My New Year’s resolutions take the form of a “To-Do” list. I like to think about the projects I’d like to accomplish for the upcoming year and write them down so I can keep them in front of me. As you’d expect, most of my projects are garden-related. Since there’s nothing I love more than making lists, I’m taking this opportunity to list my top 2020 Garden resolutions. I’d love to hear yours.
“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Do No Harm
There’s just no escaping the need to protect the environment every way possible. As gardeners, I think we normally focus on the natural world. Planting trees, providing areas for birds and wildlife to thrive and encouraging plant material that is good for pollinators. All these things matter. Even if they’re small. Your tiny garden is a place to do your part to help the world.
My mantra for the new decade is “Do No Harm” … to the best of my ability. This means practicing environmentally friendly gardening. Eliminating the use of harsh chemicals and relying on natural and organic pest controls. I’ll continue to build healthy soil and recycle yard waste to use for compost. And most importantly, I’m providing a safe and healthy environment for the wildlife I love watching in the garden.
This year I will continue looking for opportunities to plant trees, provide bird and pollinator friendly areas, and eliminate the use of chemicals in the garden. I’ll continue building the soil to reduce the amount of water needed and to promote healthy plants.
These small things add up. If everyone does something to help our world, we can accomplish great things.
Create Vertical Gardens
Last season I installed two vertical gardens to decorate a fence and a brick wall. I bought wool felt plant pockets on Amazon and filled them with interesting plants. They were easy to install and added tons of personality to the garden.
This season, I want to build on what I learned by using plant material with lots of texture. I’m collecting ideas on my Pinterest page if you want to check it out. This is the perfect way to add nature to your living space and you can change up the design every season.
Plant a Decorative Twig Garden
Decorative branches add great interest to Winter containers, but holy smokes. They’re expensive. I bought some beautiful copper-colored curly willow branches for our front porch urns this season. They cost $27 a bunch! I’d rather put that money into my greenhouse fund, than spend it on branches. It got me thinking. Why not plant my own decorative branches?
It will likely take a couple years to get plants large enough to coppice and harvest for containers, but this is an idea I’m going to try. I’m planning to create a decorative branch garden in the front yard made with yellow and red dogwood and possibly curly willow. I’m going to think about other plant material that can also be used for Winter containers. I’ll work on the design while I wait for the garden season to start.
Keep an eye on this space to see how this experiment turns out.
Make Garden Gates
I’ve always wanted to learn how to weld. I took a TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding class a few years ago. It was only one session which was long enough to learn that TIG welding is harder than it looks.
We bought a welder last year with the intent of learning this skill. The hope is to be able to fabricate our own garden ornaments including a garden gate. Plan B is making the gate out of wood. A solid backup strategy in my opinion.
Whichever method we use, I’m looking forward to new gates this season. Check out this beautiful garden gate from Gravetye Manor. It’s serving as my “stretch objective”.
Install Garden Path
Two years ago, my Mother-in-Law moved into the house behind us. One of the first modification we made was creating an entrance in the back fence to connect the two properties. You can see that opening in the photo below.
The plan this season is to create a path that leads through both properties. We are still working on the final design, but I’m thinking it will be a series of dark grey patio slabs set on a gravel base. I want something that looks natural and will be fairly straight forward to build.
So there you have it. My Garden resolutions for 2020. Happy New Year! I’d love to hear yours.