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A Few More New Year’s Resolutions

By Bonnie Pega
Bonnie's Garden

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions yesterday?  Every year, I make New Year’s resolutions for my garden.  So here is this year’s top 5…

    • I resolve to be better about feeding my garden.  Okay, it’s not exactly rocket science to sprinkle a handful of Tomato-tone or Garden-tone around the base of my vegetables.  So why do I forget?  I know, in the mid-summer heat, that I get bogged down in just trying to keep everything watered.  But I also know that I’m happier with the results when I DO fertilize.
    • I resolve to remember to cut the flowers off my lemon balm BEFORE they die back on their own.  When they die back on their own, it means they have set—and dropped—seeds.  Lemon Balm is already an extremely vigorous grower/spreader.  I don’t need to give it any more headway….
    • I resolve to try at least one new variety of something in my garden—a new flower or veggie or herb I’ve never grown before.  I used to faithfully do this, but in the past few years, I tend to have gone for the tried and true.  And yet, a few years ago, I tried a tomato I’d never heard of before and found what is now my favorite tomato—Cherokee Purple.I would never have known that fabulous tasting tomato was waiting for me if I hadn’t tried something I’d never tried before.  Since that time, I’ve discovered other treasures.  Believe it or not, I’d never grown a dahlia until a few years ago.  So I never knew that they not only bloomed all summer long and that butterflies loved them, too.

      So, why, for the past couple of years have I gone back to the same old, same old?  Maybe we just get “used” to our garden the way it is?  Yeah, it looks great with purple petunias in that spot every year, but maybe blue Angelonia would look better?  Or blue salvia?  Or red salvia, for that matter?  I won’t know unless I try it.  So I hereby resolve to do just that.

    • I resolve to plant more milkweed.  I’m thrilled to report that I actually ran out of milkweed this fall—Monarch butterfly caterpillars found them and devoured them down to the bare stem!  I was fortunate enough to have a friend offer me one of her plants (she has 15 to my 2) to fill the void.  I’m delighted to make this resolution.
    • I resolve to stop trying to “save the world” one plant at a time…By this I mean, that I tend to nurse unhealthy plants long past the time I should have given up and allowed them to go on to Plant Heaven.  I mean, seriously!  Why do I still hang on to a hibiscus that gets white fly every winter, drops most of its’s foliage because it doesn’t get enough sunlight, then has to be cut so far back  (because it’s weak and spindly) that it doesn’t even begin to bloom outside for the summer until the end of August?  At some point, I have to call a halt to this insanity!
    • Finally and this is not a resolution but a promise.  I need to remind myself to take time to actually smell the roses—and not just feed them, water them and prune them!  I need to sit in the rocking chair on my deck and appreciate the beautiful clematis climbing up the trellis, instead of getting out of the chair to run and tuck a tendril or two around it.

There are days when the honeysuckle on the hill behind my house is blooming, the sky is blue, and hummers flutter around the feeder, that it’s easy to remember the pay-off.  Other days, when I’ve discovered squash bugs again, it’s 96 degrees, I’m exhausted and just want to go collapse on a nice soft sofa in my air-conditioned house and I still have the other half of the garden to water—those are the days I need to remember WHY I do this.

Did you make any gardening resolutions this year?

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