Monday, January 2, 2012


This is going to be a great gardening year!


Sound convincing enough?  A lot of New Year declarations are magical thinking; if we wish things firmly enough, they will come true.  Gardeners are optimists by nature (we wouldn't be doing this crazy stuff otherwise) but even we need a little help.  So... 2012! !!! Everything will grow well, and all the awful weather will work to our advantage, and the world won't end, but perhaps planting lots of squash and corn to placate the Mayan gods wouldn't be a bad plan.  Or to placate the squash vine borers and the brown marmorated stink bugs... but hey - my fingers have cramps from all the crossing, but so far no stink bugs in the house to speak of this winter.  Not that it's been much of a winter (temperature is dropping like fury as we speak, though).

I've never thought January 1 (or 2) was the best time for setting goals for the year; it's dark and cold and the world is full of germs and the house is full of sugary fatty things.  But it is, ironically, a good term for setting gardening goals, since there isn't usually that much to do in the actual garden.  I don't want to jinx myself, but putting forth a few ideas might come in handy later, or at least give me something to laugh at in the unending torrential heat of summer.

1) In general, I'd like to get things in sufficient order here to be able to have an Open Garden for the Master Gardeners in, say, June.  (We will probably host a high school graduation party early that month as well: a different sort of getting things in order but in a general sense tidying up is necessary.)  I don't have to have all the projects finished, God forbid, but having a good idea of what they are and how I'm going about them will help me explain my chaos to MG visitors, all of whom are polite but sometimes in that I-am-biting-my-tongue way.

2) The back part of the vegetable garden needs to come into existence as something other than weeds insufficiently smothered by cardboard.  Sheet composting is all very well, but if that's what I'm going to do I need to import some composting materials to pile up, and if not, I need to build some more raised beds for the side that doesn't have them, and fill them with soil.  Then I could, you know, actually plant something back there.  Also, the paths and corners of the existing garden (and the new part) need to be tamed into something less likely to sprout weeds (and/or mint) most of the year.

3) I need to Not Kill Things.  Which means all those new trees and shrubs do actually have to be watered, yes, even if it's annoying and inconvenient.  So far I am making excuses for not doing it, but at least it's been raining on and off.  It will be easier when the outside water is turned on again and we get a new longer hose.  Which we will be very sure not to run over with the lawnmower.

4) I must a) mercilessly clean out the front west corner and surroundings beds and turn them into Things of Tidiness; b) mercilessly clean out the northeast side bed and decide what it's going to become; c) keep up with weeding everywhere (ha); d) pray for the fig tree, but also figure out what's going to replace it if it croaks; e) pray for the pomegranate, but not care too much since it is an experiment; f) decide what goes in the little porch corner bed where nothing lives except the mock orange I hate; g) plant a climbing vine that is not Japanese honeysuckle on the bicycle "sculpture"; h) get rid of the Japanese honeysuckle that is everywhere; i) etc.

5) Some new stone paths would be nice.

6) When I find that perfect source for sheet composting materials, I can start a few more beds, including one near the driveway into which I will transplant the peonies that never did well out front, plus some other peonies, plus something else that is not peonies.

7) Some day I will map the garden.  I don't think I should promise that for this year.  There will be more to put on the map if I wait, yes?

And... maybe I will continue this another day, and maybe I won't, but you get the idea.  I have many other resolutions that don't have to do directly with hands-on gardening, but those are generally less fun to talk about.  This is the "let's see what happens" year!  Something will, I have no doubt.

Happy New Year!


  1. And I am going to be patient and wait and see what the new sunscape will be. Having a whole lot of trees cut down makes life on the eastern slope of a small mountain a mystery and an adventure in gardening. Perhaps you will be able to come and visit and see the mystery unfold?

  2. hahaha, i love the way you put all of those here. But i really laughed at the beginning when you said planting lots of squash and corn might placate the Mayan gods! My 15 year old niece is stressed in knowing the end in Dec 21, 2012 and i pity her for thinking of a very bright future going to be stopped. It took a lot of explaining and brainwashing for her to feel otherwise. I hope my little gardening will also at least help getting some carbon footprints and i can be a little oxygen generator too! Happy New Year!

  3. Yes, Mom, I will come visit. :) Looking forward to seeing the sunscape.

    Yes, Andrea, let's be oxygen generators! And not worry about Mayans. My younger son graduates from high school this year and was bummed when he first heard about the world ending, but now he has faith it won't. :)

  4. Becky and I were talking about this cartoon on Sunday: