My Garden Resolutions

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With chilly temperatures and dark evenings, it’s no surprise that my garden is looking distinctly drab and unloved at the moment. Any motivation I may have had to head outside on blustery, damp days has deserted me, and the lure of Christmas crafts and mince pies has invariably proved to be too strong. (The garden has featured in some of the crafting though – see my herb and hydrangea wreath and my beech twig stars). Many garden jobs remain untouched – there’s lots of cutting back and digging up to be done.

January in the Garden

So with the start of the new year to spur me on, I thought I’d set myself some gardening goals. I may only achieve one or two, but better to aim high eh?! Starting simply, I want to grow more flowers to display in the house. I’ve planted a swathe of anemones at the front of our huge flowerbed, plus a few pots of more anemones and tulips. The tulips include the incredibly dark purple ‘Queen of the Night’ – I can’t wait to see the colour. I want to find a few other summer-blooming flowers to add in to what’s already in the garden. I’ve got my eye on this butterfly mix (mainly because I love the verbena) but would love some other recommendations. What are your favourite summer cut flowers to grow?

Get organised with my vegetable planting. (I’m hoping I’m not the only one with stacks of half used veg seed packets lurking at the back of the cupboard?!) I think I need to have a thorough audit of what I’ve got, what’s still in date and when it needs to be planted. I’ve just found Sarah has lots of useful veg growing articles here, and there’s another useful growing/harvesting calendar here.

Create a plan of the garden in its current state, and a drawing of what I’d like it to look like. The main jobs will include some practical fruit and veg growing space (probably in raised beds to try and keep them slightly more protected from toddler hands and feet), removing some of the many camellia plants, reducing the size of the main flowerbed, and trying to do something with the bottom of the garden which currently gets taken over by the rambling rose every year.

Eat outside more – lawn picnics at lunchtime, and relaxed evening dinners catching the last of the summer sun. The garden chairs and table are in need of repainting so this should spur me on to get this done. Plus, the perk of eating outside with a toddler is that the birds get the crumbs instead of me having to sweep them up!

Remove the rockery. Although it houses some lovely plants, such as the Cotton Lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus) and a range of succulents, it’s also making part of the house damp so it needs to go. A few weekends of hefting stones around and it should be cleared. My toddler likes helping at the moment, perhaps I’ll get her involved…?! Speaking of my toddler, she needs her own little digging patch. ‘Dih dih dih’ is a familiar phrase that gets mentioned whenever we see a spade or a digger, so having her own gardening tools and pile of soil will no doubt be popular. Any tips for getting toddlers involved in gardening are very welcome!

Last but by no means least, I need to get a shed and clear a space for it. My gardening bits and bobs are slowly but surely taking over the house and are in dire need of a sort out and some organisation. So here’s to a busy gardening 2014! I’d best head outside and get going…

What are your gardening aims or wishes for the year?

Thanks for reading,

helen