I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I really tend to think about how I can better something… in manageable chunks. Not a one liner that sets me up for discouragement.
For all gardeners, hope springs eternal and thinking about what we want to do in the garden feeds that hope that continually filters through the seasons to come. As we begin the new year, think more new inspirations rather than resolutions. Inspire to learn, do and create something new in the garden. Odds are it will be much more rewarding than dieting!
Take a Class: In the garden, learning never stops. Take a class on a garden subject that you have always wanted to learn. Resources are bountiful in the pacific northwest. Join me for some upcoming seminars at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show the last week in January, (www.otshows.com) January 26th, 2012 at noon: Landscaping with Herbs, Many herbs are overlooked for their texture and beauty that create fragrant hedges, mixed borders, container gardens and more. All sizes and styles of gardens come into play. Just imagine a French Provençal style garden with the purple haze of lavender or a Mediterranean garden with fragrant rosemary. Herb varieties can bring classic style and take the center stage in many designs. January 27th, 2012 at noon: Garden Design DIY, A beginners guide and creative approach to designing a garden. Practical tips to get the process going successfully. Don’t just create a landscape; plant a garden with texture, dimension and longevity. Make it yours. Easy ideas to incorporate the practical aspects to create the garden you have always dreamed of. Shortcuts to designing by using photographs and many more insider tips. January 28th at 3 pm: Garden Borders from Dull to Drama, How-to tips and ideas for editing existing mixed garden borders; easy ways to re-invent without having to completely re-do. Learn tricks of the trade and create fabulous mixed borders. Peel back the layers of plantings; discover what is missing and where to add puddles and pockets of color and texture and drama! Photos inspirations and step-by-step instruction to become your own designer.
Go Organic: Learn to tolerate a few weeds and nibbled leaves. Be good to the environment and use organic means of controlling pests and problems. Start with natural lawn care. It can be the biggest water hog and chemical demanding part of the garden. Learn how and practice management of an environmentally friendly yard. The experts are at Seattle Tilth! (www.seattletilth.org)
Take a Garden Tour: Visit gardens like Lakewold (www.lakewoldgardens.org ) or the Chase Garden (www.chasegarden.org) for inspiration of classic designs. Join the Northwest Perennial Alliance (www.northwestperennialalliance.org) and receive their open gardens book. This is an opportunity when local gardeners open their private spaces. Take notes and pictures, it is one of the best learning opportunities to see what grows well in this area and enjoy the peak season of gardens.
Plant Vegetables: Imagine tomatoes fresh off the vine and leaf lettuces from the garden. This season, find a sunny spot and plant some vegetables to enjoy what the garden can give back to you. Hit the seed racks this spring for lots of variety. Here is a short list of some of my favorite “go-to” suppliers Ed Hume Seeds (www.humeseeds.com) , Renee’s Garden (www.reneesgarden.com) and Territorial Seeds (www.territorialseed.com)
Plant Natives: In garden designing, I see more and more homeowners looking to eliminate native areas…such a shame. Many natives are desirable plants that are beautiful in landscape design, either as a backdrop to more “cultured” plantings, mingled in mixed beds and borders or creating a “finished edge” to the beginning of natural woodlands. Take time to learn more about natives and plant them. Local nursery with lots of info: Woodbrook Nursery (www.woodbrooknativeplantnursery.com)
Keep a garden calendar or journal: It can be as simple as an ordinary calendar. Write down something every day about the garden, it can be regarding the weather, a new bird sighting, the day something bloomed and any tasks done. It will be a valuable tool for seasons to come. Indulge in a new journal with the beautiful artistry of Jill Bliss (www.jillbliss.com)
Compost: Compost, Compost…every garden should have a compost bin! Basic compost info from Creative Gardener FYI makeyourowncompost
Mulch more, Weed less: Put your garden on a good organic mulch diet, the reward will be healthy garden soil. Mulch at least 3 to 4 inches to control weeds too. More from Creative Gardener FYI in defense of weeds2
Teach a child the Wonders of Gardening: whether your own, a grandchild, or volunteering at school, there is real joy in working with children in the garden. Seeing the simple act of planting through a child’s eyes will renew your viewpoint as well.
Visit the garden show: The perfect way to spend a February day is the Northwest Flower and Garden show in Seattle.(www.gardenshow.com). Nurseries have tickets on sale now…steal ideas from the gardens, shop the amazing booths and make your garden beautiful. Plan your weekend at the show and come and visit me Saturday February 11th on the DIY stage for one of my favorite subjects: Herbs!! The top multi-purpose herbs to grow in your garden this year.
Think Design: “The plain hard work that goes into an unplanned and non-descript garden might just as well go into a planned one.” (Summer 1953, George Avery Jr. the Brooklyn Botanic Garden). The garden design studio is moving to Tacoma! Join me for design sessions in my new space starting in February. Bring your photos and ideas and we will create! The new space will also include vintage garden books for sale from my amassed collection, herbs and favorite perennials, plus garden findings. It’s “All About the Garden”. Stay tuned for more information.