daughter loves cherry tomatoes. It’s a great way to let them reap what they sow.
My teenagers (aka my free labor) wish I would pave the entire yard as my gift to them for the New Year. But the dogs would be particularly upset if this were to happen, and many days I like my dogs better than my children, so I guess the furry friends will win that battle.
I guess you are waiting for me to make my 2008 gardening resolutions, right? Well, here goes. (My apologies to my teens.)
s Finish digging out the old ivy in the front bed and replant with something new.
s Figure out a way to keep the deer from the shade garden.
s Find a new (smaller) tree for beside the deck.
s Enjoy my last summer with my son before he goes to college.
s Appreciate my daughter more because I think, I hope, she’s becoming a garden lover too!
Happy New Year to all of you.
Sara Busse is a Charleston resident and master gardener. She may be contacted at sjbu...@gmail.com.