Tag Archives: New Year resolutions

Happy New Year 2017

Mother Nature made her presence known this past month. She has a way of doing that. Between the 25 inches of rain that fell in December alone up here in Bonny Doon and the short but impressive cold snap that descended upon us before Christmas I’m humbled. As the calendar turns to a New Year these are some of my thoughts for 2017.

Happy New Year 2017

Dreaming is more than an idle pursuit. It’s good for you and improves the quality of your life over the long haul. We gardeners are eternal optimists. Why else would we plant a tree, a seed or a garden?

Enjoy your garden. Set realistic goals. After all, who cares if there are a few weeds here and there when you’re sitting under a shade tree next July. Enjoy a beverage of some kind often in your garden. That clean up or transplanting will still be there tomorrow.

New Years resolutions for gardeners should be mere suggestions. Don’t worry if you don’t get to everything you hoped to accomplish. It’s all in the baby steps. Your wish list will serve you well during the cold, wet days of winter even if you don’t get them implemented. Sure planning a landscape that conserves water will benefit the environment and your budget. And ordering seeds for the spring garden is great therapy for winter blues. But there’s always next year or next month or the summer after next.

I did fulfill some goals I had for this year, adding more pollen-producing flowering plants to attract beneficial insects. They’ll keep the good guys around longer to eat the bad bugs. And I learned what quite a few of the good guys look like. I’m going to count this as two resolutions.

I sat in my garden and enjoyed it- not jumping up to rearrange containers or deadhead. This one was easy.

I accepted a few holes in my plants and walked around the garden regularly to identify if a problem was getting out of control and I needed to break out an organic pesticide.

I tried to plant more edibles but my growing conditions thwarted me. The Farmer’s Market and generous friends helped fill the gap. Edibles in the garden feed both the body and the soul. More than just vegetables and fruit trees growing food connects us to the earth and to each other.

When you grow something you are being a good steward of the land as you enrich the topsoil using sustainable organic techniques. You connect with neighbors by trading your extra pumpkins for their persimmons. Knowledge of how and what to grow can be exchanged, seeds swapped. Do your best even if you only have a few containers to grow an Early Girl tomato or some Rainbow chard.

Enjoy the simple things. Laugh often. Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. Everyday is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.

Happy New Year to all of you fellow gardeners from The Mountain Gardener. May your tomatoes be sweet and your roses as fragrant as a summer’s eve.

Ring in the New Year with Gardening Resolutions

 

New Years calendarNew Years calendar

I’m hoping to start 2016 off right. This will be the year when all good intentions pay off in my garden. Since motivation is the key to fruition I’m going on on a limb so to speak and write down my resolutions. I believe simple changes can make a big difference in the garden over time.

Since moving to this garden in Bonny Doon a couple of seasons ago I now have to accept the fact that tall redwoods screen a lot of the sun my garden receives. It’s a difficult situation with shade most of the day except the hottest midday hours. Tough on a shade plant, little blooms on the sun lovers. The gophers have systematically eaten most of the new additions anyway so this year I’m going to move the survivors to the sunniest spots and plant in gopher baskets. I’ve confessed before that I was a little cavalier with my use of gopher baskets in the past but not anymore. This year I resolve to take the extra steps necessary so my hummingbird population will have lots of nectar plants to visit.

Each year I pledge to plant more things to eat. Maybe I can’t grow all the edibles I’d like but I can sure try my hand at those that can get by on 5 hours of sun per day. Edibles in the garden feed both the body and the soul. They are more than just vegetables and fruit trees. When you grow plants you are being a good steward of the land as you enrich the topsoil using sustainable organic techniques. You can connect with neighbors by trading your extra pomegranates for their persimmons. Knowledge of how and what to grow can be exchanged, seeds swapped. Growing edibles is more that time spent doing healthy physical work- it connects us to the earth and to each other.

camellia-sasanquacamellia-sasanqua

New Years resolutions for gardeners should be mere suggestions. Don’t get hung up on achieving everything you would like. Have I just given myself a bye if my plans don’t pan out this year? Your wish list will serve you well during the cold, wet days of winter even if you don’t get them implemented. Planning landscape changes that conserve water will benefit the environment and your budget. Ordering seeds for the spring garden is great therapy for winter blues and future meals.

