As a compulsive recycler, I've decided to re-gift myself my New Year's Resolutions from years gone by. I do wonder if they'll still be applicable. Surely yes - particularly the ones involving garden maintenance tasks. Aargh! Maybe they'll be too boring, or way too out-of-date...
Gardener Burning, Sowing Seeds, and Digging
The first New Year's Resolutions on record were written down by me in January 2002. I promised to be 'much more discriminating and honest'. Thinking to elaborate, I continued thus : 'If I am offered large bags of (for example) pink Watsonias or Nerines, I must just say NO THANKS'. Discriminating and honest? What on earth had I been up to the previous year, I wonder? Apart from accepting kind gifts of Nerines and Watsonias, gushing appreciation, and then biffing them into the compost...
Philadelphus - Orange Blossom
Pruning Promise for 2003
2003 sees a belated New Year's Resolution - 'judicious pruning BEFORE things get oversized'. This is a most useful resolution for any gardener in any year, and is perfect for recycling. Hebes, beware! Philadephus shrubs, start quaking in your boots! It's a pity the red Weigela isn't around anymore to benefit.
Well-Balanced in 2004
2004 produced a well-balanced, summery list. 'I must try to retain my calmer inner peace. And I should stake the dahlias, and look after my tomatoes'. Seems fairly sensible, ten years on, when my inner peace is even calmer. And actually I have semi-staked some of the dahlias, and I'm trying hard to look after this summer's tomatoes. Food, water, support, one large patio pot per plant...
No Need in 2005?
In 2005 I reckoned there was no need for New Year's Resolutions. Apparently 'perceptive gardeners make resolutions each month of the year', and I obviously classed myself as one such. Hmm...
2006 - A Good Year for Resolutions
Then in 2006 I vowed to 'write more interesting things in the journal, learn the proper names of plants, and have more photographs of cats doing cat-things'. Fair enough! And it is with great pleasure I can report some success with the last two. For example, I now grow the flowering annual Limnanthes douglasii, and allow me to present a picture of young Minimus climbing a tree...
Happy New Year, Minimus
2007. Oh dear, dear me. Talk about over-compensating! Take a deep, steady breath before you read the following barrage of resolutions, and note the plural. OK. Here goes :
Stake the Dahlias!
A Barrage for 2007
'Stake the dahlias, weed every day, prune the shrubs after flowering, don't mulch the secateurs, always wear gardening gloves, don't cheat, water the vegetable garden, plan in advance if a thousand pansy seedlings are required, harvest and eat all beans grown, be sensible buying new roses, have a budget when visiting the nursery (and stick to it), stop digging new gardens...'
Why so many? Surely I knew that the keeping, not the making, was the important thing. I'm quite sure that the ensuing gardening year was just as poorly disciplined and chaotic than ever. And what on earth does the 'don't cheat' refer to? The mind boggles.
After my resolution frenzy of 2007, the following two years were resolved in an orderly, itemised fashion :
- Organise and encourage Non-Gardening Partner more.
- Enjoy my garden more.
- Read more, and think more - and possibly plan more?
- Visit other people's gardens more.
- I will play the piano every day.
- I won't write as much. Less is more, as far as garden journals go.
- I will read more garden books and magazines.
But organising one's resolutions is no guarantee that the gardening year will follow suit. And poor Non-Gardening Partner. 2008 started on a rather ominous note, and I hope he survived the year (I think he did).
2010 had an awkward phrase rather than a resolution : 'Look After That What You've Got'. This seems rather self-evident - it's common sense, really, not particularly applicable to the New Year. I must have been feeling a bit lazy that particular January.
Dress Code for 2011
In 2011 it seemed that clothing was THE only resolution required : 'Always dress for the garden. Immediately on getting out of bed, put on gardening shirt and pants, and have socks ready for the feet to pop themselves into gardening shoes'. Obviously this gardener was leaving nothing to chance!
Gardening Shorts in Winter!
In 2012 my spiritual (and slightly verbose) side re-asserted itself : 'Give thanks when I wake up in the morning. Give thanks when I go to bed in the evening. And keep what's in-between really simple and really enjoyable.' To restore some balance 2013 offered something for the minimalist :
2013 New Years' Resolutions
Now, as far as 2014 is concerned, it seems rather unnecessary to reinvent the wheel. I'll just take all of the above resolutions, see if I can at least remember seven of them, and perhaps even stick to two or three! Care to join me?