My blogging vacay takes a break to share with you my 10 garden resolutions for 2012.
2011 held many garden surprises. It was the year of the unexpected. It wasn’t my plan to re-do my entire garden in 2011, but that is, indeed, what happened. In one year, I learned more about gardening and who I was as a gardener, than all the other years combined. It was a gardening epiphany. A strong word? Yes; but appropriate.
All of what I learned in 2011 resulted in my “I’m gonnas” for 2012. Most of what I will write about in 2012 will be about my gardening epiphanies. Here is a peak what I hope to accomplish:
1) Enhance the purpose of my garden. Helen’s Haven is a wildlife habitat. This is something I never want to forget. It’s the core of my garden’s purpose. But I also like garden art — even in the form of artistic looking plants. If it’s twisted, weeping, or stuck strangely on a standard, I will grow it in my garden. It’s not a departure from wildlife gardening since every plant, by some definition, meets a criterian providing for wildlife: food, cover, place to raise young. In broad terms, a plant may not offer food or a place to raise young, but all plants can provide some sort of cover. However, not all plants are created equal – some are better than others at providing for the wildlife’s needs. In my case, I have enough land (1/2 ace) that, with careful planning, allows me to indulge in the fun and freaky. 2012 will find me trading up some pedestrian exotics for equivalent (or better) natives. Out with the Forsythia, in with the Hamamelis virginiana. If my Forsythia had more value than yellow flowers, such as varigated foliage, or used as a seasonal clock telling me when spring is near or when I need to fertilizer my tall fescue, I would keep it. But I have iCal for that. And even though Forsythia is an excellent provider of cover and a nectar source for early spring pollinators, so is the the native Witch Hazel, but on a grander scale.
2) Less maintenance, higher impact. Given that Helen’s Haven was already low maintenance, I even surprised myself when I found the last vestige of high maintenance in my garden and converted it to year round interest and less maintenance. Out with the dedicated Perennial Border, in with the Mixed Border.
3) Photograph my garden more. As I journey through the seasons, side by side with Helen’s Haven, I want to remember the first galanthus of the season, the daffodils facing the sun, the butterfly alighting the Lantana, and the fall color setting my soul on fire. And as a note to self, tag my photos better. I’m really bad at this. Out with the random photos, in with the photos with purpose.
4) Entertain more. We all lead busy lives. Mine is not much different than yours. But at some point, having friends over to share a nosh, a cup tea, or a glass of wine, fell low on my list. I plan to change these priorities. Out with just me in the garden and in with friends over more.
5) Stop to watch the flowers grow. I actually do a very good job of this. But I think there is room for improvement. Doing more of number 4 will help this along. It is not uncommon for me to just sit and stare at the beauty that surrounds me.
6) Weep at nature’s beauty. When I finished my Mixed Border re-design, taking it from a perennial bed to a mixed border, for several days and even now, 3 months later, I want to weep at the beauty I created it. After years of searching, I found the soul of my garden. It’s no longer just a good selection of great plants, placed in a pretty pattern. This garden now has soul. I’m gonna weep if I want to, when I want too.
7) Enjoy the seasons as the come. My garden epiphany helped me realize, that there is something beautiful and wonderful in every season. I clearly remember when I lived in England and it was raining again, I thought to myself, If I didn’t go out because of the rain, I wouldn’t get out much. The same with the garden. Raleigh has beautiful winters. Half chilly, half cold, but with flowers that bloom and berries that ignite. I will just quit my whining and accept the season I’m in. Why am I so anxious for spring when I have a winter waiting to bring me beauty. Yes, I must bundle up and the days are shorter, but I will no longer let that deter me. I’m gonna enjoy the season I’m in.
EIGHT) Eat pray mulch. I’m gonna eat what I sow, pray for nature to take it’s course, and mulch for all the good mulching does.
9) Sit in the Garden House to just look and listen. The Garden House was one of the first plans I had for my garden and finally after 14 years those plans were rallied. I’m not gonna squander my good fortune.
10) Write more, blog less. This is not what it sounds like. Blogging is writing; but as I go into my 5th year blogging, I realize I feel I need to post something when I’m not really in the mood. I much rather write a post when the mood strikes me, not by the turn of a calendar. After all, isn’t that what blogging is all about — being able to post in real time? Besides, I’m writing a book. That has to take precedence. I’m gonna go back on blog vacay now and come back when my book is done. Then, I’m gonna write whatever I want, when ever I want. I like that!
May all your dreams come true in 2012 and remember, they may not even have been invented yet. So keep a keen eye open for dreams not even thought of yet.