Dreaming is more than an idle pursuit. It’s good for you and improves the quality of your life over the long haul. So don’t worry if you don’t get to everything you hoped to accomplish. It’s all in the baby steps. We gardeners are eternal optimists. Why else would we plant a tree or a seed or a garden?

This year I was able to visit some gardens and nurseries in Carmel, the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, Yellowstone National Park and Mendocino. There’s no better way to recharge your creative batteries than to see an inspiring landscape. Even a walk around your neighborhood can give you ideas for your own garden. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a huge boulder and wished I could magically transport it to my own yard.

Learn something new every day. Whether it’s something new in the garden or elsewhere, keep learning. I’m continuing my fascination with local mushrooms. This year is starting off great with rainfall coming down at regular intervals. Fungi emerge so quickly and in the most beautiful places. I’m looking forward to the Fungus Fair in January and my stint as a volunteer basketeer.

Enjoy the simple things. Laugh often. Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. Everyday is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.

Happy New Year from The Mountain Gardener.

2014 Gardener’s New Year Resolutions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI plan to turn over a new leaf in 2014. I’m talking about gardening. The rest of my New Year’s resolutions are too numerous to list here!  I wish I could tell you that I’ll never put in another plant that might freeze during the winter. I wish I could tell you that I’ll really start that compost pile this year and duke it out with the raccoons. I wish I could tell you I’ll make more garden journal entries and not rely on sketchy memories. But the reality is gardening shouldn’t be so much about regrets. It’s about the delight we get from coaxing plants from the earth. A garden reflects our lives- always room for growth as well as reflection.

We gardeners are eternal optimists. Why else would we plant a tree or a seed or a garden? I have viola_Etaingrown wiser as the years go by and although a few things froze this month, most will grow back come spring. Some might require a little more patience than others but by April or May most will be looking great. If there are some new transplants, for instance, that suffered because they didn’t have time to establish a strong root system before the deep freeze, I’ll look at it at an opportunity to fill that space with something even better.

I was able to visit some very unique gardens this year and see beneficial insects and beneficial plants at work. When I design a garden I now include even more pollen producing flowering plants to attract beneficials.  This way I keep the good guys around longer to deal with the bad bugs and aid in pollination. Knowing what the good insects look like is important in helping me identify a problem that may be getting out of control.

I’ve kept a garden journal since 1994. In the spirit of full disclosure, some years I do pretty good with it. I add photos and seed packets and lots of info about the weather and how everything did. Other years I’m more hit and miss with my entries. But without the journal most of what happened would be forgotten if not for these scribbled notes. Reading them over returns me to the quiet pleasures of mornings in the garden, of first bloom and the wonder of a hummingbird hovering at eye level.

This year record what does well in your garden.  Were the fruit trees loaded with fruit as you’d hoped?  How many times did you fertilize them?  Did they flower well?   How many bees did you see pollinating them?  Should you add more plants to attract them?  Insect or disease problems?   Room for more?  What kinds would extend your harvest season?

Make notes of what other edibles you want to include in the garden this year.  Bare root season starts in January making it easy to plant grapes, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, artichokes and asparagus.

Make notes about how productive the tomatoes and other veggies did this year. Did you add enough compost to the beds to really feed the soil and the microorganisms?  Did you rotate your crops to prevent a build up of insect and fungal problems?

Think about how the perennials in your garden fared last year – the successes and not so great results.  Make a note if there are any higher water usage plants among the drought tolerant ones.  Come March, move them to a spot you’ve allocated a bit more water.

I wish I could tell you that I would die happy if I could grow a dry farmed Early Girl tomato next year that tastes like summer. That’s my fondest wish for 2014. Doesn’t sound impossible, does it? Enjoy your garden. Set realistic goals. After all, who cares if there are a few weeds here and there when you’re sitting under a shade tree with an ice tea next July. Enjoy a beverage of some kind often in your garden. That clean up or transplanting will be there tomorrow.

Happy New Year from The Mountain Gardener.